Left handed knitters

Are there any left handed knitters out there? If so can you help me?

I have a very good friend that so dearly wants to learn how to knit but she is left handed.
I would love to be able show how how to knit, but how do you go about teaching to a left handed person, is this possible?

I have been trying to knit with my left hand to get a grasp on how it would be for her but it is so so difficult for me but I think I am getting it although my knitting looks a mess then :roflhard: , is there a method out there, has anyone done this before??

many thanks

I think it depends on the person. I knit continental and like every other right handed knitter who knits continental (besides that we all have little tweaks that we do to make knitting work for us of course)

I am rather ambidextrous though as many left handed people are (from having to live in a right handed world.) So if she is, as well, teaching her should be rather easy. The person who taught me, sort of sat in front of me with her back to me and i looked over her shoulder and mimicked her movements.

Do a search, there was some extensive discussion recently of this topic, but I think the general agreement was to teach her a standard right-handed way, maybe let her try both English and Conti to see which she prefers. It is a new skill either way, and being right-handed is not an advantage in either method. Also she will have to learn to reverse stitches and diagrams in her head, because they will not apply to her.

However if you really must teach her in mirror image (please don’t) the easiest way may be for her to watch you in a mirror.

who is an expert knitter how to go about teaching my lefty daughter.

She says to teach her right-handed. She knits right-handed and says that it’s such a two-handed skill, that you may as well do it right-handed.

That seems to be the overall view also after having done a lot of research in the land of www.
My DF has been shown many times by her mum and primary school teacher when she was younger how to knit like a ‘righty’ but the problem is that she is a full ‘lefty’ and never got it.

I will be going to see her this Christmas, it’s her dream to learn how to knit and it would be so nice if I could show a different way of trying. I never thought about the mirror idea, that may be useful, also I have found a few diagrams which may help her, I just need to translate them for her into French :wink:

I just posted this exact thread like two weeks ago. Just teach her right handed but give her the option of holding the yarn wherever she feels comfortable. My friend learned no problem! SHe’s doing great. Just show her what you know and she’ll adjust for herself . Knitting is so acward when you first start anyway! Have fun.

I¨m left handed ( and have learned to do many things right handed - as most have to do ) but could not get the hang of knitting “righty”. A friend showed my slowly how to knit, and I would try to do what she was doing but in reverse - and she would try to do it the way I should to show me. Took me a bit, but I feel so much more comfortable and in control learning it this way.

Probably depends on the person! Good luck! Karen

I wonder if this would be of any use. This has a tutorial of how to knit and purl backwards. It is intended to be used by “normal” knitters who want to knit or purl backwards for certain uses, but it seems like to me this would be what it would be like to knit or purl left handed. You hold the needle holding the stitches in the right hand and the working needle in the left hand. Seems left handed to me. Check it out. I managed to learn to do this from this site.


Check this out. We even used the same title.

I’m left handed but I knit “right handed” both English and Continental (but I prefer English). It’s a bit awkward at first, but, no one I know has picked up knitting without a bit of fumbling at the start.

Knitting “right handed” is infinitely less of a hassle. No need to reverse patterns or carry around mirrors. The resources for right handed knitting are plentiful. Especially knittinghelp.com :happydance: I definitely suggest teaching the non-backwards way.

This is why it took me so long to learn to knit. In the late 90s I checked out some library books, intending to teach myself to knit. All the books talked about was English knitting and all they offered for left-handed people was the horrid mirror image technique. :ick: After a few failed attempts, I gave it up as impossible. I figured it was not possible for someone as strongly left-handed as I am.

I’d already had the experience of not being able to get crochet. My right-handed mother and grandmother both tried to teach me that, with poor results. So when I couldn’t get knitting either, I thought it was because of my left-handedness, but it was really because of the stupid instructions in the books I read.

Then I watched the Continental knitting videos here and was able to learn to cast on and do the knit stitch in one evening, by myself. Holding the yarn in my left hand made all the difference. Naturally, I’m going to say go with that!! :mrgreen:

I am very strongly left-handed but knit both ways, my lefty mother knit only English and the usual way all her life. If your friend has been having trouble with 'English ‘right-handed’ I suggest you show her Conti, telling her it is left-handed knitting, the videos here will be quite helpful.

Since knitting is done using both hand simultaneously, whether she is left or right handed doesn’t really matter. It will depend on which hand she feels most confortable holding the yarn. I would start by trying to teach her how to hold the yard and needles. Have her try holding the yarn in either hand. If she feels better holding it in the left, teach her Continental. Teach English/throw-pick if she holds it in her right hand. :thumbsup:

Some people in the past have thought that left handed people would need to either get special left handed patterns or go through the process of trying to read a “right handed” pattern backwards. This is totally unnecessary. Don’t make it more complicated. :??

Show her the videos here for both continental and english knitting. With some practice, she will find which one feels more natural to her. :wink:

BTW, I knit continental and I am left handed. I like the yarn in my left hand because I can control my tension better that way. :eyebrow:

Good luck and enjoy the time you get to spend together. cloud9

I’m ‘very’ left handed, throwing the yarn with my right hand is difficult, so I knit Continental; never have to change any patterns, and to me, it makes more sense. Plus, purling is a whole lot easier this way, IMO.

Hello Psquidy

I tried looking at the thread you sent but it comes back to this one. Before I asked the question I did a search to find out if it had already been raised and I got nothing which is why I asked.

Maybe I am having some problem with my web browser??

Thank you all for all your useful suggestions and comments, I have found some of those links to be extremely useful and will be taking all of this away with me. This would be such a nice little additional Christmas pressie for her if I manage to show her as she has been wanting to know for so long cloud9

My grandmother showed me how to knit she uses the english method. I am right handed but I first learned how to crochet so I’m already use to holding the yarn in my left hand. I could not do the english method so she told me to try holding the yarn in my left hand and it worked. She didn’t know how to purl left handed but I figured it out while watching the videos here.
So like someone else said I don’t think it matters if she’s left or right handed you have to use both hands, it’s just which ever way works best.