Most crochet instructions are written for right-handed people. If you're left-handed, and you want to learn how to crochet, here are some resources and suggestions you may find helpful.
The first thing you need to know is that everyone crochets a little differently. So, there is no one "correct" way of doing it - there are many possible variations of correct when it comes to crochet.
Using Both Hands
Ideally, crochet involves using both right hand and left hand together. Your non-dominant hand will be doing quite a bit of work.
To give you an example: You could hold the crochet hook in your left hand, and use your right hand to manipulate the yarn. Start by holding your newly-formed stitches in your right hand, although both hands may be needed to hold the work in progress as it grows. That is one possible way of working.
I am right-handed, and I hold the crochet hook in my right hand. I use my left hand to manipulate the yarn as I crochet.
With my left hand, I also hold my work-in-progress. In the beginning, my left hand can hold the whole piece. As it grows larger and heavier, my right hand will also help hold it, but my left hand does most of the work. That's quite a bit of activity for the non-dominant hand.
How to Hold the Crochet Hook:
There are two basic grips crocheters typically use:
- The "Pencil" Grip: Hold the crochet hook like you would hold a pencil. Click here to see a picture of the pencil grip for left-handed crocheters.
- The "Knife" Grip: Hold the crochet hook in an overhand grip, sort of like you would hold a knife. Click here to see a picture of the knife grip for left-handed crocheters.
I've seen some debate over which grip is better. Many crocheters have said that the knife grip is easier on their hands. I prefer the pencil grip, but it's because that's how I was taught, and I have been crocheting that way since childhood. I am not convinced that one grip or the other is better; I think it's a matter of personal preference. So, I'm not going to tell you which way you "should" do it - you get to choose which way you prefer to do it. If one way seems easier to you than the other, do it that way for starters.
I do think it is worth knowing how to crochet using both methods, if you are able to learn both, because it will allow you to switch back and forth if your hands get tired. That's what I do nowadays.
Left-handed crocheters have shared the stories of how they learned to crochet. If you read through these, you'll see that some use the knife grip and some use the pencil grip. Each one of these people has a their own unique way of holding the yarn and crochet hook, which they describe for you. These stories could help you discover which ways work well for left-handed people.
Crochet Videos for Left-Handed People:
It can be difficult to locate a teacher who can teach left-handed people how to crochet. The next best option is watching crochet videos.
Here are links to some crochet videos and instructions specifically designed for left-handed people:
Theresa Richardson has published multiple videos and tutorials that will be useful to left-handed crocheters. These videos focus on teaching the basic stitches to left-handed people.
Josi Hannon Madera has posted many instructional crochet videos for left-handed people. Her videos will teach you how to do basic stitches plus cluster stitches, Tunisian crochet stitches, and many other stitches.
Worth noting: Nearly any video for "righties" can be useful to "lefties" if you flip the video horizontally.
Tips and Advice From Left-Handed Crocheters
Readers from our community of left-handed crocheters have generously stepped up to share their best tips and resources for learning how to crochet left-handed. They explain how they learned to crochet, how they hold their hooks and yarn, and ideas they think would help you if you want to learn how to crochet with your left hand.
A few highlights:
- Shazzade shares her opinion about the best books for learning how to crochet left-handed.
- Maggie's encouragement for left-handed crocheters
- Teaching Others to Crochet Left-Handed: Pat explains how a right-handed person can teach a left-handed person how to crochet.
- Teaching Left-Handed Crochet: Doris has more advice for the case in which a right-handed person wants to teach a left-handed person how to crochet.
- See more stories from left-handed crocheters
Lefties, Please Share Your Tips:
If you're a left-handed crocheter, you are invited to share the story of how you learned to crochet. We'd also love to know if you have any tips for helping other left-handed people learn how to crochet.
If you have experience with crocheting clothing left-handed, we'd be interested to know how it went for you, especially if you have insights to share that could make the process go easier for other left-handed crocheters the first time they try to crochet a garment.
Thanks in advance for sharing your experiences with others.
More Resources for Left-Handed Crochet
The following links will take you to other Internet web sites which feature helpful pages on the topic of crocheting left-handed.
- Tapestry Crochet for Left-Handed People -- This article was written by Carol Ventura, who has authored multiple books on the topic of tapestry crochet. Tapestry crochet is a colorwork technique which enables you to use two or more colors of yarn in each row of crochet. This is not a total beginner's technique, but it's a fantastic thing to learn once you have learned the basics of crocheting left-handed and you're confident that you can maintain an even tension.
- Crochet Lessons for Left-Handers -- This link takes you to the Crochet Guild of America's web site.
- Help for Left-Handed Crocheters -- This article at Annie's Attic is a good read if you need help learning how to read graphs for filet crochet or colorwork.