Left handed knitting for beginners

Written by amanda long
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Left handed knitting for beginners
Left-handed knitting for beginners. (knitting image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from Fotolia.com)

Learning to knit left handed can be easy if you have the right resources to learn from. Especially since only two stitches make up the foundation of knitting: the knit and the purl. Knitting takes consistent practice, but once learnt will become second nature to you. "Knitting is awkward at first, no matter which method you use, no matter whether you're a righty or leftie," advises online reference Knitting Help.

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Methods

In knitting, two types of methods exist: the continental method and the English method. The English method is done while holding the yarn in the right hand and is the method used by most knitters, according to Knitting Help. The continental, also sometimes called the German method, is done while holding the yarn in the left hand. Each method can be done whether a person is left handed or right handed, however left-handed people most generally use the continental method because they are able to control the yarn with the left hand.

Left handed knitting for beginners
Use mirror knitting for left handed knitting help (series: isolated on white: woman"s hand - knitting image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from Fotolia.com)

Getting Starting

To get started knitting with your left hand, you must first learn how to cast on. Casting on with the left hand is done by forming a slip knot on one of the knitting needles. Then, with your left thumb, draw the yarn attach to the skein up and over the needle making a loop.

Stitch Types

Start with the knit stitch rather than with purling. Left-handed people will hold the work in the right hand and the yarn in the left hand. The distinct part of the knit stitch is that your yarn comes from behind your work. The exact opposite happens in the purl stitch where your yarn is pulled in front of your work before you make the first stitch. Purl stitches leave the work with more of a bumpy texture on the front whereas the knit stitch leaves your work with a smooth texture.

Left handed knitting for beginners
Learn to knit and purl. (knitting image by hazel proudlove from Fotolia.com)

Tips

Practice, practice, practice. According to Knitting Help, the "best" method is simply the one you most enjoy working. Some left-handed people even prefer to knit right handed. Try both ways and practice to see which way feels correct to you.

If you still remain unsure watch a video tutorial. Learning knitting through text instruction can sometimes be frustrating. Many videos have been created by left-handed knitters for teaching left handed knitters.

Use stitch markers to help count your work while you learn. They can be purchased at your local craft store.

Advanced

Once you have learnt the basic stitches, try doing increases and decreases with your left hand. Find a pattern you would like to follow and try creating a project.

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