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Left-handed knitters

3949 Views 41 Replies 26 Participants Last post by  GailA
I'm left handed and have difficulty following directions. Consequently the only stitches i have mastered are knit and perl. I can increase and decrease but dont have a clue how to do the yarn over or pass over. do you have videos that illustrate these for lefties? (Submitted by: Selm)
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Do you carry your yarn in the left hand, then? There isn't much difference in "lefty" knitting, I personally prefer to carry my yarn with the right hand, but I know many people who are right handed that carry with their left hand. The difference is: carrying your yarn in the left hand is often referred to as "Continental Knitting" and carrying it in the right is often called "English Knitting". There are a lot of videos to be found on you-tube that will show you the techniques for each. Try searching for "Continental Knitting" and the technique that you would like to learn.
Do you knit continental style, or do you knit completely the opposite of regular "English" style knitting? Some lefties find they cannot knit in a conventional fashion, even while holding the yarn in their left hand; it requires special control of the right hand needle which dominant lefties do not have.

Personally I am left-handed, but I knit right-handed English and crochet left-handed, but my friend knits left-handed English. The only thing I can really say is that you would want to reverse the directions of any instructions that you find, or find lefty-specific instructions (difficult to find as many categorize continental style knitting as "lefty" style). Once you get the basics down it should be fairly straightforward regardling how to continue.
I, too, am a lefty. I think I created an entire method that works for me. It doesn't seem to conform to any version that I have viewed. I carry the yarn in the left hand and "throw it" rather than "pick it." A yarn over just involves wrapping the yarn around the needle to create a new stitch with a hole where the new stitch begins. You tube has videos that can help with knitting even if you are a lefty.
LBush, I think that is what my friend does. "Throwing" is English style and "picking" is continental style. :).
I am also left handed. My mother taught me to knit when I was 14 and she sat across from me, if I remember right so I think I knit righthanded. What little crocheting I am able to do I hold the hook in my right hand. Is that left or right handed crocheting?? If I had to reverse the patterns I have done I would not be able to do it at all and I think I would loose interest.
Jennifer, I did not know that, its interesting. I guess since I do both depending on the mood I'm a Continental ERnglish
I'm curious to understand why some knitters learn to knit left or right handed? Most of us favour one hand or the other, but we all have to use both. There is no such thing as a left handed Piano player, at least not that I am aware of. I teach all of my students the same way - mainly due to the fact that left handed patterns are extremely expensive and difficult to find.
I would love to hear others views on this - I really would hate to think my thoughts on the subject should not be so firmly set.

Thanks in anticipation

sorry for last oxymoron posting what I meant was that as we use both hands should we learn to knit favouring the left hand which can cause some other problems? And should I not be so firm in my resolve to teach what I consider to be the cheapest and easiest way to get help from the majority of knitters.?

Thanks again

I don't think I thought about how to knit left handed. I just did what seemed right for me. Lefties need to reverse directions and work row patterns opposite to what they are written. I don't think I could knit right handed at all. I haven't tried to teach knitting. I did teach my granddaughters basic crochet; they are righties. Maybe if a lefty is a beginner, he/she would not notice knitting right handed. Guitarist often don't switch.
thanks - only one of my friends knits true leftie - I didn't teach her :) but she struggles such a lot and my philosophy is that knitting should feel comfortable, free flowing and never be difficult to carry out - maybe to understand sometimes. I appreciate your input.

I am a lefty. I knit/pearl off of the needle in my left hand. When it says to wrap over ....If I am pearling, then, I wrap the yarn over the right hand needle to my body. If I am knitting, then, I wrap it away from my body. Hope this helps. I am self taught. I don''t know if this is right or wrong. It is "right" for me. I carry my yarn in the right hand. Blessings and have fun.
thank you so much.

There is so much more to this lefty righty thing than I ever imagined but I will keep trying to work it out to enable me to help new students.

Hello, this is interesting as I am a lefty as well. I do carry my yarn right forefinger :). I bet there are videos on youtube!
I am terminally left handed. Love to knit. I tend to use graphs and so just follow them. If I use the written instructions the patterns,ie lace, are bckwards.
When teaching,I have to talk through it.
I guess what I am trying to ask is: If when you had been first taught to knit without rightie or leftie being mentioned - do you think that you could have just picked up that in being taught to knit you would need to use both hands?


I have taught over 360 men, women and kids in this past 8 years. They all learn the way I was taught - Cable cast-on, to hold their RN like a pencil and use their right index finger to throw the yarn. From there we alter to what suits them best.
If someone had taught me, I would have learned however they taught me, I assume, but I am self-taught. I hold both needles loosley in my hands -- neither like a pencil, which as a lefty, I do hold "properly."
LBush1144 said:
If someone had taught me, I would have learned however they taught me, I assume, but I am self-taught. I hold both needles loosley in my hands -- neither like a pencil, which as a lefty, I do hold "properly."
Sooo sweet! Love it !
I am a leftie and learned to knit from my right handed mother.
Seems that I have a style all my own which people tell me is unique.
I can read and follow instructions as they should be, I think, but then maybe that is why I have such a hard time getting it down in the beginning.
Here I thought I was just not too bright.
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