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View Full Version : "Knitting Is A 2-Handed Craft." Huh?


CountryNaturals
03-03-2010, 12:28 PM
Every time the lefthanded/righthanded topic comes up, somebody says "knitting is a 2-handed craft." For me it isn't. I'm a leftie, btw. My right hand does nothing but hold a needle. Is this a left/right deal? A Continental/English deal? A basically self-taught deal?

I've always wondered why I knit so slowly and why my hand motions aren't pretty. I remember watching Miss Marple on TV and watching her fingers fly so beautifully while mine look so awkward and clumsy.

Somebody please tell me what you do with your "other" hand that makes knitting a 2-handed craft. I'd also like to know if there are others like me who don't get it.

Abby123
03-03-2010, 01:05 PM
As long as your stitches look good & the tension is even, there is no "correct" way to knit. There are endless ways to use your fingers & hands to make a knit or purl stitch.

But there are advantages to using some motion with both hands to create stitches. It is generally faster, has less hand fatigue & less risk of repetitive motion injury.

Jan in CA
03-03-2010, 01:37 PM
Well, I think it's said that way because you are using both hands even if one is just holding the needle. Generally though the fingers on less active hand hold back the stitches, push them forward, etc. I can knit both english and continental and depending on which way I knit one hand is more active than the other and when I knit with both during stranding they are both busy.

Everyone knits differently though and whatever works for you is what you should do. It's usually suggested that left handers learn to knit "right handed" (using either continental or engish method) because that is the way patterns are written. It's hard enough to learn to knit w/o having to rewrite a pattern so it makes sense. ;)

MMario
03-03-2010, 03:12 PM
As long as your stitches look good & the tension is even, there is no "correct" way to knit. There are endless ways to use your fingers & hands to make a knit or purl stitch.

But there are advantages to using some motion with both hands to create stitches. It is generally faster, has less hand fatigue & less risk of repetitive motion injury.

I agree with the first half of the statement; and even more so with the second half.

But try sticking your right needle into a clamp at the same angle you hold it and I bet you will find you do far more with the right hand and arm then "just hold the needle"

Also a leftie

AngelaR
03-03-2010, 10:43 PM
I've always thought of it as two handed. I mean, sure, your hands are both doing something be it holding a needle or holding the tension on the yarn while you insert one needle into a loop on the other needle or pushing stitches up and down the needle.

You're doing a lot more than you are aware... so it's two handed because, one hand isn't free to grab a candy or chips while you do it without the worry of getting something on your work. That's the way to think about it.

bambi
03-03-2010, 11:06 PM
I think of it as a two handed craft, also. The other hand is holding the needle. I cannot do a knitting project with one hand and hold a book to read with the other.

That's a bummer b/c I really like to do both!

Abby123
03-04-2010, 12:56 AM
I'm with you Bambi. Reading & knitting would be great.

trvvn5
03-04-2010, 08:15 AM
I knit continental and I'm right handed and my left hand is frequently moving. I do little twisting motions with my left hand to make sure that the yarn is very close to the needle when I pick up the yarn with the other needle for knit stitches. And duh...purling? You have to move your left hand when you purl continental style. You'd never get anywhere if you didn't.

Lisa R.
03-04-2010, 10:09 AM
I've always thought of it as two handed. I mean, sure, your hands are both doing something be it holding a needle or holding the tension on the yarn while you insert one needle into a loop on the other needle or pushing stitches up and down the needle.

You're doing a lot more than you are aware... so it's two handed because, one hand isn't free to grab a candy or chips while you do it without the worry of getting something on your work. That's the way to think about it.

And isn't that a bummer?!:teehee:

AngelaR
03-04-2010, 11:17 AM
Yes, but I actually lost one pound since my last quarterly check up and my blood sugar is still trending down. (Ooooo gubmint speak, I feel so federal all of a sudden :wink: ) So two handed knitting is definitely working for me. :)

CountryNaturals
03-04-2010, 01:59 PM
Yes, but I actually lost one pound since my last quarterly check up and my blood sugar is still trending down. (Ooooo gubmint speak, I feel so federal all of a sudden :wink: ) So two handed knitting is definitely working for me. :)
Oooo, good point! Knitting is definitely a stress-reliever. It got me through recovery from major surgery. I'll bet it really does lower blood pressure (I know petting a cat does--we tested it with a home blood pressure kit).
Anyway, my motivation for asking this question in the first place was trying to understand why a leftie would want to knit righthanded, since my right hand has a lower skill requirement than my left. I've never had any trouble with patterns--even very complex ones, so that argument didn't make sense to me either. Then I remembered something totally unrelated . . .
When I worked in the real world, I did tech support for a large corporation. Since the employees I trained were mostly righthanded, I taught myself to use the mouse righthanded. Eventually I got into computer graphics and retired to work from home, but I never switched hands. Now I do complex computer graphics -- more difficult than any knitting project -- all with my "wrong" right hand, so I finally see the light. :woot: There really is no reason to learn lefthanded. With practice, the skill will develop with either hand. :thumbsup:

OffJumpsJack
03-08-2010, 03:57 PM
If knitting can help lower blood pressure, then I must be doing it wrong. :sad: Maybe if I do more walking while I knit, then I'll get the relaxation and the exercise at the same time.

I already knit using the German/Continental method, but I don't thin that is what you mean when you said left-handed knitting (I think you described the mirror image to a right handed knitter using the English/American/throw method).

If you enjoy the process as much as the finished project, then I'd say you are knitting the right way regardless of the method and which hand is your dominate.

CountryNaturals
03-11-2010, 06:20 PM
LOL! If that avatar is the real you, then it gives a whole new meaning to the long-tail cast-on. :rofl:

Yes, I mean real southpaw knitting. (Sorry about that, but I'm on a roll!) :roflhard:

I love the process -- both creative and craft -- as well as the finished product. For stress relief, I always have at least one no-brainer project going. It really does offer the same benefits to mind and soul as a long walk does for the body, but knitting and walking at the same time would be a disaster for me. :teehee: