Spot the difference

I’m knitting another pair of socks (amongst a million other projects) and they are taking ages. Way longer than any other pair of socks I have knitted.

Why? Well I wouldn’t recommend this whilst actually mid-project but I decided to use this pair to try new knitting methods. All in a bid to knit faster. 

I am normally a ‘thrower’ when I knit, which I understand to be a fairly inefficient method. I was knitting fairly quickly but when faced with a whole leg or foot of stocking stitch, I started wondering. Could I speed things up a bit?

I think most knitters ‘flick’, so I started with that. No faster, although if I persevered I’m sure I would master it. 

So I tried ‘continental’. This is the method recommend for crocheters and I immediately liked it for that reason. Way faster.

To give you an idea of the difference in time. I can knit a round in half the time continental style. I can’t purl continental so rib and heel sections take the same time but overall I’ve been able to knock some of the time off.

Great, faster knitting! Yes but now I have a whole new issue to contend with. Tension.

Look at the leg sections below.

The one on the left has been knitted using throwing and the right is continental. Can you see how much looser  (scruffy?) the one on the right is? 

Lay one on the other and it is really obvious. My gauge has completely changed.

Like I said, I changed methods half way through knitting a sock and had to frog it as the difference was so noticeable. Now I’ll have to reknit the one using my original method, so not so fast after all!

Other implications are that the stitches used to stay on my 23cm short circular needles, now they want to spring off all of the time. 

If I’m going to continue to knit continental for the stockinette section of my socks I’m going to have to reconsider the number if stitches I cast on or my needle size. Obvious to an experienced knitter I’m sure but not to a newbie like me!

What type of knitter are you and have you ever tried other methods? I’d be interested to hear.

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20 thoughts on “Spot the difference

  1. I’m a thrower – I only knit continental when I’m doing fair isle. I’ve also found continental to be much looser, which is a benefit sometimes and other times not, as you’ve found! Congrats on picking up a new technique. This is why I love knitting – always something new to try.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I’m interested to hear how other people knit. I’ve taken to watching knitting podcasts and I look so closely at the knitting techniques!

      Like

  2. Just came across your website. I’m what I call a continental hybrid knitter. I wouldn’t have realized that there was such a difference in tension but maybe yours would tighten up over time. I feel like maybe throwing the yarn makes for a better end stitch to the row though but I’ve never been able to get the hang of it to find out.

    Liked by 1 person

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