Knitting Left Handed

I’m giving myself headaches over this color switch on the Iris Tunic. Once I have it mastered there will be pictures and descriptions. I had a thought while working through this round that it might not be do-able for someone knitting English style.

Hello, my name is Rebekah, and I knit Continental. There are a lot of different ways of differentiating between English and Continental. English is wrapping the yarn around the right needle with your right hand and Continental is picking the yarn off a left finger with your right needle. Wrappers and pickers. Ignore for the moment which finger Continental knitters use to hold the yarn, that is its own debate.

Traditionally most Americans are English knitters and when I was younger many a person stared at my strange Continental technique in horror. I believe I got the foundational knowledge from a French Canadian great grandmother. Over time, surrounded by English knitters, I would make up my own methods for accomplishing things with my way. Lately Continental is experiencing a surge in popularity due to a belief that a plain knit stitch is faster done Continental. I don’t know if that’s true but it does require less motion and I think it’s easier to accomplish on a crowded subway.

In January I was sitting with some knitters and one exclaimed “I really should be knitting Continental because I’m left handed.”

True, English knitting requires the right hand to do a lot of the heavy lifting while Continental appears to rely heavily on the left hand. I still don’t understand the idea of left handed knitting. To me knitting is a two handed process. Both hands have skills to learn and neither can be lazy.

It reminds me of my first year in orchestra when one of the students told the teacher that he needed a special violin because he was left handed. The teacher told him that was nonsense. When playing the violin both hands have work to do. The left hand dances across the strings, holding positions to create notes, while the right hand keeps rhythm with the bow creating a pace and emotion with sweeping or short movements. Neither hand is lazy.

I hate to scare off potential knitters by saying this but… Coordination is required.


2 thoughts on “Knitting Left Handed

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