View Full Version : Does anyone else do this?

01-04-2009, 03:37 AM
Hold your left needle between your legs and do all the knitting with your right hand?
I can knit pretty fast and have made many scarves :shrug: but I never noticed the difference until my first time knitting in public.
My left hand is just soooo uncoordinated! I can't hold the yarn and the needle at the same time.
Anyone else have this problem?

01-04-2009, 10:12 AM
Nope, can't say I've ever seen anyone knit like that before. But whatever works for you! Would love to see you in action though! LOL

01-04-2009, 10:30 AM
Hi, Lori! :waving:

Wanda, you're a trip!!! :roflhard: I think we'd all like to see you in action, Lori! That's awesome!

And you're not so far off as you might think. The old-time Aran knitters worked on very long needles (they called them "pins") and they had this little "holder" thingy that tied around their waists with a little wooden (sometimes carved) holder attached where they'd anchor one end of a needle to hold it steady while they knitted with the other one. It's pretty fascinating!

So you're actually following a long-time tradition! But if you want to develop a style that's more "portable" for knitting in public, you could maybe try the English "throwing" method where the yarn is in your right hand, or bite the bullet and practice enough to get comfortable with the continental. When I first switched from English style to continental I was ALL THUMBS! It was so awkward, but I persisted and now I LOVE continental!

Either way, knitting is YOUR art form and you should do what works for you! :thumbsup:

Good luck and happy knitting!

Ruthie :knitting:

01-04-2009, 01:01 PM
I've not seen that, but when I lived in the UK, esp up in Scotland, I saw ladies that had a long needle they held under their arm (like in your armpit) and then knit with it. Sounds much like what you describe! Hey -- whatever works!

01-04-2009, 01:50 PM
Actually yes-- a few years ago, I broke my ring finger on my left hand, and I couldn't hold my needle right (and no-I wasn't going to let a little thing like a broken finger keep me from knitting! :) ) So I would do that sitting on the couch. I'd put the left needle between my knees to knit. Now that my finger's healed, though, I don't do that any more.

01-04-2009, 02:28 PM
I did something similar. I am self taught and had trouble holding both needles out away from my body. I've since switched to circulars exclusively and find that more comfortable for my wrists.

01-04-2009, 02:30 PM
You think that's weird, I used to hold my needle under my gut, until I switched to circulars lol.

01-04-2009, 05:02 PM
Okay... I took a video. Let's see if you can see it.

http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b241/LoriZubie/th_1502db78.jpg (http://s20.photobucket.com/albums/b241/LoriZubie/?action=view&current=1502db78.pbr)

01-05-2009, 12:33 AM

01-05-2009, 01:32 AM
Hi Lori,
I'm so glad you did the video. Now I can see exactly what it is that you are doing.... It's fabulous!:woohoo:
I mean, honestly, it's fabulous and it makes perfect sense. I should be doing it that way since I'm always dropping a needle from one hand or the other. Your lefthand needle looks so steady that way... it reminds me of a person spinning yarn.
As for not doing it it public... well, you should.... What a great way to get others interested in knitting so they can all become addicts like the rest of us. :teehee:
I think a beginner would have a better time of it if they were taught this way instead of the usual way (which for me was the English method).
I think it's a marvelous way to get tension and therefore gauge.
I would not worry about what others say... this is your style and I think it's quite unique...
You're not weird... you're unique... and 'unique' is a style that everyone wants to copy.
Don't hide your head under a bushel, dear!

01-05-2009, 01:38 AM
Thank you Tema... you are AWESOME!!!!

01-05-2009, 07:34 AM
I agree - unique is the word. I don't think it looks that funny and it certainly works for you so I wouldn't worry about what others may think. Thanks for the video!

of troy
01-05-2009, 11:38 AM
some hold the right needle in the crook of the underarm, and some use a sheath..
with the sheath --a sort of harness/belt worn on the waist the harnes hold an LONG metal 'straw' (think of hollow drinking straw)
the straw is flexible
the needle goes into straw, and is held by straw. (the hands steady it, as does the knitting!

you can look up knitting sheaths, (aka scots style knitting)

you are not alone.. Whole countries knit like you!

01-05-2009, 07:13 PM

Look at that! Thanks everyone!

01-05-2009, 10:00 PM
I couldn't figure out what to do with the left needle when I tried continental. Looks like a good way to knit!!

01-05-2009, 10:34 PM
I did exactly that as well, hold the needle between the legs, when my arm got tired from holding the needle, and I found it quite easy to knit that way.

Since I switched to circular needles, I can't do that anymore, but I like circulars better than straights.

And I think you can knit in public with your method. Everyone knits in his/her own way.
Being different always draws attention, but it's not always negative.

01-07-2009, 11:31 AM
Thanks for posting the video. It sure works for you (you make it appear effortless and keep a nice steady flow going, it was interesting to watch.) If we all knitted exactly the same way, the world of knitting would be a much duller place. Did someone teach you that method or did you come up with it on your own? Keep up the good work.

01-07-2009, 02:06 PM
I too am quite an irregular knitter. I have scoliosis which causes my right shoulder to roll forwards, but I am also VERY right handed. I knit with the yarn in my right hand, casting over the right needle. (can't do continental to save my life, although it would certainly have saved my shoulder!)
So my right shoulder was getting extremely stressed with all the actions it was performing. I finally had to prop my right elbow up and keep my right forearm very still, and ask my wrists and hands to do the work. Saved my shoulder.

