As I learned to knit from my Norwegian mother and grandmother, I knit (and purl) in the Continental style (Wikipedia pic source).
Many times knitting quietly in a public place (e.g., park or coffee shop), in the U.S., someone comes up to me and asks what I’m doing. When I tell them I’m knitting, the response I frequently get is: “No, I’ve seen knitting and that’s not it.” 🙂
Of course I see it as my duty to educate the person on different styles of knitting, historical shifts, and so on – undoubtedly giving far more information than the person ever thought s/he would receive!
I know how to knit in the English style but use that only when knitting with more than three colors in any one row. (I can knit three different yarns off my left hand; any more than that and I have to use my right.) I think the Continental style is faster, though I’ve heard a skilled English style knitter can be equally swift. Perhaps. I do think, however, that the Continental style uses less hand motion and as such is probably better physically than the style adopted by most English style knitters. Everyone I’ve taught to knit I’ve taught the Continental style. When I am helping someone who has already learned to knit in the English style, I have to rethink how I teach so as not to confuse her or him!
Undoubtedly you hear my bias. 🙂
So, what knitting style do you prefer?!