Need help please learning the basic knit stitch. I'm left handed

Hi, I’m just learning how to knit and the kit I bought hoping to help me learn has extremely difficult diagrams. I ended up having to go online and looking videos on how to cast on, which I’m pretty sure I have down pat but it’s the next step of learning the basic knit stitch I’m having extreme difficulty with. I’ve looked up videos and they moved way to fast for me to really see what they were doing. I’m left handed which is making it more difficult because I have to do everything opposite from what I’m told. I’ve even tried doing it right handed and I just can’t figure it out. If anyone has any advice, pointers or anything they can refer to me would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much for listening!

I went looking for information about left hand knitting, but didn’t find anything that was very clear to me. It is 1:00 a.m. and I can’t keep looking. :eyes: I know you said you have tried right handed, but did you try the Continental method? Some folks say it is easier for lefties. One of my daughters is a leftie and she knits this way. I found a discussion about teaching a left handed person to knit at this link. I thought the bottom comment about adapting Continental for a left handed person to be interesting, and might help. This article in Knittywas also about left handed knitters. There was a link there that was supposed to have more but it didn’t work.

I’m not much help, and I’m sorry about that. I wish someone could show you in person, that would probably be best.

I fyou know a person that is a right hand knitter, ask her to sit in front of you with you facing her. As she casts on you will see the reverse side which is the way left hand people will do it, knits, purls and so on.

Whether you’re left or right handed doesn’t matter. Knitting is knitting and uses both hands pretty much equally (very much equally for Continental).

Forcing yourself to knit backwards because you’re left handed is not necessary and will only cause other problems trying to create your new style and ultimately patterns to your new style. (As you are finding out with “having to do the opposite of what you are told”.)

Feeling awkward isn’t because you’re left handed, it’s because you haven’t knit before.
If English is what you’re trying and it doesn’t work right try Continental.
I’m right handed and at first it felt better for me to knit backwards. It wasn’t because I’m secretly left handed.

You may want to focus on the mechanics of the left hand more, use it to steer the loop onto the right needle instead of the point into the loop but the knitting is the same.

But save that backwards knitting idea because when you do entrelac it comes in handy not having to turn every few stitches.

I agree, try knitting with the yarn in your left hand and using the left needle more in making the sts; that may be easier for you and there’s plenty of videos that show Continental knitting. We were ALL awkward at first, it’s because we’re doing something we’ve never done before.

I have to disagree!-- When you knit Thrown, you are bringing the yarn around the right needle tip with you right hand, and if Continental, then you are manipulating the right hand needle around the yarn. Either way, it’s a right-hand oriented action.

Have you seen this article? http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEwinter03/FEATmirror.html Or this one? http://www.helium.com/items/1447322-left-handed-knitting-knit-stitch-purl-stitch-teaching-a-leftie-to-knit Or this video? http://www.mindbites.com/lesson/172-left-handed-knitting-part-1-cast-on-and-knit Or these? http://www.theknittingsite.com/how-to-knit-left-handed.htm

Of all the knitters I know who are left handed only one of them actually knits left handed or in reverse. I’m right handed, but I felt like I was working with two left hands when I started knitting so it’s awkward for everyone. I think actually knitting left handed makes some patterns hard to figure out or have to be reworked because I’ve seen some resources for left handed patterns so that would be a pain. If you truly want to knit left handed though there are a few sites that might help.
http://knittingleft.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=2
http://learn-to-knit.com/left1.htm
http://www.mindbites.com/lesson/172-left-handed-knitting-part-1-cast-on-and-knit

You focus only on what the right hand does. The left hand grabs the right needle while still holding the left needle when the right hand wraps the thread, then when the right hand picks the right needle back up the left hand has to hold the next stitch on the needle. My left hand is not that dexterous which is why I don’t knit English. I just tried it, grabbing and letting go of the right needle with my left while still holding onto the left needle is too quick for my left to handle. I drop stitches and my right needle falls out dropping multiple stitches.
Since my left hand can’t handle English knitting does that mean English knitting is already left handed knitting, or does it mean it’s awkward for me because it’s not how I knit?

I don’t manipulate the right hand needle around the yarn when knitting Continental. I flick the yarn around with my left. I don’t recall ever seeing anyone who manipulates the needle like it was a crochet hook (I wrap with my left when crocheting too).
My right inserts the needle, the left wraps it, the right pulls it through, they both pull apart.
I just pinched my right needle against my leg and knitted all with motion from my left hand, move the loops onto the right needle steering with my left, flicked the yarn around with my left and pulled the loops off with my left. All my right hand did was hold the needle down and hold the stitches on the needle.

