Being a Lefty

I was six when I learned to knit for the first time. I had a babysitter named Maureen, who figured out a way to teach me. She got me pink needles and baby pink yarn, and sat for hours trying to show me how to hold the needles and wrap the yarn without dropping everything.
I couldn't do it. Maureen was trying to teach me how to knit like a right-handed person. But as a six-year-old left-hander, I didn't get very far.

Maureen had to think of a new way to knit, to show me how to do it without it being too hard for a clumsy child who had to be more difficult than most. But she did it. It was totally backwards to any other knitting I've seen, transferring the yarn from the right needle to the left, and holding the yarn in my left hand. But soon after childhood boredom set in, and I found more interesting things to do.

Almost 17 years later, I wanted to learn again. Mum then took up the challenge of teaching me, followed by Youtube clips and many stitches being dropped. I didn't know the Continental Method even existed until I had got the hang of the English style, and since it took me months to get comfortable doing that, I haven't wanted to give any other methods a go just yet.

I am still quite slow, and I doubt I'll ever get very fast because my right hand is just not as good as the left. Although now I don't do everything left-handed - using scissors in my right hand is fine but don't expect me to use a can opener - I do feel that knitting is one of those things that would be so much easier if I was one of those kids forced to write the "right" way, rather than left.

Being left-handed - no one really knows what causes it, but there is a higher percentage of left-handedness in twins. There are estimates that 13 - 16% of the population favour the left hand, and it has been associated with a shortened life-span, being more susceptible to allergies and generally being clumsy. But they say that being a lefty is associated with creativity and leadership, and those are good enough for me.


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