[LMB] OT: Re: Handedness (and a lot about knitting)

Harimad harimad2001 at yahoo.com
Fri Sep 23 14:00:28 BST 2011

JL> On Fri, 9/23/11, Jean Lamb <tlambs1138 at charter.net> wrote:
JL> ambidextrous (knit righthanded, but can't crochet that way
JL> to save my life--it doesn't _feel_ right), I pitch and throw
JL> lefthanded, but bat righthanded, shoot right handed (think I
JL> have a cross-dominant eye), shoot pool either hand depending
JL> on where the ball is, am mediocre either way, and golf/putt
JL> right-handed. I computer-mouse either way, same for 10 key
JL> (but on time trials I 10-key right handed, since I don't
JL> have to drop the pencil to write the results down, those
JL> microseconds can really help). 

I am strongly left-handed.  Nonetheless things I learned to do by watching, such as dealing cards, I do right-handed.  I play pool leftie, but shoot right-handed rather than shoot behind my back.  I knit righty very well; can knit lefty but very badly; can knit Continental or English but do better with English, probably because I learned that first; crochet (badly) lefty.[1]  I eat with fork always in left hand, don't switch to cut so at the table I cut with my right hand but at the cutting board I use my left.  My left foot is dominant, but in ice skating I spin lefty and jump righty.

- Harimad

[1] There are two important factors in knitting: one is which direction does your work go in, the other is which hand you hold your yarn in.

Direction: Almost everyone, in almost everywhere in the world, knits so that the work moves from the left needle to the right needle.  This is what we mean by knitting righty.  

Hand: the yarn can be held in either hand.  Holding it in the right hand is called English style, and this is the norm in the UK, US, Canada.  Holding it in the left hand is called Continental or German, and is the norm in Europe.  But there's a lot of variation.  Also, it's hugely more efficient to use both hands when knitting in two or three colors, so many knitters learn both styles.  A hundred years ago high class society in both Britain and in Europe got very snotty about a young lady holding the yarn in the "wrong" hand.

In theory Continental should be more efficient because the yarn and needles both move less.  In practice there doesn't seem to be a difference for an experienced knitter.  

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