I'm not 100% sure. Is the first row of the ruffle the right side of the fabric? I think if you pick up from the wrong side there will be a not-too-attractive seam on the right side, so I don't think they want you to do that. If the first row of the ruffle is the right side I guess you will need to pick up from the front going left to right as you said, that is possible to do.
Of course, if the first row of the ruffle, on closer investigation, is actually the wrong side of the fabric you could pick up from the right side, right to left and work the wrong side first and be on track.