I don’t know how many of you out there are fellow southpaws, but my parents knew pretty much the moment I emerged from the womb that I was a dyed-in-the-wool leftist… er… leftie. Any and all political leanings came much later in life. Probably my first political act (and it was an accidental one at that) was when I was five years old and I inadvertently convinced the principal of my elementary school to order left-handed scissors for all the classrooms.
We who are wired the other way ’round have had to face a lot of challenges in life. One of the most annoying to me is the fact that when there’s a craft we want to learn, we’re often forced to either do it with out less agile right hands, or we have to sit down and figure out how to turn everything around to work with our dominant hands. Things have gotten better over the years, but I must admit that one of the things that really appealed about bobbin lace to me was the fact that it doesn’t favor one hand or the other. Both hands are used pretty equally throughout the process. As long as I have a pair of scissors I can use in my left hand (and those are nearly universally available now!) I can use any book, any pattern, any tool I can lay my hands on.
But what if you want to learn something that does make more use of one hand than the other? What if you’re not good at turning things around mentally? What if your right hand just doesn’t have the necessary dexterity for the craft in question?
Well, I’ve found a few good resources to help you learn some of these crafts.
Naalbinding. I’m taking this one up. I’m just waiting for the book to arrive. But while I’m waiting, I knew I needed to find some sources to help me flip the instructions that are winging their way to me. Fortunately for me – and for any fellow southpaws who want to learn this fabulous craft that has survived so many centuries, I also found this site with links to videos teaching left-handed naalbinding.
Shuttle Tatting. Tatting is something I’ve long considered giving a go, but I was always flummoxed by the lack of instruction for lefties. Well, no more! I found this site with good, clear graphics supported by some well-penned written instructions that should make it easier to learn if I just acquire a shuttle in the near future.
Embroidery. I gave up on embroidery yonks and yonks ago. I couldn’t even make a French knot work. But you know what? I may just give it another go, now that I’ve found this website with clear diagrams of basic stitches for southpaws.
Crochet. Okay, I had more problems than just awkwardness with my right hand on this one. Tension was something I never could seem to get the hang of. That combined with trying to make my right hand and wrist do things it just wasn’t willing to do… yeah, crochet and I didn’t get along so well. Still, I might have had a fighting chance if I’d been using my left hand. The Crochet Guild of America has this chart of basic stitches to help you do just that. Click on the highlighted stitch names to see useful diagrams.
Quilting. I love a good quilt. Alas! Between my loathsome lack of geometrical skills and my inability to do the most basic embroidery stitches… yeah, this one never worked for me. But if you’re a leftie with more native talent for the craft, this site might well help you find an easier path to quilting than I did.
Whatever your craft, if it can be done right-handed, it can be done left-handed. The good news is someone has probably already figured out the hard part of writing down or filming the mirror image version for you. All you need to do is a quick Google search to find out how it works