Teaching a left-handed person to knit

I am teaching Crafting to our home school group this school year, which will include knitting and seed bead work as well as crochet (taught by another teacher). I am right-handed and knit English (i.e. throw). We have one young lady who is left-handed and if anyone has suggestions about how to teach her without frustrating both of us, I would appreciate your help!

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I’m right handed. My mother was left handed and my grandmother suggested she buy me a book and I teach myself. Which I did.

Now today I would suggest you find a left handed tutorial on You Tube. They have pretty much everything.

Off the top of my head, I bet Continental is easier for a left hander to learn.

Left handers, please chime in!

I’m left-handed (though not super-strongly) and my English-knitting mother taught me to knit Continental. Works fine for me!

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I think I will have to practice Continental–I have heard before that Continental is easier for left-handed people. I have knitted English for about 58 years- it just feels right to me but hopefully I am not to old to learn.

Thanks for your input!

Thanks–I guess I hadn’t thought about You Tube.

Thanks for your help–I appreciate it!

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As a left-handed person who knits left-handed (whether I am using English or continental) I would suggest finding youtube videos. Knitting continental as a left-handed person does not look like continental as a right-handed person.

I taught myself by watching regular knitting videos and then just turning things around in my head.

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I’ve read that a right handed person teaching crochet to a left handed person should sit directly in front of the person, so they can match your moves. I’ve never tried it so can’t say exactly how helpful it really is, but that may be an option for knitting too.

My mom tried to teach me crochet that way. It was not helpful at all as I couldn’t see the front of her work. If you could position a mirror in your lap so that they could see the front of things it might would be helpful…maybe…

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I did find a YouTube about knitting left-handed for beginners and it was very helpful. Now to practice myself, at least I little so I can see if she is doing something wrong more easily.

I really appreciate your help!

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Great! Let us know how the teaching works out after you get to it.

You’re welcome and good luck! :slight_smile:

Nice to meet another home schooler. I taught a crochet class in the co op that I attended and encountered the same thing (but with crochet). Though I am left handed, I crochet with my right hand. In teaching a left handed crocheter, I found a lot of YouTube videos for her to look at and found that a mirror also helped. Best wishes!

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I’m a lefty knitter and have some tutorials on YouTube. What helped me the most is realizing I have to wrap my yarn clockwise around my working needle. I twisted my stitches for nine years until someone pointed out that, perhaps, I am knitting left-handed. I am a lefty, but my grandma taught me how to crochet right-handed so I didn’t even think about knitting left-handed.

https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCoFztlOSrUbRdI98q2hZ45w/videos

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Hi Cindy - I am left handed and knit right handed. Have your student sit in front of you so she “mirrors” you. I knit English (throw) and my knitting instructor has said she is glad I knit right handed S to knit left handed is much more involved and double the work

Do not teach her to knit by mirroring, this will cause her to knit transposed. Patterns are written for right handed knitting and some instructions will not transpose. Teach her Continental, but always knitting from left needle to right needle. Until someone truly understands the fabric they are creating they will not have the experience to alter the way a st lies, reverse a crossed cable, etc. And when creating fronts they would be reversed, which isn’t always an issue until you add things like buttonholes or leaning decreases.

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I am the only left-handed person in my family but my mom taught me to knit right-handed as a child. Since you are required to use 2 needles with both hands, it should really work ok. I have a friend who (tries) to knit left handed and is constantly messing this up. However, I crochet (and do everything else) left handed.

It really isn’t that big of a deal.
Not only have I been knitting for more than a decade with next to no issue I have been a test knitter for quite a few designers. It is less difficult for someone who is strongly dominant to learn when they need to switch up a pattern than it is to learn to do something with their non-dominant hand.

Hi Diane,
Welcome :slight_smile:
Is your instructor a lefty? I can honestly tell you that it isn’t double the work or more involved.

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Thanks!!
I have subscribed to your channel and will definitely be viewing the videos as this year goes on. I really want her to be successful and I think this will help me a lot.

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I am not proficient in Continental knitting but am going to try practicing both right and left handed (and hope I don’t end up hopelessly confused.) It is my goal to teach the girls English first and then Continental and let them chose which works for them. I have an older student who has been knitting Continental for about 3-4 years; we don’t have any problems with our differences. However, I’m not teaching her the basic moves, just helping her with reading patterns.

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