Teaching my second craft class: Intro to crochet

Crochet class 1

Part of the reason for my recent sewing break has been a little bit of teaching: my second craft class!  One of the participants from my sewing class in January asked me to host a crochet version for a campus organization she’s involved in, and of course I said yes.  : )

Preparing for this class was WAY less work than for the sewing version, mostly because there weren’t dozens of tiny samples to cut, sew, and label.  All I had to do was get some yarn and crochet hooks (which we wound up getting for free from the university – score!) and put together some simple instructions.  The hardest part was reminding myself how to crochet – it had been a while! – but it all worked out well, thankfully.

Crochet class 4

Above you can see the supplies table we set up: yarn, hooks, instruction packets, some crochet books for inspiration, and a bunch of random items that I’ve crocheted over the years.  The students really appreciated the free supplies (who wouldn’t?) and enjoyed checking out my crocheted examples.  Do you recognize my slippers?  : )

Like last time, no money was exchanged for this class.  I volunteered my time, the class was free for university students to take, and the supplies (and snacks!) were sponsored by the university.  I really like this model for craft classes and feel fortunate that being in a university setting allows for it.  The students could easily learn to crochet for free on the internet (I did!), so why should they have to pay me for it?

Crochet class 2

We had about 12 students in the class, which was actually way too many for just one instructor.  Lesson learned.  I wound up spending the entire 2-hour class walking around the table, hunching over, and demonstrating each step for 2 students at a time, as you see above.  I was more than happy to do it since I really wanted everyone to learn how to make the stitches properly, but oh, my back!  I’m getting old.  : )  Everyone was so excited though, so it was totally worth all the bending over.

Crochet class 3

At the beginning of the class, I asked everyone to tell me if they had any previous crochet experience.  To my surprise, no one did!  I had a room full of absolute beginners.  It was a little intimidating, but we made it work.  In 2 hours and with 12 beginners, we got through the following skills:

  • Making a foundation chain
  • Learning how to count stitches properly
  • Single crochet
  • Half double crochet
  • Double crochet
  • Binding off
  • Forming a ring to work in the round

I’d say that’s pretty good!  Each student worked at his or her own pace (yes, we actually had one male participant), and I’d introduce the next skill to each student whenever they were ready for it.  I would guess that none of the students felt like an expert by the end of the 2-hour class, but I hope they each got off to a good start, with suggestions on where to look for more help (online, local shops, books, etc.) as they needed it.

Crochet class 5

Overall, I’d say this class was a success.  There are definitely things I’d improve for next time (most importantly, a smaller class and/or more instructors), but I think we all had a good time and learned something new, including myself.  : )  The best part was seeing the students help each other – see the two women on the right in the photo above?  Love that!

By the way, I totally wore a 100% handmade outfit to the class.  Do you recognize my tie-dye Renfrew and caramel A-line skirt?

________________

In unrelated blog news:

1 – Although I’ve already been loving all the Me Made May photos and posts, I won’t be officially participating this year.  I’ve actually never participated, so no change there!  I just thought I’d make a point of mentioning it since it’s such a huge event.  I don’t like the idea of sewing deadlines of any sort, so I almost never participate in sewalongs, contests, etc.  No big deal.  : )

2 – I’ve you’ve been following along with the Curvy Colette blog tour, you may have noticed Jenny’s (aka Cashmerette‘s) photo shoots of her lovely handmade garments.  I’ve seen the photo of her nautical Moneta popping up everywhere!  The reason I mention them is because the photo shoot location is none other than my very own university, and in particular, a popular location that I walk by everyday.  I love seeing it getting a little love from the sewing community!  (And yes, I keep checking for myself walking by in the background, LOL.)

Have a good weekend, everyone!  : )

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9 comments
  1. Ellen said:

    It doesn’t get any better than that! When you step back and watch your students interacting with each other, sharing and working with the materials…I think you’ve caught the bug (teaching). Will your next class be embroidery? I’m with you on the sewing deadlines & competition for many reasons. Similarly, I don’t do twitter or Instagram either. I did notice your tie dye Renfrew! And, for some reason, I was thinking you were at the University on Comm Ave, but you’re across the river!

    • Yes, I’ve definitely caught the teaching bug… with both science and crafting. I’d love to teach science full-time and craft classes part-time once I finish my PhD. : ) We’ve been talking about doing a knitting class next, but embroidery is a great idea too, thanks!

      And yes, I’m over on the Cambridge side of the river. The combination of high cost of living and low grad student salary is a killer, but I’ve been making it work!

    • Yeah, it was great! Such a nice change of pace from our normal jobs. : )

      • I think it is a fantastic idea, and one in which I wish to do myself in the near future! And yes I agree….anything away from the normal jobs!! :)

        • Carolyn said:

          Good luck with it! :)

  2. Emmely said:

    That does sound like a great success! I’m impressed you managed to cover that much in just 2 hours. Perhaps with such a large class it would be a good idea to demonstrate the stitches with the largest crochet hooks you can find so that people don’t have to sit right on top of what you’re doing to see what’s going on with each stitch.

    • I agree – I couldn’t believe we covered that much in just 2 hours! I had anticipated getting through making a chain, counting stitches, and single crochet… but the students kept asking for more, which was great!

      Thanks for the idea bout huge crochet hooks – that would have definitely helped everyone see what I was doing. I also thought about getting an overhead camera and video projector – maybe next time. It’s funny how much you think of in hindsight!

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