Anniken Allis’s Workshop: Continental Knitting with Norwegian Purl

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.

Bekki Hill


19 thoughts on “Anniken Allis’s Workshop: Continental Knitting with Norwegian Purl

  1. Years ago I took a class on continental knitting, and I did not keep it up – it is so hard to learn a different way to do something you know how to do so well. You are making me think about trying it again, though. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is – and although I enjoyed it and am glad I did it, I’m so slow and my tension still so bad, I’m not sure I’ll keep at the purl – although planning on using the knit for fair isle. But that’s a whole other blog post 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hmm, whilst it sounds fun, I’m not sure I’d have the patience now to re-learn something I already do perfectly well. I do love to watch the ‘other’ way of knitting though, and often wish I’d learnt that way at the beginning.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not sure I have the patience to keep going with it long enough to get it up to teh standard of my british style, but , but there’s a lot I’ve learn from this workshop and working on continental knitting since that I will be able to use. But, as i said already, that’s a whole other post.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hmmm! It looks like a good way to convert a crocheter to a knitter as the yarn is held in a similar way to crochet. I think I’ll stick to the old way but I admire you trying it and, as you said before, it might be a better way to knit should you ever have problems later on with your hands.
    I must be weird – those glossy salad leaves look more delicious than most of the photos of gooey cakes I see on blogs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Do you know, I’m not convinced it is better for your hands – although alternating between two styles, clearly would reduce RSI, because it gives the different movements a rest.

      Ha ha! Really? Salad leaves over cake? Go have a lay down my dear.

      Liked by 1 person

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