3.05.2008

calling all southpaws

Someone left a comment today on my French Knot tutorial asking whether a left-handed embroiderer (like herself) can just flop my directions. Of course, I'm right-handed so have done the instructions and photos from that perspective. I don't know the answer to her question. I did find in a quick Google search that there are lots of books that have left-hand instructions, which leaves me with the suspicion that it's not quite as simple as flipping my pictures.

I'm sure this problem applies to knitting and crocheting, too. So, can anyone help me out? Wikipedia says that 7-10% of the population are southpaws so surely a few of my readers are too!

Updated to add the names of a few books I found: A Primer of Left-Handed Embroidery by Carole R. Myers and Left-Handed Stitchery by Sally Cowan. Sounds like people are managing just fine by flopping my pics and instructions, but a book might be helpful as a reference.

12 comments:

Carrie S. said...

Yes, I did that exact thing. Works perfectly!

Linda said...

I'm a leftie, and I do it as you have stated but obviously in the opposite hand. It's the same with knitting, my grandmother had a real time of it trying to teach me to knit and crochet.

Keri said...

I'm left-handed and I learned embroidery from your tutorials and pretty much just flipped everything so it would work for me.

Oh and lefties are the only ones in their right minds. lol

The Morae said...

I agree with all of the abouve, and for embroidery flipping the pictures works just fine. Its a little more complicated with crochet though, I find that I end up crocheting sort of upside down unless I'm paying close attention.

janet said...

I didn't know this (Wikipedia again) but Jimi Hendrix played his guitar upside down because he was left-handed. I guess you learn to adapt when the standard tools don't work for you.

Kathy said...

For some reason french knots were hard for me to learn (I am a leftie also). I lucked out and was in a SRE class where one of the two teachers was left handed and thus I finally learned it. (Then did 1000+ on the back of a denim shirt - I will never forget these!)
Judith Baker Montano does a great section in her stitch book for left handers. (Came out way after I had finally learned.) For every other stitch mirroring (if you are watching a right hander live) or reversing as you stated work.
Don't give up on the french knots if mirroring doesn't work - just find another leftie. It is easy once you "get it".

Mel said...

I learned watching by watching my mother when I was young, so never had pictures to follow. But when I do use the ones on here, that is exactly what I do. Look at the pictures (which are great btw) and just "switch" things up in my mind (honestly, I don't really "think" about it, I just do it...if that make sense!).

As for crocheting, my grandmother tried to teach me that I I never could get it until I found a booklet with instructions for lefties, which pointed out the "yarn over" that I had been screwing up all along! lol!

Anonymous said...

Another leftie here. I had a tough time learning crochet some 20 yrs ago - the instructor was finding it hard to teach me. I ended up taking the book home & turning it upside down & in the mirror. Needless to say I gave it up soon after. Embroidery is my fave 'cuz I can do it.
It's true about Jimi Hendrix...Journey guitarist Neal Schon is left handed but plays right handed...and obviously extremely well.

ellen said...

Wow, as a Lefty, I can attest to the problems with directions.
My mother tried to teach me to knit a long time ago. I eventually learned to knit right handed. The little bit of crocheting I do is left handed.
I hand sew..left handed. The huge problem with knitting for me is that I cast on left handed and have an absolute problem with picking up stitches right handed.
Can't use left handed scissors.

Conflicted..YES. Many directions backwards for me..YES.
Try a gravy ladle, a butter knife, measuring cups...on an on!

wow..and here as a lefty..this is the third time I am trying to enter my comment. Sorry if it repeats itself.

Cece Marie said...

I'm a south paw too! How fun to read the comments from other south paws. :) I write in my journal starting from the back to the front so that the binding is on the right as opposed to on the left under my writing hand; I've done that since I was little. I wonder if anyone else has any lefty quirks like that?
As far as photo demonstrations go I occasionally have been known to hold the image up to a mirror so it is reversed to suit a lefty, I guess that is what you meant by mirroring...oops just realized that. ;)

Amanda said...

My mom is left handed. She got really frustrated with trying to learn crafts/sewing lefty, so she just learned new skills right handed. She thinks it's much easier that way - then she can use regular patterns.

Interesting tidbit: I am right handed, as are my sisters. My mom, the lefty, taught us to set the table. She always set the table to be comfortable to her, so now I set the table backwards from everyone else.

Interesting tidbit #2: Jimi Hendrix was indeed left handed, but his father didn't like him doing things with his left hand. (This was a time when some Christian's thought that the left hand was "the Devil's hand".) Jimi had a right-handed guitar, which he would play left handed by turning it upside down (when his dad wasn't watching him). When his dad would come in the room, Jimi would do a quick flip and start playing right handed again.

Tidbit #3: There's a statue of Jimi in the Seattle graveyard where he's buried that shows him playing the guitar right handed.

(I recommend the book Room Full of Mirrors by Robert Cross, it's an in-depth biography of Jimi Hendrix by a Seattle music writer.)

Vicky said...

Hey my daughter is 5 years old and left handed. She see's me crocheting and wants me to teach her how to crochet also. But I'm finding it hard to figure out how to teach her to crochet with her left hand when I'm right handed. I've got a couple more years before she's able to get the concept of crocheting but does anyone out there that is a southpaw have any suggestions or know of a book I can getto help me teach her? Please help if you can. Email me at oneders@ymail.com or find me on facebook. Thanks,
Vicky Cody