All hail, Elizabeth Zimmerman!!! or Continental versus English

5 month old Will in his new sweater, January 2009

Elizabeth Zimmerman is right (isn’t she always)! Continental knitting is much less work than English style knitting. And a lefty like me, Continental is the only way to go. When I taught myself to knit, the book explained the difference between English style knitting and Continental style knitting. I remember the book clearly stating that Continental style knitting was easier/better for left handed knitters because the left hand holds the working yarn. But for some reason, I decided to learn English style. So I did and was quite successful at it until I began to explore complicated patterns. Then things go…well…complicated. You see if you are left handed and you knit English style, you have to knit everything backwards because your working needle and your non-working needle are held opposite. So if a patterns refers to the right needle, I would need to know that it meant the left needle for me. With cables and other complex stitch patterns, my knitting became a mess.

So several years ago I was on medical leave from work because of surgery and I decided to teach myself to knit Continental style. I worked on a garter stitich sweater for my newborn son. My yarn tension was better, my stitches were more even, and all in all my knitting was better. I am now on a campaign to convert all lefthanded English style knitters to Continental knitting. So join me – all you left-handed English style knitters! Come to the Continent and stay awhile.

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