I've been knitting since, what, '04? Something like that. And I've always knit English style. I'm quite happy to knit English style. Or my version of English style, since I hold things differently than most. I dabbled in some Continental when I made some Harry Potter socks for Narci, but it was kind of awkward; I couldn't find a comfortable way to hold the working yarn, and the way I used to hold the yarn when I crocheted is not something a person should do for long stretches of time. Regardless of my awkwardness, I was happy with the fact I could knit Continental, if needed... but only if needed.
Cut to a couple months ago. On Twitter, Knitting Help; was updating with YouTube upload notices. I took a peek at the most recent one, which was about knitting in the combined method. It seemed pretty straightforward, actually, and I was going to move on. But, in the related videos suggested by YouTube, I noticed a video from djinnj called 'How I knit - Continental Combined.'
At the time, I was working on the Wilf hat prototype, and I ended up practicing that Continental Combined method on the hand band. I started to get the hang of it. Then, I wanted to make a Pinstripe Tenscarf, and the handiest needles I had are a size about 5.5, so, since my Continental Combined tends to be a bit looser, I decided to give it a go. I did it with that knitting method the whole time, and I even did another scarf the same way!
Then, last week, I started to remake the socks I started at the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear (a story, with pictures, for another time), and I thought I'd experiment with Continental Combined again. And, well... I've finished one sock, done entirely without English knitting, and I've got another sock to do. And I'm finding I rather like it! When doing plain knits and purls, it is faster. It's not like I thought my English knitting was particularly slow; it works just fine for me. But, I'm coming around to this Continental Combined.
I have noticed, though, that while knitting with a worsted weight yarn is nice and easy to hold, I've had to make adjustments when working with the fingering weight sock yarn. It's a bit more cumbersome, but I'm able to get some tension happening, so that's good.
When I'm back with my camera, I'll take some pictures of my Continental Combined stuff. I think, for now, it's a good thing to use with more simple knitting. If I'm doing cables or lace, I can see me switching back to my regular style. And, if I'm not thinking about it, I'll start in English style. But, all in all, I'm pretty excited. It's nice to feel comfortable with these different techniques.
Now, I've got another sock to knit!