There’s more to left-handed knitting than moving stitches from your right needle to the left. For lefties, everything’s just a little different — even how you wrap the yarn around your needles. But by mastering these common stitches, you’ll be able to cast on and knit even the most complex projects without stumbling (and get a fabric that looks no different from right-handed knits).
1. Cast On
The long tail cast-on can be used in the majority of your projects, and, just like with right-handed knitting, it starts with a slip knot. Place this slip knot onto your left needle and you have your first stitch, just like that!
With your right hand, insert your index finger and thumb between the working yarn and tail; spread them apart to hold the yarn (as shown in the photo below). From there, knit the long tail cast-on exactly as it’s done right-handed: with the needle catching the yarn on your thumb first, then on your index finger.
2. Knit Stitch
To do the knit stitch left-handed, you essentially do the reverse of a right-handed knit stitch: move the stitches from right to left and wrap the yarn clockwise (instead of counter-clockwise). However, you still follow the basic knit motions: the yarn is held in the back of your work, and you enter the stitch from front to back.
3. Purl Stitch
Just like typical purling, the left-handed purl stitch starts with the yarn in front. From there, insert your left needle into the front loop of the next stitch on your right needle, wrap your yarn clockwise and pull through a new stitch. It’s that simple!
4. Slip, Slip, Knit (SSK)
For a left-handed SSK, slip two stitches (one at a time) as if to knit from your right needle to the left. Then place the stitches back on your right needle to reposition them, insert your left needle through both stitches and knit them together. Unlike a right-handed SSK, this decrease will lean to the right.
5. Knit Two Together (K2tog)
K2tog is the mirror image of an SSK, which, when you’re working left-handed, means the decrease will lean to the left. Simply insert your left needle through two stitches on your right needle, going through the stitch furthest from you first. Wrap your yarn clockwise and pull the new stitch through both stitches on your needle.
6. Knit Front and Back (KFB)
This go-to increase works pretty much the same left-handed as it does right-handed, but you’ll notice the added stitch will always be to the right of the original stitch. To do this, knit into your next stitch as you normally would and, without dropping the stitch, knit through the back loop of the stitch as well.