Whether you’ve realized it or not, knitters do not all knit in the same way. I’m not just talking about how you hold your needles. Think about which hand you hold the yarn in, the tension you use when knitting, and where your yarn is coming from. Do your knitting friends knit in this same way? Probably not!
All these little things — from how you wrap your yarn around the needle to which hand the yarn is in — help determine your knitting style. You can read more about all the knitting styles and methods on the Craftsy Knitting Blog. But let’s focus solely on English vs. Continental knitting styles for a second.
Taking care of knitting business — Continental style.
Some knitters are fiercely believe in one style over the other, but there’s no need to choose one style over the other for the rest of your knitting life. In fact, learning to use both of these styles interchangeably can actually be very beneficial to you!
Why should you care about knitting style?
The main difference in English vs. Continental knitting is the way the yarn is wrapped around the right needle before it’s pull through to knit a stitch. In English-style knitting the action is throwing the yarn, while in Continental-style knitting the action is picking the yarn.
The differences do not seem like a big deal at first, but here are a few reasons you should become familiar with both styles:
Why might you want to know the difference in English vs. Continental knitting? First and most importantly, changing up your knitting style can relieve your wrists. Have you ever spent long hours knitting, only to have pain in your fingers and wrists? Switching up your style halfway through that long knitting session can ease that pain. English style, sometimes referred to as throwing, requires a different hand-and-wrist action than Continental, which is the style that picks the yarn. Repetition of either of these for long periods of time will cause pain, so switch your style and see if you notice the difference.
Changing tension to get gauge
I’m usually a Continental knitter, but I decided to change it up and try English style to see what it feels like. I made a couple of discoveries, but the most obvious thing I noticed is that my tension is a little different when knitting English style — and I’m thinking that this could save me next time I’m having issues getting gauge.
Have I convinced you to change up your knitting style yet? Here’s a little list about each knitting style that will help you determine when to use each one:
- Holds yarn in the right hand
- Throws the yarn when wrapping
- Easier with chunky-weight yarns
- Holds yarn in the left hand
- Picks the yarn when wrapping
- Faster when you are knitting the knit stitch, but the purl stitch can slow you down a bit
- Alternating between knits and purls is easier with this style; great for seed stitch and ribbing that alternate between the two
- Easier for crocheters to learn
If you’re as intrigued about Continental knitting, be sure to enroll in Knit Faster With Continental Knitting with Lorilee Beltman. Lorilee demonstrates the picking style and how it can make your knitting easier, faster and all-around less painful — perfect if you’re an avid knitter who’s experiencing some arm or wrist pain.
Do you knit Continental or English style? Have you ever tried to alternate between the two styles?
Knit Continental — knit more efficiently!
Learn to increase speed, bolster efficiency and ditch hand strain as you conquer Continental knitting in our most popular online knitting class.Enroll Now »
Smart tips to help you format and write a cover letter
Struggling to write a cover letter that will catch an employer's attention? We've got tips to help you show your best self—and a sample you can use to get started.
There's nothing scary about writing a cover letter.
You've found the perfect job, hit the "apply" button, and started the process with your engines revved and ready. But wait! Slam the brakes! They want a cover letter. Oh no.
Don't let this request derail you. Here's everything you need to know to write a letter that truly sells your skills. Plus, scroll down to see a sample cover letter you can use to craft your own.
What is a cover letter?
A cover letter is a one-page document that, along with your resume, is sent with your job application. A cover letter is your chance to tell a potential employer why you’re the perfect person for the position and how your skills and expertise can add value to the company. The letter should be professional but personable, and serve as a sort of introduction.
Do I need to send a cover letter?
A lot of job seekers today wonder if a cover letter is still appropriate to send with your resume—and the answer is yes! Even if an employer doesn’t ask for a cover letter, it couldn’t hurt to send one. In fact, it’s can help you get someone's attention in a different way, and it can be a great way to display your enthusiasm for the job and company.
What are the basic elements of a cover letter?
- Greeting: Address your cover letter to the proper person.
