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View Full Version : Am I a left-handed or right-handed knitter??


yarnrainbow
11-01-2010, 02:03 AM
I hesitated to pose this question because it seems so...basic. I've always thought I am a lefty who knits right-handed but I was reading some "left-handed vs. right-handed" knitting articles today and I swear now I'm totally confused. One article (http://yarnboy.com/wp/?p=9) contained this quote from Gertrude Taylorís Americaís Knitting Book: "If you are left-handed, you should not knit from left to right. Left-handed people write in the same direction as right-handed people do, so too, you should knit in the same direction as all knitters do, so that others will be able to help you." I thought left to right WAS how righties do it.

When I started knitting, since I'm left-handed, I tried to do left-handed knitting as taught in some books. But I've been crocheting for years and I've always held the yarn in my right hand and the hook in my left hand and just couldn't switch to holding the yarn in my left hand for knitting like the books said left-handed knitters should. In crochet I've always had to reverse the patterns and became quite used to doing so and figured I'd have to for knitting as well. However, after I started knitting by holding the yarn in my right hand and "throwing" it, with the stitches moving from the left needle to the right needle, I thought "great, I'm a right-handed knitter".

Now I'm so confused. :zombie: In "normal" knitting (a.k.a., right-handed knitting), do the stitches move from the left needle to the right needle? I've always thought they do from watching the videos on this site but now :??. Are there other criteria you must meet to be considered a right-handed knitter?

I'd appreciate any input that can right (pun intended) my world before I go back to work on the sweater for my brother and find out I'm knitting something that can only be worn by an inside-out member of the E.T. universe.

hyperactive
11-01-2010, 05:06 AM
Do not fear!

If your stitches are on the left needle before you work them and on the right needle after you work them (working left to right) then you are knitting right handed.

If your stitches move the opposite way: left handed.

The difference between "Throwing" (English Style, yarn on your right hand) and "Picking" (Continental Style, yarn over your left index finger) has no difference in left handed and right handed knitting. Both works.

That books said:
"If you are left-handed, you should not knit from left to right. Left-handed people write in the same direction as right-handed people do, so too, you should knit in the same direction as all knitters do, so that others will be able to help you."

She says: do not try to work left handed.

I agree (but being right handed my oppinion does not weigh a lot): knitting is so ambidextrous that it is of lesser importance if you are left handed or right handed. you can creat almost everything by moving either this or that needle... so I advise knitting left to right no matter what hand you prefer.

Patterns are almost always written for knitting left to right. No changes needed.

Mike
11-01-2010, 04:50 PM
It sounds to me like you are doing it correctly so you can use patterns.

You shouldn't listen to those militant lefties trying to invent a special form of knitting for left handers. My guess is ultimately they will be trying to make money by selling special patterns for their special form of knitting.
Knitting is ambidextrous, it is the same for left or right although your focus may be more on the movements of one or the other. I proved this by knitting with my right needed clamped in a vice and only moving my left.

suzeeq
11-01-2010, 07:52 PM
My guess is ultimately they will be trying to make money by selling special patterns for their special form of knitting.

Naw, they try to make money selling DVDs to show true lefthanded knitting. </snark>

However, there are some people that absolutely can't knit standard 'sts on the L needle knit to the empty R needle', and they do need to know that you can knit the other way.

OffJumpsJack
11-01-2010, 09:00 PM
I hesitated to pose this question because it seems so...basic. I've always thought I am a lefty who knits right-handed but I was reading some "left-handed vs. right-handed" knitting articles today and I swear now I'm totally confused. One article (http://yarnboy.com/wp/?p=9) contained this quote from Gertrude Taylorís Americaís Knitting Book: "If you are left-handed, you should not knit from left to right. Left-handed people write in the same direction as right-handed people do, so too, you should knit in the same direction as all knitters do, so that others will be able to help you." I thought left to right WAS how righties do it.

When I started knitting, since I'm left-handed, I tried to do left-handed knitting as taught in some books. But I've been crocheting for years and I've always held the yarn in my right hand and the hook in my left hand and just couldn't switch to holding the yarn in my left hand for knitting like the books said left-handed knitters should. In crochet I've always had to reverse the patterns and became quite used to doing so and figured I'd have to for knitting as well. However, after I started knitting by holding the yarn in my right hand and "throwing" it, with the stitches moving from the left needle to the right needle, I thought "great, I'm a right-handed knitter".

Now I'm so confused. :zombie: In "normal" knitting (a.k.a., right-handed knitting), do the stitches move from the left needle to the right needle? I've always thought they do from watching the videos on this site but now :??. Are there other criteria you must meet to be considered a right-handed knitter?

I'd appreciate any input that can right (pun intended) my world before I go back to work on the sweater for my brother and find out I'm knitting something that can only be worn by an inside-out member of the E.T. universe.

You were thinking how the stitches move from left needle to right needle. They were trying to explain how you work the row one stitch at a time from right to left (right most st is at tip, work and move to right needle.)

It is just a different point of view (and description) of the same thing. You are moving sts from left to right (needles) while working the row (of sts) in order from right to left.

If you want to try the continental method of knitting (with yarn in left hand) then I would suggest starting with Crocheting right handed with the yarn in your left hand. Simplify to one stitch and one tool (a hook) and focus on learning to control the yarn with your left hand before trying continental knitting method.

That would be a parallel to how you crossed over from left handed crochet to right-handed English throwing method.

suzeeq
11-01-2010, 09:26 PM
Oh right - as you look at the piece of knitting, you work across the sts from the right edge to the left edge, that's normal orientation and what the article really meant.

yarnrainbow
11-02-2010, 12:10 AM
Duh! :doh: Right-most stitch to the left-most stitch; NOT from right needle to left needle. NOW the article makes sense. What a difference perspective makes! Now I shall happily go forward with my knitting knowing I don't have to worry about potential future headaches from having to reverse patterns. :woohoo: Off to knit more complex patterns without fear now.

Mike
11-02-2010, 10:06 AM
Naw, they try to make money selling DVDs to show true lefthanded knitting. </snark>

However, there are some people that absolutely can't knit standard 'sts on the L needle knit to the empty R needle', and they do need to know that you can knit the other way.

Definitely, there are many ways to get the job done. Like my great niece's form of wrapping crochet like English knitting. But at least her way doesn't change patterns.

I wonder if those who can't go from left needle to right could knit the knits facing away right to left so the pattern wouldn't be changed?