Creating a Cloud, or About Continental Russian Speed Knitting Style



If you ask me what I learnt first – knitting or crochet – I’ll have to think for a while. Because I honestly don’t remember. I know I learnt both crafts at nearly the same age, when I was 5 years old. But no idea what was first. I used to knit very much in the past, before one day I saw a picture of an overlay crochet mandala. And this is how my love affair with crochet restarted.


For the last 6 years I’ve been mostly designing crochet. Because it took a while to learn crochet terms in English, and the difference between the US and UK temrs. It also took a while to learn how to write a good crochet pattern. And it took a while to just get the hang of designing.

But in a meanwhile I was also doing knitting, now and then. And my new wip is also about knitting.
If you know me as a crochet designer, please, don’t worry. I won’t leave crochet and that will be my main designing stream. But sometimes it’s nice to have a little change. And also some yarns are asking for knitting. Like Scheepjes Furry Tales.

Not that it’s impossible to crochet with fur yarn – of course, you can absolutely do that, and I know that my fellow designers are working hard at the moment on new crochet fluffy projects. But I honestly think that knitting works a bit better for furry yarns, because it’s easier to see (or better to say “feel”) the stitches. And the better chances are you’ll stay on track with the stitch count.

So… my new design is about knitting. And do you know what I’ve figured out about my knitting recently? That I am an alien. “I am a little alien in the world of knitting”. This is what I discovered when I tried to follow English knitting patterns for the first time (as you may know, I am from Belarus. And I am using Russian language in my daily life. And of course I used to follow only Russian patterns in the past).

What I’ve discovered is that I purl in a very weird way. After purling the stitches appear to be placed differently on a needle for the next knit row. And instead of knitting them in front loops, as you would normally do, I have to knit them in the back loops.

Reverse purl and knit makes the knitted fabric look just normal. That’s why I have never questioned myself if I am doing this “right” or not.

I’ve recorded a short video with a gauge swatch for my new design to show you what I mean.


I was struggling to read knitting patterns in English, because some knitting terms didn’t work with my style – I had to reverse everything. But the charts work just fine, as I am making the same stitches as drawn in the charts but in my own way, without following the description.

And just a few days ago I occasionally saw a video on YouTube about “Continental Russian Speed Knitting”. And yay! This is exactly what I am doing. So obviously I am not the only one in the world. And this is probably how we all were taught to knit in the former USSR. You can actually search for more videos about Russian knitting style. There are lots of them out there.

After seeing the video I felt brave enough to share my knitting style with you. I thought maybe you would like it, and would decide to try. Because you make minimum movements with your fingers and wrists, this style is really speedy. And for me this is just the only way I can knit :)
 

P.s. And regarding my new design, it will be double-layered and reversible. With cables on top and fluffy cloud at the bottom. But you will have to wait a little bit to see the reveal!

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26 comments

  1. You make that look so easy! I have video's saved for continental style knitting. I really want to learn. I took classes to learn traditional knitting (or English style) and I just could not do it. I need some free time to try this!

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    1. Sometimes just a small in technique is helpful! Hope knitting will work for you in the end. It's such a relaxing craft!

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  2. I am from Romania and I knit and purl the same way as you.

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  3. I have seen and tried out your version of knitting too. My mother knits with the thread on her left index finger, but I could never get that thread properly around the needle, so I "invented" the russian method for myself. :D But though thats fine for plain st st, I immediately switch the thread to the right hand which my grandmother taught me and I could never work as precise with the thread left. I as well can't remember which I learnt first, I think crochet, but I only knitted for many years until I discovered you. Now crochet is so much fun, thanks for that!

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    1. Thank you! I am so glad you are enjoying crochet :)

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  4. That makes me feel so much better! I learned to crochet first, and that is how I knit. There are very few videos that show it. I've also heard it called continental. They say that crocheters have a tendency to gravitate to that method. Love your work!

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    1. Yes, indeed. Probably it's easier for crocheters to learn that way of knitting, because the yarn is carried in a similar way. So there is not a huge change from crochet.

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  5. I knit and purl just like you. I always thought that was the right way and the easy Way 🤓

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    1. I always thought it was the only way of knittign, haha. Before I got some bloggers friends who are from other countries.

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  6. For me your way is the "normal" way to knit, I´m from Sweden. I just can´t understand how they do it the other way, seems so complicated and time consuming. Maybe that´s the reason I just can´t understand english patterns. I have never thought about it before. Interesting!

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    1. Yes, because stitches appear on the needles differently, some stitches as they are described in English, just don't work for this method. And we must make them in a reverse way.

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  7. There is NO WRONG way of knitting! If it works for you, it is right.
    I knit like Lilla, but I put the stitches on the right needle the other way. As long as we both knit into the stitch as we want, it's right. I've just called my knitting style picking.

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    1. Yes, for sure! If you can read and follow all knitting patterns - then it doesn't matter how exactly you knit.

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  8. After threatening for years to teach me to knit, Mom had the chance. Broken ankle meant I had to stay put. She taught me to knit the same way you do, Tatsiana. So did her sister and my Grandma. (Mom's name was Tathiana -- first generation from Kiev).

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    1. Probably it's just common way for knitting in the former USSR.

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  9. That's fuuny! I have discovered this way of pearling myself recently. I use to knit the continental way...

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  10. It's also called combined knitting or combination knitting. Works great for flat knitting, or ribbing, or anything with a lot of ssk. Doesn't always work when doing lace (the k2tog get quite annoying)

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    1. I should try again and see. I used to knit a lot of different lace patterns in the past. everything worked just fine for me :)

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  11. Another knitting alien here, I am knitting this way too :)

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  12. I used to purl in the same way then I got confused one day and changed the direction I pick up the yarn, and now it ends up on the needle the other way around! If you want to get totally confused, watch Arne of Arne & Carlos purl in Continental style. my head still is spinning!

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  13. When I first moved to England, everyone looked at my "strange way" of knitting, "continental way", as they call it here. The way my mother in law knitted seemed so complicated to me, too many movements! So, you are not unusual :-)
    xx

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