How can I help this woman?

I’ve been teaching a weekly knitting class in my church for about a year (all adults). Last night I saw something I have NEVER seen before!!! This woman was knitting left-handed – the stitches started out on the RIGHT-hand needle and she was knitting them onto her LEFT-hand needle!!! She was moving along very nicely.

My question is:

Should I try to “fix” this and teach her the continental method or just let her keep going the way she is??? She didn’t seem to need any help, but how will she ever be able to follow “regular” written patterns??

Not sure how to proceed…:wall:

there are several threads here for left handed knitting.
The issue seems to be following regular patterns.

But if she gets along with how she does it: Let her do it just that way. Only because it is unusual does not mean that it is bad.
You may talk to her and let her know about the patterns (maybe with some more information gathered here). If SHE then wants to learn knitting the other way around, help her on that way. But do not push a change!

A woman at my knitting group knits like that. She has to translate everything. I think that’s one reason most people recommend that left handers learn right handed. I know a lot of lefties who learned to do it so it’s not impossible. For your woman though I guess you’ll have to see how you do something then try to show her the other way… eek.

For heaven’s sake, she’s not doing anything wrong, it doesn’t need fixing. A lot of left handed people knit that way, and some right handed people learn to do it for entrelac and other knitting. As long as what she does produces knitting, and [I]she’s[/I] happy with it, it’s still knitting.

Thanks to one and all!!!

I just didn’t know if she’d run into difficulties later on or not. Are there any videos here (or anywhere) that utilize the left-handed way??



One of my professional areas is pedagogics and I can say that the worst thing you can do for the left handed person is to teach him/her to be right-handed. The best way is to let her go her own way.

Well, she will run into issues with patterns. There will be changes she will have to make.

So, I do see the point in making it a topic, just to find out if she does actually know about the change (she may have just learned that way without knowing).

Knitting is a very ambidextrous craft (other than crochet or stitching for example). It is not much of a problem for a lefthander to learn standat knitting and not for a righthander to learn “the other way around”. Pay attention to both your own hands when knitting!

But like a lot of things we can do them best the way we learn them.

I would start to chat with her. When and how did she learn knitting? IS she actually lefthanded?

Then you know what she does and why. Tell her, that if she uses this method there are changes to make. You can offer her to help finding instructions (and we will help you with that :slight_smile: )

If SHE gets to the conclusion that she wants to try it out the other way, have patience with her. But do NOT even propose to her to re-learn.

I type with all fingers of both hands (my way). And I am fast. If I would ever learn true 10-finger-system, I would probably suck for very long and as a result not be any better. I do know what I am talking about. Standart is great but if something else is your way: Stick with it.

We actually had a discussion with a left handed user lately. It is here:

There’s a group on Ravelry called On the Other Hand for lefthanded knitters, and I think there’s a website for them, though I can’t remember its name. Do a forum search here for some old posts where left handed knitting was discussed besides the one linked above.

She shouldn’t have trouble with patterns except possibly decreases - an ssk would be done k2tog for her and vice versa. I think - it’s too early for my brain to visualize left handed knitting. It may not matter much anyway.

Well and what about the left-handed lady? how does she feel about her knitting? Does she ask many questions about techniques?

Hi! :waving:

When the knitting gets tough, the tough knit two-handed!!! (Or something like that!) :slight_smile:

I just recently learned the entrelac technique for a sweater vest for my cousin for Christmas. Although I’ve never done entrelac before, I could tell from the test swatch I worked that all that turning would drive me whacky before I’d finished the first couple of rows.

But I wanted to learn so I first taught myself to knit and purl backwards!!! Donna Kooler’s Encyclopedia of Knitting has the instructions for this written out but I checked on You Tube and found some pretty cool video’s. The thing to remember when tackling this is that there’s a “backward” stitch that will give you a smooth front and a “backward” stitch that will give you the purl bumps in front. You’ll need both to do the entrelac technique without spinning like a top!
:clink: And your friend already has the “backward” part down cold! Just get her practicing the other direction and she’ll be a natural for entrelac!

And it does take practice, for sure, but learning to knit and purl backwards is one of the most valuable things I’ve learned. In my opinion it’s absolutely necessary to smoothly and peacefully do entrelac. The practice was well worth it and saved me more than 2,000 turns that would have been needed for that sweater front.

I tend to consider anyone’s style a jumping off point to learning even more about this wonderful art form we all love so much! Not something to be eliminated or changed in any way, only added to!

Happy knitting,

Ruthie :knitting:

I agree completely…she’s happy,and has no problems,she doesn’t need fixing…