Last Tuesday I took a workshop on continental knitting at Spin a Yarn in Bovey Tracey.
The class was taken by the lovely and very talented Anniken Allis. And, as an added bonus, Belinda Harris-Reid turned out to be one of the participants. Anniken was an excellent, knowledgeable, patient and attentive tutor and it wasn’t long before I had the hang of the continental knit stitch.
However the tension on my Norwegian purl left a lot to be desired. But after a few rows it improved enough for me to happily begin experimenting with double rib and moss stitch.
Inspired by Belinda, who was by now working on purl 5 tog! I did some yarn overs and purl 2 togs. Then it was time for a delicious lunch and a chat with all the other lovely ladies taking the workshop.
After lunch, Anniken gave us some patterns to work on; a simple knit purl combination, a simple lace and an easy cable. If you read this blog regularly, you’ll know how much I love cables – so I decided to see how it felt using a cable needle with continental knitting. But when I tried to follow the pattern, I’d already forgotten how to work the Norweigan purl!
Annekin patiently showed me again, but then something very strange happened. I found it incredibly difficult to follow the simple cable pattern. It had been so easy to mess about with stitches from my head in the morning, but my poor brain was so full with making the stitches in an unfamiliar manner, I found it immensely difficult to follow a simple chart! Of course once the pattern was set, things became much easier…
Cabling was disappointingly exactly the same as in British knitting, so I moved on to try knitting two colours – one with each hand. It might sound complicated, but that was actually very easy.
The Norwegian purl doesn’t allow you to carry the colours across the back of the work, so this can only be done knitting in the round. So for my test piece I broke the thread at the end of each knit row and purled back with one colour.
By the time I’d done a few rows, it was time to go home. I’d had an utterly fabulous day. I was absolutely shattered from all the thinking and knew I still had a very long way to go to get my continental knitting anywhere near the standard of my British style knitting.