Directions for Left-Handed Knitters

Written by karen worthy
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Directions for Left-Handed Knitters
Knit left-handed by modifying right-handed instructions to fit your knitting style. (Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Learn to knit left-handed by following a couple simple modifications to right-handed knitting. Approximately 11 per cent of the world is left-handed, according to California State University. However, almost 100 per cent of knitting patterns and instruction books are written for right-handed knitters. If you are naturally left-handed and want to learn how to knit, don't despair. There are several options for knitting left-handed.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Knitting needles
  • Yarn
  • Knitting pattern or instructions

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    Knit Left-Handed

  1. 1

    Consider knitting right-handed. Many people have different dominant hands for different tasks. For example, someone might eat right-handed but deal playing cards left-handed. If you are open to the idea, try learning to knit right-handed. Since you are learning a completely new skill, it might be just as easy to train your right hand as it would be to train your left. Also, knitting uses both hands, so even if you are knitting "right-handed," you will still be using your left hand as well.

  2. 2

    Try knitting continental style. In continental style knitting, the yarn is held in the left hand, which makes it easier for naturally left-handed people to accomplish. However, even though the yarn is in the left hand, it is still considered right-handed knitting, and you can follow all of the normal right-handed knitting patterns and instructions. Many right-handed as well as left-handed people choose to knit in continental style.

  3. 3

    Hold the knitting instructions up to a mirror. At the beginning of most knitting books, there are photos or sketches of how to cast on, knit, purl and cast off. These instructions are usually written for right-handed knitters. To convert them to instructions for left-handed knitters, simply hold the book up to a mirror.

  4. 4

    Purchase a book specifically teaching people how to knit left-handed. While there are not many book titles available to choose from, any large bookstore will have some available. If you are having trouble finding books specifically for left-handed knitters, consider buying a general learn-to-knit book that has a section for left-handed knitters.

  5. 5

    Convert right-handed patterns into left-handed patterns. Because you are knitting across the row in the opposite direction from right-handed knitters, the patterns and knitting charts need to be reversed as well. If you do not reverse the pattern, you will end up with increases and decreases in the wrong locations.

Tips and warnings

  • Find a class or online video that is taught by a left-handed knitter. It is often easier to learn knitting from a live person or video than from drawings or photos in a book.
  • If you do make mistakes while learning, don't forget that you can easily undo the stitches and start again.

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