My Style of Knitting

Since a couple of you have asked about my style of knitting, I’ll tell you . . but as with most everything I do, there’s a story. Please read this and then promptly forget everything I’m saying, ok? This information will only mess  you up with your knitting.

I learned to crochet as a child. I guess it was my grandma who taught me. I think my grandma tried to teach me everything she knew how to do just to keep me out of trouble when I was at their house. Even way back as a child, I had to stay busy or I got into mischief. My grandma taught me to do embroidery, to sew on her old treadle sewing machine, to crochet, she tried to teach me to play the piano but I just never got that. She also instilled in me her desire to put yummy, homegrown food on the table, to always have cake or pie ready . . just in case the random guest dropped by (no telephones back then to call ahead). My grandma had beautiful flowers and she loved dogs. They always had dogs. The two I remember most were Butch and Blondie, two cocker spaniels.

Anyway, I crocheted everything I could get my hands on through my middle school years and then in high school, a left handed friend was knitting a scarf. I watched her and I semi-figured out how to knit. I, being right handed, watched her, being left handed, from across the lunch room table and that’s how I learned to knit. I knitted a bit during college and into my young adult years but then put it down and didn’t touch it for almost 25 years. When I decided to start knitting again in 2005 or 2006, I could not remember how to cast on. Youtube videos weren’t quite as prevalent as they are now and I couldn’t figure out how to cast on. I asked every one I could find . . can  you show me how to cast on so I can knit? Finally someone told me that a group of elderly ladies met at the Methodist Church on Thursday mornings to knit prayer shawls so I went down there and after about the 6th lady showed me how she casts on, someone did it like I remembered doing it. It’s called long tail cast on! I had no idea what it was called or that there was more than one way to cast on!

I had no idea there were “styles” to knitting. People would ask me what’s my style of knitting. I had no idea but in the past few years, I’ve watched lots of videos of both Continental and English knitting, tried to do both and the Continental is much easier for me so that’s pretty much my current style. 

There’s still so much I don’t know . . about so many things!  🙂



  1. 1

    Melody says

    You inspired me to knit. I had always wanted to. So about 2 years ago. I decided it was now or never. I wasn’t getting any younger. I had never seen anyone use continental style, so I tried the english style. I watched video and anyone I knew that knitted. I tried and tried, but it just didn’t feel comfortable. And then I heard about continental style and watched some videos. Thank goodness I found it or I don’t think I would enjoy it as much. My grandmother taught me to crochet when I was a little girl too. So I had that muscle memory in my left hand of how to hold the yarn an manage tension. Much harder to try and teach my right hand to do it at 55. So when I here people that can crochet say they can’t knit. I say try continental. Purling might be a little tricky but knitting is pretty much like crochet only without the hook. 🙂

    I have learned a lot in the last 2 years. Of course I have made a lot of scarves and cowls. Last year I learned to make toe up socks and this year I have made some hats. Next, I am hoping to try an adult sized sweater. Judy thanks so much for inspiring me.

  2. 2

    Terry says

    Ok so now I’m curious as to how you do your purl stitch in continental style? I push the yarn forward with the middle finger of my left hand to keep it tight to wrap around the needle. What do you do?

  3. 3

    Glenda says

    I want to thank you, too. You inspired me to learn to knit in 2009. I’m left handed so it was brutal but eventually I worked it out. There were a lot of useless you tube videos then but now there are so many good ones! I also learned to crochet long ago, and I crochet left handed but knit right handed (because most of the videos were right handed). I was so grateful to have learned to knit at all that even though it’s English style, I still do it that way. Every once in a while I try to switch over to continental but it winds up being a mess. I stopped knitting in 2010 and just recently picked it up again so I’m still a beginner.

    I’ve started the Brick sweater and it is pretty easy but I’ve made so many mistakes and started over so many times, I’ve completely lost my mojo on it. Put it away, trying to decide if I should unravel it and start over again or maybe try the Mason-Dixon Perfect Sweater. Suggestions welcome.

    Anyway, thank you, Judy, for your fun and interesting blog and the inspiration to try something new. And I love reading about your garden and all the gadgets you and Vince come up with. This really is a bright spot in my day.

  4. 4

    Jill of Apple Avenue Quilts says

    When it comes to knitting I’m truly a hybrid I throw my thread with my left hand. I grew up watching my mom and older sister knit and they each used a different method so I simply combined them. Works for me and I guess that is what counts!

  5. 5

    floribunda says

    I’m left-handed. I knit right-handed because my right-handed mother taught me when I was about 8, but I crochet left-handed because I taught myself in college. I mostly knit “English” style but I periodically try to learn continental so that it will be easier to do colorwork… currently trying the Craftsy class, but not having a lot of success. (maybe if I actually practiced it would work better!) My mom taught me the knitted cast-on; I never knew any other way until a few years ago.