slowing down

So after all that swatching last week you can imagine how eager I was to cast on for my new sweater. Eager, indeed, however I was struck by something I read in that last issue of “Twist Collective” which gave me pause. In Myth information under “Rule #3: knit continental it’s faster” author Sandi Rosner contemplates the reasons one might want to knit faster. I found she had a good point. Knitting isn’t supposed to be “fast”. It’s supposed to be enjoyable. I do, actually, knit continental and I knit fast. Fast doesn’t necessarily mean “good” though, In fact, I think a lot of my knitting looks rather sloppy and I’d like to change that.

But knitting continental is what I “do” so how does one slow oneself down? A while back (while working on my last project, I think) I decided I’d like my knitting to look a little neater so I decided to change my motions a little bit. I moved my stitches down the needle in my right hand every five or six stitches rather than when I felt them bunching up. This did have a positive affect on the consistancy of my stitches but they were still a little uneven.

Then I remembered something my friend Karen (from Knit1 LA) told me a long time ago. If, on your purl stitches, you wrap your yarn from bottom to top (rather than top to bottom) your knit stitches will be twisted, but your knitting will be more even in tension and you will incur less thumb movement while purling.


(Purling from bottom to top)

I tried this for a while after she told me this but I stopped because it was too slow. ( what do you expect? I live in a country that invented, fast food, high-speed internet and speed dating). Since then I’ve also learned how to knit “Portugese style” which also wraps the purl stitch backwards and it’s quite fast as well.

I decided to try it again and I’m really happy with the results so far. It is a bit slower for me but the stitches are really nice and even and, if I didn’t have to rip back 21 rows due to a slight oversight on my part, I’d take some pics of it to show you. As it is, I’m going back to my slow knitting for now.

Tomorrow, crochet!


  1. That’s really interesting. Do you untwist the stitches on the next row of knitting or leave them twisted?

    I’m a continental knitter also and I knit fast and loose… which usually produces overly stretchy fabric so I have to move down a couple of needle sizes to compensate. I’m always willing to try a new technique to improve my knitting. Have you seen the videos of the world’s fastest knitter? I’ve tried to recreate her movements but it doesn’t work for me.

    • Yes, I untwist the stitches on the knit rows by knitting into the back of the stitch. My continental knitting also results in an overly stretchy fabric and I too, usually go down a size or two in needles. This isn’t usually a problem but I think my purl rows are not as even looking as they are in the twisted method. Does that make sense?

    • I’m going to go look up those knitting videos now!

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