As a left-handed crocheter, one of the most daunting tasks can be reading crochet patterns.
Is There a Difference?
A lot of left-handed crocheters think that crochet patterns written by right-handed designers won’t work for them or will be backwards when they make it. This is not the case.
I am a left-handed designer and I’ve had many right-handed crocheters make my patterns. Most people don’t even know that I’m a lefty. So the same applies for all the lefties out there with any pattern.
There is one exception to reading crochet patterns left-handed, however. When a pattern has specific left and right sides, it will be the opposite for a left-handed crocheter. So say there are panels in the project, and you start with the left panel.
For a lefty, that panel will be our right panel. Since we work right to left, it will be the opposite for us. This happens because we work left to right when crocheting.
Everything else is the same when it comes to reading crochet patterns. Right side and wrong or back side is the same. Stitch counts are the same. The steps it takes to make the stitches is the same.
The end result should look the same. Even if a right-handed designer wrote the pattern and didn’t specify any adjustments for left-handed crocheters.
Step by Step
Now I’m going to take you through each step of reading crochet patterns as a left-handed crocheter. This will help you know what to look for and how to be prepared if you need to make adjustments.
Please note, I am following the example of one of my own crochet patterns. Patterns by other designers will likely vary in order and wording.
The first page will give you the information you need to know to create the design. This includes materials, gauge, sizing, notes, and stitch abbreviations.
The materials will be the same for everyone. This section will list the supplies you need to crochet this pattern.
This section states the pattern difficulty. This can range from beginner to advanced.
The gauge is a very important part to take note of when reading crochet patterns. You need to check gauge, especially for wearables where sizing really matters.
Gauge can vary greatly, even more so for left-handed crocheters, so be sure to check it before you begin your project.
Sizing is an important part of the pattern because it will tell you the amount of sizes that are included in the pattern, as well as what the measurements are. Use this section to determine what size you will be making.
The pattern notes are a very important part of the crochet pattern to read. This section will give you information on the construction of the pattern and other details that are vital to the project.
This is where you will likely find out if there is a distinct left and ride side of the project that you will need to adjust as you crochet.
Stitches Needed and Abbreviations
Here you will find a list of the crochet stitches that are in the pattern and the abbreviations used for each stitch or instruction.
You may also find a stitch definition here, for special stitches, that instructs you on how to create the stitch.
The Rest of the Pattern
Most crochet patterns will be written in the order you need to crochet the project in. So follow the pattern as written.
If there are panels or a specific right/left side to something, and there isn’t a note for left-handed crocheters, assume that it will be the opposite for you.
The best way to tell if you’ll need to adjust your left and right sides is to read through the pattern thoroughly and note the changes in the left and right side.
Remember that the RS, called the right side but meaning the front side, is not affected. Just right and left sides, panels, parts of the pattern.
That is literally all the adjustments you will need to make note of! How nice is that?!
So conquer all of those patterns you’ve been wanting to try! You can do it! Reading patterns doesn’t have to be scary or impossible because we are left-handed.
For a more detailed explanation and a walk through of one of my own patterns check out the next video for How to Crochet Left-Handed!
For more Left-Handed Crochet Basics check out my Stitch Tutorials page!
Michelle has been crocheting for over 8 years and has been designing crochet patterns for 6 of those years. She specializes in modern garments and accessories for your handmade wardrobe. Michelle has been featured in Happily Hooked Magazine, thehooknooklife.com, wecrochet.com, ourmakerlife.com, and several other websites. She is committed to providing the highest quality crochet information and patterns that instill a true feeling of pride, enjoyment, and accomplishment when completing a project.