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Topic: ambidextrous knitting?  (Read 2587 times)
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« on: April 19, 2006 02:36:51 AM »

Is anybody out there an ambidextrous knitter?  I'm curious.  I've heard of people who, because they can knit both-handed, just knit back and forth on their needles without ever having the wrong side of the work facing them (i.e.  in stockinette they never purl).

I'm a lefty in general but I learned knitting years and years ago right-handedly, and so I've always knitted right-handed.  I'm thinking about investing the time to learn to knit left-handedly too, so that I can go back and forth, but I'm wondering if it's really worth it.  (I imagine it's going to take a LOT of time and practice to get the "new" hand to knit at the same tension as the "experienced" hand.)  I know that lots of lefties end up doing many tasks right-handedly just because tools and instructions kind of force them into it (scissors, etc), so I'm assuming that lefties knitting righty is probably a common phenomenon. 

Anyway, does anybody knit using both hands?  Do you have any advice?  Is it worth the time commitment to learn?

« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2006 02:43:39 AM »

I can do this. When I learnt to knit when I was kid  it annoyed me that only one arm did all the work and would hurt while the other was fine. So I just started knitting back and forth. Didn't even find out I was doing anything different until a year ago. Its handy since you don't have to purl, and I hate purling! if I ever do need to purl thats when i turn my work. But then again I'm also ambidextrous so maybe thats why it was so easy for me to do.
And I recall someone saying its called backwards knitting.
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« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2006 04:17:41 AM »

My granny-in-law can knit like this, according to my husband (who thought I was doing it wrong, cos I couldn't)  Roll Eyes

I'm a leftie who knits righthandedly too, in fact 4 out of 6 of us in my evening knitting group are too!!  Shocked

Would love to be able to knit back and forth, but think it could be quite tricky!!  Huh

Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have...
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2006 08:09:50 AM »

I taught myself to do it once while fooling around with yarn on a bus ride. Even though I can do it, I don't actually knit like that ever, since I don't find purling to be that much of a pain. However, if I ever try entrelac, you had better believe that I'm going to be knitting backwards!

« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2006 08:20:53 AM »

I taught myself how to knit backwards from the big Vogue Knitting book. Because I am a nerd who thinks people care, I posted how to do it on my blog: http://www.yarnabuse.com/journal/2006/2/7/how-to-knit-bass-ackwards.html

« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2006 09:43:21 AM »

i'm a righty knitter and i'd like to learn this too - i kind of started to learn when i did my first two-color knitting project and i liked it but at the time didn't have the time to devote to making sure my tension was the same in both directions.  (it was a felting project so i wasn't really worried about it)

i have a friend who does this simply because she doesn't want to purl.  she is a very even knitter in both directions, and a relatively new knitter to boot!

i think it would definitely be worth the time to learn.

dear mom, please send yarn.  and coffee.


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« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2006 04:54:57 PM »

Doesn't it twist the stitches or something? And if your left handed, by "right handed knitting" do you mean english? I taught myself both english and continental, but I teach people continental.
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2006 10:17:14 PM »

I learned this using this tutorial:

I'm crystalnickel on Ravelry!

Visit my blog at http://cnp71203.blogspot.com/. It has a little of everything... well, most things!

« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2006 02:19:40 AM »

tutorials with pictures!  thank you nongshim and cnp71201!  looks like this is definitely going on the summer vacation activities list.

Thesingingllamas, when I said "righty" I meant to indicate that the stitches move from the left hand needle to the right hand needle, whether you're picking or throwing, English or Continental.  So when someone knits really lefty (or backwards), they're knitting the whole thing mirror opposite, stitches moving from right to left (It can be a pain when reading a pattern).  The stitches won't twist unless you wrap the yarn the wrong way, regardless of the direction you're going.  I know lefties have better luck with Continental knitting in general, because it utilizes that hand more -- I myself knit with a weird mix of the two styles, having learned both.

I actually have a problem with my purl tension being much looser than my knitting tension, despite the many tweaks I've tried to correct the problem.  Maybe learning to knit back and forth might actually solve it....  such a nice, hopeful thought!

« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2006 08:23:22 AM »

I am right handed, but knit left handed. I taught myself to knit and it just seemed the logical way. I was not aware that I was knitting 'wrong' until someone said something to me at my knitting group. Oh well, I guess I'm just backwards.  Cheesy
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