How Do I Knit If I’m Left Handed?

Knitting is one of the world’s most favorite pastimes. From the wide range of types of yarn to the vast array of patterns and items to knit, knitting is a very versatile and creative habit to undertake. It’s been around for hundreds of years, and it is definitely here to stay. The benefits of knitting are many, and there’s nothing quite like curling up in a comfy chair or corner somewhere and knitting something for yourself or for a loved one. However, if you’re left handed, you may be wondering if knitting could work for you.

Many people are not aware that knitting is easily modified for left handed people. It’s not more challenging for left handed people to knit than it is for right handers. It is simply a matter of adjusting to the process and practicing on a regular basis. The main challenge that left handers may have is that knitting books, knitting magazines and the knitting patterns found within them are typically written for right handed knitters. Here are a couple tips for lefties interested in learning how to knit.

What are the main styles of knitting and which style would work best for me?

  • There are four main types of knitting: English, Continental, Combination and Backwards or Reverse knitting. Of the four, there are two types that work especially well for lefties: Continental and Reverse. Try learning the Continental method of knitting first. In this method, the yarn is held in your left hand instead of your right, which makes learning how to knit considerably easier for left handed knitters. A benefit to using this method instead of the following method is that the patterns will be easier to read and won’t need to be modified.
  • If you find this method challenging or if you want to try another style of knitting, you can consider working in reverse. When interpreting either an English or Continental pattern, reverse the instructions by switching left to right and vice versa. Stitch onto your left needle instead of your right one, and use a mirror held up to a picture to view the correct finger placement and doublecheck that you’re following the instructions correctly. Keep in mind that some knitting patterns will look different when worked in reverse.

YarnWhere can I find knitting supplies?

  • Some of the great things about knitting are its portability and the relative simplicity of its required supplies. All you need is some knitting wool or yarn, a pair of knitting needles and a pattern, and you’re ready to go. Knitting supplies can be found in arts and crafts stores, in specialty shops or on various sites online. Knitting wool comes in a vast array of colors, textures and thicknesses. There’s something for every project you can dream up and then some. If you’re like most knitters, you’ll soon find that you have an assortment of skeins of knitting wool in your own personal knitting stash.

Remember that knitting can be a little awkward at the beginning. Don’t get discouraged. Keep practicing, and you’ll be well on your way to enjoying this fun hobby before you know it.


  • Kate Sarsfield

    That last afternoon I spent with Mum I took some wool & needles & just sat beside her chattering away and knitting. It was good to have something to keep me from thinking to much.

  • Maureen

    I knit left handed Continental style. The other version has always been a bit hard for me to do. I have been told because I use the picking style of knitting instead of throwing that it goes faster. Because I can not really do the other version I can not say for sure.

    Knitting has gotten me thru some times when I needed to have something that calmed me after some health issues. love it.


    I’m a rightie but I’ve always knitted left-handed! Ditto tying shoe laces & taking the tops of boiled eggs, bottles etc.

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