How to Bead Left Handed

Learning how to bead can be a challenge if you are left-handed!

Are you left-handed or right-handed? When I learned how to ice skate, it became apparent that I am a die-hard righty. To make a turn while skating, you have to make a move called a crossover where you put one foot in front of and to the side of the other. It was easy enough for me to cross my right foot over my left as we sped around the rink, but trying to do the reverse and cross my left foot over my right usually ended with a spectacular face-down crash on the ice. (Ouch.)

When I was learning how to bead, I had no problems beading right-handed. But for other crafts like knitting and crochet, I was taught left-handed, since my mom was a lefty. I still do my knit and crochet like I'm left-handed, but trying to bead with my left hand, well, that's something else. I don't think I ever really thought about trying to learn how to bead with my left hand, but I know that learning how to bead can be a struggle for a lefty in a world full of right-handed directions and patterns.

So what's a left-handed beader to do? I asked my faithful readers on the Beading Daily Facebook page and in the forums for some left-handed beading tips, and here's what they said:

Remember to reverse your direction when working from charted peyote stitch patterns if you are left-handed.

Learning a new stitch: If you are learning from a teacher, sit opposite from her and copy her motions. You can also set yourself up in front of a mirror and watch your reflection as you work a thread path with your left hand.

Beading table setup: Make sure your light is coming from your right side. Put your tools and beads on the left, where you will be able to grab them quickly and easily as you need them.

Reading a beading pattern: Flat peyote patterns need to be read backwards or they will BE backwards. For peyote stitch word charts, you can just start at the end of the row and work your way back. To help distinguish each bead color noted in the word chart, use a colored marker or highlighter on each different color in the row.

My favorite story from a reader came from Ragina Young who said that she tried to learn right-angle weave and was almost in tears during the process. She finally figured out that her "right"-angle weave is now left-angle weave!

Crafters who are already familiar with ways to reverse their crochet or knitting patterns may have some tricks and tips for how to bead left-handed, too. If you're already used to reversing patterns for crochet and/or knitting to accommodate your left-handedness, you can do the same thing to your beading patterns and instructions.

If you're ready to test the waters with some easy (but beautiful) seed bead patterns and try your hand at some left-handed beading, there's no better time to download The Best of Step By Step Beads 2011 through Zinio! Zinio is the leading digital magazine subscription platform that works on laptop, desktop and tablet computers. You can download your copy of The Best of Step By Step Beads 2011 be beading and reading instantly!

Are you a left-handed beader? Do you have any tips for left-handed beaders who are just learning how to bead left-handed? Share your tips, advice or ask a question here on the blog!

Bead Happy,

Jennifer

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