Tuesday, January 4, 2005

Question from Reader: Left Handed Crochet

Dear Dee,
My sister crochetted me the most beautiful scarf for Christmas. Now I would like to learn too. The problem is that I am left handed and most of the books I have looked at only offer instruction for right handed people. Can you help me?


Sarah, I think it's fantastic that you want to learn how to crochet, and I'm tickled that you're asking me for information on this topic.  I don't think it makes much of a difference that you're left handed -- and, here, I'll list some suggestions for you to try.

First, no matter what printed material (i.e. book) you purchase, there will be diagrams or pictures showing the steps for making the various stitches. While it is true that the majority of them are geared for those that are right handed, you can take your book to a copier place and request that they make "transfer image" copies. What this does is to flip images & text over -- remember, you're only interested in the images. The method of "transfer image" is used mainly for creating T-shirt iron on transfers, but this works well for flipping the images over to make learning left handed easier.

When you are surfing the Internet and you come across a tutorial and can only find image references for the right-hander, print the page using the "transfer image" option on your printer. If you wish to view it on your PC without having to print it out, keep a mirror next to your monitor. Position it so that you can view your monitor through it. The mirror will flip the image(s) to make it left hand interpreted

If you opt to visit websites such as amazon.com that offer crochet videos for sale, there is usually no way of knowing if the content includes video for lefties.  If you purchase the video and find that it is geared for right handed crocheters, try the aforementioned mirror trick. Again, the mirror will flip the image making it easier for you to see how a lefty would make the various stitches.

You may want to consider placing the following websites in your list of FAVORITES as they do offer left handed instruction:
  • www.crochet.org
  • www.craftbits.com
  • www.beadcrochet.com/
  • www.crochetaustralia.com.au

  • Finally, you may want to consider taking a class. When you go to register, inquire if the instructor, such as myself, can offer you left handed instructions.

    Or, when all else fails, try crocheting with your right hand. Since crochet is technically created with two hands, you can crochet like my best friend. She's a lefty, but crochets with her right. Control the tension with your left, hold the hook with your right. It's worth a try. J

     The key, Sarah, to learning left or right handed crochet is practice. Practice, practice, practice.

    1 comment:

    Anonymous said...

    Mind if I offer up a couple of more tips where the computer is concerned?  

    1)  Sometimes, printers call the "transfer image" a "mirror image" or "reverse printing".  So, look for these terms when checking your printer settings.

    2)  If the pics are on the web, one can right click on the image, choose "Save Picture As" and save it to their hard drive.  From there, the image can be called up in Windows Paint or other image editing program, and a "horizontal flip" done to make the photo easy for left-handers.  

    I have heard of lefties learning from right-handed people by sitting in front of them too.  So, if Sarah takes a class perhaps she might benefit from that as opposed to sitting side-by-side.

    Thanks for the links!  I think I will link to this entry on my journal if you don't mind!  You're awesome, Dee!!!!  Sheila