When I promised to show my friends how to crochet I searched the net for help. Googling how to teach crochet gave me some advice, but there’s some things you find out through experience. Here are some of the things I learned while teaching crochet.
1. DO have patience
Take a deep breath and gather your patience, you will need it. Crochet is a skill. Some people pick it up quickly. Others let their frustration (and yours) take over and give up. Don’t let this happen. With patience is how teacher and pupil will persevere (ha, I sound like Yoda).
2. DO get comfortable
Sit right next to the student. If they are left handed, sit in front of them. Make sure to position your hands in a way where the student will get the best view. I know sometimes it’s hard for your hands not to get in the way of yourself, so try extending your arms out. Not too far, though, you don’t want them to squint at what you’re doing.
3. DO take your time
Go slowly – this isn’t the Boonta Eve Classic on Tatooine and your student isn’t Anakin Skywalker (I hope they aren’t, because you know, future Darth Vader). If you crochet at your normal pace, it could seem as if you’re a speeding podracer to the student. Show them the techniques as if you are going in slow motion. Add some color commentary, though, so they won’t fall asleep.
4. DO encourage
Be encouraging, but if they can handle tough love, then dish it out. It all depends on the person, really. If someone keeps doubting themselves out loud but you see they are trying so hard and doing great, then tell them. If they are bragging how easy it all is but doing something technically wrong, let them know. Tell them to frog it and start again. It’s better to fix their technique now than to let them wallow in their ignorance.
5. DON’T talk down
On the other hand, don’t be a braggart. Don’t go on and on about how you crocheted a blanket the first time you picked up a hook (or embarrassed Kylo Ren the first time you picked up a lightsaber). We know you didn’t. Most people don’t. So be relatable. Tell them your beginner stories, complete with all the blood, sweat and tears. Okay, maybe there wasn’t any blood (unless you poked yourself with a sewing needle, for some reason), perhaps a little sweat and tears (when you took apart your project for the umpteenth time), but you know what I mean. Let them know its alright to fail a couple times.
6. DO reward
Rewards are fun, especially for kids. Promise dinner or a movie. Or sticking with crochet, promise if they master the basics, you will buy them the yarn to start on a big project. Yarn! Don’t you love yarn? Of course, finishing a project all on your own is also a reward in itself. Remind them of that if you want to spare your wallet.
7. DON’T treat everyone alike
Not everyone learns in the same manner. Some people need to see a demonstration to learn. Others only need to look at pictures. Some can even learn crochet by reading a book. Most people need a combination. Some people need a lot of attention, others can get by until they need you. Remember that everyone is different. Let them know its okay if they’re still learning chains while someone else is already doing triple treble.
What about you? Have you taught someone to crochet? Tell me about it in the comments! We could all use more advice. In the meantime, sign up for my mailing list and receive a free Learn to Crochet pdf that you can print and hand out to your Jedi apprentice/student.