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 Reteaching Myself to Knit

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
mamacita Posted - 02/27/2007 : 06:44:02 AM
I think I finally give up. I taught myself to knit left-handed (sts move from right to left needle) years ago but really think I need to give that way up. In the past I have knit alot of blankets, scarves and shawls including cables and lace and have always been able to adapt the patterns since they have either been symmetrical or have come from a charted pattern. I have everything ready to make the Green Gable sweater for myself and decided it was time for me to just teach myself the continental method right-handed. I got a book from the library and practiced a few swatches. My knit stitch looks fairly even and consistent but I still need to work on my purl stitch. My LYS is willing to sit down with me for a private lesson. My problem? Well, it isn't enjoyable for me to knit this way I keep telling myself that if I can master this technique I will not only have an easier time with patterns, but will also eventually knit faster. I just want to get started on my Green Gable so I can enjoy it this spring before it gets too hot here in the south. But I want to enjoy my knitting.
Have any of you retaught yourself successfully? I keep resisting and telling myself to just adapt the pattern (just not sure I know how to do that this time!).

A frustrated lefty again,
10   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
mamacita Posted - 05/11/2007 : 1:29:22 PM
You are so right! I dove right in after staring at the yarn for so long and I have finished already. I don't know why I thought I had to reteach myself. I just have to weave in the ends and she is ready to wear. Each time I look at a new pattern the first thing that goes through my head is "How will I have to adapt this pattern for my knitting?". I also move the stitches from the right to the left needle while holding the yarn with my left hand. I am just drooling to make the Sahara sweater and the One Skein Wonder. I made the Backyard Leaves scarf from Scarf Style but really feel like it did not turn out correctly. If you have seen this pattern it is worked from a chart and I thought I was working in the opposite direction until I finished and realized I had not since there was a setup row in the first row which I did not take into account. I may try to tackle it again with better success after I finish the baby blanket I am working on right now.

MommyDiane Posted - 05/09/2007 : 11:23:22 AM
If you are left-handed and have knit successfully left-handed, why in the world are you spending time learning a new technique instead of plunging into the Green Gables? You could be 1/2 done by now! And isn't knitting much more relaxing than struggling to do it "their" way? What makes you think you have to learn a new style? I knit left-handed (off right needle onto left needle) and haven't had any problems with the possible exception of some insane cables and it turns out it was a pattern problem. maybe post to the left-handed knitting list on yahoo (gnittink is the name of the group) with your questions. I'm very active there and there are accomplished knitters on the list who might have done that pattern.

Diane Thornton,
of troy Posted - 04/03/2007 : 05:01:23 AM
i knit left handed combo.

i can knit (left handed) continental
and i can make norwegian purls)

i also knit (quite comfortably) true left handed (aka reversed or backwards knitting(and purling))--that is working stitches from right handed needle onto left handed needle--i do this as a sort of reverse english lever style)

but when it come to right hand holds, (english, throwing or english lever) i am so slow, and it's so awkward.

(did i mention, i am mostly righthanded? and no, i was never a lefty who was forced into being a righty (and yes, they did that when i was young)

my mother and all my maternal aunts knit english lever style, and all tried to teach me to knit. i never learned till i took the yarn into my left hand.

there are many styles knitting (oh, yeah, i can also purl in the round, using my thumb--that is my left thumb and while some can and do master all, do you need to? can't you just say OK, that style isn't for me, and try another style? you can learn to knit in 2 or 3 styles.. even if 1 style remains a pain to do!

operakaz Posted - 04/02/2007 : 6:59:55 PM
I'm not a lefty, but was purely a thrower for 35 years but when I started getting interested in fair isle work, I decided it was time to teach myself Continental so that working with 2 colors would go faster/be easier to tension properly.

I found it SO awkward initially...I used the videos on which were great, but it just felt so weird even though I know how to crochet as well. But I just kept at it.

Periodically, I make myself knit Continental in non-colorwork just to have more practice and it slowly has gotten more natural feeling. I still can't look away (I can knit by feel if I throw) but it's getting there. It takes a while...just keep at it.

kristajo Posted - 03/11/2007 : 2:14:07 PM
I learned English style and recently taught myself to knit Continental (so that is sort of like going from right-handed to left-handed...) because I really like fair-isle and Norwegian patterns, but doing them with one hand was sooooo sloooooow. Learning Continental was a bit slow too, and on one-colour projects I'm certainly not up to the same speed, but it's made my two-colour knitting so much faster and more fun (and less tangled!).

Don't give up! You're not starting from scratch, you've already got a working knowledge and a useful skill set. It won't take too long for you to become comfortable with it.


Krista Jo
mamacita Posted - 03/05/2007 : 09:27:52 AM
I am still giving an honest-to-good try. But I have to say, if I had to decide right now, I would rather adjust my patterns for a lefty. It still feels so foreign. Not enjoyable at all-and thats what knitting is all about. Not sure that I just may continue to knit left-handed.

gwtreece Posted - 03/02/2007 : 11:18:24 AM
Keep practicing. I will get better.

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Rho Posted - 03/02/2007 : 09:18:38 AM
You can do it -- of course you are braver than I am - I knit Continental and purl Norwegian and have thought about learning to throw just for ease when taking lessons from people who don't knit that way and every time I try it I think it is just too awkward and say the heck with it .... so hang in there and you can encourage me when I finally do decide to do it


mamacita Posted - 03/02/2007 : 06:28:43 AM
You are right. I just need to keep practicing. If I could remember back far enough it probably wasn't fun when I first taught myself either. If I can just master it without looking like one of today's actresses trying to look like she knows how to knit when asked to knit on screen![crazy] No public knitting for awhile because I really do look like I have no idea what I am doing. Just keep telling myself that it will be worth it in the end. No more manipulating patterns for a lefty. YEAH!

Thanks for the encouragement!
fiberlicious Posted - 02/27/2007 : 09:47:59 AM
I taught myself Combined/Easter Uncrossed after many decades of throwing. Hated it. Hated it. Hated it. Too slow. Too awkward. But I'd vowed I wasn't going to knit ribbing or seed stitch by throwing ever again. So, I made myself settle down with a nice-feeling ball of yarn (I've learned that if I practice with icky yarn, I will hate it all the more) and JUST PRACTICED until I could get up a rythm. I worked yards of stockinette. I'm still not as fast as I was throwing, but I really enjoy the conservation of movement, and I don't hate it any more.

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