In my last post, I demonstrated how to knit backwards. Today, I'm sharing a tutorial on how to knit in the "combined" knitting method. The most well-known combination knitter is probably Annie Modesitt; according to her web site, this method is a combination of Western and Eastern knitting methods -- hence the name.
I'm not usually a combination knitter, but I find it useful to knit this way when I am knitting large pieces of stockinette flat, because this method gives me a more even tension and prevents me from "rowing out." My tension in combined knitting is much more similar to the tension I get when knitting in the round, so if a project asks me to knit stockinette both in the round and flat, I switch to the combined knitting method for the flat portions. Other times I switch up my knitting methods just to avoid the tedium of lots of plain stockinette. I also think that switching now and then -- provided it doesn't create obvious tension changes -- can be helpful in avoiding injuries to the hands and wrists, since you're then not using the same muscles in the same way over and over.
Let the old loop slide off the left-hand needle. You have now created a new purl stitch. It doesn't really look any different from your usual purl stitch on this side, but if you look at the right side...
Below is the finished knit row. In a loosely spun cotton yarn like this (Blue Sky Alpacas worsted weight cotton) I find it much easier to get even tension knitting using the continental method than my usual style. Even if you don't have tension problems, it's fun to try out different knitting methods -- you never know when you'll come across something that will help you to enjoy your knitting even more!