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How to Knit Left-Handed

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Learning how to knit when you’re left-handed takes a little adjustment. The biggest issue that left-handed knitters face is that most knitting patterns are written for right-handed knitters.

If you can master either English knitting (the common method that has you hold the yarn in your right hand,) or Continental knitting (a method that requires yarn to be in the left hand), you won’t have to reinterpret patterns in order to work them in reverse. Chances are, like most right-handed knitters, sooner or later you’ll work out a series of movements that feel natural and easy, and your stitches will be smooth and even.

That initial awkward feeling may not go away, so try this: Work in reverse — move the stitches from the right-hand needle to the left-hand one. Follow the pattern instructions, substituting the word right for left and vice versa. To make the illustrations work for you, hold a mirror up to the side of the relevant illustration and mimic the hand and yarn positions visible in the mirror image.

If you find that working in reverse is the most comfortable method, be aware that some directions in knitting patterns, such as decreases, look different when worked in the opposite direction. This quirk will be most problematic for lace patterns, but it’s a small price to pay for comfortable knitting.

[Credit: Photo © iStockphoto.com/Bojan Kontrec]
Credit: Photo © iStockphoto.com/Bojan Kontrec

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