Saturday, May 16, 2009

Teaching Crochet

Oh my, where do I start? When I was asked to teach crochet at one of our local quilt shops, I was surprised and kind of shocked because of my past experiences with teaching or not teaching my daughter to crochet. How would I teach someone? I didn’t know if I could.

The owner of the quilt shop is very nice. Her name is Lisa, and the name of her store is Picket Fence Quilt Company. She advertised my class in her store and in her monthly newsletter. Much to my surprise, eleven people signed up for my class and four of them were left-handed. Wow, I was a little overwhelmed because I was not prepared at all for left-handers. How do you teach them? (I am surrounded by left-handers. My husband is left-handed, two of my three brothers are left-handed, my boss is left-handed, and my granddaughter is left-handed.)

Everyone caught on to the crochet except the four left-handers. I was so disappointed that I immediately consulted the world wide web and found crochet instructions for left-handers. I made copies and was ready for my next class. In my next class, much to my surprise, one of the left-handers came back, and I handed her the instructions that I had printed out, and she got it this time. Maybe the other three will come back someday.


After 3 years of teaching, I think I have finally got it down. I teach at one of the local yarn stores here in Wichita called Twist. I provide "Learn to Crochet" and "Crochet 102" classes once a month, and I love teaching. My classes are two hours long, and I start them out making 21 chains with single crochet back across making 20 single crochets. Then I make about 10 rows of single crochets. I ask each student to do the same thing. This helps them have something hold onto while learning to hold the hook and the yarn. After they feel comfortable with making single crochets and ch 1, I have them make some half double crochets. When they are comfortable with that stitch, I have them do some doubles. This takes about an hour, and after that, I make sure that all of them are comfortable, we cut the yarn, and I show them how to finish off and how to hide their ends. Then I start them making the chain and crocheting into the chain.


The books and videos that they now have out are wonderful tools. This "I Can't Believe I'm Crocheting” book is so great; it has left-handed instructions, too!!!! I wish I that I'd had this in my first teaching experience. Please tell me about your teaching methods. Do you have a certain age group that you like to teach?