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leftpaw
Warming Up

USA
95 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2006 :  4:54:26 PM  Show Profile Send leftpaw a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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.

CardiCorgi
New Pal

41 Posts

Posted - 08/01/2006 :  6:13:32 PM  Show Profile Send CardiCorgi a Private Message  Reply with Quote
As another leftie, I'd vote yes! Of course, not all lefties knit the same way...

-Karen

She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands (Prov.31:13)
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Luann
Permanent Resident

USA
2678 Posts

Posted - 08/02/2006 :  07:11:21 AM  Show Profile  Visit Luann's Homepage Send Luann a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I also knit from left to right, and would love to brainstorm with others about rewriting patterns, etc. (Mostly I don't, but sometimes shaping & pattern get mixed up if I don't adjust.) For example, it took me years to figure out that when reading a chart, esp. a color chart, I don't have to start at the bottom right!

As Karen says, not all lefties knit the same way. Personally, I think people should knit however feels right to them, but I have noticed that whenever the subject of lefty knitting comes up on this forum (esp. beginners looking to learn), there is a barrage of "It's stupid to knit any differently if you are a lefty, knitting uses both hands, you should learn how to do it properly (i.e. the right-handed way) etc. etc." posts from (often but not always righthanded) knitters.

I usually end up not participating in the conversation (I confess I had given up on the topic) because I'm sick of explaining that it's not as simple as that. I suppose the current flap over the person seeking other African-American knitters in LA has me feeling bolder about speaking out!

Luann

Knit and let knit!
This is not a blog:
http://www.luannocracy.blogspot.com
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caroledward
Chatty Knitter

USA
142 Posts

Posted - 08/02/2006 :  10:30:11 AM  Show Profile Send caroledward a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm a lefty but I knit WRONG - the right handed way :>(
My right handed Mom taught me when I was a kid and I haven't seen the point in changing my ways.

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Jane
SustaYning Member

USA
4395 Posts

Posted - 08/02/2006 :  10:46:00 AM  Show Profile  Visit Jane's Homepage Send Jane a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm left-handed, and I taught myself to knit by reading books, so I knit the way I was taught. It's not any harder just because I'm left-handed.

Knitting is knitting. I don't think anybody here has ever called anybody's style "stupid" or "improper." Right-handed knitters may not understand your style, but I'm pretty sure most of them are more interested in what you've got on your needles than how it got there.

So brainstorm away, be a little less defensive about something that's natural to you -- but may not be to others -- and everybody might learn something. I think it would be interesting to see how you adapt charts and patterns to knit your way!

Jane

Blog: Not Plain Jane
Photos: My Flickr Album
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gwtreece
Permanent Resident

USA
7254 Posts

Posted - 08/02/2006 :  1:41:11 PM  Show Profile  Send gwtreece a Yahoo! Message Send gwtreece a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm left handed and to learned to knit left handed. As an adult, I was taught by someone to knit like a right handed person. So I can actually do it both ways. This drives my mother crazy since depending the project I will knit either way. On simple stuff, I tend to knit like a leftie and on projects where I would need to rewrite, I just knit like a right handed person. I totally stink at rewriting patterns so it is easier for me to just knit right handed.

Wanda
My Blog
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Luann
Permanent Resident

USA
2678 Posts

Posted - 08/02/2006 :  2:32:20 PM  Show Profile  Visit Luann's Homepage Send Luann a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Mostly I don't rewrite patterns - I knit them as written, only from left to right. Occasionally I have had problems with left- or right-leaning increases in patterns, like lace, and have gotten confused. 99.9% of the time I don't even think about it. I do think it would be interesting to have a topic area for people who knit left-handed. Heck, even righties who knit left might want to participate.

I never said it was wrong to knit right-handed if you are a lefty. The handedness spectrum is very large, from almost ambidextrous to being able to do practically nothing with the other hand. As I said, I think people should knit however feels right (er - comfortable!) to them. I tried to learn to knit several times, the right-handed way, and could not get the hang of it. Then my mother-in-law, who was left-handed, taught me. She knit right-handed, by the way. She just was able to understand what was confusing me, and had me watch her as if in a mirror.

And since I once had another knitter take my knitting out of my hands and try to reknit my work because she saw me doing it "wrong", I suppose I am slightly defensive. Perhaps I'm only imagining all the threads I didn't feel like posting to when someone started explaining why it's better to learn how to do it the right-handed way, but I don't think so. I do distinctly recall a post wherein the poster, using all caps, exclaimed that knitting was a two-handed activity, and went on to say that teaching a lefty to knit anything other than right handed would be hampering their future development as a knitter.

FWIW, I have taught a number of people - all righties - to knit. I even taught someone to knit Continental even though I knit English, because it was what made sense to her.

