With the winter in full swing my normal pain set in… which I hate… but that’s neither here nor there.
I changed knitting styles and I think I’ve finally found ‘the one’! Enter: Russian knitting! (figure 8 knitting) And the crowd goes wild!
The videos below demonstrate “Russian style” knitting. The first video shows how to hold the yarn. The two videos using orange yarn are from the Ravelry group Russian Knitting Technique. The knit and purl videos from sheruknitting.com show how the knit and purl works. The last video, “Russian Stitch Mount” sheds light on how the stitches should be worked by paying attention to the leading leg (or wall) of the stitch. If you choose to watch the last video please take the time to watch the whole thing. She explains a lot in it .(Yes, I’m talking to you, you impatient people. You know who you are!)
‘Russian knitting’ is just the label placed on the technique, but it’s how I found out about it, so I’m keeping the label for now…. The technique often has speed knitting tacked onto the end, although not all speed knitting is Russian style knitting so don’t depend on using speed knitting as a search term. This style isn’t just isolated to Russia either, but since it’s usually just called “knitting” it’s been very hard for me to find extensive information about it.
Since this style is new to me, (as I’m sure it will be to many of you as well) if anyone knows what other names this may be under or knows of any great sites or video tutorials please tell me about them in a comment below.
What drew me to the technique was how very small the movements were to knit and purl stitches. You don’t fling your wrists and yarn around like English knitting and you don’t need to flail your left pointer finger up and down for purl like you do in Continental style. It’s just small unpainful movements.
The downside to this technique is that you can’t exactly follow a ‘normal’ pattern without rethinking directional decreases and other special stitches. The first purl row you do, changes the position of your stitches leading leg, and patterns are written for English or Continental style usually.
Enter: Combination knitting. If you do a search using a major search engine such as Google or Bing you can find a lot of information on how combined knitters work the different stitches that patterns call for. This style is great too and demonstrates yet again there’s no wrong way to knit. Combined knitting has great resources to help figure out how to make patterns work for the way your stitches are positioned. (I consider myself an advanced beginner to knitting and crochet, how to work stitches differently isn’t natural to me. I often rely on YouTube and blogs to help me through projects.) For anyone interested, there’s groups on Ravelry for combined knitting too, so if you’re interested, definitely check them out.
If anyone is interested in trying Russian knitting here are some sites I’ve found helpful:
Above is Sheruknitting’s YouTube channel. The videos are in English and she has some great learn to knit and crochet videos. I found her/their channel when I was trying to learn how to crochet lace tape for a project I was working on. Check out her Russian speaking site too. Her videos are easy to follow even with the language barrier. (Keep in mind, YouTube videos can be slowed down or sped up using the gear icon on the video.)
Above are two groups I found with good information on both knitting techniques. Russian knitting technique group has videos she and her husband made for the group which are great resources of information. To visit the groups, a Ravelry account is needed, but an account is free, and Ravelry is full of fun patterns, information, and like-minded crafters from all over the world. Beginner to expert knitters or crocheters of all kinds can find projects and help there!
Best wishes to everyone, and please don’t forget to comment below if you know of more sites explaining about the technique. This technique/style of knitting may not be for everyone, but for me it lets me knit again without extreme pain after the first few minutes of picking up my needles!