Help for Left-Handed Crocheters
Learning to crochet with your left hand in a right-handed world can be really confusing! Don't despair—help is on the way with our handy tips!
The majority of adjustments that left-handed crocheters will have to make will be in reading and interpreting the written patterns and the graphs used in crochet.
There are two types of graphs used in crochet. The first is for color changes made within a row of crochet stitches. In these graphs, each square of color on the graph usually represents one stitch.
The second, and typically more complicated type of graph, is for a crochet technique called filet crochet.
Reading filet crochet graphs can be a bit challenging at first. The "filled-in" squares of the graph are called blocks, which usually consist of three double crochets worked into three separate stitches, or chains, of the previous row.
The open square is the "mesh" or openwork, which is a mixture of double crochets and chain stitches. The graphs are generally numbered by stitches and rows, and are automatically written for right-handed stitchers. It will be necessary for the left-handed crocheter to amend the graph slightly before starting a crochet project. If you do not amend the graph, you would still be able to complete your project, but the finished crochet piece will be reversed from the graph and crochet project pictured in your pattern! This might not be a major problem with color-change graphs or filet pictures, but if you are doing a filet crochet graph with wording, your words would be written backwards!
It is necessary for the left-handed crocheter to read the first row of the graph from left to right; (right-handed crocheters read the first row of the graph from right to left). For filet crochet graphs, the stitches will be different but the graphs will be read in the same way. The first row of the right side (front of work) will be read from left to right. The wrong side (back of work) will be read from right to left.
Fortunately, most crochet instructions written today are suitable for both right- and left-handed crocheters. The majority of patterns that will need to be amended will be clothing, but occasionally you will need to reverse instructions for other crochet patterns as well. An example of an adjustment for a non-clothing item might read "join yarn in upper right hand corner of crochet piece". In a case such as this, you would be joining the yarn in the upper left hand corner. When crocheting garments, most of the directional instructions need to be reversed.
Try not to shy away from patterns that are not written for a left-handed crocheter. As with anything, the more you convert patterns, the better at it you will get. Keep in mind that the majority of patterns today are suitable for both right- and left-handed crocheters!
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