One-handed knitting

My MIL had a massive stroke in September. Prior to that she was an avid knitter, able to turn out 3 or 4 baby hats in unique stitch patterns per day. Her left hand has not recovered, yet, but I was wondering if anyone knew of a book, video or web site where I can find helps and hints for one-handed knitting. Some thing that she could use her right hand to do all the yarn manipulation, and the left to hold the needle. She is right-handed.

Thank you in advance.


Welcome to the forum, Ace!

I found this tutorial on lever-action knitting a while back and bookmarked it because it looked interesting… haven’t gotten around to trying it yet, but the right hand appears to do most of the work.

Thank you, Jane. I saved the site. I hope to be able pass this and others on as soon as she’s out of the care facility to encourage her to return to her knitting love.


Hi Ace,

Here are a few I’ve found, not videos, but helpful devices:

Yes, you can knit with one hand! A device shaped like a large clothes peg can be made and clamped to the edge of a table or wheelchair tray to hold one needle. A strip of rubber glued to the inner face of the slot improves grip, and a screw tightens the prongs together. Fasten one knitting needle in the holder and work with the other. When you come to the end of one row, remove the empty needle and insert the full one.
(The illustration below goes with this.)

This, from a “men who knit” forum:
There is a tradition in certain areas (particularly the Yorkshire Dales), of using a “knitting sheath” - a wooden or metal piece which tucks into the belt or under the arm to hold one needle still while the other one works. Looking at examples on Ebay and other sites (just google “knitting sheath”) it looks like it would be easy to mock one up. I’ve heard that there are some specific techniques that are used to work this way, but I haven’t seen a manual that explains it. It’s supposed to be great for speed. It seems to me that it would be more similar to a Continental style, but maybe that’s just because I have trouble visualizing in English style.

The folks we saw knitting in Peru, carried their yarn around their necks for tension rather than wrapping it through the fingers. That might be another helpful adaptation - the left hand carries the tension in Continental. If you’re used to working English, then of course it’ll go in the right hand, but it seems like with the right hand carrying yarn, throwing, and manipulating stitches, it might be too much going on at once.

And this:

Hope she recovers quickly! :pray:


Hopefully the “care facility” you mentioned has her involved in physical and occupational therapies. I would talk to the OT and see if they can help her - depending on the severity of her stroke they can either make a hand splint or other system to allow her to hold the left needle so she can work the yarn with her right or maybe all she needs is something to bulk up the end of the needle so she can hold onto it easier OT’s are the guru’s of assistive devices !

Stroke rehab continues for 18-24months so encourage her to use that hand/arm as much as possible. Sounds like she has a great DIL looking out for her !! Hope she is doing well.

Thank you both.

Dplantlady, I’ve saved the links. That is just what I was looking for, now all I need to do is find instructions in video form on how to use them.

Vaknitter, Yes, she is doing OT rehab, but she’s also very impatient! They’ve tried to teach her how to crochet, but she still has absolutely no movement in her left hand and so has not been able to master that, altho she is still trying. She walk for the first time this last week, so she is recovering, but I was hoping to go see her at Christmas and be able to say there were know ways to knit with only one hand as a encouragement.

Thanks again.


Here’s a thread from another forum that might be helpful:

I know it’s not the same thing but using a knitting loom (I know at Micheals they have a set of 5 (I think) for roughly 15 dollars). That only uses one hand. You are a great DIL. I hope she will be able to knit again. I can’t imagine not knitting.


I was going to suggest knitting looms, too. I have used them myself and they are very easy to use.

Also, ProvoCraft, the makers of the Knifty Knitter, have how-to videos on their website:

I myself had a stroke and knit one handed. I wear a gutter splint on my left hand so I can use the tone in my left hand to hold the needle. The splint and the arm of a living room chair hold my needle at the correct angle. I just bought my gutter splingt at See The Trainer, a small trainers and sport shop for splints and injury, it was between 30 and 50 dollars. If you have any ideas that I might be able to use to help make it any easier to knit one handed please let me know. I have been using this technique for about 4 years now. Thanks

she will be soon recovered so no need to worry.