Lever knitting (aka the Irish cottage style or pivot knitting) is a knitting type like English knitting. This was historically used by production knitters. (People who knitted to earn an income.)
Read on for my guide on what it is and how to do it.
Table Of Contents
- What Is Lever Knitting?
- Why Should You Change The Way You Hold Your Yarn and Needles?
- How This Knitting Style Is Done – How to Start Lever Knitting
- Lever Knitting In The Round
- How to Knit Faster with Lever Knitting
- Lever Knitting And Fair Isle
- The Benefits of Lever Knitting
- Lever Knitting Needles
- Your Questions Answered
What Is Lever Knitting?
Once mastered, lever knitting is a quick and relatively easy knitting method. It’s good for speed knitting. It saves time because the yarn doesn’t have to travel far to wrap around the needle tip.
Lever knitting is similar to English knitting, but there are a couple of differences.
Firstly, you keep the right needle still, by, believe it or not, sticking it under your arm. Alternatively, you can use a knitting belt.
Additionally, you use longer needles than usual. You can also do lever knitting on circular needles, but it’s better to learn using straight needles.
Here’s a great video by Stephanie Pearl McPhee, aka Yarn Harlot.
Searching for a new skill to try? Learn how to arm knit with my post.
Why Should You Change The Way You Hold Your Yarn and Needles?
It’s great to learn different styles of knitting because some techniques help with specific knitting methods. Continental knitting, for example, is helpful if you are knitting colorwork.
How This Knitting Style Is Done – How to Start Lever Knitting
Lever knitting with straight needles:
Part #1. Hand positions and tension.
Right-handed: Hold the right needle like a pencil. Tension the yarn the way you usually do in your right hand. Tuck the right needle under your right arm so it remains steady.
Left-handed: Hold the left needle like a pencil. Tension the yarn the way you usually do in your left hand. Tuck the left needle under your left arm so it remains steady.
Part 2#. The knit stitch.
You knit the knit stitch similar to what you would normally do in English knitting. But, you don’t drop the needle to yarn over. Instead, you let the needle rest between your thumb and index finger.
Right-handed: Keeping the right needle steady, take the left needle under the right needle so that the tips are touching, and the right needle is slightly behind the first stitch on the left needle.
Then, bring the left needle up and over the right needle to insert into the first stitch on the left needle. Keep that right needle as steady as possible, and keep the tips together when knitting.
Take the yarn over the right needle, bring the left needle back under the right needle, then pull the left needle out.
Left-handed: Keeping the left needle steady, take the right needle under the left needle so that the tips are touching, and the left needle is slightly behind the first stitch on the right needle.
Then, bring the right needle up and over the left needle to insert into the first stitch on the right needle. Keep that left needle as steady as possible, and keep the tips together when knitting.
Take the yarn over the left needle, bring the right needle back under the left needle, then pull the right needle out.
Part #3. The purl stitch.
Right-handed: Put the left needle over the right needle, and make sure the tips are touching. Bring the left needle around the right needle tip, so the right needle inserts into the first stitch on the left needle.
Yarn over, then bring the left needle back around the right needle and stick it on top of the right needle. Pull out the left needle.
Left-handed: Put the right needle over the left needle, and make sure the tips are touching. Bring the right needle around the left needle tip, so the left needle inserts into the first stitch on the right needle.
Yarn over, then bring the right needle back around the left needle and stick it on top of the left needle. Pull out the right needle.
Here are some great video tutorials on how to do it.
Lever Knitting With Carrie CraftGeek
How To Lever Knit By Rebecca
Once you practice enough, you’ll be able to knit this variant of the English style without looking!
Lever Knitting In The Round
Lever knitting in the round is pretty much the same as lever knitting with straight needles. Here’s a video demonstrating lever knitting in the round.
How to Knit Faster with Lever Knitting?
The more you practice, you faster you’ll get! You can increase your knitting speed by practicing every day. Make a time to knit each day and practice lever knitting. Then you’ll be knitting like a pro.
Lever Knitting And Fair Isle
Fair Isle knitting is a great way to add different colors to your knitting. Fair Isle knitting makes beautiful patterns in the fabric. You can knit Fair Isle using lever knitting.
The Benefits of Lever Knitting
Learning to do lever knitting will increase speed. It’s not 100% guaranteed, but with practice, you’ll go faster than you usually do.
Knitting using this technique will help reduce pain in your hands and fingers and evenly distribute the work between your hands.
Lever Knitting Needles
In lever knitting, you use long needles so the right one can tuck under your arm. You can also use circular knitting needles if you wish to knit in the round.
Your Questions Answered
What Is The Fastest Knitting Method?
Continental knitting requires the least hand movement, so the continental style relatively quick. Lever knitting is also speedy. You can knit fast with any knitting method if you try hard enough.
Is Lever Knitting (Circulars) Really More Ergonomic?
Yes! People who knit and sell things use lever knitting because you can knit for many hours without too much pain.
Lever Knitting Vs. Continental – How Is It Different From Continental Knitting?
Lever knitting is very different from continental knitting. If lever knitting had a mother, she would be English knitting.
Are There Other Knitting Styles?
Other knitting styles include Portuguese knitting, English knitting, Continental knitting, and Irish cottage knitting (a.k.a lever knitting).
How Do I Increase My Knitting Speed?
The best way to increase your knitting speed is to keep practicing! You could plan a time of day where you practice knitting for a while.
The daily practice will produce speed improvements slowly, as the muscle memory in your fingers improves.
Why Is It Called Irish Cottage Knitting?
Historically, people (usually women) who knitted to make money, were Irish and did their knitting at their house or cottage.
How Difficult Is The Lever Knitting Style?
Lever knitting isn’t that difficult, as, with all new things, it will be hard at first. Once you get more familiar with lever knitting, you’ll be stitching like the wind.
What Knitting Style Is Lever Knitting Similar To?
Lever knitting is similar to English knitting.
I hope this guide to this style of speed knitting helped you. Perhaps this is something you could try, and expand your skill repertoire with. Happy knitting!