I've spent quite some time on the Ravelry website today. One of the topics brought up was that crocheters have a fear of learning something new and there was an inquiry of why that is. As I read the post, a news article I recently read came to mind with the simplest of explanations:
• Quick Start: If you're a Quick Start who wants to crochet, you'll probably buy some yarn and a hook, get a few tips from an experienced crochetmeister, and jump right into trial and error.
• Fact Finder: You'll spend hours reading, watching, asking questions, and learning about crocheting before actually beginning to use the tools.
• Implementor: You pay less attention to words than to concrete objects, so you might draw a pattern of a crochet stitch or even create a large model using thick rope, before you go near a needle.
• Follow Thru: You'll likely schedule a lesson with a crochet teacher or buy a book that proceeds through a yarn curriculum, learning new stitches in order of difficulty.
None of these approaches is right or wrong. They can all succeed brilliantly. But someone who's programmed to use one style will feel awkward and discouraged trying to follow another. ~Martha Beck, from the article "Knowing your 'action' style could lead to success"
As a crocheter, and as a Certified Crochet Teacher having taught many, many wonderful classes, these explanations ring true for me. Do you see yourself in there too?
Often times I am asked about how one should go about stretching their crochet abilities. My answer is usually to learn a new crochet stitch. Fortunately for us, Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss saw a way to make every day a learning opportunity for us by creating the 365 Crochet Stitches A Year calendar. Not a calendar that is good for just one year -- but rather one that is a perpetual calendar -- one that we can use year after year after year, to use as a reference guide, or as a way to challenge ourselves and learn something new.
Say it is your birthday and you were treated to several new skeins of yarn. What to do with it? Turn to your birth date and use that stitch to create something beautiful for yourself; and repeat this practice every year. How about a wedding, or birth of a new baby? Same deal! Use the stitch featured for that date to stretch your crochet skills! The more you stretch your crochet abilities, the more comfortable you'll feel about learning more crochet stitches and techniques no matter what your learning style is! ... and if you make an error, that's OK! There's a reason crochet has an excellent reputation for fixing/ignoring errors! But you won't know that until you try it, right?
So, now that you know what kind of crocheter learner you are, and now that you know about the Perpetual Crochet Calendar, the only thing that is standing in your way at this moment is my blog. Go ahead, try something new, then come back and leave me a comment of what you learned today ... and from time to time, I'll blog about what new stitches I've learned from the Calendar too! :)