Yes! Left-handers can crochet. Some left-handers crochet with their left hands, and others learn to crochet with their right hands. The most significant difference between left-handed and right-handed crochet is the hand the hook is held in and the direction of the fabric as its made. We’ll get into all that in this article.
Most crochet instructions are written for right-handers. Because of this, it can make lefties feel left out. There are some left-handed crochet patterns, but they aren’t needed to learn and create items with your left hand. The difference between right-handed and left-handed crochet is the direction you make the stitches. Right-handers crochet from right to left, and lefties crochet from left to right.
Learning to Crochet
Everyone crochets a bit differently. There is no one way to hold your hook or your yarn. The way the stitches are made is the thing that everyone does the same for everyone. These differences exist no matter what hand you use to do this.
The way you hold your hook is a matter of preference. Some people use a knife grip, such as a knife to cut food, or a pencil grip as you would a pencil to write. You may find a more comfortable way to hold your hook, but these are the two standard grips. I use both grips depending on what I am working on.
Here are some ways you can learn left-handed crochet:
- Left-handed crochet tutorials: These tutorials are available online, both written tutorials with photos and video tutorials.
- Find a Left-handed crocheter to teach you: Ask at your local craft store if there is a lefty crochet teacher who is available.
- Sit facing right-handed crocheter: Doing this allows you to follow what they are doing using your left hand. My second cousin, Sandee, on my mother’s side had this to say about learning crochet: “I was very young when I asked mom to teach me because she crocheted a lot and fast. She could not teach me (being the great teacher she was). Visiting my grandmother in Nebraska, she gave me a ball of string off flour and sugar sacks, and we went into the parlor and told me to sit facing her (mirror image), and she taught me how to chain. I have a small round doily made from that string. Doubles and chain stitches.”
- Learn to crochet right-handed: If you aren’t getting the idea of how to crochet with your left hand, there is always the option to learn right-handed. I ended up teaching myself to crochet right-handed as I could not understand how you worked backward when crocheting left-handed. I remember trying so hard to learn left-handed, even trying the mirror image thing with my teacher. I finally gave up trying with my left hand, only to go home, get my beginner book out, and work through the instruction with the hook in my right hand. Now, though, I’d love to see if I can figure out how to crochet left-handed.
What’s the Difference?
The difference between left-handed and right-handed crochet is the hand in which you hold the hook and the direction you work a row. For example, you hold the hook in the right hand for right-handed crochet. With left-handed crochet, you hold the hook in your left hand. Then you work either right to left (right-handed crochet) or left to right (left-handed crochet).
You need to do nothing special with written crochet patterns as a left-handed crocheter, as all you do is work left to right rather than right to left. However, you’ll need to reverse the image when working with charts.
How to Crochet Left-Handed
There are three main stitches you should learn for most projects. These stitches are the chain, single crochet, and double crochet stitches. I’m adding links to videos showing these stitches so that you may see how to do them.
You begin with a slip knot. You do this by making a slip knot in your yarn, inserting your hook into the loop you made, and then doing a yarn over. This move means looping your yarn over your hook and then pulling through the loop on your hook already. In left-handed crochet, you slip the thread over your hook in a clockwise movement. This stitch is called the chain stitch. Repeat the yarn over, drawing through the loop moves until you have the desired amount of chain stitches. Chain Stitch Video
Single Crochet Stitch
Crochet a string of chain stitches, after making the chain insert your hook into the second chain from your hook. The hook should be in your left hand, and the chain will move to the right. You’ll yarn over and pull through the chain stitch you inserted your hook into. Then, repeat Yarn over and pull through the two loops on your hook. This is single crochet. You’ll then want to continue your single crochet across all your chain stitches. Single Crochet Stitch
Double Crochet Stitch
You’ll start this stitch the same as others, with a chain. Start this stitch with a yarn over, insert in the fourth chain from the hook, and pull up a loop. You’ll have three loops on the hook. Then yarn over, and pull through two loops. There will be two loops on your hook, then yarn over and pull through the last two loops. That is a double crochet stitch. Double Crochet Stitch
Reading Crochet Patterns
Many left-handers are concerned about reading crochet patterns. They worry that they may only be able to read left-handed patterns, which isn’t true. Left-handed crocheters can make projects from right-handed patterns just fine. The fact is that left-handed crochet is no different from right-handed, except that it’s worked in the opposite direction. So a regular pattern should turn out the same whether a left-hander or a right-hander produces it. The right side and wrong or back side are the same. Stitch counts are the same. The steps it takes to make the stitches are the same.
The exception to reading crochet patterns left-handed is when the design has specific left and right sides. In this case, a lefty would start with the left panel or the lower-left corner when it comes to squares.
The result should look the same even if a right-handed designer wrote the pattern and didn’t specify any adjustments for left-handed crocheters.
The first page of a pattern gives you information to create the design. This first page should include materials, gauge, sizing, notes, and stitch abbreviations. Next, the materials list tells you the supplies you’ll need to make this pattern.
The difficulty will tell you how hard this pattern is to make. This ranges from beginner to advanced. Gauge is used in patterns that have sizing requirements. You must ensure that the rows and columns you make are the same size gauge states. Left-handed crocheters have more significant, varying gauges in their work. Gauge how many stitches in a row or column match the pattern. You should make a small swatch with the yarn and hook that the pattern states. If your gauge is off, you can change hook size until your swatch is the correct gauge.
Sizing tells you what sizes the pattern can be made in and how many balls or skeins of yarn are needed to make that size.
Pattern notes give you information on how to construct the pieces once they are done. This is used for toys and garments mostly. Also, if the pattern has right and wrong sides as well.
Stitch abbreviations are used to tell you what stitches you are using in the design. Patterns are usually written in abbreviations. This section also tells you about any special stitches needed and will sometimes have instructions on how to do these stitches. The body of the pattern is the part you read and use to do your project. It is written in the order you should make the piece or pieces.
Links for Extra Help
Now you know that left-handers can crochet left-handed. However, they can also learn to crochet with their right hand. Left-handers are very adaptable people, but we do like to be able to do things with our dominant hand. What do you think about left-handed crochet? Would you want to learn how to crochet with your left hand, or would you feel more comfortable using your right hand? Are you a left-handed crocheter? How did you learn? Do you crochet left-handed or right-handed? We’d love to hear from you. Leave your comment below.