Sunday, January 26, 2014

Teaching Crochet

When I met up with my knitting group on Friday, a few of the ladies wanted to learn how to crochet.  So yesterday afternoon we gave it a go.

I made a quick trip to Jo Ann's in the morning to get the supplies we needed.  I thought we would start out with a dishcloth.  I taught them a chain, and a double crochet stitch.  I think I use these stitches the most so thought they would be a good, basic place to start.  It is amazing how many steps are involved in a double crochet stitch.

I have taught many, many people to knit.  For some reason teaching crochet is much more difficult for me.  You have to break down each and every step.  This is Kaylyn, she is ambidextrous so it was really hard for her as she wants to use both hands equally to do the work.  We tried it left handed and that did not work at all.  One hand has to be the yarn holding/stabilizer hand, and one hand has to hold the hook.  The hook holding hand really needs to do most of the work, but just learning how to angle the head/neck of the crochet hook to pull the yarn through the loop can be difficult.  It is easier with knitting needles, they are straight, no turning is needed to manipulate the stitch. It is hard to figure out how to hold the yarn stable in your left hand, after holding it stable in your right for knitting.  I think after you learn the dimensions of the stitch the tension  part comes later, but that is with a LOT of practice.

Rochelle has done this before, she just needed a refresher.  Just a little bit of info to make it all understandable.  A few words here and there as reminders of what to do.

Cathy had had a tough day.  So she picked up her knitting and gave it a go.  I taught Cathy how to knit about 9 years ago.  It really is the thing that has cemented our friendship.  We were friends before, but knitting brought us much closer, we have a yarn bond. 

I also taught Kaylyn how to knit a few years ago, she has recently picked it back up and is doing a fantastic job.  Rochelle learned to knit from her sister.  She makes some amazing things and really has no fear.

I think I need to brush up on my teaching skills if I ever have to teach crochet again.  It is a different beast from knitting.  I love them both and want to spread crochet love just as I do for knitting.  We meet back up in two weeks time, I wonder if I will see any finished dishcloths? I think after a nice dc dishcloth we might be able to do a simple granny square which is a combination of chains and dc, seems easy enough until you are ready to teach it.

Yes I had to buy yarn, but it wasn't for me so it doesn't count.  I wanted cotton as it isn't slippery, you really have to work the stitch, almost an exaggeration of what you would do with a smoother yarn like wool.  I also thought it would be fun to make something right away, something useful.  A lighter color is a must so you can see your stitches and where to place your hook.  Ah, the complexities of teaching, I don't think I am all that patient, and I hope I did not scare anyone off.  

I think the ability to crochet can add so much to your knitting.  Kaylyn made a beautiful knit, chunky scarf for her daughter recently in a gorgeous shade of turquoise.   At knitting group on Friday I whipped up three crochet flowers for her to put on the scarf, with fun buttons in the middle.   It is going to be such a fun thing to wear.  The crochet added so much to the final project. 

It was a fun afternoon spent with yarn and friends.  So even if I wasn't the best teacher, we had a good time.

Hey did you notice my photos?  I did a quick bit of editing on Picasa, and I tried a few things that Jen suggested.  Jen has had many posts on photography, her photos are amazing and she has recently run a series on blogging, go and check it out you will learn a lot.  Jen also directed me to Donna and this great photo workshop information.  Thank you Jen for taking the time to help me out.  The photos look a bit better to me, I hope I can continue to improve with their quality.  Bloggers are the best.  Have a wonderful day and stay warm if you live in the US.


Sue Pinner said...

Hi..well done you, not an easy job to teach crochet, especially if they had never held a hook before
gold star for you x

RedSetter said...

I am sure you are a wonderful teacher and your friends benefitted greatly from your assistance. Funnily enough I recently went through some crochet stitches with a friend who is learning too and found it was the subtleties that were the difficult part such as the hook manipulation and stabilising the work. I'm sure she'd have loved being in your class.

Your photos are lovely. Especially the first one and the one with the hooks in the jar as they are just so vibrant and bright.

Lynne said...

Gosh I wish we lived closer, I need a knitting teacher! I'm having a hard time trying to find a comfortable way to hold and wrap the yarn. Practice, practice, practice!
My sister has been encouraging me to take an online photography class. I'm going to check out your link. I need to get my camera off the auto setting, and see what else it can do.
Since I have a Mac, I load my photos and edit them in Iphoto. Nothing fancy.
Great post, reminding me of 2 things I need to work on.
Have a great week!

moonstruckcreations said...

I am a teacher by trade, but teaching crochet takes it to a whole new level!!


Andrea Ostapovitch said...

Yes, your top photo stood out to me straight away, and I wondered if you would mention you played around a bit.
Over the holidays, I taught my daughter how to crochet, we just started with a half double stitch. She made a scarf for her stuffed kitty, and a blanket, also for kitty. Now she wants to tackle something bigger and make her Mama a scarf. That may take awhile, as she is currently absorbed in Zentangling.

