Sandy Koufax is my mother’s favorite baseball pitcher. Ever.
Given the level of his success on the pitcher’s mound, the much esteemed Mr. Koufax might (or might not) be surprised to learn that some people are a bit short-sighted about value of being a southpaw.
Years ago while shopping online, I came across the following title:
America’s Crochet Book.
Written by Gertrude Taylor and published by Scribners in 1972, the dedication reads as follows:
To all the nimble fingers,
past, present, and future
The book, like the author, is an odd combination of unassuming and authoritative. Here is the book looks without the dust jacket:
here is a view of the spine:
and here is the title page:
If one were to judge a book by its cover (something often warned against), one might not be surprised to read these words of wisdom offered on page 5:
If you are Left-Handed
Left-handed people can and should learn to crochet right-handed. Hold the hook as right-handed people do.
Ms. Taylor’s notion that left-handers should learn to crochet right-handed is not only antiquated, but if heeded deprives right and left-handed crocheters acquiring a useful crochet skill.
Here are two spiral cookies I made for my cookieghan project:
One cookie begins with white at the center and one cookie begins with red; working from the center out, both spirals depict a turn in a counterclockwise direction. Try as I may, if I want the spirals to depict a turn in a clockwise direction when working from the center out, the easiest (and as far as I know, only) means by which to make such a spiral is to crochet left-handed.
So today, I threw caution to the wind, channeled my inner southpaw, and worked on improving my skill at crocheting left-handed.
At first it felt awkward to hold the hook in my left hand, but as I got used to the feel of the hook, I became much more acutely aware of the awkwardness in how I held the yarn and the swatch with my right hand.
The non-hook hand in the one that is responsible for creating an even tension which in turn allows the hook hand to create even stitches. To say that I was having some trouble with this doesn’t really capture the level of cognitive discomfort I experienced, but I persisted and eventually the stitches I worked holding the hook with my left hand got a bit more even and regular.
To highlight the difference, I crocheted this swatch of 10 rows of 15 single crochet stitches with my dominant hand; it was worked with a standard chain-1 turn at the end of the row:
This next swatch, however, was worked with only the front side facing the me. Rather than turning the piece, I simply changed which hand I worked with, made a chain-1, and continued on my merry way:
I don’t have the level of skill yet that I need to make the clockwise spirals for the cookieghan, but in another day or two, I expect that I will have the clockwise spiral cookies made and that I will be ready to go head to head with Mr. Koufax in a crochet off in any yarn store of his choosing.