01-07-2009, 02:28 PM
OK, at first I really couldn't picture how you were doing this, but now that I see it, it totally makes sense--actually probably wsould've helped me when I was learning....would definitely help my son if he ever picks up his needles again....

01-07-2009, 02:50 PM
I throw the yarn with my right hand, but basically do a variation on your method: I anchor the right needle so it is easier to let go of when I wrap the yarn with my right hand. The left needle does the vast majority of the movement. Knitting with circular needles has an added challenge to me, and dpns are really difficult.

01-07-2009, 03:11 PM
Well Lori.... it just goes to show you that "different strokes for different folks"... is not just a saying.....!!!!! That's what I love about handwork.... we all take different paths to get to what we want..and be creative on the way.... afterall.... the process can be creative as well... right..... "rock on" girl.... bj

01-07-2009, 04:02 PM
Yes, that's how I knitted for the first 3 years... then (age 12) I went to a friend's mother to get some help.

The 13-year-old daughter came in and saw me sitting there with the one needle sticking up between my legs and...

"Oh, Mama!! LOOK at how she's holding that!"

"Yes, Bonnie. Be quiet, honey."

"But MAMA! LOOOK at it!!!"

I hadn't the vaguest idea what was going on, but I decided I'd better teach myself to hold BOTH needles in BOTH hands.

Years later, I finally figured out why Bonnie got so freaked.... :wink:


01-09-2009, 03:09 PM
Hey all,
I am quite ambidextrous in a lot of ways. I tend to find (especially when after writing) my right hand hurts. As I tend to spend quite a lot of time jotting notes/writing. I thought I would save my right hand. So, when knitting I hold my right needle still with my right hand, and do the majority of my work with my left hand needle. I have picked up speed doing this work, it minimises my fingertips being on the knitting needle (when I first began knitting I wore holes in my fingertips from a second hand aluminium needle) and limits aching in my right hand.
I find the way I knit much more relaxing than the other way, and it saves my wrists as a lot of work is done with my shoulder as I move my entire arm to do this. It reminds me of how a sewing machine works when it catches the bobbin thread and makes a stitch. This method is really helpful when lying in bed/slouching on the sofa as I can rest my needle somewhere and just steady the base.

01-11-2009, 08:46 PM
Hi Lori, I don't hold my straights between my knees, but when using straights that are over 9", the right one always gets 'anchored' in the crease between my hip and my leg. If it's not 'anchored' then I'll constantly drop it. :)

(it's only on long straights, though)

But, we're all different, and as long as it works for you, then it's completely fine. :)

01-11-2009, 09:02 PM
Oh how I wish I had seen this waaaay back when I hurt my wrist in a fall at work. Imagine the horror of not being able to knit for 3 months! When I started to heal some, I actually stuck the needle down into my cast because my fingers had no grip and I was desperate to knit... even if it was just a scarf. I'm told it was very humorous to watch!

01-11-2009, 09:26 PM
Hi Lori,

I knit almost the same way. I rest the needle on my thigh and knit away. I'm self conscious about the way I hold my needles thinking I was the only one. Knowing there are others out there like me is a comfort. Annie Modesitt has a great book called Confessions of a Knitting Heretic and she talks about her unique knitting style. As long as you get the need results that you want it's all good. I use circular a lot so I won't feel like I am an odd ball with my style of knitting. Knit on and more power to ya.

01-12-2009, 09:44 AM
That's how I knit!! I thought I was the only one. I just don't have the dexterity in my left hand to hold the needle and the yarn at the same time. I've tried combination knitting with a little more success but I still go back to this style. It's comfortable for me. We rock!

01-13-2009, 12:04 PM
I didn't realize I was doing something similar until I saw your video. I often find myself bracing the end of the left needle against my body or the top of my thigh when I having trouble controlling things.

01-13-2009, 05:41 PM
I love all the responses! :grphug:
So I realize now that these long straight needles are very heavy and with me not being very coordinated, it was time to try some circular needles.
I just received my new needles from KnitPicks and they are wonderful. They are nickel plated and smooth and sharp. I got 47" cables too.
Working with the circulars already seems easier to handle although I'm still a little awkward.
There's a knitting meetup Friday so maybe someone there can put my hands on the needles the "right" way (even though we've proved there is no right way!). :teehee:
A few more scarves and I'll be ready to do two socks at once! :roflhard:

01-15-2009, 10:31 AM
Hey All,
Does anyone else call the complicated stitch that keeps dodging the needle naughty/nasty names? I have recently been trying to do a double decrease for this pattern, I realised my knitting is always very tight when I am on my small metal needles. Therefore it is too tight to easily get two stitches passed over another. Those stitches have DEFINATELY changed their name from the original 'slipped stitches to pass over'.
On another note, talking/complimenting/rewarding the part of your work that is behaving itself makes it continue to behave itself! Hehe! The proof is in the action!
Anyone else talk to their stitches?

01-18-2009, 12:07 AM
That is exactly how I knit.I feel so uncordinated hold both in the air.

He he he:)

01-18-2009, 02:30 AM
This is too funny, I just posted a thread on bracing the left needle with my thigh (I should have read this thread first!!)
I think that is a neat way to do it, as it is awkward with that left needle! I also notice you slide your work up the left needle the same way I do, neat!