Help me finish my grandmother's afghan! (Lefties please help!)

Hey Everyone,

I need some help.

My grandmother passed away in 2006, and just recently my grandfather has had to move out of their house to live in a nursing home. My grandmother was an avid knitter. She didn’t teach me to knit, but I taught myself since her passing. We’ve been cleaning out their attic, and found an afghan that my grandmother had started. It’s a Mary Maxim cable afghan. I have a copy of the pattern (I haven’t found it online).

[U][B]The problem:[/B][/U] Besides trying to figure out what row she left off on, my grandmother knit right-handed, or by moving stitches from the left needle to the right needle. I, on the other hand, knit backwards, by moving the stitches from the right needle to the left. Like I said, I taught myself to knit, and I am left-handed. I didn’t realize this was “wrong” until I started knitting more complicated items.

I would love to finish the afghan, but I am really confused how my backwards-knitting-style will allow me to do this without ruining it. First, I am going to put in a life line where she finished, so I won’t lose her knitting. I also think that for the cables, I will have to cable to the front when it says cable in back.

However, if I start where it would be natural for me to start, all the stitches look like they are twisted. Should I just reorient the stitches? I assume they look this way, because I am approaching the stitch from the opposite direction than she did.

What do you guys think? Can I fix this even though I knit backwards? Any other tips?

Thanks for reading this and for your help!

I will be of NO HELP to you in this but let me say kudos to you in finishing her afghan!! what a treasure you will have given you and your desendants!! An afghan that both your grandmother and you have knitted!! :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

I normally knit right handed, moving the stitches from the left needle to the right, but I can also knit the other way. I just tried a swatch where I started off purling 3 stitches, knitting 4, then purling 3 working right handed to begin with and then I switched to left handed and it worked fine. Then I went back to right handed and back to left again. No problems. I just worked the stitches as they appeared and needed to be worked.

But I’m wondering if there could be further complications. For instance if you or your grandmother may have knit some other style, for instance combined knitting where sometimes the stitches are oriented one way on the needles and sometimes the other way and sometimes you work in the front of stitches and sometimes in back. If something like that is going on that could mess it up more.

I don’t know how you’d figure that out, but I’m sure it is possible. You just need to get the one transition row done and then start knitting the way you want. As for the cables you will just need to cross them whatever way it takes to make them look like your grandmothers.

You might want to think about bringing the afghan to a yarn store where one of the knitters there might be able to shed some light on the situation. I heard a podcast where someone did that, although it was a different situation.
Best of luck!

I think you could continue knitting in your style from where she left off. You may have to do a WS row whereas as right handed knitter would do a RS row, but that’s all I think.

The twisted sts would seem to indicate that she may have wrapped some sts backwards or knit into the back loop. As Merigold suggested, maybe she knit in another style where this is normal. So your sts may not match - but it may not make a difference.

I can knit in either direction. I’m assuming you knit with the working needle, the one creating the stitches, in your left hand.

You should only have problems with the stitch orientation on the first row. After that, the stitches will be aligned for your style. The stitches will look tilted the reverse of what you expect. To realign, knit into the leg of the stitch closest to the needle tip. So you may need to knit into the back of the stitch. I think that should fix it.

When I knit left handed, I’m combining it with “regular” right handed knitting. But I assume you work with your left, then flip & repeat.

Because the pattern was already started, you may need to adjust the rows. Even rows are the right/outside/public side of your pattern. Not odd rows. When you read charts you start on the chart on the left, not on the right.

Also, thinking it thru in my head, decreases will be worked differently. Cables will be reversed, on whether you hold them front or back. And you may need to add another row of stockinette to keep them aligned on the same side.

I’d practice the pattern on a swatch just to get the hang of it. Then, start work on the afghan. I think it is totally doable. You just need to modify the directions a little.