Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-11-2008, 03:20 PM   #1
Casting On
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 8
Thanks: 3
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Left-Handed Knitting
I am extremely left-handed, so all my knitting is backwards to everybody else's. I taught myself from books by reversing the instructions; e.g., when the instructions mention RH needle, I substitute LH needle, etc. I have worked very hard and have managed to produce a decent stockinette stitch that isn't twisted.

I went to two yarns shops for help yesterday. The owner of the first one blew me off as if I were from another planet, and the second one offered me private lessons to help me learn to knit right-handed. I was told that I could not progress to more difficult patterns as long as I am approaching from the wrong direction. I'll admit many books say left-handed knitters should learn to knit right-handed or learn the Continental method, but this defies logic to me. Left-handed people are people too!

Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions to help us poor lefties?
Yarnvixen is offline   Reply With Quote


This advertising will not be shown to registered members. Join our free online community today!

Old 12-11-2008, 03:44 PM   #2
Working the Gusset
Mariblue's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,246
Thanks: 188
Thanked 343 Times in 328 Posts
Well, I kind of look at knitting as ambidextrous. Sure, you can hold the yarn in either your left hand (continental knitting), or your right (english knitting), but the basic motion of the needles remains the same, to some extent. People knit in all kinds of ways, really.
I'm left handed too, but never had any trouble picking up knitting. Crochet is a different matter altogether. I hold the crochet hook in my left hand, which totally messes me up for things like sweaters. At least I think it does. I just can't wrap my head around that one. With crochet, I know all the basic stitches, and can write my own simple patterns, but have difficulty with "reading" more advanced patterns written by other people. Go figure.
I think you'll probably run into trouble in doing more advanced knitting, things like lace and such.
It really would be worth it to have lessons by a very patient person (someone left handed maybe?).
In any case, it was rude of that lady at the yarn store to blow you off, and I'm sorry that happened.

I guess I'm not really any help to you, because I knit the regular way. Maybe someone else will chime in.
Mariblue is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Mariblue For This Useful Post:
Yarnvixen (12-11-2008)
Old 12-11-2008, 03:46 PM   #3
Knit On!
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Montana
Posts: 27,765
Thanks: 160
Thanked 6,457 Times in 6,038 Posts
Send a message via Yahoo to suzeeq
I believe there's a lefthanded knitters website, you might also check Youtube for videos. The problem they told you about patterns may crop up when you have one with shaping. You can reverse the pattern instructions, but it's a lot of work. Knitting is somewhat of a both handed technique, so that's why it can be just as easy to learn the `right handed' way, that is - knitting stitches from the left needle to the the empty right needle. The yarn can be held in either hand.
sue- knitting heretic

suzeeq is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to suzeeq For This Useful Post:
Yarnvixen (12-11-2008)
Old 12-11-2008, 03:57 PM   #4
Jan in CA
Mod Squad
Jan in CA's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Southern CA
Posts: 38,159
Thanks: 1,723
Thanked 8,979 Times in 7,324 Posts
Most left handers do knit right handed, but they may feel more comfortable knitting continental (working yarn in left hand). There are some who actually do knit true left handed where everything is reversed. There is one woman at my LYS who knits that way. The woman who blew you off is unprofessional and needs some lessons in manners and how to run business.

I have this bookmarked.

I did a Google search and came up with all kinds of links that might help as well as what you might get here.

When asking questions ALWAYS post the name and a link for the pattern if you have it.

NEW! KH knitting video archive

Jan in CA is online now   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Jan in CA For This Useful Post:
Yarnvixen (12-11-2008)
Old 12-12-2008, 11:29 AM   #5
Turning the Heel
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 685
Thanks: 7
Thanked 193 Times in 176 Posts
As with most things, lefties cope with knitting in various manners.
Some actually reverse everything;

some knit "english" but throwing with the left hand.
Some knit Continental style with the yarn in the right hand.
Some just knit right handed; either continental or english.
And some work in in various combinations of reversal; such as the person I ran into whose "right side" faces AWAY from the knitter....

