I’ve been looking to switch up my knitting style for awhile. Try some different hand positions for speed and to avoid The Carps. e.g., Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. I’ve found my knitting style has evolved over the years, naturally getting more efficient. However, the other day in class, I saw a lady knitting so fast her hands blurred! So I decided to take a closer look at the various ways a knitter can step up their knitting game! I trolled the internet, watched a bunch of videos. Here’s what I found.
No matter what the style or country of origin, it boiled down to a few major factors. Read on for the break down with videos! Beginning with the two most fundamental styles of Knitting along with some of their variations. And hopefully the ideal combination of knitting techniques to achieve supersonic speed!
English – I’m a “righty” and an American Style or English Style Knitter. So I hold the the yarn coming from the yarn ball or “working yarn” in my Right Hand and throw the yarn over the needle. This motion is known as Throwing. These two characteristics together, Right Hand Yarn and Throwing, define English Style Knitting. Depending on your hand/yarn position and needle position, the throwing action required in American/English Style Knitting can be more or less efficient in turn affecting the knitting speed.
Continental – In Continental Style or European Style or German Style Knitting the working yarn is held in the Left Hand, the same side as the needle where all the stitches are hanging from or the “live stitches”. The action here resembles more of the hooking motion in Crochet and is called Picking. These two characteristics together, Left Hand Yarn and Picking, define Continental Style Knitting. Since these hand positions and the motion are naturally closer together with less wasted movement it is, in general, where the efficiency comes from.
Whatever they’re called, there are infinite variations in which you can hold the needles, hold the working yarn, and wrap the yarn on your fingers which affect both tension and throwing position which I’ll call Primary Variations or Stance. And then all of that further combined with your motions – hand motion, finger motion, and needle positions in motion – during the knitting action which I’ll call Secondary Variations or Swing. All combine to achieve the most effective style of knitting. Which in my case is speed! Among these 2 major groups lies the 4 major factors that are the key. Let’s take a look!