Linda Powell said...

The cost of the supplies is nothing compared to the fun afternoon you all spent in each other's company manipulating the yarn with the hooks. I noticed the top photo in my bloglovin stream and thought how vibrant and sharp it looked, the jar of hooks looks great too. Thanks for the links to your blogging friends who are happy to share their 'taking blog photo's' experience with us dear mortals lol.
Have a good Sunday dear Meredith x

Anonymous said...

I'll just bet you were a GREAT teacher!

And look --- you've given birth to knew yarnies!!!! ;-)

I'm heading over to Jen's blog. I could always learn a few things to tweak MY photos.

Have a wonderful Sunday!


Hello Meredith. I have tried to learn to knit many time with NO success..I reckon I need you as a teacher.. The ladies in your group are fortunate to have such a very talented lady amongst them. Hugs Judy

Amy at love made my home said...

I am sure that your class really enjoyed their crochet lesson and will probably all come back eager to learn more from you!! It will be dishcloths a go go with them all!! xx

Jo said...

I teach crochet lessons and have taught 16 people to crochet in 2013. I like it but the hardest people to teach are the knitters because they have a built in two hand thing. If you want the heads up on what they need next - they will probably come back with dishcloths with uneven edges so you will need to decide how you are going to help them get a straight edge and count the number of stitches on each row so that they can correct mistakes. Hope that helps. Love Jo x

Stitchy Mc Floss said...

Ahhh my friend Mere, the Queen of Hookers! :) I love it when you spread the hooker love...we need more hookers!

No, if you bought yarn to teach others, that yarn does not count. Teaching others to crochet is so awesome. You rock!

I've always thought your photos were lovely! :)

Blessings always

Tree Hugger - Suzan said...

Congratulations on teaching a class Meredith! Sure wish you lived up here!!! what a wonderful skill you are teaching these ladies and it something that's useful as well as fun - even if it is difficult for some!! That'll be me - a cluts with my fingers!!
You're so sweet!

ColourMeCrochet said...

Yay well done you. I tried to teach my friend a few months ago and I found I wasn't very patient , I couldn't quite understand why I found it so simple and she found it hard, poor Crissi. But she still loves me, so I couldn't of been that bad.
I taught myself from a book, back when I was a child and we had no internet, so I offered her one of my books to take home and look through, but I don't think she has done anymore.
The day does sound lovely, when you all get together and chit chat, wonderful.
Take care
Sally xxx

Clare said...

Well done you, I tried to teach my friends little boy who was keen but we did'nt get much futher than a chain. I think it is easier to learn from a visual point of view I learnt from youtube clips which I found much easier to follow than books, I'm sure your friends have lots of fun and enjoyed your leason.
Clare xx

édis said...

I'm left handed and knitting is very difficult for me.

Ana BC said...

Great, Meredith! spread the love of crochet and knitting. Once in a while someone asks me to teach them, and I love doing it :-)

Annaboo said...

How wonderful that you're teaching crochet, Meredith! And I bet you are fabulous.
It's such a challenge, teaching someone, isn't it? And how amazing to show a person new skills.
Enjoy your classes.
Sarah xxx

Anonymous said...

Good for you to teach! I'm getting ready on March 1st to teach a class to crochet too. Yarn bond, I love that! Hope you have a great week!

Teresa Kasner said...

Meredith.. I'm sure you were patient and sweet.. teaching crochet is a challenge. When I go to Ohio, by 8 yr old GD wants me to teach her to crochet! I will take her to Hobby Lobby (we don't have them here in Oregon) and get one of those bright plastic crochet hooks and some bright yarn to start a scarf with. GREAT photos! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

kathy b said...

I love the focus in the front of the pictures and the blurrier back. I wish I could achieve that in my images…..
I crochet but I rarely do it the RIGHT way. I start to move the yarn and find a stitch that suits me and that's it. I think I do a lot of Half double crochets when I look them up.

Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams said...

Knitter, crocheter, teacher, and now photographer!!! You rock, those are amazing photos, I love your style.

Are the crocheted flowers hard? LOL...remember this is a person that can only chain, and double crochet...and doesn't know how to follow a pattern.

Meredith, you should photograph a tutorial...if you ever decide to make one, let me know.

And thanks so much for the mention, that's very sweet of you.


Betsy said...

Buying yarn to teach crochet doesn't count. (At least in my opinion.). I think you're right. I've taught both knit & crochet and I think crochet is much harder to teach. I'm sure you were the most patient teacher ever. Your pictures were great. Mine are always horrendous. :-)

mynestofyarnandbuttons said...

Well done, "me lady"!!! Can you tell I just finished watching Downton Abbey!!!!

Gracie Saylor said...

Yea, Meredith! I'm so glad you're helping others to learn to crochet and knit :) And I am glad you are enjoying experimenting more with your photos. I am a point and shoot photographer and even though I have read about how to take good photos, I don't remember the fine points when I see a sight I want to capture:) Still, I am enjoying experimenting with the process. I hope you have a happy week :) xx

Kris said...

