Left handed dd wants to knit, is it easier for lefties to do continental?

(27 Posts)
theginganinja Tue 29-Apr-14 10:17:16

I'm right handed, although dd is (like a lot of lefties) a bit more ambidextrous than I. Would I be better off brushing up on my continental knitting to teach her? Or should I just teach her the way I do it (throwing). Input from left handers appreciated, as my left handed dm knits and crochets right handed and seems to think that I ought to just teach her right handed.

GemmaTeller Tue 29-Apr-14 12:02:26

I'm left handed and knit from left to right

confuddledDOTcom Tue 29-Apr-14 12:11:56

My niece is very leftie, we're still trying to work it out. I realised recently that I knit with my left hand so I'm going to try and teach her that. I'm sure it has a name, it's how the speed knitters do it (not that I am) where you hold your right hand still and use the left needle to do all the work, the right just throws the yarn.

confuddledDOTcom Tue 29-Apr-14 12:16:01

You can also teach her a reflection of what you do, which is easier to teach because she can sit in front of you and see exactly.

theginganinja Tue 29-Apr-14 12:55:17

I've thought about doing the mirror trick, has anyone learnt to do it this way and how did you get on?
confuddled that's interesting, are you holding the working yarn in your right hand?

GemmaTeller so you knit the same way as me, same as my left handed mum?

Seeline Tue 29-Apr-14 13:00:05

My Mum is very left handed, but still knits the right handed way. She decided it was easier than having to transpose all the knitting patterns! She can't really do anything else right handed so it can't be too hard.

Meow75 Tue 29-Apr-14 13:05:21

I'm like Seeline's Mum.

But I realised when I FINALLY learnt to knit in 2010 that my biggest barrier was not my dominant handedness but the fact that I didn't understand what was happening to the yarn to build the stitches.

I turned to my good friend YouTube, where there are tons of knitting instructional videos, and I watched one, one Saturday afternoon, about 50 times. I realised I could then understand the "engineering" of how the stitches are built, and then I could knit. For me, it's not enough to have a series of stages to follow, as I kept missing something out.

Finished a baby sock last night!! Proud grin

LittleBairn Tue 29-Apr-14 13:06:41

I'm a left handed knitter I would suggest you don't teach her but look out suitable YouTube videos have her watch them over and over again while mirroring what they are doing with the needles & yarn.
As lefties we are naturally used to flipping images in our head we don't need others to interfer with that process.

I did this and found learning to knitting fairy easy, especially compared to other left handers who were taught by righ handers. I've encouraged other left handers to do this and they have agreed its a good method.

If its a very small child I sit them on my lap so they are facing the same way and can concentrate on our hands.

frogs Tue 29-Apr-14 13:08:36

Find a lefthanded person to teach her. Do not attempt to do it yourself. Even if you are the most horizontally zen relaxed person in the history of the entire universe ever it will make you want to strangle your child and/or disembowel yourself with a rusty spoon.

Embroidery is bad enough, crochet is worse. Left-handed knitting - just don't go there.

ouryve Tue 29-Apr-14 13:08:47

This lefty can't knit continental. English style, the traditional way around, all the way.

My mum thought I should have to learn continental. As a result she never successfully taught me. I ended up teaching myself a few years ago.

ouryve Tue 29-Apr-14 13:10:21

And I do hand sew and embroider left handed and spend most of the time swearing at twisty threads!

paperclip2 Tue 29-Apr-14 13:16:45

I don't know whether it's easier to learn, but I taught a left-handed ten-year-old to knit continental. She caught on to it immediately (I am right-handed).

I also think that knitting continental is the only sensible way, much quicker and simpler than English style. wink

hotair Tue 29-Apr-14 13:21:02

Shameless place marking as I would love to learn to knit but have yet to find a successful way to learn left handed.

confuddledDOTcom Tue 29-Apr-14 13:34:30

I knit in exactly the same way but I do all the work with my left hand, holding the right needle still.

paperclip2 Tue 29-Apr-14 13:35:46

Do you know the ravelry forum for knitters ?

It's free to join. It might be worth asking for tips on how to learn to knit/ best way on their forum.

theginganinja Tue 29-Apr-14 14:00:37

Am on Ravelry, have been for years but rarely go on there, must confess. I think I'll watch some videos with her, both continental and english and give her some needles and wool whilst I knit and we watch. Funny enough, this is how we both learnt some of the more complicated embroidery stitches and she picked that up no problem.

I can knit continentally (taught myself in an effort to improve my colour work in the round) but, I find it quite challenging because I've been knitting for about 30 years on and off, it's hard to get out of the throwing habit when it's so ingrained. I have no idea of how to purl continental, so that could be entertaining trying to learn that.grin

Arf at frogs

I'm a leftie. After failed attempts to teach me left handed when I was a kid, I taught myself right handed from the Internet and books. I'm not very fast but I do ok.

My lefty mum tried to teach me when I was little and it was horribly frustrating. Eventually my right handed great aunt stepped in and I got it very quickly. I think lefties should teach lefties and righties should teach righties!

I've not heard about the continental way - is it easier for clumsy people like me?

theginganinja Tue 29-Apr-14 14:04:05

hotair Will let you know how I get on.

theginganinja Tue 29-Apr-14 14:07:46

Continental (or picking) is when you hold the working yarn with your left hand and pick the stitch up with your right hand needle.here

shock that's what I do...I thought that was just regular knitting?!

Oh I see.
I have to hold my right needle still between my legs or under my armpit while I move the wool with my right hand. Looks like I might find continental easier then!

ditsygal Tue 29-Apr-14 14:43:40

I'm a leftie and my mum tried to teach me as a mirror image, but I actually found it far easier to learn right handed from her. So maybe try both ways and see what works best for her?

GemmaTeller Tue 29-Apr-14 15:22:57

Now I'm confused grin

I'm left handed and when knitting have the needle with the stitches on in my left hand and then work them over onto the right hand needle, the right hand needle stays still under my arm and the left hand needle moves about - as I never transpose a pattern I assumed this was right handed?

No wonder I couldn't teach right handed DIL grin

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