Knit & Garter Stitch

Before you begin to knit, you should get an idea about how to hold your yarn and needles. First, let me tell you that there is more than one method to hold your needles and yarn. The method I use and describe in my videos is called the English method. There is another method called Continental, also known as German, European, or left-hand knitting. In the Continental method, the yarn is held in the left hand instead of the right hand. For many new knitters that already crochet, the Continental method often becomes their preferred method because the yarn is held in the left hand when a right-handed person crochets. Although I was a crocheter, I still chose the English method. I just couldn't get the yarn through the stitch with the Continental method. There are quite a few claims that you can knit faster with the Continental method. Some of the contortions that I have seen Continental knitters go through just to keep the yarn around the needle really makes me have doubts. Honestly, I think it is probably split down the middle and dependant on the person, more so than the method. If you give it a good try with the English method and are not having a lot of luck, try the Continental method. I won't have any videos for you since I can't knit that way, but you can find some at, and many other sources as well. And who knows, I may just learn the Continental method one day and make some videos, but don't hold your breath. :o) I hate to send you away from my site, but my goal here isn't really a large number of visits to my site, it is helping others become successful knitters. I do think you can still pick up some information here that you may not be able to get elsewhere, so keep me in mind. With all that said, watch this video for a few suggestions about the English method, but don’t feel like you are stuck with the choice that you make today. You can and probably will adapt as you learn.

While there is no right or wrong way to hold your needles and yarn, there is definitely something that is inadvisable. Take a look at the following video and pay close attention to the way she uses the index finger on her left hand.

Video courtesy of Julie Hudson
As I stated before, using your index finger in this manner is not wrong. However, Julie and quite a few other knitters discussed this issue, and without fail each of them complained of a sore index finger that required some sort of protection. These are some of the descriptions used: knitting holes in my fingers, prick my fingertips, sore with dents, and split skin. I don’t know about you, but this does not sound pleasant to me. Knitting shouldn’t be painful. When you watch the next video and begin to learn the knit stitch, try to consciously avoid using your index finger to push on the needle or you will end up in the same predicament. Play close attention to how I slide my right needle under my left needle.

Practice until your stitches are a consistent size. When you are happy with your progress, move on to the next lesson. Let’s knit y’all!

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