You would make a fabulous teacher! I can well imagine how patient you would be!!!
xo Kris

Chrissie said...

Well done you for teaching the knitting gang! I completely understand your challenges - you know I'm teaching now, I start another new group tonight! In the past I've taught one friend at a time, but a group is much trickier, helping everyone with different skills, different sticking points...shoot, even writing up the class guide took me ages! You don't realize how complex it is until you try to explain it...that being said, please feel free to email me if you want any tips or to see some printouts! Chrissie xoxo

Joy said...

Ah Meredith, well done you! I am a left-hander so I didn't have problems learning to crochet after knitting for soooooo many years, but I can understand it would be a bit of a nuisance for RH people. I'm sure your students found you to be a most patient teacher - give yourself a pat on the back!
Your photos are looking great and thank you for the links, I'll go take a look!
Wonderful week to you m'dear, warm hugs,
Joy xoxo

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

I LOVE how historic handwork is still passed woman to woman in small circles... as well as on YouTube. The friendships: Priceless. =) thanks for the photo tips!! I'm off to check out these links! blessings ~ tanna

Delia Ryder said...

Sounds like you all had a lovely, cosy and fun afternoon, cant think of anything nicer than having an afternoon or knitting and crocheting with friends, my best friend Vicky and i do it to ;-) Your photo's are looking lovely, have a lovely week, dee x

kristieinbc said...

Your pictures look great! You can be thankful I wasn't in your crochet class. You would have needed a dunce cap along with the yarn and hooks. :-)

Jennifer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jennifer said...

Your pictures look great. I'm so impressed that you're able to teach others to knit or crochet, I don't know if I could do it! I am sure they are all very appreciative of your help. You are a very good friend.

Robbie Parker said...

Sounds like such a fun afternoon. A dishcloth is a great idea...almost instant gratification. Have a great week.

Anonymous said...

I am so proud of you teaching crochet love as well as knitting love! (giggle) I tried a couple of months ago to teach a friend to crochet (mind you she does no fiber arts at all, no knitting, needlepoint, cross-stitch, nothing)it was a disaster... I sent her home with yarn, hook and even a beginner book to refer back to if she forgot how the chain and single crochet looked... two weeks later I got a zip-lock bag with a perfectly rewound ball of yarn, the hook and the book... no project... she gave up! *sigh* So much for teaching crochet!

elns said...

How awesome are you for just teaching and spreading crafts? I like it! And an absolute free pass on buying yarn for others! I really like how you described learning to crochet with cotton, and the deliberate stitches. These things make such a difference. I haven't crocheted in such a long time. Maybe one day, but I'm really in love and content with knitting. I think the last attempt to knit in the round left me scarred.ha!

Joyful said...

How wonderful that you teach people to knit and crochet! I sure could have used your help learning how to knit. I first taught myself to crochet a very many years ago. But I could never knit. My tension was always too tight. I took one lesson a few years and now I love to make small projects like dishcloths. I find it relaxing and I can get the satisfaction of a finished product in a short time. I really do need to spend time to expand my repertoire but don't have the time or patience right now.

Have a wonderful week ahead.

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

How fun! My cousin tried many years ago to teach me to knit. I was all thumbs. It just didn't make sense to me at all. Crochet to me is so much easier. I taught a friend to crochet because she wanted to be able to embellish her knitting. She said that for her, knitting made much more sense. :) A dishcloth is the best thing to start with as you still come up with something useful and it doesn't have to be perfect. dc is my favorite stitch. I feel like with the sc I actually have to think. Strange, I know. I'm using a sc/dc for my dishcloths. Easy, fun! I'm sure your friends enjoyed the session. :) Tammy

Rose Red said...

Teaching crochet is really hard! It makes you think about how you do every little step, and how best to pass that on to others. I definitely agree with you, it is a handy skill to haven even if you are predominantly a knitter.

Susanne said...

I taught my youngest to crochet, but could never get her to take the plunge from single crochet to learning a new stitch. I am afraid she became bored with it and gave me her 2 ton blanket that felt like a board (she was a tight crocheter) and I unraveled it all and it went into African flowers. I am a firm believer in recycling yarn if it is mom taught me way back when I was so young, and the bug stuck with me till this day.
(((HUGS))) Susanne :)

Anonymous said...

Meredith, you must be a very patient person to do all the many things that you do. What a wonderful person you are too, making the world a better place with all that you share.

Liz said...

First of all, I always thought your photos were great. Secondly, I'm sure you were a great teacher as well. I just wish I could come to your knitting group and have you teach me to knit better. I am terrible and I so desperately want to make a cabled hat. How did you learn to knit? I think I do better with books instead of You Tube.
I bet you have so much fun with your knitting group. I wish I had one here. The only other person that knits or crochets in my world are busy nurses that work weekends. Oh well, maybe one day.
Have a great Sunday,