Luann

Knit and let knit!
This is not a blog:
http://www.luannocracy.blogspot.com
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Clara
queen bee

USA
4406 Posts

Posted - 08/02/2006 :  2:38:23 PM  Show Profile  Visit Clara's Homepage Send Clara a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I refuse to start a new section specifically for people who knit the wrong way.



OK, lemme get cracking!

Clara
Your friendly Knitter's Review publisher
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Jane
SustaYning Member

USA
4395 Posts

Posted - 08/02/2006 :  3:44:14 PM  Show Profile  Visit Jane's Homepage Send Jane a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the explanation, Luann. I had to go back pretty far to locate those old feelings I had when someone told me I couldn't do something because I am left-handed, or that it couldn't/shouldn't be done that way. It's never once happened with knitting, thank goodness! Crocheting, though -- I've had people ask me what in the world I'm doing!

Jane

Blog: Not Plain Jane
Photos: My Flickr Album
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CardiCorgi
New Pal

41 Posts

Posted - 08/02/2006 :  4:06:09 PM  Show Profile Send CardiCorgi a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thank you Clara -- for the laugh and, in advance, for the new section!

-Karen

She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands (Prov.31:13)
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abt1950
Permanent Resident

3019 Posts

Posted - 08/02/2006 :  4:47:50 PM  Show Profile Send abt1950 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
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.



Anne

Knit long and prosper
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leftpaw
Warming Up

USA
95 Posts

Posted - 08/02/2006 :  4:54:06 PM  Show Profile Send leftpaw a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It's interesting to hear about all of your experiences as lefty knitters. Wanda, I envy you being able to go back and forth between your left and right hands so easily. I have taught myself how to knit right handed on two different occasions - once to teach a righty how to knit and another time a few years later to get the hang of a lace pattern as it was written to see what needed to be changed if I were to knit it lefty (which I never ended up doing) - but I found it to be so slow and I got frustrated thinking how much faster I could be knitting if I were using my left hand!

I sympathize with you Luann, I've heard that statement (that knitting is two handed) a number of times too. It is, of course, true but there's one dominant hand (and I knit a sort of Combined / Continental way so I hold the yarn with my right hand) so I would challenge a right handed knitter to switch hands and try to knit their next project lefty! It wouldn't be impossible, but it would be slow at first.

I like the idea of having a sub-forum for lefty knitters on a high profile forum like this one because not only will it be helpful for all us lefty knitters but it will also help to get the word out that there are lefty knitters!

Thank you for seriously considering this Clara!
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Queen Knitsalot
Permanent Resident

USA
1331 Posts

Posted - 08/03/2006 :  05:42:47 AM  Show Profile Send Queen Knitsalot a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I am left-handed but the only thing I do left-handed is write. I use forks, spoons, etc. lefty but switch if I'm going to bump elbows with the person seated next to me. I use a hammer with either which is handy when one hand gets tired. The worst thing that happened to me was back in the fifth grade, in the late sixties. the teacher passed out scissors and insisted I use the left-handed scissors. I can't make them work. I ended up crying and a big fat "F' on my project. My mom, who is completely a lefty, couldn't understand why I can't make the scissors work! Isn't it weird what we remember and what we don't? My grandmother taught me to crochet (she's right-handed) but she lived far away and when I had a question mom would tell me to wait for the next visit. I learned to knit from books and have been trying to teach myself continental, because so many people says it goes much faster--but I'm afraid it's another case of the left-handed scissors!!!

suzanne
"The most wasted day in all our lives is the day on which we have not laughed"--I wish I knew
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gwtreece
Permanent Resident

USA
7254 Posts

Posted - 08/03/2006 :  06:09:48 AM  Show Profile  Send gwtreece a Yahoo! Message Send gwtreece a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I guess Clara doesn't know that lefties are the only people in their right mind. hehehe

Wanda
My Blog
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Zari
Chatty Knitter

133 Posts

Posted - 08/03/2006 :  07:32:30 AM  Show Profile Send Zari a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I also knit both right and left handed, english and continental depending on what I'm doing. Primarily, I knit right handed continental, though I bust in with some lefty english if I'm working stockinette or lace where every WS row is plain stockinette (I actually can only knit in english, not purl - something I need to work on this summer). I'll knit righty english in combination with lefty continental if I'm doing fair isles, though I haven't worked out how to do continental with the yarn in the right hand, so my stranding is limited to in-the-round, which I'm okay with for the moment. I tried learning left-handed english knitting first, when I was 14 and my Aunt Soghra (Sora) came to the states, but besides the handedness barrier there was also a huge langauge barrier. She spoke German and Farsi, and I spoke English and really bad highschool Spanish. I didn't get the concept of what knitting was trying to accomplish, so all I could do was cast on and try frantically not to drop stitches, so I ended up basically with s1,yo,s1,yo all the way across, because I didn't want to drop the previous row off the needles! It was crazy.

