Lucia is the most popular project on the needles these days. I’m 3 quarters through the center panel. The beads bury themselves deep in the mohair, but perform as light magnets and cast a subtle reflection from the most modest light in the room.
In the course of this project, I’ve discovered another benefit of learning Continental stitching. If you are holding your yarn in your left hand in Continental style, your right hand (which would normally be used to hold your yarn) is free to pick up and place beads. Overall beading is smoother and the rhythm of the knitting is better maintained. Little things like this make me very happy.
I’m new to Continental knit stitch, but I now prefer it over the throwing technique that I’ve used all of my knitting life; however, Continental purling still felt awkward. While searching You Tube, I found a video for the Norwegian Purl. What is interesting about this stitching style is that the yarn can be held in the back regardless of whether you are doing a knit or purl stitch. Immediately you may be able to see how this can be wonderful for ribbing, eliminating the tiresome activity of moving the yarn to the back and front of your work for alternating knit and purl stitches. Norwegian purling initially looks complicated and involves a lot of twisting of the wrist. This personally tires out my hands, but keep in mind that this is solely from a beginner’s stance. My hands may need a bit more time to relax and become acclimated to the technique.
If you’ve never tried these alternative knitting methods, there are a variety of ways to learn them and I encourage you to do so. You may find some very pleasant benefits along the way.