Guide for Left Handed Knitters

November 10, 2021 2 min read 0 Comments

Guide for Left Handed Knitters

If you are a left-handed knitter, you have likely been told to "knit right-handed." Many left-handed knitters give up as they are trying to knit with a mirror image where they have to work the stitches in a way that isn't intuitive. Our message to left-handed knitters is: Don't give up! Everyone can knit!

What Is Left-Handed Knitting?

Many left-handers feel most comfortable knitting with the continental method. With continental knitting, the yarn is held and manipulated by the left hand, which may seem more natural for left-handers. Left-handed knitting can also be learned and there are several resources available including:

Knitting requires the use of both hands, but the mainstream knitting community is geared towards using the right hand as the dominant hand in knitting techniques. Learning to knit using your left hand as your dominant hand presents a few challenges. For one, patterns are written for right-handed knitters and will have to be flipped to accommodate left-handed knitting. Any shaping that is written into the pattern will have to be reversed and charts must be right to left. Left-handed knitting requires everything to be flipped. You will start with stitches on the right needle and move them over to the left needle.

Tips for Learning Left-Handed Knitting

If you are left-handed and determined to learn how to knit rich colored yarns into gorgeous heirlooms, here are a few guidelines.

Connect With a Left-Handed Knitting Mentor

No one understands left-handed knitting like someone who is left-handed and knits. Ask a left-handed knitter to provide some individual assistance with holding the needles and guiding the yarn. Check with your local yarn store or knitting circles and ask to be connected to a left-handed knitter. 

Learn to Knit Right-Handed

If you are right-handed, try to brush your teeth with your left hand or write a letter with your left hand. It is tricky to use your non-dominant hand, especially for tasks involving fine motor skills. Learning knitting as a left-hander can take a bit longer because it involves completing delicate tasks with the non-dominant hand. Start with German or Continental style knitting, which involves wrapping the yarn with your left hand. 

Learn to Knit in Front of a Mirror

Since left-handed knitting requires the knitter to flip everything, using a mirror can be helpful to left-handed knitters. Videos and photos can be set up in front of a mirror to make it easier to follow along in the reflection. 

Being a left-handed knitter doesn't have to slow you down. Once you get the basics of how to hold the needles and move the stitches, you will develop a flow. 

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