My mum, Jean who teaches the spinning workshops with me has been knitting she was a child and has designed with both commercial and handspun yarn. She was keen to attend Sarah Hatton’s Pattern making workshop at Black Sheep wools and so I happily went along. Black Sheep workshops are always a treat – they’re quality through and through and you get lunch and cake included. Seriously – what is not to like.
My background is in embroidery, I learnt to spin initially to create my own textured yarns for large canvas embroidery. Add to matters that I have problems with my fingers and knitting has not been top of my to do list. I can knit and purl, turn out an easy project but it takes me a long, long time. As my Nan says, I knit like a child.
I’ve loved creating my latest hand dyed yarns, the colours and the lovley soft merino that I want to knit myself and I want to knit like a woman!
So someone suggested to me to try continental knitting where you use the left hand rather than the right hand to wrap your yarn around the needle. I so wish I’d discovered this years ago. I’m sure it would have made all the difference to me.
For the knit stitch, insert the needle as you would for English knitting but take the wool in the left hand, wrap it around the needle and then take the needle to the right hand side of the yarn and hook the yarn through. It’s a similar action to crochet and I find it so much easier. Now the purl stitch isn’t necessarily the easiest but with a bit of practise I’m sure it’ll come right. At the moment though I’m dropping stitches and making mistakes like nobody’s business.
If you want to take a look at some Continental Knitting videos, You Tube is great and this one in particular has been a great help to me
If you have a go, let me know how you get on.