In honor of International Lefthanders Day, I thought I’d talk a little bit about knitting in the other direction, aka old stitches come off the right needle and new ones are formed on the left needle.

At STITCHES Midwest, I taught two Market Sessions I haven’t taught in a while: Continental Knitting and Knitting In Both Directions. The combination started me thinking about general working methods (i.e., how each of us holds yarn, needles, fabric) and the nomenclature we use to refer to the process of making loops with needles.

Working in Both DirectionsThe photo shows my current project, a two-row stripe shadow knittng scarf/cowl/shawlette thing. Notice the yarn coming out of the stitch on the left needle instead of one on the right needle? I’ve been working right-side rows from right to left, and wrong side rows left to right, never turning my work to the wrong side (except early on, when I did forget which way to insert the needle/wrap, and had to check what it looked like from the wrong side!).

It’s a perfect pattern for practicing working left to right, with no increases or decreases on the wrong side rows. Instructions are in chart form: since charts represent fabric on the right side, I can easily read what to do on my fabric. Without a chart, I’d have to read the instructions backwards. Imagine reading knitterese backwards in order to make your fabric: go ahead, look at your latest project’s instructions, and imagine having to transmogrify them so you could the same fabric.

My brain’s response: blrrgggchh.

And this is the sort of thing lefties put up with every day, in all parts of their lives, not just their knitting! I’m sure it gets easier with practice; based on observing how y’all interact with the world, it has to. I hope. For your sakes.

So today, I raise a glass to all the lefties in the world:

Cheers! You’re amazing!


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