Embroidery with one hand? Of course. As evidenced by the celebrated and quite unique Karsaniki stitch. The needlework of Karya village has become famous thanks to a zealous embroiderer, Maria Stavraka, whose nickname was “the one-handed”, who developed this particular technique on account of her handicap. In effect, it was she who devised the intricate embroidery designs and motifs, often taking her inspiration from nature.
Today, embroidery (you can see some fine examples in the folklore museum and in a number of stores) may not be the number 1 priority for the girls of Karya, but in the 20th century the technique and handicrafts of Maria Stavraka were admired so much by Queen Frederica that she founded a school of embroidery in the village.
It was not long before the needlework of Karya found its way into European, even royal households and the picturesque mountain village flourished thanks to the handiwork of its women. Nevertheless, some of the most beautiful and acclaimed designs are the work of a man, Argyris Stavrakas, who was also physically handicapped, and who convincingly demonstrated that embroidery is not only for females.