Friday, August 24, 2007

Knitting for Lefties

I'm left-handed. When I was little, scissors were made exclusively for right-handed people. I vividly remember how much it hurt to use scissors for more than a short period of time. My mom used to get old pattern books from the fabric store for my brother and I to play with. We would cut out the figures and switch out their heads, bodies and legs. It was great fun, but I remember the pain caused by the scissors.

Anyway, I'm way off topic now.

In the recent past I have tried to take up "real" knitting again after many years of knitting washcloths. I made two attempts at knitting socks, both of which failed miserably. Jennifer offered to teach me. All I need is a plane ticket...

But I digress again (I must be starved for conversation after all those letters). For some or other reason unbeknownst to me, I thought that I might be able to knit a sweater. "Why?" you ask. "You can't even knit a darn sock!" (Pun intended)

Of course, the pattern I chose isn't a plain stockinette stitch pattern either. It involves charts. I've never knitted using charts before.

I followed the chart block by block and ended up with this (which is not what the picture looks like, trust me):

Much Googling and five hours of knitting, chart-amending and frogging later, SUCCESS!

One of the sites commiserating with left-handed knitters claim that, because of the intense studying involved in successfully knitting anything that uses charts, we will have a greater understanding of how it works. I don't want a greater understanding! I just want to knit a sweater!

That all being said, I don't mind being left-handed. We're smart and creative, I hear.

My favorite lefty quote:
"All people are born right-handed. Only the great overcome it."

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  1. I know a lot of creative people that are left-handed. I wonder if there are statistics on the ratio??
    It would be interesting to find out.

  2. Wow! I'm so in awe of your sweater making! Now I feel like my plain ol' stockingette stictch "first sweater" attempt is pitiful in comparisson!

  3. I have my dominant left hand raised high in agreement! Smart and creative indeed!

    Your left handed knitting looks wonderful!!

  4. The sweater looks great. Those charts can be hard until you get the hang of it and develop a system in your mind. I really like the color.

  5. I am teaching myself to knit, it is going very slow. I will probably sign up for classes, I need 3D instructions..hands on...Your project is looking great though, you go lefty! :)

  6. Have you tried knitting continental style? You hold the yarn in the left hand but still knit from the left needle to the right...

  7. Nice! I'm way out of practice but I decided to knit a baby blanket for the upcoming grandson. Yikes. I've ripped it all out once and started again. I hope it's second time lucky. :)

  8. It’s a fact that a lot of creative people are lefthanded! I never thought about the fact that knitting-patterns are always for righthanded people. You did a great job with this difficult pattern!

  9. This looks fantastic. My first cardigan was very simple - maybe I should aim higher!!

    I never thought about how scissors would affect left handers. Perhaps this is why my youngest doesn't like doing cutting??


  10. Being a lefty, I totally understand..I am very conflicted as I finally gave up and knit right handed, crochet left handed, use scissors right handed (I'm old enough that I think left handed ones hadn't been invented)...but what about those butter knives, gravy ladles, and salad forks, hand operated can openers..on and on??
    Your knitting looks great.

  11. Yes sometimes being a lefty can be interesting. I am forever grateful to my grade 3 teacher who was so helpful when I was practising my handwriting. She encouraged my very slanted paper angle that meant that I could see what I was writing and I did not develop a hook handed writing style. This made it so much easier to learn calligraphy later in life. Simple things can be very different for lefties - I taught myself to crochet as a child 'cause Mum is a rightie. Using scissors is one many do not think of - the cutting action of a true left hand pair of scissors is the exact opposite to a right handed pair. For scissors to be truly made for left handers the blades must cross over differently so that left handers can see their cutting line and also push the blades together correctly.

  12. I'm totally impressed. A sweater was on my list of goals this year. I still have 4 months, you're giving me some inspiration.

    Caitlin has a left-handed friend. The first time she was at our house and they did some type of craft project I felt horrible as she tried to use the scissors. I went straight out and bought a pair of left-handed scissors. Kids are always amazed that I have them at the ready.

  13. One of my very best friends is a lefty...and I don't think there is anything she can't do craft wise...and I think it's because she has had to teach herself how based on the simple fact we live in a Right Hand world...I know your pain w/using scissors made for Righties...she has many pairs of Lefty scissors and I forgot mine the last time we worked on a project at her home...I had to use her lefty's and I can tell you it was mighty I can say I sympathize w/anyone who has to adjust to using the other...

    I think you're lucky to be a my're probably right...about the creative and smart the way...I'm not a knitter...but I think your knitting looks GREAT!! I crochet...well...I try...I may have to take up knitting, soon...there seem to be so many wonderful things you can knit...


  14. I stumbled upon your blog, and am seriously blown away by your knitting!! That is THE ONE thing i cannot do - no matter how hard i try!! A friend of mine said "If you can poke a stick in a hole, you can knit! " - hahahaha!! sooo NOT true for us lefties!!
    I would love to know the address of the lefty tutorial you found?? After seeing this, I would be willing to give it one last shot! :)
    Kudos to you!!

  15. I just found your blog. Greatjob. You should be proud of your first sweater. I am a left handed knitter, I taught myself when I was 7 years old. If you need any advice, just let me know. I have been knitting for 45 years, and have figured out every leftie conumdrum that I have encountered.

  16. i'm pretty sure that you have a stitch'n'bitch in louisville, as well as a rockin' yarn shop. you might be able to get some free personal attention at one of those venues.

  17. That looks like it is going to be a very pretty sweater! You are one brave lady for attempting that! I can't seem to knit anything that isn't a simple item, like a scarf or blanket. No socks or sweaters for me!

  18. I'm a lefty too! And I love that sweater! Very nice color to be honest, and yes its hard to knit for lefties!