A festive WIP & a new skill (finally!)

I knew I'd need something plain and relaxing to knit over the Christmas weekend when I'd be surrounded by noise and may have had a festive drink or two, so on Saturday morning I cast on another tunic for Little Miss (this time a bigger, longer version) using some 'bargain bucket' yarn I picked up at the Knitting & Stitching Show in her favourite colours - King Cole Inspire DK.  

Knitting these simple raglan garments is such a breeze I decided this would be the project to finally learn how to knit Continental style (and that the slubby uneven texture of the yarn would be forgiving of any mistakes!) I'm sure many of you were taught this way, but where I come from it's English style knitting - or "throwing" - all the way. That's what I saw all around me, and was taught as a child. 

My old career involved streamlining and improving processes, so it has bothered me that I naturally knit in the least efficient way since I first saw a video of Continental knitting. I tried to conquer this several months ago but kept automatically reverting to the way of knitting that my hands and brain were most used to and instead concentrated on learning to read patterns, to magic loop, to crochet..... In fact, crochet proved to be the key to this - holding and tensioning yarn in my left hand is now second nature. I haven't mastered the Continental purl stitch yet but that hasn't been required much for this garment, so I'll need to come up with another project for that. I'm completely convinced that this is the best way to do knit stitches as it's so efficient and quick and there are no unnecessary movements. Yep, I'm feeling very pleased about it. 

Well that's today's WIP Wednesday update. I do have plenty more to write about including lots of yarny gifts I received, a little FO I gave and my new year crafting resolutions so I'll be back with those soon. Now we are going to the local Farm Park for some fresh air and exercise. We need it! 

Have a great day! 


  1. Learning continental knitting is on my to do list too. I did have a go, but my head didn't like it. I need to do a gifty post soon too, I got lots of lovely stuff :)

  2. Very cute tunic. I'm interested in changing the way I knit but I figure I'd better finish my WIPs first before trying that in case my tension changes. And that day has never arrived LOL! Good for you for accomplishing it!

  3. I think everyone should learn how to knit using their left hand, it speeds things up considerably! I'm sure the purl stitch will come to you soon :D

  4. Wow! I envy you! I struggle to even knit normally. Fantastic WIP.

  5. so pretty, still wishing i could knit! i will learn this coming year though. :)

    happy holidays & new year to come!

  6. Congrats on learning Continental style and you were wise to pick a project that didn't have a lot else going on (skillwise). I never learned English if that makes you feel any better ;).

  7. I want to learn to knit continental too. I always find my stitches seem to be backwards though, guess I'll have to watch a bit more you tube!
    Well done.

  8. I'm also in the process of switching over to continental style and crocheting really does help. I'm now very confident with the knit stitch and getting better at purl. I'm in the process of making a knitted blanket in a bulky yarn to give me some practice. Cute tunic!

  9. Well done! Were you an ITIL guru in your former life, by any chance?

    I can do continental knitting, but my purl stitches are always at a looser tension than my knit ones. Continental knitting in the round is the way forward, I think :)

  10. My grandmother taught me continental when I was younger. I can easily knit this way but I purl faster when throwing. Good luck and have fun learning a new skill.

  11. Huh? 3 glasses of wine later I am reading this and feeling a tad corn-fused. I just knit and purl and thats the way I was "taught" the rest I learned as I went by following what I believe were English patterns????? These days I must admit to sometimes coming a thud with the new patterns and trying to decipher english/american but other than that I thought it was all the same. Hmmmmmmmm

  12. @Pretty Mades & Not so Granny - I think you can do it - just find a nice simple project to practice on :)

    @Stephanni - This time last year I couldn't really knit and didn't know where to start with crochet - determination and practice does it every time :)

    @goodpurlgonebad - not a bad guess! I headed a team of troubleshooters and 'experts' in a sales organisation - we were tasked with improving processes (IT and general workflow) and setting Best Practice standards for all aspects of the different roles, both client-facing and back office, with the aim of increasing profitability of the company.

    @SarahFay - I think i may well end up switching to English for the purl stitches too!!!

    @Karisma - I've left a response on your blog :) If you click on the links in the text above, you'll see the end result is the same - knit & purl stitches - but the method of making them is different. English involves holding the yarn in the right had and looping it over the needle, while Continental involves holding the yarn in the left hand and picking at it with the right needle to form the new stitch. Hope that explains it for you more clearly.

  13. What a great bag!
    And congrats on learning to knit continental... welcome to the club :)

  14. Thanks lovely! I just had an aha moment watching the tutorial. My mother in law knits like this. So I have seen it before although did not know it was continental. We learn something new every day. :-)


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