There are many ways to knit, whether it's "picking" or "throwing or even feeding the yarn around your neck or off a pin (sometimes called "Portuguese knitting"). However, there are two main families of knitting styles: "Western" and "Eastern." There is also "Combination" knitting, which is a blend of both styles.
It's important to know how you knit because the vast majority of patterns are written for Western knitting styles. If you knit in an Eastern or Combination style, be aware that you may have to adjust the steps in your pattern to make sure that you do not end up with twisted stitches.
Whether you knit in English style (with the yarn in your right hand; also called "throwing") or Continental style (with the yarn in your left hand; also called "picking"), Western knitters create their stitches with the leading leg of stitch (leg of stitch closer to needle tip) in front of the needle (closer to the knitter) in both knit and purl.
So called because it is more common in Eastern European countries, as well as Arab and South American countries. In Eastern knitting, the leading leg (leg of stitch closer to needle tip) is in back of needle for both knit and purl stitches.