left handed knitting instructions

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auntiemar wrote
on Dec 29, 2008 9:26 AM

I think I posted this question once before and never saw an answer.

Please, please, please!!  My friend (who is left handed) wants me to teach

her how to knit.  I have searched the stores for a book and no luck.  Can

anyone tell me about a book of instructions for left-handed knitting?  Thank

you!

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on Dec 29, 2008 1:23 PM

 Did you try working in front of a mirror and letting her look into the mirror instead of directly at your hands?

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NicholeB wrote
on Dec 29, 2008 1:29 PM

You knit the same way whether you're left handed or right handed.  I learned this mistake the hard way when I taught my left handed friend how to knit backwards!  Lucky, she was able to adjust and now she knits the same way I do. . .

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Mary AnnB wrote
on Dec 31, 2008 3:58 PM

Actually, teach her to knit the way you knit - right handed.  If you think about it - you use both hands while knitting.  If you teach her to mirror your knitting she will have problems translating patterns that require specific increases or decreases.  If she can type - she can knit the way you do and you will be doing her a favor.

Good Luck

Mary Ann

 

auntiemar:

I think I posted this question once before and never saw an answer.

Please, please, please!!  My friend (who is left handed) wants me to teach

her how to knit.  I have searched the stores for a book and no luck.  Can

anyone tell me about a book of instructions for left-handed knitting?  Thank

you!

 


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Posts 1
jackie@5 wrote
on Jan 1, 2009 1:31 PM

 Hi,

I am left handeded and just decided to learn to knit so I got a book to teach myself to knit and follow the instructions for right handed knitters and it so far is working well.

                                                      Jackie

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Puffy G wrote
on Jan 10, 2009 9:57 AM

 Remember that there are two different "styles" of knitting, and they go by various names but generally referred to as American and Continental.  Sometimes they are called "throwers" and "pickers", which is much more descriptive of their differing techniques.  In case you are not familiar, let me briefly describe:  In the American style, which I learned as a child, you hold the working yarn end in your right hand, insert the right needle into the left needle's stitch for k or p and lift or "throw" the working yarn with your right hand around the tip of the right needle, pulling the new stitch through.  In Continental style, you hold the working yarn in your left hand, and when you insert the right needle into the left needle's stitch to k or p, you grab or "pick" the working yarn to pull it through.

I have heard that many left-handed people find the Continental or "picker" style of knitting much more comfortable.  Sometimes Continental is referred to as "left handed knitting" since you hold the working yarn in your left hand.   I am extremely right handed, can't even scratch my nose with my left hand, yet I have found the Continental more comfortable and natural since learning it as an adult.  I don't know many knitters, much less any lefties, so I can't attest to the lefties-prefer-Continental theory.

I have also heard that Crocheters often prefer the Continental as it is more like crochet.  I don't crochet, had no idea.  But last week I was helping a colleague who is a crocheter who had knit a scarf and needed help with something.  When I showed her how to do something, she was amazed at the Continental style, had never seen it, but just loved it.  She said it made so much more sense to her, was a lot more like crochet, and could not wait to go home and practice it.  So I guess this second theory really holds some water

There are lots of good videos on-line to see the Continental in action.  For me, the Gold Standard has always been Elizabeth Zimmermann.   It was she who introduced (or reintroduced) the Continental style of knitting to the US and popularized it starting back in the 70s-80s with her TV show.

Good luck!

Puffy

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ekelley36 wrote
on Jan 12, 2009 11:55 AM

 I was taught to knit in elementary school (back in the 60's) and was taught by a right handed person.  She taught me to knit the same way she knitted.  I never had a problem and I am one of those lefties who does everything with her left hand.  Since you use both hands she shouldn't have a hard time learning.  I'm sure it will feel awkward to her just as it would to any beginner. 

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on Feb 11, 2009 12:42 PM

I've taught left and right handed knitters, blind and near quadraplegics. All I can say is that you go with the comfort level. Most lefties are most comfortable with the Continental style.

Backwards knitting comes in handy when turning heels of socks.

BTW - Knitting is one of the only "crafting sports" that uses both halves of the brain.

