Tuesday, February 9, 2010

English VS Continental

I really like challenging myself, often times even unnecessarily, and sometimes resulting in burning my brain, giving myself a headache, zombify in my couch and make my husband worried.  Haha.
But oh well, that is kinda how I taught myself how to draw, do animation, learn softwares, learned how to cook, bake, and yes---knit and crochet.  So yea.  They all worth it.

Anyways lately I've been challenging myself with almost any new technique I come across, or techniques I have read about but never got to try.  I started experimenting magic loop last December, and oh I love it.  Trying to do magic loop for an entire hat wasn't exactly the best idea ever, but ha, now I know lol.  But the decreases were VERY MUCH easier in magic loop.  As much as I like DPNs just because they look cool, I really don't mind switching needles only 2 times every round than 3 if not 4 times.  Plus I'm a super public-knitting lover.  Less points = less people-bugging.

For the past week or two, I've been experimenting with double-knitting, trying 1~2 needles, drop stitching, intarsia, duplicate stitches, new cast-on methods, and English knitting.

I think continental knitting is more popular in Japan.  All the texts I have read when I started knitting were from Japan, and I don't think I ever saw a single beginner book telling how to do English knitting.

I don't think I will ever totally switch to English, but I wanted to learn it anyways, since 1) I'm just that kind of person and 2) I really wanted to make fair isle knitting more simpler, and wanted to try the "combine the two styles when dealing with two colors"--holding one color continental style and the other English.

Not only because I started learning with continental, but I personally favor continental way over English.  Its just quicker, and more streamlined.  In continental style, both your hands are on their needles at all times, and its just hook, pull, hook, pull.  Blip Blip Blip Blip.  In English style, its let go of right hand, wrap, hold the right needle again--so it will be something like Plonk Blip Plink Plonk Blip Plink Plonk Blip Plink Plonk Blip Plink .  Hear the difference?
Me being an efficiency hog, I prefer the Blip Blip Blip Blip.

I did, however, noticed that you get nice, cleaner stitch with English style.

I hope its not just my craftsmanship sucking, but there are some combination of yarn and needles that I kind of get depressed after looking at the stitches.  Especially the non-circular knitting.
I look at the stitch, say "holy cow.  I suck".  Sometimes the left part of the stitch looks bigger than the right.  and yes on the wrong rows the other way around.  they usually get solved after blocking, but oh boy I feel so discouraged when this happens.

Even in those yarn/needle combination, I seem to get the stitches look right when I do English style.

So yea,  if you're looking for the answer of the question "which is better?"
there is no answer.  Its preference.

There must be way more pros and cons for each way, but to make it simple I'm just going to put it this way:
If you're looking for speed, go for Continental.
If you're not confident in your stitches, go for English.

In the end, whichever you chose and sticks to you is the better one for you.  Plus, you'll get faster at anything after practicing a thoussand times--and yes,  its really not that hard to knit a thousand stitches. :P

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