But that's okay - on the average we lefties are more intelligent, so we *CAN* cope.
MMario - *REAL* men knit LACE
MMario is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2008, 04:19 PM   #6
Working the Gusset
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Eastern Washington
Posts: 1,734
Thanks: 284
Thanked 569 Times in 512 Posts
I taught myself to knit and crochet years ago. As a lefty I crocheted left handed (holding yarn in my right, hook in left). It actually made it easier to follow diagrams in books when learning to knit. I knit english style with yarn in right hand.
As others have said and posted links to, there are some who really like knitting left handed, but I don't like to work any harder than I have to to follow a pattern.
The internet has made it so easy to learn any technique or style you want.
Best of luck on your knitting journey.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."--Margaret Mead
Plantgoddess+ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2008, 04:58 PM   #7
Knitting the Flap
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 264
Thanks: 105
Thanked 26 Times in 24 Posts
I too knit left handed. I can write with both hands but do everything else left handed. When I learned to write there were no leftys to teach me so I learned right handed. When I broke my wrist I wrote left handed. My mother had tried to teach me to knit but shes totally right handed and knits in the English method. This way was really awkward for me. Others have tried to teach me, but they too were right handed and held the yarn in the right hand. I just could not grasp the concept. I crochet right handed but its awkward, slow, and my tension is way off. I followed the videos for Continental knitting and picked it up easily. The yarn is held in my left hand and feels correct. This also does not hurt my hands they way crochet does. I would watch the various videos and see which one is right for you. I have been having fun learning to knit the more complicated patterns as wash cloths and afghans are boring to me. I have completed my first pair of socks and am now on to a hat with small ribs and cables.
crocee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2008, 05:19 PM   #8
Ribbing the Cuff
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Saint John, NB, Canada
Posts: 86
Thanks: 8
Thanked 12 Times in 12 Posts
A girl at my work told me she couldn't help me learn to knit because she knits left-handed. I guess all her patterns come out inside out or something? She didn't get much more detailed than that though.
OTN: Basic knit scarf for my mother-in-law
Red scarf that I'm making up as I go along

YarnKitten is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2008, 08:56 PM   #9
Becky Morgan
Turning the Heel
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 894
Thanks: 62
Thanked 358 Times in 287 Posts
1. Don't go back to either yarn shop, ever. (With that lousy attitude, they'll close soon anyway.) It really frosts me when people act as if there's something wrong with lefties. My son is a lefthanded golfer and, while his pro is highly supportive, runs into that kind of garbage every once in a while...usually from someone who can't play. When someone says "You can't do that with your left hand" they really mean "I don't have a clue how to do it with MY left hand."

2. It's possible to do anything lefthanded that you can do right. If nothing else, you can watch videos in a mirror. Like a lot of lefties, I knit with the yarn in my left hand, picking up stitches onto the right needle. Maybe it's combined, maybe it's variant Continental, maybe there's a new name for it this week, but it works for me. If it doesn't work for you, enjoy whatever way does. As long as one loop of yarn goes through another and looks right when the piece is done, how it got there is immaterial.
3. If you find a righthanded person who wants to teach you, sit across from him/her rather than beside and mirror the hand motions. Son's golf pro is a righty and all Gabe has to do is mirror his swing. It doesn't really cause any problems.
Becky Morgan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2008, 02:21 AM   #10
Knitting the Flap
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Calgary AB Canada
Posts: 361
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Send a message via MSN to KatyKoolkat
I had to chime in. I am a left handed knitter, and I knit Hermione's Cable and Bobble mitts, and the only thing I noticed is a) my cables went the 'wrong' way, and b) when I followed the directions for the right hand, I knit a left hand mitt, so had to be careful to follow the LEFT hand directions for the other mitt so that I woul come out with a right hand mitt (got all the way to the thumb before I realised that I would have two left hand mitts and had to take it out-ouch!)

Also, there are plenty of us out there. I learned to continental knit with the yarn in my right hand and picking with the left--the only part I could not get was the purl, and wouldn't you know it, I come on here and someone posts on their blog with pics and everything showing how to purl continental as a lefty.

Please don't give up, and feel free to pm me!
KatyKoolkat is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Left-handed knitting scarvesgalore How-to Questions 8 02-19-2010 01:24 PM
best left handed knitting instructions? notanotherxerox General Knitting 5 09-27-2009 11:40 PM
LEft handed knitting photolady How-to Questions 14 04-08-2008 04:37 PM
Left Handed Knitting HELP! birdiesmama How-to Questions 4 06-08-2007 10:57 AM
left handed knitting robinhooddaffy How-to Questions 3 12-08-2005 04:38 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:37 PM.