Left behind

I’m lefthanded and I have noticed that a lot of other crafters are too. I’m not sure why, maybe it’s the left hand/right brain argument or whatever. Actually if you go back in history many of the most famous (and infamous) people were lefthanded – Julius Caesar, Leonardo Da Vinci etc. Creativity and greatness go hand in hand with being a leftie. Well that’s my opinion anyway! But I admit that I seem to find it harder to ‘get’ a new skill and a lot of that seems to be due to my lefthandedness. I absolutely cannot learn a new craft from step by step drawings in a book. They always seem to make no sense and miss out the bit I need the most. Knitting has been a nightmare for me. Trying to learn from my right handed mother has failed so many times. I can mirror her hands to make the stitches but it still doesn’t ‘click’, you know what I mean? And there’s not much help out there unless you know where to look. So I thought that a blog with a collection of left handed crafting links and books would be a good idea for us lefties. I’ve found a few that have been helpful to me but if you know of any others please leave a comment and I will add them to the list.

Crochet: Youtube has been invaluable for learning this. The best BEST videos are by tjw1963 who has both left and right handed videos and lots of them. She responds to comments promptly too and is very helpful. I cannot recommend her enough. She has a blog with free patterns here. Tamie Snow has a photo tutorial on flickr here too.

Knitting: I did a general youtube search for left handed knitting here and although I have yet to try knitting for the bazillionth time my best recommendation is to try a few different videos and find the style that works for you.And this is a right handed video but I recommend anyone having trouble knitting to check out this small podcast by Cat Morley. She goes a little fast but after 20 yrs of trying to learn to cast on she’s the one who I managed to learn from. So for that alone I found it worth it! I love her Scottish accent too.

Embroidery: Yvette Stanton (who blogs here) is writing a left handed embroidery book. A whole book for us!! And of course Jenny Hart has a page with stitches for lefties here. And as much as I hate the nicknames for lefthandedness like porthanded, cackhanded (from my own mother!), southpaw, wrong handed etc I love Jenny’s name – I will happily admit to being a lefty loo-loo!

Sewing: I have no links for left handed sewing other than to say that my left handed sewing scissors are my very very best friend. In home ec. sewing  it was incredibly embarrassing having the teacher cut my fabric until I finally got them. And they are such good quality that when I had them sharpened this month after owning them for 15 years they were still sharp.

So that’s my tiny little list. We’re massively under represented out there in craftland and at the book store so please let me know of any other links or info you may know about!



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9 responses to “Left behind

  1. All of the lefties I see are actors. Watch for it on movies and you’ll really start to notice.

  2. Yes I noticed it too that a lot of actors are lefties. I’m a leftie too and I have the same problem with learning new embroidery stitches from right handed diagrams. At least some of them. I am able to figure out the simpler ones due to my creative leftie brain probably 🙂 I cut with my right hand so no problems there!

  3. Great post! I’m left handed too….I remember taking knitting lessons from my Headmaster’s wife who was left handed – my mother just couldn’t get to grips trying to show me how to knit. Charlie and Sadie appear to be showing to be left handed also.

  4. anon

    I am right handed but sometimes have lefties in the classes i run, a good leftie teaching technique i find is to sit opposite the student rather than next to them, then they just mirror me.
    Also as a new knitter ive learnt to knit in the continental style, where one holds the yarn in ones left hand.
    I think this is the easiest way to knit- Even though I am right handed- have a look for continental knitting on you tube. also im sure Ravelry has left handed knitters groups as well.

  5. glendasikes

    I’m righthanded but have a difficult time learning from diagrams or pictures, so the link to the how-to-crochet youtube videos is perfect — thank you!!

    My son is like my hubby — they write righthanded, but both are left-eye dominant and do many other things lefthanded, tho not all. It’s very interesting!

  6. I’m a leftie too!!! But I can do lots if things with both hands and all my crafting is right handed. I do remember though when my mum was teaching me embroidery that she was really amazed that I could take the needle down through the material on the hoop with one hand and bring it back up with the other – I think that’s how it’s supposed to be done but she had never been able to and I had just done it naturally. Maybe I should embroider more?!!! x

  7. bookwormbethie

    I’m left handed too!

    I’ve been thinking about trying my hand at crochet lately, I really dig those “granny squares” and quilts and stuf. And of course softies! But with my limited extra $ to buy embroidery floss and fabric, I don’t think now is the time to start fostering a yarn fetish 😉

  8. Yet another lefty over here! I have the same problems trying to figure out those step-by-step photos in craft books. Thanks for the resources!

  9. Hi, seeing you celebrated the fact that I was writing my left-handed book (thanks!) I thought I would let you know that “The Left-Handed Embroiderer’s Companion: a step-by-step stitch dictionary” by Yvette Stanton is now well and truly available.

    Ask for it at your favourite needlework store, or purchase it direct from me at Vetty Creations. http://www.vettycreations.com.au/left-handed-book.html


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