What Is Lever Knitting And Why Is It So Popular?

January 18, 2023 2 min read 0 Comments

What is lever knitting

If you have ever wondered how a fellow knitter completes projects so quickly, this article is for you. If you experience pain in your hands and wrists from knitting, you will want to pay attention. The fastest knitters in the world and professional knitters use a technique called lever knitting.

What Is Lever Knitting?

This knitting technique will allow you to speed through your projects without pain in your joints, all thanks to the power of physics. Lever knitting requires the yarn to be held in the right hand while one needle is still. The stationary needle acts as a lever while the second needle moves. 

With lever knitting, the yarn is pulled around the fingers of the right hand, and the hand systematically moves back and forth, forming the stitches. Typically, long straight needles are used so that the right needle can be supported under your arm while you work. The left needle is the only one that moves.

Many knitters describe this method as challenging to learn initially but very much worth the effort. The lever knitting technique requires knitters to establish their own rhythm that works for them and practice.

If you follow Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, aka, The Yarn Harlot, you will notice that this is how she knits. She explains it as her fingers moving in a very similar way to a sewing machine. Watching her knit is pure magic. 

Why Is Lever Knitting So Popular?

At a workshop held by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, she suggested that knitters who would like to learn lever knitting should practice for at least an hour each day for a month to develop the micro muscle memory necessary to master this technique. So why do so many knitters commit to learn this technique when it is a challenge to learn?

Ease Knitting Injuries

Many knitters who practice their craft regularly develop repetitive stress injuries including:

  • carpal tunnel syndrome
  • tendonitis
  • arthritis
  • knitter's back

Lever knitting is a technique designed to alleviate stress on the body that extended periods of knitting can cause. The lever action transfers much of the tension from the knitter's hands to the needle. Lever knitting is considered to be the most ergonomic way to knit and allows professional knitters to knit for 8-10 hours straight without pain from repetitive injuries.

Bust Through The Yarn Stash

The word on the street is that when you start level knitting, you can expect to knit 60 to 80 stitches per minute. The average knitter who does not use lever knitting typically knits around 20-30 stitches per minute. Lever knitting is significantly faster that flicking, once you get the hang of it. 

If one of your goals is to work through your yarn stash, learning lever knitting will help you to get there.

It does not seem that there are any online classes for lever knitting, so the options are to watch a few YouTube videos or to find a local class that teaches this knitting technique.

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