Ambidextrous Knitting…or Not?
In a recent conversation with an experienced knitter, I was surprised to hear her say that she “knits left-handed.” Being left-handed myself and not knowing what she meant by this, I asked her to explain. Did this mean she is a left-handed person who happens to knit or was there some mysterious left-handed method of knitting that has somehow escaped my attention during the last twenty years? When she showed me her manner of knitting, it turned out to be simply traditional Continental-style. What I believe she actually meant by “left-handed knitting” was that she holds the working yarn in her left hand.
Would this make English-style knitting be called right-handed knitting? I think not.
Why I’m writing about this is to address an age-old knitting issue that has plagued us all for far too long. Having taught at least several hundred individuals to knit, I often hear how they haven’t been able to learn in the past because they are left-handed and their prior teacher was right-handed or vice versa. I’ve always debunked this as a silly notion because as we all know there is no such thing as left-handed or right-handed knitting. Knitting is a completely ambidextrous activity…or is it? Suddenly I’m wondering if perhaps this dominant-hand theory could be considered true. With at least two distinct and well-known styles of knitting, Continental and English, does not each one favor a particular hand? As we know, Continental-style uses the left hand to feed or “pick” the working yarn while English-style uses the right hand to feed or “throw” the working yarn. Perhaps I’ve been mistaken all these years?
My question to you is how many of you are one-handed (left or right) and utilize the opposite hand in your knitting style?