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JoeR wrote
on Feb 11, 2009 3:06 PM

I'll jump in on this one.  I've caused an uproar  on a men's knitting group because of my stance.  (Fair warning.)  I am a dominant left-hander who taught myself to knit in the late 1960s.  And I firmly believe that the whole "teach a left-hander to knit right-handed" thing is more complicated than people believe.  Also, that it is wrong.  The fact is this: I recently taught myself to knit right-handed to enable me to help a friend learn to knit.  The whole process required an entire rewiring of my thought and manual processes to accomplish.  (For lack of a better description.)  My standing challenge is for all knitters to knit an entire project -from cast on to cast off- with their nondominant hand.  Mine was a pair of socks, as that is what my friend wanted to do.  I had successfully learned to knit a few stitches, and even rows, right-handed but that in no way prepared me for the immense task of basically relearning to knit.  Yes, the leftie has to learn to do all the same stitches but when they do the first half of a sweater front, they'll knit the left side first and will have to reverse the shaping anyway.  Besides, with more and more reliance on knitting charts, it's even easier for lefties: They can either knit them right to left or go left to right, whichever is most convenient for them.  I find that I may have to switch some decreases to mirror the sample product but that's not too hard to do.  (I usually make a note to myself on the photocopy of the chart.)  Anyhow, there are a lot of great books and videos that give good pointers for lefties.  Check them out and find which one works for you and your friend.  I'm convinced that the reason we don't find many left-handed knitters is that they get frustrated trying to learn something that everybody keeps saying is "easy" when it really isn't.  And, yes, I am a huge fan of Elizabeth Zimmermann (she is the person who taught me that I can be a great knitter) but I would have lovingly told her that she showed the prejudice of her generation in believing that all lefties could do everything -and anything- righthanded.  That just isn't so.  By the way, teaching myself to knit right-handed has made me an even better knitter, making it worth all the mental gymnastics I went through.  I now understand all the steps even better than before.  Take care and lots of luck to you and your friend

 

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JulieE wrote
on Feb 20, 2009 7:24 AM

 I am a leftie.  I didn't find it hard to knit at all.  I am self taught.  Our entire world is made for right handed people, so left handed people are used to adapting to new situations and figuring out what works best for them.  Really, it shouldn't be that hard to teach a leftie to knit.  Good luck!

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ChristineG wrote
on Feb 21, 2009 3:34 PM

I taught my self to knit with some book, Learn how to knit( or something like that) that I got at a craft store that comes in a kit with needles and stitch holders and some other stuff.  The cover of the book said it had a left handed section in it.  The section wasn't but a few pages but there were illustrations showing how the stitches are made for a left handed knitter.  Once I had those basic steps and understood them I could follow any pattern by just thinking about what needed to be done and if it needed to be reversed or not.

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mary@14 wrote
on Feb 21, 2009 5:11 PM

 I am left handed but was taught to knit right handed before I went to school and I done't think anyone noticed that I was left handed. They did me a favor!!  In knitting you use both hands about equally and since all the patterns I have seen have been written for [right handed knitters] why not learn it that way?? Now when I teadh someone to knit it never enters my mind to ask if they are right handed or left handed and we have been doing just fine.

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Kniterella wrote
on Feb 24, 2009 9:33 AM

Have you tried the DVD called left Out Knitter?  Its aimed at left-handed knitters it gives clear instructions on the job with pictures so you can't go wrong.  I got two of the DVD's for my two Leftie friends, try it, it works.Cool

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RatajczakK wrote
on Mar 2, 2009 5:03 PM

 I am also left handed. My mom taught me to knit when I was about 9.  I'm 56 now so thats lots of years of knitting. My mom was right handed but I just watched and learned.  To my mind, you use both hands to knit ( i am a english method knitter) and each does its own thing.  Maybe I am not as left-handed as some?  By that I mean maybe my brain is more flexable about turning things around, not sure if that makes sense.  I tell people I teach that left handed is not an issue, just learn what each hand does and do that.  I had a student once who had learned by sitting across a table from someone and did everything backwards.  It was incredibly difficult to teach her anything because you had to figure out how to do what ever it was backwards.  This is my first post, just started checking out the forums and I really think this will be very enjoyable and help me feel connected to people who love what I do.  Nice to meet you, Joe.

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JoeR wrote
on Mar 6, 2009 1:47 PM

 RatajczakK - Thanks for your reply.  Good to meet you too.  I hope the original poster doesn't think I'm trying to hijack her thread.  You mention a few good points but, when push comes to shove, the basics of knitting remain: needle into stitch, yarn around needle, pull through, pop off.  So the direction the needle approaches that stitch is the only difference.  In that way, I find I can teach either right- or left- handed people without any problem, even before I taught myself to knit  totally right-handed.  Still, my friends all get a laugh when I start my mantra to help my friend Lynn --- "Right-handed mode; Right-handed mode; Right-handed mode..."

 

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