Ten years later, though, my roommate's fiance sat down with me and we were chugging along in continental within minutes :) Soghra's daughter visited us last month, and gave me a wonderful wooden needle box full of DNS and sock yarn :) I'm mailing her back some of the silk I've been spinning.
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Dejhia
Chatty Knitter

USA
131 Posts

Posted - 08/03/2006 :  07:58:52 AM  Show Profile  Visit Dejhia's Homepage  Send Dejhia a Yahoo! Message Send Dejhia a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm another left handed knitter. I really confuse people when I knit at my knitting group 'cuase I'm a left handed combined knitter.

I tend to not have to many problems with patterns. I do have to think about any sort of slanted decreases and such. So what if my cables go the other way from what the pattern says.

I'm glad to see this group start up. I think there is a lot other lefties can teach each other. Or, at lest we can get togther and not have to read from right handed people how difficut it must be to knit left handed. (yes for htem it would be, but for us doing it right handed would be more difficult.)

~ heather
www.dejhia.blogspot.com
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jennybensmom
Chatty Knitter

182 Posts

Posted - 08/03/2006 :  08:06:27 AM  Show Profile Send jennybensmom a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm a lefty too, but I knit from left to right like my right-handed grandmother taught me. I knit continental, though, but can also throw with my right hand, which was how I initially learned (though grandma knit continental too). I tried knitting backwards, which isn't "left-handed" knitting, but it was a challenge. I've never experienced the frustration of not being able to grasp a new technique because of my left-handedness, so I'm unable to appreciate what other left-handers go through. I guess as long as the final result is what you want, and the way of achieving it was enjoyable, then any method of knitting should be applauded. Anyway, it's kind of fun to be different and rock the boat of convention a little. I mean, afterall, we're lefties.

Barbara
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PamelaA3
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
476 Posts

Posted - 08/03/2006 :  09:34:14 AM  Show Profile Send PamelaA3 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have taught knitting and crochet for years. Occaasionally, I do have students that are left-handed. For crochet, I learned to crochet left-handed so I could teach those students. There doesn't seem to be much difference in the patterns for chrochet. However, for knitting, there is shaping involved, and some stitch patterns cannot easily be worked. Most lace patterns are mirrored and cannot be done to look the same using left-handed techniques. And then there is the problem of finding someone to help, if you get stuck. Only about 7% of the population is left-handed, and how many of them knit? I explain all of this to my students and then give them a choice of right-handed English or Continental. Both of these methods allow stitches to be transfered from the left needle to the right, giving a choice of which hand will hold the yarn, and making it easier to read patterns. For me, it is simply, what will make it easier for my student. My dad is left-handed and maternal grandfather uses both hands, one for eating and hammering and the other for scissors and saw. Each of us must do what works for us. So knit on using the technique that allows you to make beautiful things and brings you joy.

Happy Knitting,

Pam
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Luann
Permanent Resident

USA
2678 Posts

Posted - 08/03/2006 :  12:39:13 PM  Show Profile  Visit Luann's Homepage Send Luann a Private Message  Reply with Quote
7%? I would be interested to know where you got that figure. I have always understood it to be closer to 10%. Some sources say as high as 15%.

Lefties spend our lives adapting to a right-handed world - don't sell your students short by assuming they can't learn to adapt patterns. I never really understood how shaping worked until I needed to figure out how to adapt it for myself. It taught me to really see what I was doing, and I'm a better knitter for it.

Luann

Knit and let knit!
This is not a blog:
http://www.luannocracy.blogspot.com
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lella
Permanent Resident

9714 Posts

Posted - 08/03/2006 :  3:18:58 PM  Show Profile Send lella a Private Message  Reply with Quote
And here all my life I thought it was 20%. Imagine that.

I knit right handed, self taught, and crochet left. I'm a natural leftie who learned a lot of rightie things. It just made life easier, like sitting next to a rightie at dinner. I just do that switcheroo, too.

lella[img]http://smilies.sofrayt.com/^/9971/omelet.gif[/img]

Come See My Blog
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PamelaA3
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
476 Posts

Posted - 08/03/2006 :  3:38:58 PM  Show Profile Send PamelaA3 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have a minor in Psycology from the University of Maryland. This fact was brought out in one of the classes. Sorry, I cannot remember which one. This was a few years ago, perhaps the ratio has changed. I did not research this fact and probably should have before posting it. I think the figure stuck with me because my father is left-handed. But even if it is now 15% that still does not give us many knitters to help. I will see if I can find this on the net.

Take Care,

Pam
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