- Opening: Write a personable, inviting opening paragraph that notes how your skills are a perfect fit to the job and displays your enthusiasm.
- Hook: Highlight your past achievements as they relate to the job you're applying for.
- Skills: Emphasize additional relevant skills, such as computer languages or certifications.
- Close: Briefly recap your strengths as a candidate, and include your contact information.
Cover letter tips
1. Parrot the keywords: Just like with your resume, your cover letters should be customized for each job you apply to. Start by reviewing the job description. In it, you will find important keywords that let you know what kind of employee the company is hoping to find. Use these same keywords throughout your cover letter.
2. Adapt for the company: Each version of your cover letter should talk about how your skills will benefit the particular company that you want to work for. You want to target the company’s needs—not your own. Demonstrate how you could help them achieve their goals. Remember: You're selling yourself in a resume and a cover letter, but the employer has to want to buy.
3. Show you "get" them: Your cover letter should demonstrate that you have done some research into what the organization's pain points are. Presenting yourself as a solution to a hiring manager’s problem can help your cover letter take the right tone. If you’re applying to an administrative position, be sure to mention your time-management skills; if you’re an IT professional, include your expertise in improving efficiency. Always ask yourself: How can I help this company?
4. Proofread. Don’t assume spell check will catch every mistake (it won’t). Slowly review your cover letter to make sure everything reads properly. Have someone else read your cover letter for backup.
Need even more confidence before you start your cover letter? Below are some additional cover letter tips you could reference—or keep scrolling for a cover letter sample:
Cover letter mistakes you should avoid: From overusing “I” to being too vague, there are a bunch of pitfalls that can trip you up. Don’t let them!
Cover letter format and advice tips: Learn how to set up your cover letter and what each section should include.
Cover letter tips for new grads: You might lack real-world work experience, but your cover letter can be chock-full of activities that demonstrate your potential to succeed.
Cover letter tips for technology professionals: The ease of applying to online jobs has led many IT professionals to skip sending a cover letter, but that’s a mistake.
Cover letter tips for finance professionals: If you’re searching for a finance job or want to be prepared just in case, you will need a dynamic cover letter to grab the hiring managers’ attention.
Tips for better email cover letters: If you're emailing a resume, your cover letter will deliver the first impression. These eight tips will help you craft a better email cover letter.
Cover letter sample
Check out the sample cover letter below (or download the template as a Word doc) to get some inspiration to craft your own. And we've also got you covered if you're looking for a cover letter in a specific industry.
Once you've finished your cover letter, consider joining Monster—you can upload and store up to five cover letters and resumes, so that you can apply for jobs on our site in a snap!
Ms. Rhonda West
Customer Service Manager
123 Corporate Blvd.
Sometown, CO 50802
Re: Customer Service Representative Opening (Ref. ID: CS300-Denver)
Dear Ms. West:
I was excited to see your opening for a customer service rep, and I hope to be invited for an interview.
My background includes serving as a customer service associate within both call-center and retail environments. Most recently, I worked on the customer service desk for Discount-Mart, where my responsibilities included handling customer merchandise returns, issuing refunds/store credits, flagging damaged merchandise for shipment back to vendors and providing back-up cashiering during busy periods.
Previously, I worked within two high-volume customer-support call centers for a major telecommunications carrier and a satellite television services provider. In these positions, I demonstrated the ability to resolve a variety of issues and complaints (such as billing disputes, service interruptions or cutoffs, repair technician delays/no-shows and equipment malfunctions). I consistently met my call-volume goals, handling an average of 56 to 60 calls per day.
In addition to this experience, I gained considerable customer service skills during my part-time employment as a waitress and restaurant hostess while in high school.
I also bring to the table strong computer proficiencies in MS Word, MS Excel and CRM database applications and a year of college (business major). Please see the accompanying resume for details of my experience and education.
I am confident that I can offer you the customer service, communication and problem-solving skills you are seeking. Feel free to call me at 555-555-5555 (home) or 555-555-5500 (cell) to arrange an interview. Thank you for your time—I look forward to learning more about this opportunity!