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Topic: Teaching Crochet to a group  (Read 1432 times)
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Lunapooka
« on: January 06, 2011 10:47:56 PM »

I was asked to teach crochet at a table for an event that benefits a non profit as part of a series on artist demonstrations.  I've taught people on an individual basis, but I've never taught a group.  I was thinking of using thick cord or bulky yarn and the speed hook to have an easily visible way to demo it to a rotating group of people.  I'd probably set up 6 or so stations each with a crochet hook and a skein of yarn.  I'd set up the table with different examples of crocheted items...  some with fine yarn, some with bulky yarn, some ami, etc...  and perhaps do a board with examples of difference crochet stitches.  I have until March to prepare. 

Has anyone done anything like this before??  I'd love to hear from experience. 

Is there a certain color yarn that would be best to learn with?  I'm thinking medium tones, like blues and greens... 
What size hook would you teach with?
Would you just focus on teaching sc or try to add some variety and teach hdc and dc too?
Should I include some sort of kit to buy if they wanted to take home a project to work on that day?  I'm thinking a dishcloth kit, a ball of cotton yarn and a hook. 
Is there a place to buy hooks in bulk if you are buying the same size? 
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« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2011 11:22:18 PM »

I recommend a large hook, like K or bigger.  Because it's easier to see your stitches that way.  And to start off.  I recommend sticking with cotton and acrylic yarn.  Like Sugar n' Cream and Red Heart.  I wouldn't recommend using expensive yarn on newbies.  And you might want a bright color.  Like, red.  Or orange.  If you do get chunky yarn, get something like Jiffy.  Not Homespun, because that stuff splits easily and it's hard to see where you're going with it.  And I would start of with a single, but if it seems like they're getting it, move on to a double, and then a triple, and then the half double.  And remember, that learning a new skill like crochet, takes some time.  So be patient with them.  Maybe instead of stations, you just do it in one big group?  That way you can work along with everyone.  That's just a thought though.
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Lunapooka
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2011 11:38:39 PM »

It will be an ongoing type of event where people can wander up to the tables and leave as they please.  A big group wouldn't be possible. 

I was thinking a worsted weight yarn for them to learn on, but something bulky for me to demo with to make it more visible.  I'm also thinking of making small kits to sell to benefit the non profit, but also to give people something they can take home right away and start working on before the knowledge fades.  It will include enough cotton yarn to make a dishcloth, a hook and simple instructions for the project.
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« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2011 11:44:04 PM »

maybe some instruction cards? place one at each station so people can refer to those, some people can follow written instructions better that auditory ones, i'd put pics on them too
or maybe you could have a stack of them so people can take one away if they want
and on the back you could put a bit of general info about crochet?
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« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2011 03:21:11 AM »

The trick with teaching multiple people is to be prepared!

You are going to encounter many different learning styles... you'll want to be able to show how to do the stitch, describe it in words, and have some sort of handout.

I would recommend a plain, worsted weight yarn in a medium colour... not too light, definitely not too dark!  Make sure it's a plain yarn... no boucle or waves or fur.  And pick something that is consistant and not too splitty.

Of course, being prepared means having a couple of balls of yarn that don't fit that description... just in case!

I think the kits are a fantastic idea!  In fact, if someone seems very enthusiastic right from the get go, you may want to suggest they start learning with the kit.  That way, when they take it home, they'll have already started the project.

Also, when you getting hooks for this, have alternate sizes available.  Beginners tend to crochet tightly, so having bigger hooks is advisable.  Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, so have smaller hooks too, just in case.

Handouts are very important.  A student's retention rate increases based on how soon after the class they start practicing, so make sure everyone goes home with a handout that covers what you taught and encourage them to take a stab at it again as soon as they can.

Example swatches of the stitches are a really good idea.  Having a set for each station is ideal.  Examples of projects you can make is also a good idea!  Especially if they are projects that look fabulous and use the stitches you're planning on teaching!

One last thing:  be prepared for the occasional student who picks it up quickly!  Basically, have a few more advanced things standing by if you can.


I think it's great that you're planning on doing this!  The more crocheters the better, I think!
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« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2011 11:37:41 PM »

What a great idea! I agree with the plain worsted weight yarn and large hook and the kits are sure to be a hit. I prefer the red heart worsted to teach with as it doesn't split  as often with "tight" stitches and definately stay away from dark yarns. Will you include hooks with the kits? You could also have kits with basic beanies or scarves. I'm teaching a couple of teens and they wanted to start with beanies. We all know how hard it is to get a teen near dirty dishes, so a dishcloth would be too close! Maybe have some photo of some of the amazing things created with crochet to show it's not just granny squares and afghans. I did a goggle search on crochet sculptures and came up with these images. I would contact the designers and get permission to use their photos and explain what you are doing and that you just want to show there are no limits except your imagination in crocheting. Here's the link:

http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&expIds=25657,27955,28061,28156&sugexp=ldymls&xhr=t&q=crochet+sculpture&cp=10&wrapid=tljp1294472073130020&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=univ&ei=fRMoTaCDKYGosQPH5fyyCA&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=1&sqi=2&ved=0CCYQsAQwAA&biw=1159&bih=460

Please let us know how the event works out
« Last Edit: January 07, 2011 11:40:06 PM by sewhappysue » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2011 08:55:07 AM »

Definitely practice explaining the steps. Break it down as much as possible. You would be surprised by just how many motions are involved in a single or double crochet.
Handouts with big pictures would be good.
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« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2011 09:19:28 AM »

^ What she said. You might also want to briefly explain to them what things like "yarn over" and "pull up a loop" mean. I tried to teach a friend how to crochet and I told her "Now yarn over" and she just looked at me like I was crazy. Tongue
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« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2011 09:50:39 PM »

Also, to add on.  Be sure to be ready for lefties.  Don't tell them to do it opposite of what you're doing.  That's not helpful at all.  And this is speaking from a lefty.  That's the most frustrating thing to hear from someone when trying to learn something new, especially something like crocheting or knitting.
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