She came to my class with a friend, J., who is also left-handed. J. knits as I do, in the traditional right-handed manner. This caused some laughter and puzzlement in the class. Mostly the laughing was at me, as I tried to demo the M1R and M1L in the left-handed manner. I'm pretty clumsy with my left hand, so although I got the job done, it was neither fast nor elegant.
There are a few options for teaching knitting to the left-handed.
There's the "damn the torpedoes" method: teach 'em to knit the "normal" way - right handed, English. This is how my left-handed Mum knits.
|Continental - yarn in left hand, |
but needles still right-hand dominant.
And then there's the "doing what comes naturally" method: mirror-image knitting.
Each is equally good; of course, there are some pros and cons. The "damn the torpedoes" method works best for a knitter who is reasonably strong with both hands, as you're still requiring precision movements from the non-dominant hand. The "nod in your general direction" method is a good mid-point, as it relies less on the right hand, and more control is with the dominant left hand.
|Image excerpted from Trauermei tutorial.|
Part 1 - casting on.
Part 2 - the knit stitch.
There is a downside to this method, however, which is why it's less common (other than the absurdity of watching a rightie trying to teach it): the stitches are oriented the other way on the needle so that decreases lean the other way. A leftie's k2tog leans left rather than right; a leftie's ssk leans right rather than left. For many purposes, this isn't too much of a problem, but when it comes to lace it's a critical difference... So although there's a gain in ease of execution, there's a loss in terms of ease of chart reading... decreases have to be switched.
Each method has something to offer, and as with so many things in life, there isn't a single "right" answer. If you're left-handed, it's definitely worth trying all three.
Are you left-handed? What do you do?
Kristi has written more on this topic for Knitty, and she lists some other resources.