By left-handed tatting, I refer to holding the shuttle or needle in your left hand.
I learned some very valuable things from the experience. Firstly, rings and chains progress from right to left (counterclockwise). You can't switch at will from left-hand to right-hand, or vice versa. Believe me, I tried that, too. Once you start a round, you are committed to continuing with the hand you begin with.
Over the years I've taught ring first, chain first, and now I teach finger-tatting a ring first. I always encourage my tatting students to try out different hand positions if they find it awkward to tat with the position I demonstrate. I don't use the same hand position with both hands as you can see from these images.
Right-handed: I grip the double stitches between thumb and index finger and tension by flexing the remaining three fingers of that hand.
Left-handed: I grip the double stitches between thumb and middle finger and tension by flexing my index finger.
If you've been following along with muskaan's "This Way or Tat?" series, you'll have noticed that she points out that her observations are based on tatting right-handed. My own limited experience with tatting left-handed leads me to theorize that progression would consistently be in the opposite direction to that of the right-handed tatter.
The larger ring was ring #1 and you are looking at it face up. I tatted the second ring with traditional double stitches after a reverse work. As you can see, the wreath will progress in a counterclockwise direction.
I'll be tatting with my right hand again for my next post. Are there any left-handed tatters out there who want to test my theory further by tatting through the exercises with us? Or perhaps your own experience has shown you this?
By the way, muskaan, I'll include my method of keeping DS and RODs straight in my head with that next post. It will fit in better there. :)
Happy tatting, everyone!