Those who keep track of such things say that about 10% of the general population is left-handed. I’m a lefty, the only one in my family. I’ve always loved the fact that I’m left-handed, but it can cause some problems in day t0 day living–some challenges are greater than others, of course. My husband was rather nonplussed one evening when I showed him that in order to take advantage of the spout on a dressing ladle at a local salad bar, I would have to tip the ladle away from me, and hope that my Ranch landed where I aimed. Scissors, can openers, calligraphy pens, and even rulers can spell trouble.
Left-handed people are thought to be more creative that righties. I’d be interested to discover how many lefties shine in their various creative arts niches. How many professional sculptors are left-handed, for instance? Authors? Painters?
Most of the quilt patterns I design involve some embroidery. The stitches are almost entirely simple backstitch and French knots, nothing very tricky. Deciphering instructions for more elaborate stitching can be an exercise in frustration for us lefties since they are almost entirely laid out for the other 90% of the population. With that in mind, I looked for an embroidery how-to book written just for the southpaw. Not much out there, but here is some of what I found on Amazon.
“Left-Handed Stitchery” by Sally Cowan. is a slim 61 pages, written in 2010. The author is a professional dressmaker. Forty stitches are explained.
“A Primer of Left-Handed Embroidery” was published by Carol Robbins Myers in 1977. The Amazon blurb for this volume says “directions for 55 stitches are illustrated with an ingenious type of diagram which uses a system of dots numbered consecutively, so simple that a child could easily follow it.”
The volume that really intrigues me is the 2010 edition of The Left-Handed Embroiderer’s Companion: A Step-by-Step Stitch Dictionary by Yvette Stanton. It offers diagramed instructions for 75 embroidery stitches in over 170 variations and has earned five stars from readers on Amazon. 160 pages. Yvette’s blog can be found at http://www.vettycreations.com.au/white-threads.
There is a batch of UTube videos available, of course, but books on the subject of left-handed embroidery seem to be as rare as lefties themselves.