Left-handed knitting: a quick guide

Photo by Margarida Afonso / Unsplash

Knitting, a craft millions enjoy worldwide, traditionally caters to right-handed individuals. However, left-handed knitters often adapt to a craft designed with right-handers in mind. This guide highlights the unique aspects of left-handed knitting, making it more accessible and enjoyable for those who favor their left hand.

Left-handed knitting basics

Unlike right-handed knitting, where stitches are moved from the left needle to the right, left-handed knitters often do the opposite. This mirror method can make following standard knitting patterns a bit tricky. The key is reversing the directions: what's suitable for a right-hander is left for a left-hander, and vice versa. Left-handers need to grasp the basics, such as casting on and knitting stitches, in a natural way.

Tools and equipment

Fortunately, the world of knitting tools is essentially ambidextrous. Needles, stitch markers, and yarns are universal. However, tools like scissors and measuring tapes might be more comfortable in a left-handed version. The good news is that you don't need specialized equipment to start your left-handed knitting journey.

Adapting knitting patterns

One of the main challenges for left-handed knitters is adapting patterns designed for right-handers. A simple trick is to read patterns in reverse or use a mirror to visualize the instructions. Sometimes, it's about mentally flipping the instructions to suit left-handed methods. With practice, this becomes an intuitive part of the knitting process.

Common challenges and tips

Many left-handers struggle with tension and stitch uniformity at first. It's important to practice consistently and not to be discouraged by initial difficulties. Joining a knitting group or watching online tutorials specifically for left-handers can be incredibly beneficial. Remember, every left or right-handed knitter faces challenges at the beginning.

Learning resources

There are numerous resources available for left-handed knitters. Books like "Knitting for Lefties" or websites dedicated to left-handed crafts can be invaluable. YouTube also hosts a wealth of tutorial videos aimed at left-handed techniques. These resources can provide the guidance and support needed to master left-handed knitting.


Left-handed knitting might seem daunting initially, but it can be as fulfilling as traditional right-handed knitting with the right approach and resources. By understanding the basics, adapting patterns, and utilizing the right resources, left-handed knitters can easily create beautiful, handcrafted items. Remember, the unique perspective you bring to your craft can turn into stunning, creative works of art.

Happy knitting to all the left-handers out there!

Sammy Southpaw

Sammy Southpaw

Sammy Southpaw: Left-handed, left-leaning, and left in every sense of the word. Writer, musician, and southpaw enthusiast.