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Topic: Knitting for leftys??  (Read 1415 times)
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dancechica
« on: August 23, 2004 04:40:29 PM »

I really want to learn how to knit.  I have the needles, I have the yarn, but the problem is... I'm left handed.  I tried knitting the normal way, but it feels soooo awkward and so wrong, and my stitches always come out amazingly uneven, if I manage not to drop them!  (Although that's probably just cause I'm a beginner.) All I want to do is hold the working needle (is that what it's called?) in my left hand! There's gotta be some lefty knitters out there, right?? Does anyone have any help/advice?  Should I suck it up and learn right handed?  Or am I doomed to never knit? 

argh, I'm so frustrated!
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cathou
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« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2004 04:51:10 PM »

Have you tried the continental (or combine... who knows what it's called) where you hold the yarn in your left hand instead of the right?
Here a link: http://www.modeknit.com/combined.html, you should give it a try.
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kabili
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« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2004 05:13:20 PM »

hi! i'm a lefty who knits as a righty. (actually, i have mixed dominance on a lot of other tasks too. i just have to write with my left hand.) but i bought one of the "learn to knit" kits from wal-mart (i think they also have them at michael's) - the book that came with it has separate instructions for lefties. the actual title is "i taught myself knitting" and it is put out by the boye company (the same ones who manufacture knitting needles). but essentially, it really is just a mirror image of what righties do. if you already have some instructions and don't want to buy different ones, you might try holding them up to a mirror. also, look on the web for left-handed diagrams. good luck!

p.s. i have heard other lefties say that knitting "continental" style, as cathou suggested, is most comfortable for them.
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cheekymamaof2
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« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2004 08:14:10 PM »

ok Im not a leftie, but I AM ambidexterous. I would suggest doing exactly what right handeders do. The thing is, Knitting is a 2 handed sport, so either way, you are going to have to use both hands. It might take a little more time to feel comfortable with it, but in the long run, you will be happier with your work, and you wont have to worry about getting separate instructions all the time.
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dahlea
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2004 06:43:40 AM »

Ok, I'm a lefty and had a zillion troubles until I figured out my own style. It's not really Continental, but kinda. Anyway, this page was extremely helpful in figuring out how to do it-
http://www.geocities.com/kmnewberry2/knit.html
Basically, my right hand is stationary, I also hold my yarn in it. My left hand and needle are the ones that move. And you don't have to get separate instructions for patterns, you're just doing it backward. Doesn't really matter unless you really care which way your cables lean or something. If you are doing a more complicated pattern, then you may want to see if they have left instructions.
PM me if I can help you at all!
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midnightsky1686
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« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2004 02:12:33 AM »

what you need to do is learn to knit continental (sp??), its also called swiss knitting. you hold the yarn in your left hand and you dont "toss" the yarn like you do when you hold it with the right. this method is both faster and easier on your wrists, no matter what hand you write with.


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Shawnkyr
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« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2004 11:08:09 AM »

A subject near and dear to my heart.

I am left handed, and I knit, as far as I can tell, English-style backwards.  I believe this creates a mirror image of the pattern--if the pattern is symmetrical, there will be no difference.  My cables, as dahlea pointed out, twist the other way (and I personally could not care less).
Now, I have actually been told at a LYS that my knitting style is inefficient and incoherent (when it is in actuality English, but reversed).  Ironically, I was going to take the LYS lady's suggestion and learn to knit continental (even though I had tried it and didn't like the feel) right up until she insulted me.  There may well come a day when I choose to learn continental, I have not discounted that option; but until that day comes I am going to knit like I knit and anyone who disparages me for it can go to h*ll.
Now that the rant is over, here is my advice part--if I remember correctly, "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Knitting and Crocheting" has diagrams for lefty knitting (continental may be easier than English for lefties but it is not "left handed knitting")--mirror images of the right hand, as has been discussed.  If you choose to stick with left handed knitting, you will at times have to be very aware of what's going on in your work and mentally reverse directions and diagrams if needed.  Symmetrical patterns should be no big deal though (sweaters and scarves tend to be symmetrical).  If the right handed ways are not comfortable, don't use them.  After you are comfortable with knitting, you may choose to learn one of the righty ways to make things easier on you.  It's your call, since you have to enjoy what you do.  As you can tell, I am serious about lefty knitting, lol, and will help you however I can.  You can PM me as well if you have specific questions--I'm not a great knitter, but I know a few (including a lefty one), and I can research pretty well too.   Grin
« Last Edit: August 27, 2004 11:19:26 AM by Shawnkyr » THIS ROCKS   Logged

melidomi
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« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2004 11:16:29 AM »

One thing to keep in mind if you're knitting left handed - I *think* your decreases will slant the opposite direction from regular knitting.
So if  you're doing  a pattern with (for example) symmetrical decreases, do a ssk when it says k2tog and vice versa, and it should come out looking right.

But maybe since you're doing the rows in the opposite direction, it comes out right anyway, and it's only when you're following a chart that  you'll need to do that substitution.

I'm right handed, so this is all just from introspection.
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