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 left handed knitters?

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leftpaw Posted - 08/01/2006 : 4:54:26 PM
I've been wondering if there are enough other left handed knitters out there to possibly warrant a forum category? By left handed knitting I mean working needle is held in left hand, moving stitches from right needle onto left needle.
20   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Luann Posted - 01/06/2012 : 09:45:39 AM
Welcome Heidi! I'm sorry your great aunt is less than supportive. Please don't let the negativity stop you. My mom gave up knitting for years after a friend started berating her for "knitting weird". She didn't pick it up again until I started knitting as an adult. If you like the result, it's fine. If you don't like the result, you can work to make it better. Dear Fran, whose post is right above yours, always counseled us to learn to "read" our work - to really look and see what was going on in each stitch. There are lots of compassionate and generous knitters out here who would love to help you.

Knit and let knit!
lefthanded2 Posted - 01/05/2012 : 3:30:36 PM
Hi everyone.
I am left handed and taught myself to crochet and knit using youtube. I am very much a beginner because I feel like I don't really know what I am doing. My Great Aunt makes the most gorgeous sweaters and has taken classes from famous knitters. When she sees me knit or crochet she always asks "what are you doing?". And sometimes she will look at my work and shake her head. All the negativity has stalled me. But this year I made a resolution to make a garment other than a scarf either by knitting or crochet but after reading some posts here - it sounds like the patterns may be tricky. I will just have to see what happens. Also after reading some posts I am anxious to try my hand a knitting right handed. If some of you can do it then maybe I can. I am willing to give it a try.
fmarrs Posted - 08/19/2009 : 05:30:23 AM
I feel qualified to speak here because some physicians say that I am left handed, others say ambidextrous, others just shake their heads. My left arm was paralyzed at age three until the nerve regenerated a little more than a year later. That means I learned a lot of basics right handed, like eating, using pencils and scissors, etc. etc. Have you ever seen a 3 year old tie their shoes with one hand?...that was me.

I don't think of knitting as being either left handed or right handed. Continental style is defined by which hand holds the yarn. I think it is ideal for left handed people because controlling yarn tension is one of the hardest things to learn or teach, and using your dominant hand for it is wonderful.

American or English style is also defined by which hand holds the yarn, but more so by the flicking or throwing action of passing the yarn around the needle. But don't stop there. There are dozens of different ways to knit. Do a little research and try a lot of them until you find the one that fits you.

Don't allow anyone to define you by which hand is dominant. I just spent 2 weeks knitting with one hand and I can't even tell you if it is my dominant hand or not.

If you are teaching someone to knit the same way that you knit, seat them beside you so they can look over your shoulder. If you want to teach them the opposite way, seat them in front of you so they are looking at the stitches that way and can mimic your movements.

If anyone knows how to tell if a sweater was knit by a right handed or left handed knitter after it is finished and being worn, please share your knowledge. I only notice yarn and pattern.

Itspennyc Posted - 08/18/2009 : 4:46:49 PM
I am a Left Handed knitter, I taught myself to knit left handed forty five years ago. But due to severe arthritis in my hands I was forced to teach myself to knit right handed. I do carry my yarn with my left hand.

I don't notice much difference in difficulty. I do find reading and flowing patterns to be much easier using the right handed method.

Since I can knit both ways I have frequently found myself knitting both ways.

Now that I have gotten used to knitting right handed. I realize that knitting is really a two handed craft. You need to be able to use both hands.

Wen Posted - 06/12/2009 : 6:04:38 PM
I knit RH with left hand dominance, ie instead of in around through and off I knit on around over and back. The movement is all in the left hand. So although I knit from off left needle onto right I am a leftie. So although I was taught RH I wasn't restricted to doing it as a RH person would. It's a bit different to tieing your left hand behind your back to make you write right handed.

I can also knit continental left handed (don't want to relearn tensioning on my left hand when I'm so practiced on my right, I couldn't believe how easy it was to do this. I can now knit back and forth without turning the work, perfect for entrelac and knitted on borders.

Wen FO 2009
Eleanor Posted - 06/11/2009 : 06:09:36 AM
Angel: Continental knitting is holding the yarn in your left hand (around your pointer finger (and maybe in-between another finger for tension) and picking up the yarn with your right needle and pulling it through the st, placing yarn in front for purl st and in the back of needles for knit st.
There are great videos for this method and others on
Deborah L. Conger Posted - 06/10/2009 : 12:12:53 PM
Hi. I just joined the forum and was so excited to see other left-handed knitters who actually knit left-handed!Yeah! I'm so tired of being instructed to "learn to knit right-handed"! I'm looking forward to learning from all you lefties!
MINItron Posted - 04/12/2008 : 07:24:39 AM
I am a self-taught left-handed knitter. My natural knitting method is right needle to left needle. I hold the yarn in my left hand, and knit and purl in the back of the stitches (eastern uncrossed). When a right-handed knitter watches me knit it looks to them like they are purling, and vice versa.

The only time that I throw a monkey wrench into things is when I am knitting straight stokinette or stockinette lace that is only purls on the wrongside. In those cases I simply knit my way back without turning my work. I do not however like to purl in this manner.
beedee Posted - 03/28/2008 : 09:47:07 AM
Eating and hammering, scissors and saws. That's me (no, this isn't your grampa speaking!) Another word for folks who are "crafty" with either hand is ambidextrous! Actually, true "ambi's" apparently can do ALL tasks with either hand. I first tried to teach myself to knit with yarn in R hand (wrapping yarn around needle); I developed a dreadful (and first for me) case of carpal tunnel syndrome. Didn't knit another stitch until Elizabeth Zimmermann's WONDERFUL book was published in the 70's (that's the 1970's, kids). I still recommend "Knitting Without Tears" to Newbies whenever I get a chance! Her discussion on how to purl (two ways) w/yarn in L hand was most illuminating. BTW, EZ was known for her "hatred" of purling.

