Continental Knitting with Anniken Allis

Millie FurbyNews

Continental Knitting with Anniken Allis


On Saturday 11th February Anniken Allis, one of the UK’s top shawl and lace knitting designers, came up from Cornwall to teach a group of us to Continental Knit.


The session started with Anniken teaching us how to cast on using the long tail method (similar to the thumb method) and gave us some tips on how to ensure you don’t run out of wool when casting on (one wrap of the wool around your have = approx 20 stitches) and how to ensure your stitches are not too tight when casting on (use 2 needles parallel to each other).

After casting on Anniken taught us to knit garter stitch using the continental method. After a bit of practice we began to feel confident with it so….

… we moved on to learn Norwegian Purl. the advantage to this stitch over English purl is that you don’t have to move your yarn to the front, it is all done with your yarn in the same place as for knit – clever! After some more practice we felt brave enough to try rib, which was so much easier than ribbing as we normally would do, no swapping the yarn backwards or forwards… I even began to enjoy rib for a change.

After lunch we set to work following a pattern and practicing our continental knit and Norwegian Purl. for some of us this was the first time we had followed charts, so to have Anniken’s expert help on hand was fantastic. She also gave us top tips such as if you are knitting a garment which will be sewn up, don’t slip the first stitch, it will be easier to sew, but if you are knitting a lace garment, do slip the first stitch purlwise as it will give a neater edge.


‘Last Saturday I took the continental knitting class at The Slipped Stitch, held by Anniken Allis of YarnAddict fame (google it)   The sessions were well planned and we, a group of very varied experience, all managed to grasp the fundamentals.  I usually crochet but do enjoy knitting it just doesn’t grow very fast and as I am so impatient I usually find myself using Aran and chunky weight yarns.  I found the continental way of knitting much quicker – the Norwegian Purl will take a while for it to become second nature but the knit stitch is so much faster.  The quick magic loop lesson was a welcome bonus.  As someone who has many half finished socks/gloves etc (low boredom threshold) I completed a pair of mittens by Sunday afternoon.  I can see how this would improve my fair-isle and intarsia skills (I have already signed up for this workshop which is coming soon!)
I love that Millie works hard at finding new tutors and listens to her customers when arranging new workshops.  They have certainly added to my skill set.’ Sarah T


‘Surprisingly simple once you know how and get used to using your left hand for the yarn. with practice I think I’m going to be super speedy. The Norwegian Purl which looks as though it’s really difficult – again once you know how – is going to make for much quicker ribbing because you’re not moving the yarn backwards and forwards all the time. Anniken is happy to keep showing you how until it sinks in and gave us some really useful tips and advice. We had such a lovely time, the day just flew by!’ Theresa


Anniken will be back with us on Saturday 30th September. Theme of the day TBC.