Friday, May 2, 2008

Stretching Crochet Skill

I love teaching crochet. I love when my students push past their comfort zones and venture into something new that excites them. To the left is Lauren's granny square motif. She is in the process of making a garment for the first time. She chose a Lion Brand pattern which requires she create a square that measures 11 1/2" square. Unfortunately, her gauge is off by an inch and a half. Not wanting to rip her work out she's decided that she'll make another small motif, join the two, and create a beautiful handbag. At the end of her class she was off to visit a fabric store to find the perfect lining ...

Bonnie has been busy crocheting a baby blanket for an upcoming baby shower. The pattern she had initially picked out was confusing -- not just in the writing, but also for the yarn that she was using. I took the split-shell pattern that she liked and created a pattern she found easy to follow. All that is left is to add on a simple 3-shell border and she's done.

Bonnie said she learned a very important lesson from me ... that in the future before "marrying" a pattern, she should "date" it first.  What this means is that I taught her that crocheters should read a pattern, line by line, prior to starting a project. When we read the pattern first, we may find areas that could give us trouble -- perhaps because it's a new stitch combination, or it's a complex repeat.  In pre-reading a pattern, we'll be able to decide if we can take the pattern on ourselves, or if we'll need to consult a more experience crocheter, or in some cases, if we should move on to another pattern.  Pre-reading patterns, regardless of how complex or easy, will help the crocheter increase their pattern reading abilities, and that alone is worth investing time in. 

In both cases, Lauren and Bonnie are stretching their crochet skills.  How about you?  Do you ever feel stuck, or wish you could learn something new?  If you answered yes, then consider contacting your local yarn shop and sign up for a crochet class.  Or join a local crochet group in your area!  :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Stuck?  Yes, at times.  I do love the advice about "dating" a pattern before marrying it.  Wish I would have done that with this bear pattern.

I noticed that there are no CGOA chapters in my area at all!  I visited the website and saw the application on how to start one.  I'm keeping it open.  I'd really like to start one/join one, but time isn't mine at the moment.

Love and hugs,