I am a hopelessly English-style knitter. I’ve been doing it forever. I keep my hands very close to the needles when I knit, moving my hands forward along the needles and use motion to wrap the yarn around the needle before popping the new stitch off. Unlike many English-style knitters, I don’t “throw” my yarn by making a big, sweeping circle around the needle. My purling is not so graceful.
I’ve tried learning Continental, but have never found a method I liked. So many people have their index finger sticking straight out, like a flag pole. It looks tiring. Trying it, I got exhausted and frustrated. The same with flipping the yarn to the front of the needle.
And then, in the middle of the night, looking at YouTube, I came across a really cool video called “Norwegian Purling” – and a light bulb went off! Heather (hsailormoon on YouTube and Ravelry) has produced a very clear clip. She knits very nicely! Her scarf in the demo has very even tension (the link to the scarf is here: http://www.cometosilver.com/patterns/palindrome.htm).
Watch Heather knit!
This was pretty informative and impressive – and even better, easy.
Cat Bordhi also has a type of purl she does for tightening up purl stitches when knitting Continental, and like Heather, she keeps the working yarn for the purl on the back side of the needle. Here is her video:
If you look closely, you will see (and hear) Heather wraps her yarn differently than Cat. Heather wraps her needle over the top of the working yarn, and Cat goes from underneath.
These next two videos are very short, but once you understand how the Norwegian purl works, you can observe what is being done by elsteffo.
As I said above, knitting Continental with the left index finger sticking out is uncomfortable and tiring for me. Here is a video which shows the hands close to the needles, knitting and purling with the yarn on the back of the needles:
Efficient, easy movements!
Now, something else to learn: watch the Knit Witch:
Arf! Arf!! Arf!!!