Mastering Crochet the slow and steady way.

I had the most inspiring day today. I am giddy with pride and excitement.

I’ve hosted a monthly knitting/crochet group for a local service organization for the last year or two. In that time I’ve offered a few tips and gotten a few newbies started with either knitting or crochet and I love every minute of it. I love the camaraderie that happens when you get a group of yarn-lovers together to share their knowledge or show-off their WIPs (work in progress) with pride.

I love that I can encourage and motivate others to embrace this passion of mine.

Sometimes I am so busy jumping from student to student that I barely get time to chat. Other times like today I get to work one-on-one with a longtime student and finally help her break through a barrier.

My good friend, Sara Nantz, has been a consistent face at Knit Wits for the better part of a year now but has not been able to graduate from a basic single crochet swatch. At first her 10 stitch swatch would loose stitches on each row. Then she been to gain stitches and I could tell that although she wanted desperately to learn, she really struggled with her stitch count and turning properly after each row.

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I tried everything. I explained how to count her chains from the hook in order to find the starting stitch. I showed her the little “bumper” that appeared at the end of each row that would tell her to stop. Nothing was working. I was grateful that she kept coming back to the club but unsure how to help her past her hurdle.

Then it happened. She showed up at Knit Wits today with her starter project in hand. 4 inches of beautiful, consistent, and STRAIGHT crochet fabric. I was (sorry Sara) shocked. Completely flabbergasted and secretly dancing inside myself with excitement.

I thought I had better get this lady started on her first actual project before something happened and the magic wore off. She decided on a cowl in a beautiful deep purple and I wondered if I dare explain a double crochet. I knew it would make her piece softer and help her feel that addictive sense of accomplishment faster. After spending the better part of a year teaching her how to get 4 inches of single crochet straight would I overwhelm her and jinx the whole thing?

I decided to give it a shot. I showed her the double crochet over 3-4 stitches and then handed over the yarn and hook. A few “oh, don’t forget to wrap first” and “through the work and then through 2” comments during the first 3 stitches and she finished the entire row herself. I held my breath and watched her turn chaining two like I had explained, turning the work like the page of a book so she could count her chains and find her starting stitch for the way back and insert that hook exactly where it belonged. SHE DID IT!

Then I asked her if she wanted to work her cowl as a long rectangle and then sew it together or if she would rather avoid turning each row by working it as one long and (almost) endless loop. Can you believe she told me she wanted to keep practicing turning and she thought she should do it the “hard” way so she could make sure to learn it properly? I THINK I LOVE THIS WOMAN!

Today I feel like a Momma Bird who watched her little baby fly for the first time. It took her monthly visits for over a year and while other students came, mastered the swatch test and moved on to numerous project by now while she still had the original mustard-yellow swatch with wavy edges that she kept working relentlessly. I am so glad she never gave up. I’m so glad she kept coming back. I not only gained a success-story but I gained a friend.

FeBREWary Inspiration – Mug and teapot cozy


Noble Teapot Wrap
To me crochet is like walking. I just do it. Just because I know how to do it doesn’t mean I can teach someone else how. But a few ladies asked me to give them a little class so I picked a mug cozy pattern (Link Here) from the blog; Tutus and Tea Parties, and showed up with some hooks and stash yarn and a lot of anxiety.

At first it was a bit rough. One of the ladies began referring to the first row as the “Satan” row and I thought that was a perfect description. But after spending at least 75% of our time on that first row they soon got the hang of it. I told them that I had to make about three projects before I really knew where I was supposed to insert my hook to make a single crochet and to chain one after turning each row. I didn’t keep either the slanted “purse” or the entire blanket made by crocheting into the back loop only.


I soon realized that these ladies were also anxious. They wanted to succeed and make something they could be proud of. We all achieved those same goals. By the end of the day they each had a nice size swatch and if they weren’t quite finished, they posted pictures that night of their finished projects.

I was so inspired that I came home and made a matching wrap for my teapot with the leftover cotton. This free pattern was designed to fit a Noble Teapot from DavidsTea.com and can be used with any oversized teapot. It also makes a great first project if you are just getting started.

Nobel Teapot Wrap

Yarn: Sugar ‘n Cream Cotton
Hook: 4.5mm
Embellishments: 2 medium buttons, needle and thread

Directions:

Ch 19
Row: 1 turn and ch1, SC across
Row 2-26: repeat Row 1
Row 27: turn, ch1, SC in next 5 SC, ch9, skip next 9 SC, SC in last 5 SC
Row 28-50: Repeat Row 1
Row 51: turn, ch1, SC in next 2 SC, ch 5, SC in next 11 SC, ch 11, SC in last 5 SC, fasten off.

Finishing:
Weave in ends
Position wrap on your teapot and estimate button locations. NOTE: better to make your wrap snug than too loose.
Sew on buttons
Brew a nice big pot of Earl Grey and ENJOY!