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The two-handed method of holding the yarn involves knitting one colour English style (throwing) and the other colour Continental style (picking), and both are outlined below.

We manage both colours at the same time by holding the yarn that will be knit English style in our right hand, and the yarn that will be knit Continental style in our left hand. Working this way avoids tangles and helps ensure that the floats are even. Given how the floats lay as we switch between the yarns, colour dominance becomes a factor. Generally speaking, the yarn that is worked Continental style will be the dominant colour and in each of the patterns in this collection, Yarn A was knit Continental style. Using yarn dominance in this way helps us decide which line will be prominent, which is particularly useful with single line/stitch stranded colourwork patterns like these.

This tutorial was written to support my Imperceptions collection but of course it can be applied to all stranded and fairisle projects!

Continental style stitches – picking


1) The yarn is held in the left hand, and is held by the index finger. You can use your other fingers to help tension the yarn, and it’s a good idea to practice and see what’s comfortable for you.


2) Insert the needle knitwise and take it across the top of the tensioned yarn and gently take the tip of the needle down behind the yarn to catch it.


3) Once you’ve caught the yarn with the tip of the needle, swing the needle back towards the stitch and pull the loop through. The picking of the yarn will be one continuous motion – taking it across the top of the yarn, down behind the yarn then back towards the stitch again.


4) Pull the yarn through and you’ve worked one stitch knitwise in the Continental method! Work all stitches this way for the yarn that is held in your left hand.

English style stitches – throwing


5) The yarn is held in the right hand. Some throwers use their index finger to manage the yarn but not everyone – again you need to practice and use what is most comfortable for you.


6) Insert your needle knit wise into the stitch.


7) Bring the yarn towards the tip of the needle and wrap it under from back to front.


8) Then pull the yarn through and slip the stitch off the needle – you’ve worked one stitch knitwise in the English method! Work all stitches this way for the yarn that is held in your right hand.


If you’ve a question about this technique, pop it in a comment below or visit the forum! I’m unable to offer help with patterns or techniques via email.