%^ I haven't seen a "Smiley" for tongue in cheek, so here 'tis!
leftpaw Posted - 03/27/2008 : 5:29:02 PM
I highly recommend giving it a shot!

Thanks for the advice but I already know how to knit lefty!
Gryphon Posted - 03/27/2008 : 11:40:45 AM
At the risk of sounding like a complete nut, I'm right-handed, very strongly so, and just taught myself to knit left-handed, so that I could knit without having to work on the wrong side. To my surprise, after I got over some initial awkwardness I found it's not any more difficult, leading me to the conclusion that handedness doesn't apply in knitting and that both hands are doing the same kind of activity, so it doesn't matter. I'm using both continental and english (throwing) styles - continental for longer stretches since I'm normally a continental knitter and it's faster, and english for short distances so I don't have to change yarn hands. I highly recommend giving it a shot!
knittingitall Posted - 11/27/2007 : 2:47:16 PM
Does anyone know of a good book on left-handed knitting? Thank you.
knittygrittynana Posted - 11/20/2007 : 5:08:23 PM
I am a lefty and have been knitting for over 50 years.
My mom taught me by knitting in front of a mirror.
It worked.
leftoutbutgood Posted - 09/26/2007 : 09:34:07 AM
Found new web site for lefties.
Check it out:

I purchased a video and it was great!
angel597 Posted - 09/18/2007 : 4:03:05 PM
Isn't left-handed knitting also called Continental style knitting?
leftoutbutgood Posted - 09/15/2007 : 8:50:14 PM
There is a new forum starting at:
Why don't we start one there?
Nitaks2 Posted - 08/28/2007 : 4:36:10 PM
Originally posted by abt1950

I'm a leftie but I knit right-handed. WhenI was very young, my grandmother tried to turn me into a rightie, to my mother's dismay. My mother put her foot down, so I'm still left-handed. But my grandmother got her way when she taught me to knit right-handed. Wish I could knit lefthanded sometimes.


Knit long and prosper

I was twelve when my Dad remarried..and his Wife TRIED to make me right handed. Let's just say Dad AND my Grandmother taught that vile female a lesson she's NEVER forgotten! Sad but true...but, happy that Dad stepped up to bat and dealt with it! ( I saw what doing that did to one of my uncles...NOT a pretty sight, mind you!) Anyway, I later found out that my being left handed is a trait from my birth Great Grandmother's family...( The Clan Kerr had their castle's stairwells/stair cases built to facilitate left handed sword fighting. Over time it became a hereditary trait or something like that as it may, it's probably part of the reason why I'm a lefty..that and the way the gene pool fell..)

nearly wrong Posted - 07/26/2007 : 8:29:51 PM
It's nice to know there are so many other lefties out there. My mother taught me to knit by sitting facing me and I just copied what she did; my left hand doing what her right hand did and my right hand doing what her left hand did. She thought of it because this was how she taught me to tie my shoe laces. I think many lefties can just naturally mirror things because they've been doing it for their entire life. I tried to teach a right-handed person to knit this way and it didn't work. Or maybe I'm assuming that all lefties can mirror things like that. Can anyone else here mirror write?

Anyway, I'm truly left handed and can't do much of anything with my right hand. When I knit, my left hand does all the work. All my right hand can do is cling for dear life to the needle and wiggle around a bit. I've never had a problem with patterns but for some reason learning new cast-ons is difficult so some of my casting on techniques are truly unique and I don't mean that in a good way.
CarolynZ Posted - 06/30/2007 : 07:16:27 AM
I am so glad to have just discovered this forum! I knit left-handed (transferring stitches from the right needle to the left), and it's always entertaining when I get looks of bewilderment from fellow knitters then they see what I'm doing. It's hilarious, actually! My lunchtime knitting group at work is full of wonderful women and fantastic knitters, but they all think I'm crazy. So glad to learn that I'm not alone.

I had a lot of trouble learning to knit. I learned from books, and it took quite a bit of effort for me to mentally reverse all the "how to knit" images. Learning increases, decreases, and more complicated maneuvers was also quite challenging. Then again, knitting is all about challenging yourself, right? At first I was worried about reversing and altering patterns, but I've discovered (like many of you have) that I can knit a pattern as written and just wind up with a mirror-image result. For symmetrical items, there's no problem at all. For sweaters, I just wind up with the button band on the opposite side as in the pattern photo. I can deal with that.

Happy Knitting!
Jerris Posted - 05/27/2007 : 11:15:36 AM
I was taught to knit by my right handed mother, but was taught to Knit Pick or the Contenintal (probably mispelled) way because my grandmother was taught that way. The only difference is that I carry the thread tension on my left hand, otherwise the knitting is the same. I have never met any other knitter that knits as I do, so I am not worried about how to knit, the important thing is to knit. I guess because my mother knitted the knit pick way teaching my was no problem since I just imitated her. Now, crochet is a whole other story, but knitting is my favorite needle art for now. I am 67 and first knitted when I was about 7 or 8. Then I quit for a while and would begin again, and the latest beginning started before I retired. My biggest problem is getting my sleeves a correct length. My arms are short and I just do not seem to get the hang of altering for shorted arms. Wether or not to have a forum for lefties, I guess I would not fit since I do knit using the right needle to knit from the left. It is an interesting idea and of all the things I do as a leftie knitting is not a problem. I am intersted in reading graphs and since they go right to left, I foind it disconterting (again the spelling?). I am comfortable with new patterns, but socks do interest me. I have a twin brother and he has agreed to wear my first pair as long as he does not have to display them incase they look funny. Well, you get the idea that I like to talk. Enough for now. Jerris

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