Two out of three of those articles you posted says the same, that knitting is neither left or right handed (I didn’t watch the video). Sure if you truly can’t get it forwards it may be worth it to knit backwards, just like it’s worth it to try any number of the multitudes of styles until you find one that works.
But if it’s just because it’s awkward it’s going to be even more awkward to rethink instructions forever.

When knitting backward for entrelac your backward knits are actually the purls in the pattern. So do you reverse all the Ks to Ps in patterns and think of all backwards slopes as forward slopes or do you flip WS for RS and reverse all shaping to the other side? Either way it’s a little much for a newbie to take on unless they have no other option.

When you’re a backwards knitter and you’re knitting entrelac you’re going to knit forwards to avoid turning the piece just like a forwards knitter knits backwards to avoid turning the piece, so what’s the difference as far as handedness goes? It’s forwards and backwards, not left and right.

I don’t recall ever seeing anyone who manipulates the needle like it was a crochet hook

A few right handed crocheters do when they switch to knitting. That’s how their sts get wrapped backwards and can cause twisted sts.

But I do think Continentail knitters use their left hand more in manipulating the yarn around the needle while english knitters use their right hand more for the same operation.

cheekymunky is having trouble with learning to knit because he or she is left-handed, and so asked for help. That’s what we need to address, not our own opinions about whether that makes sense or not.

Thank you very much. I’m just so puzzled and I knew it wouldn’t be easy to learn but I didn’t think it was going to be this difficult just to learn the knit stitch. I’ve switched to right handed just because there isn’t much for us lefties :stuck_out_tongue: and I’m still having a lot of trouble.

It just takes practice no matter which way you knit. It feels awkward and like you’re trying to knit with your feet or something. :wink: You’re not alone. I gave you another link in your other thread to try. If that fails you might consider going to your LYS or find a knitter friend to show you how to do the basic stitch. Keep at it, you’ll figure it out. :thumbsup:

Sandy, the point is that it’s not a right handed left handed thing. Knitting is ambidextrous.
Knitting backwards because of being left handed is making it harder than it needs to be because you can knit forwards using only a left hand.

The only right/left handedness in knitting is which pair of scissors you buy.

Cheekymunky,
The reason I started out knitting backwards is because I wasn’t doing it right when trying to knit forwards. Having someone watch you would probably help.

Here is a video. This is with my right needle clamped in a vise and all movement is done with my left hand which is usually about as useful as a stump. Just focus on using your left hand to do the motions. As you progress your right hand will start doing more of its job and both hands will be knitting together with your dominate hand doing the finer motions. And you won’t have to rethink patterns.

I write with my left hand but use scissors and do sports with my right, so I consider myself somewhat ambidextrous. However, I found continental much easier than English knitting. I first learned English knitting and then switched to continental (using the videos on this site and youtube!). I am waaaaay faster and more comfortable using continental, I think because I control the yarn and tension with my left hand. The actual movement to do the stitches usually uses both hands, although I can also do it keeping either my left or right hand in a fixed position as well, if I want to.

My opinion based on my personal experience is that learning continental in the ‘standard’ way would be the easiest in the long run for a leftie. However, it might be way better to learn any method from someone in person. I struggled a lot with the basic knitting stitch until my mother in law showed me how (this was when I was doing English). It’s just nice to see what the stitches are supposed to look like and how they’re supposed to come together. At the most basic level you’re just using any method you can to pull a little loop of yarn through another loop. It’s nice to see what that’s supposed to look like, and it’s hard sometimes to see in videos. :slight_smile:

And I agree with everyone else who says that it all feels awkward at first, and you will be very slow. It’s not a sign that your’e doing anything wrong, just that you’re learning a new skill!

cheekymunky and all other left-handed knitters: I suggest you join ravelry and check out the “On the Other Hand” group. There are loads of other lefty knitters who encounter the same problems you do and apparently constantly run into the philosophy and advice that knitting is an ambidextrous activity, or at least both hands are equally involved, and have reactions ranging from laughing about it to being ready to rip someone’s head off over it (some are currently at war with Lionbrand and the Techknitter, to name a few). I am right-handed so I can’t understand it first hand, but sympathize-- it seems you are not alone in this problem and there are others with lots of solutions and ideas! (Ravelry is free but requires a sign up and invitation: www.ravelry.com )

YIKES! Don’t switch. I’m a leftie. I’ll get you through this, I promise. Here’s a photo of how I hold the yarn. Remember to stay loose.

Next, put a mirror next to your computer, so you can view the videos in the mirror. You’ll swear they were lefthanded.
Here’s a large, slow video from Youtube that should help:


Let me know if you need more help. We lefties must stick together!