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Left handed knitting

Left handed knitting can be easier when using a reversible pattern.
Left handed knitting can be easier when using a reversible pattern.Holli Friedland

Even though about 10% of the world’s population is left handed, lefties are constantly forced to make adjustments to the right handed world. Cracking elbows in the school lunchroom, trying to adjust to regular scissors – it’s always something. Unfortunately, knitting is no different.

Southpaws can find it difficult to learn how to knit because most people who are teaching them are right handed. Do not despair, there is plenty of information out there for the lefties.

WikiHow has a nice tutorial available for left handed knitting. The biggest problem to conquer is reading patterns made for right handed knitters. Some patterns made for lefties can be found on Left Handed Knitting Patterns and Free Knitting Patterns.

One way to deal with right handed patterns is to switch the words left needle, left hand, etc. to right needle, right hand, etc. Look at illustrations in a mirror to see how they should look. If they are computer photos, you may be able to download the images and flip them so appear like you are looking at them in a mirror.

A good method is to knit the patterns backwards because you are going the opposite direction from the instructions. So, K3, P2, K1 becomes K1, P2, K3. Some reversible patterns may be knit without reversing the directions. Increases and decreases may look a little different when knitting them backwards, especially working with yarn overs in lacey patterns. Different doesn’t mean bad! It just may not look exactly the way the right handed version looks.

Lefties, do not give up. You can do it! There are plenty of resources available to help you learn to knit left handed.