so last night i was knitting in bed and the yarn was somewhere on the floor to my left. since it was too cold to get out and pick it up and it was bugging me to have it running across the work i had a go at holding the yarn in my left hand instead (which i guessed must be something like the continental style i've heard mentioned). it was possible, if tricky, so i went searching for proper instructions and landed at knittinghelp. i found doing it properly was more fluid than my busked version, but still pretty tricky. so then i tried the combined method, aka eastern uncrossed, also illustrated (and here) and wow! how easy is that? i can see that it could cause problems following patterns, but for simple stuff like scarves it looks like a real winner.

as far as i can tell (from my very brief experience, might be totally wrong) the only difference is how the stitches are held on the needle, not the fabric that's produced. i went from one style to another on my scarf and i can't spot the changeover.

i think i'll probably try to learn all 3 methods since each seems to have an advantage in different situations, all i have to do is remember which method i'm using and not get mixed up between them.

so for my ref:

  • standard: k&p both through front loop, yarn wrapped anticlockwise*
  • combined: k through back loop (which is leading loop, opposite to standard), p through front loop, needle over yarn and scoop through.

oh and i also want to learn how to knit lefthanded so i can do the stockinette without turning trick as per this craftster thread.

*just reading a thread over on knitty that said wrapping clockwise is the right way. but studying the videos i think i'm going the right way but viewing it from the pointy end of the needle back towards the work, in which case it is a-c. still, i should probably start thinking of it the other way or i'm going to get very easily confused.

another version of "standard" knitting, with better economy of movement.

another discussion, this time at angelyarns.

yet more discussion with a nice clear explanation of the differences from knitty.