For those in their right mind

Sure, left-handed knitting can get tricky . . . but it's not exactly rocket science.

I’m grateful that we live in an age in which lefties are not relegated to the “sinister” class outright (as the Latin root of the word suggests), but are accepted and appreciated for their unique and creative contributions to human culture. Mark Twain, Leonardo da Vinci, and even celebrity knitter Julia Roberts are among those who have thrived in a “right-handers world,” and left (no pun intended) their own mark.

What I find particularly interesting about lefties is how great the spectrum of left-handedness—what I consider the proclivity toward using one’s left versus right hand—seems to be. For example, as a left-handed person myself, I write and eat and brush my teeth with my left hand; but for nearly everything else, my right hand and side dominate. For others, as I have observed, it only feels right (re: correct) to use the left hand, no matter what the task.

This is part of why knitting can prove so challenging for learners and teachers alike. I should mention, however, that knitting is very awkward for EVERYONE at first—left- or right-handed. It’s not exactly natural to manipulate a strand of yarn while managing two pointy-ended sticks simultaneously toward the unimaginable goal of a sweater, is it? But it can be done—by ANYONE—with clear direction, time, and patience.

In the way of clear direction, I offer below links to some brief but excellent instructional videos on how to knit using your left hand to perform most of the important steps in knitting. For those of you who have tried but struggled to master the steps, presumably because your left hand is more dominant than your right, I hope the alternative motions depicted in these videos will resonate with you and encourage you not to give up.

Knitting Left-Handed: The Basics
Knitting Left-Handed: The Purl Stitch
Knit and Purl Left-Handed Using the Continental Method

These resources are by no means exhaustive, so I am anxious to learn from you—what tips and tricks have you learned to master knitting, either as a lefty or as one who has taught lefties?


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