Information compiled by Dee Stanziano
I am often asked if Crochet can be created with one hand. Although not based on personal experience, the answer is "YES!"
In 2002 the Danbury News Times ran a story about a woman suffering a stroke and reteaching herself how to crochet with one hand. It was difficult for her, but with preserverance she prevailed. The story might be available on microfilm at your local library.
There are other inspirational crochet stories, such as these talented women who crochet with a prosthetic hand: http://electrickraft.livejournal.com/ and http://www.medhunters.com/articles/armsOfAngels.html. Benjii Adams is another source of inspiration, who completely paralyzed from the neck down, eventually regained some use of his arms, but not his hands. Using his mouth, he crochets beautiful table cloths and you can read his story here. Newly blogging, is Mel from California who I met on the Ravelry.com site; she crochets and knits. You can visit her blog here. Mel hopes to add pictures or video soon to show how she creates her stitches.
For resources, Pauline Turner's book, "How to Crochet," is the only current book on the market that I know of that mentions "One Handed Crochet." She writes in her chapter on Tunisian Crochet:
"Because the right side is facing at all times, this stitch is particularly suitable for people who can use only one hand: the hook can be placed in a waistband, belt, or clamp."
There is another book, titled, Knitting & Crochet for the Physically Handicapped and Elderly by Hollingworth Shelagh, that was published in 1981. I have not seen the book, but it supposedly contains simple designs of varying degrees of difficulty with clear instructions and diagrams.
Dynamic Living used to offer a Clamp-it device for $30. In January of 2004 I called the company and spoke with their representative, Andrea. "Yes," she said, "that is my hand in the picture; the product does work." Andrea stated that she was able to make the most simple of crochet stitches and said that if the product doesn't work, that they have a liberal return policy "...as long as it's in like new condition." She also stated that one-handed crochet is not for everyone as there are determining factors. These factors include the age, the attitude, the length of time of being a "one hander," along with the social environment that will determine the success rate. I really enjoyed my conversation with Andrea and suggest that if you have any questions about the product, that you call or email them. They'll be happy to answer them for you.
Another type of clamp devise available is the Crocheting & Embroidering Clamp by the Maddak Inc. company. Although this is the most expensive-to-date clamp-like device I've seen offered, one-handed crocheters may find it quite useful.
Also check out Bonnie Pierce's crochet technique. She offers a unique approach to holding the crochet hook and yarn in one hand -- while she does use her other hand to hold her work, I imagine her technique can be adapted so that a clamp device takes the place of her hand holding the work.
You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try.
You may be disappointed if you fail,
but you are doomed if you don't try.