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How to Knit - Styles of Knitting

 

There are many ways to knit, whether it's "picking" or "throwing or even feeding the yarn around your neck or off a pin (sometimes called "Portuguese knitting"). However, there are two main families of knitting styles: "Western" and "Eastern." There is also "Combination" knitting, which is a blend of both styles.

It's important to know how you knit because the vast majority of patterns are written for Western knitting styles. If you knit in an Eastern or Combination style, be aware that you may have to adjust the steps in your pattern to make sure that you do not end up with twisted stitches.

Western:

Whether you knit in English style (with the yarn in your right hand; also called "throwing") or Continental style (with the yarn in your left hand; also called "picking"), Western knitters will find that their stitches are formed using the same steps:

  • Leading leg of stitch (leg of stitch closer to needle tip) is in front of the needle (closer to the knitter) in knit and purl
  • Knit stitch = work front loop, wrap clockwise, or underhand
  • Purl stitch = work front loop, wrap counter-clockwise or overhand
 

Eastern:

So called because it is more common in Eastern European countries, as well as Arab and South American countries.

  • Leading leg (leg of stitch closer to needle tip) in back of needle in knit, in back in purl
  • Knit stitch = work in back loop, wrap counter-clockwise or overhand
  • Purl stitch = work in back loop, wrap clockwise or underhand.
 

Combination:

Combination knitting has elements of both Eastern and Western knitting, hence the name.

  • Leading leg (leg of stitch closer to needle tip) in back of needle in knit, in front in purl
  • Knit stitch = work back loop, wrap clockwise or underhand
  • Purl stitch = work front loop, wrap clockwise or underhand