Thursday, 8 September 2011

Teaching People to Crochet...

...is probably the most exhausting thing I have ever done!

More on that later, lets look at some more of my baby owls first. They appear to be hatching out of the wool in this shot!
I decided that a great way to promote the new wool range I am stocking in my shop was to make little owls out of each of the wool colours. Here they are, showing themselves off in the shop window. I started stocking the wool to run alongside the crochet classes I am taking. It is gorgeous Rooster Almerino (half merino, half alpaca) DK, very soft and the colours are scrumptious. I used it to make this blanket 18 months ago.
And last Saturday I had my first 'learn to crochet' class with 6 very keen students. Here they are concentrating hard on their Granny Squares! And all using the Rooster wool ;)
It took me a long time to pick up crochet so I do appreciate how hard it is, but over the last couple of years I have done so much that it has become very natural to me, so I had to put myself back in the shoes of a complete beginner to teach this class. There is a lot to crocheting, you have to learn how to hold the wool and the hook, how to swivel the hook as it goes in and out of stitches and how to get the flexibility in your wrists to build up a rhythm. As we were concentrating on Granny Squares my students had to learn how to do trebles (quite a complicated stitch to start with), and understand the structure of a square and how to achieve it - all in on day! Phew!! No wonder by the end of the day I was so exhausted I could barely speak and had to lie down and go to sleep as soon as I got home!
 
This photo shows the completed crochet by the end of the day. It doesn't look much but a lot of brain cells went in to the making of this! I think all the students were nearly as exhausted as me by the end! But they all seemed to enjoy themselves and I have heard that a few of them are already 'hooked'!
This is the Granny Square blanket I made as a demonstration piece for the class. I realised I hadn't shown you this before, mainly because I intended to keep going until it was big enough for a full-sized blanket or throw. I used Patons 'fairytale dreamtime' DK, which is a very reasonably priced 100% pure new wool yarn, though quite difficult to get hold of as my local wool shop doesn't like stocking 'wool' *sigh*.
I have my first Beginners Patchwork and Quilting evening class tonight! 
I am quite busy on the creative front making things for new classes, in fact I have a backlog of stuff to show you and not enough time to blog again! I am sure things will even out soon.

15 comments:

  1. The crochet looks great and I love the owls! Good luck for your class tonight - I'm sure they'll have a lovely time (and I hope you aren't quite as exhausted after it!).

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  2. Now I really really wished I lived near the shop because I'd love to be able to crochet. My great aunt used to make the most wonderful crochet blankets.

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  3. Oh I so know what you mean about teaching others to crochet! Especially if they've previously been knitters - a difficult switch over in the brain!! But investing in people's creativity is priceless. Hope your class goes well tonight. jxo

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  4. My mum tried to teach me to crochet earlier this year, until we reached the point she was laughing so hard at me that she fell off the sofa. As I'm allergic to wool, and can only use the fake stuff, I figured I could just live without learning after all lol

    Love your wee owls though, and good luck tonight :o)

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  5. I have GOT to try to make one of those owls. My problem is I only know how to double crochet...I think that is what it is called. I can make those granny squares which are very fun and I DON'T hold the hook right...I can't do it the proper way! I hold it like a kid shoveling food in their face!:) But I'll do it one day...hmmm...yarn is buy one get one free at the moment....guess I best get some!;)

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  6. I love your wee owls, and they show off your wool so wonderfully! I learned to crochet at a very early age - I think I was 9 when I taught myself from a magazine, and I'm sure I still don't do it right, but it is fun, and such a wonderful skill to be passing on to others. Teaching can be a very exhausting thing to do, so huge kudos to you! Good luck with your next class, and all the ones still to come!

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  7. Love those owls, they are adorable. I have never been able to crochet, tried and failed.
    Good luck tonight.

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  8. The owls are soooo cute!

    I was hoping to visit your shop when I brought SofM back to uni but in the end I couldn't come up. I will try to get up before Christmas!

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  9. I'm only just beginning to understand how cool my mum was .. she taught me to knit and crochet really young, and I used to do both A LOT ... I can't for the life of me remember how to crochet, and I get really frustrated when I try it now!

    I think your owls are wonderful and I'm not surprised you were pooped after your class ... just count yourself lucky I wasn't there going "huh?"

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  10. Hope tonight's class goes well too! Lisa (20y o daughter) has learnt to crochet from one of the ladies at church, but she can't cast on, and I have no idea, so instead of granny squares, she got someone to cast on for her, and she is going round, and round, and round!

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  11. Hello! Your little owls are lovely and they look great displayed with the wool you used to make them - a clever idea. I hope your diversified business is thriving and that the teaching side of things is working out for you. I am interested to see how different your beautiful shop looks these days as it has been some months since I last visited - around March I think. Plan to be back in your neck of the woods in November so must take a peek.

    I used to crochet as a child (at a very basic level) but have since completely forgotten how - isn't that strange! You have prompted me to look out a dvd I got with some special offer on a "learn how to crochet" magazine some months ago - that I'd completely forgotten about. Here goes nothing....!

    All the best - BB!

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  12. I do hope that your class went well last night. I think you did brilliantly in even attempting to teach six people, teaching one small child a long time ago was quite something!
    I love crocheting, it is so inventive, all those wonderful stitches like 'popcorn'. Perhaps you will be able to take them onto 'intermediate crochet' and make an owl xx

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  13. Teaching can be very demanding. I am tutoring an all day workshop on knitting socks from the toe up next weekend - I, too, will be exhausted!

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  14. Gosh, I can't imagine teaching crochet! Well done - looks like your students had a great time.

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