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Ask Roz: What suggestions do you have for left-handed Hardanger stitchers?

I have enjoyed your on-going questions/answers and discussion of Hardanger. A number of years ago I belonged to a cross-stitch group, and our "leader" challenged us to try other needlearts, one of them being Hardanger. I remember that I struggled with the illustrated instructions because of being left-handed. After so long, I gave up and passed my books along to others. The first Janice Love book you mentioned, Hardanger Basics and Beyond, looked familiar to me. I seemed to be okay at the start of projects, but as they became more involved, I couldn’t make the transition, nor could our "instructor" assist me.

I’m wondering if other lefties have experienced difficulties and if any left-handed instructions exist.

Thank you,
Janet in Ohio

Roz Answers:

Yes, you are not the only one to have difficulties stitching if you are left handed. At our Retreats we often have left-handed stitchers and sometimes for them to see a stitch worked, the instructor sits in front of them and demonstrates the steps. The person learning sees it done as if the stitcher was left-handed. If you do not have a teacher with you, there is a very good book available to you. Yvette Stanton is a left-handed stitcher and she has written several needlework books including a very good one entitled, "the left-handed embroiderer’s companion".

Yvette writes, "Are you frustrated by right-handed embroidery instructions and having to mentally flip them, use a mirror, or substitute right for left and vice versa? This book is just for you. It will show you how to work over 170 different embroidery stitches, easily and comfortably as a left-hander."

Besides several basic Hardanger stitches, she includes surface stitches, needlepoint and counted thread stitches in a step-by-step format.

If you have a Hardanger question, just ask Roz!

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