So, I have always been interested in knitting. I dabble in it now and again, but my 2 biggest frustrations with it have always been (1) I am left-handed, and no one seems to know how to teach someone to knit that way and (2) my knitting always turns out looking knobbly because my stitches are twisted. I had never been able to figure out why, and it was discouraging, because my work wasn't smooth.
At Joann's today, in the yarn section, I saw an older lady writing something on a notepad with her left hand. She was also wearing a beautiful scarf, that did NOT have knobbly, twisted stitches. So I complimented her scarf, and as I had hoped, she replied that she had made it. "Do you knit left-handed?", I asked her. She said she did. So I said that I was a beginner knitter, and a left-handed one at that, and I didn't understand why my stitches turned out twisted.
This lovely, lovely lady pulled a ball of yarn and some knitting needles out of her purse ( guess she's a really dedicated knitter!), and proceeded to show me a trick for lefties! In normal knitting and purling, you go into the stitch from underneath. But she said the method that worked best for her was to purl from beneath the stitch, but to go into the knit stitch from the top! She demonstrated, and I saw what she meant.
I really wish I'd gotten her name. A small girl (presumably a grand-daughter) ran up at this point to ask if she could get the 57 (or thereabouts) balls of yarn that were in her basket. In the ensuing argument (grandma said 4 balls, small girl was insisting on all 57 balls) I walked away. I bought my yarn, and came home to try out this new trick. And it works. Like a charm! I am so thrilled!
I also found a website that's great for learning how to knit- it has videos! It's http://www.knittinghelp.com/. Lots of great info, including the Continental method of casting on that had also eluded me for so long!