A Shout Out to Left-Handed Knitters and Crocheters

I’ll admit this right away: I’m right-handed. But as a knitter, crocheter and yarn craft teacher, I have great respect for left-handed knitters. Today, on Left-Handers’ Day, let’s celebrate our southpaw friends — especially those who knit and crochet.

Left-handed knitters and crocheters have to craft in a world ruled by the right-handed. Instructions, diagrams, illustrations — nearly all of them are written and drawn with right-handed crafters in mind. And if you’re right-handed and you’ve ever tried to teach a left-handed person how to knit or crochet, you know what a challenge that can be for both you and the student.

While knitting is a craft that requires the use of both hands, that can still raise a few problems.

Should lefties knit backward? Should they try and imitate right-handed knitters even though it feels weird? For left-handers, learning a new craft just isn’t as simple as following illustrations and videos.

Woman Holding White Ruffled Purse with Wooden Handle
Photo via Bluprint member JackieMoon

Lefty pride

If you ever feel like you’re the only left-handed knitter or crocheter around, look no further than the Bluprint community. Bluprint member profiles are full of knitters, crocheters and other crafters who are either left-handed or learned from a left-handed relative.

Here’s just a taste of a few Bluprint lefties:

Bluprint member Jackie Moon taught herself how to crochet left-handed. (That’s her gorgeous Spring Ruffled Purse above.) It’s such an accomplishment that she even mentioned it in her Bluprint profile!

Jackie is not the only Bluprint member who makes her left-handed talents known. AwkwardSoul learned to knit and crochet right-handed, despite the fact that she’s left-handed. Years later, she relearned both crafts the left-handed way.

Bluprint member Talk of the Town learned to knit from her left-handed grandmother. Her grandmother was thrilled that her granddaughter learned how to knit left-handed — until she pointed out that her grandmother actually knitted right-handed.

Woman Modeling Grey Knit Dress on Runway
Photo via Bluprint member Vanessa Rae

Designer and knitter Vanessa Rae is also a proud southpaw. She says she loves to create unique patterns for left-handed knitters. This Chunky Cable Knit Dress with Diamond Cutout pattern, seen above, is written especially for lefties, so right-handed knitters have to reverse the cables to follow the pattern.

Ever see a right-handed person who knits left-handed?

Bluprint member lisa lotti can tell you all about that. She’s right-handed, but she learned to knit from her left-handed mother. So while Lisa does everything else right-handed, she knits left-handed.

Warbler01 found crocheting as a lefty to be a bit easier than knitting. But don’t worry, she never completely gave up on knitting. She took it up again a few years later and now makes lovely knitted items. Take a look at her My Maren sweater she worked up while taking The Top-Down Icelandic Sweater Bluprint class and you’ll see what I mean.

To all my left-handed knitters and crocheters, keep rocking your yarn craft, no matter how you do it — and just be thankful you don’t have to buy special needles and hooks for lefties!

Are you a left-handed knitter or crocheter? What are a few of the challenges you’ve faced when learning to knit and crochet?

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6 Responses to “A Shout Out to Left-Handed Knitters and Crocheters”
  1. Anne Dunn
    Anne Dunn

    I am left handed and learned from my right handed mom. We tried several ways when she started teaching me, but the best way I learned is to sit across from her or her at the end of our dining room table and me to her left watching what she was doing and following her directions. I have been crocheting since I was 16. I wanted to make a baby blanket for my soon to be born niece. Its been 48 years and there hasn’t been a year I wasn’t crocheting a blanket or something for a friend or family. Thought it would be good to try my hand at knitting. Seen some patterns I’ve wanted to try, but don’t know how to knit, so thought I’d give it a go!!

  2. Stefanie Baggott
    Stefanie Baggott

    I’m a lefty! I taught myself to crochet, using YouTube videos. However, now I can follow any video, or crochet pattern. I feel that I crochet the right way, because I crochet left to right, just like when you read a book😄

  3. Nancy Lind
    Nancy Lind

    I have lots of problems making sure I can follow patterns correctly. I learned while young from sitting in front of my mother crocheting a pattern and seeing what she did in reverse. She helped me correct mistakes, but sadly has been gone for 40 years. I always had trouble knowing where to place the needle for the next stitch. I actually was able to learn to knit easier than crochet. I am from a long line of fantastic, award winning crocheting women, but sadly was born wrong handed for everything.

    I’m trying to re purpose poly/nylon hay twine into porch rugs and having terrible time getting it to look like the pattern.

  4. Nicole

    In LH knitting, I’ve had goofs on leaning stitches and cables, but those were easy to navigate when I realized they existed. My biggest challenge as a lefty knitter is reading charts. I wish there were an easy way to mirror or reverse print them and call it a success! Instead, I end up writing out instructions in prose.

  5. Elaine Tamblyn
    Elaine Tamblyn

    It’s hard to watch right handed “how to” videos and then translate it into my left handed efforts!

  6. LaGretta Green
    LaGretta Green

    Sometines it’s hard to work a pattern stitch that is geared to a right hander. Graphs that read from right to left especially give me a hard time. e.g. Do I start reading from left to right or add an extra row at the beginning.