Why crochet lessons (basic or advanced) are hardly offered these days
That's because, in order to really scrutinize and see if the customer is doing the right actions requires the instructor to sit right next to her i.e. to observe if the crochet hook is put through the right loops, whether the wrapping is done correctly etc.
You would be hard pressed to see this happening in most store settings as they generally do group format classes. Such level of personalized attention would mean the store would either end up handling limited customers or needing to hire extra instructor resources to cope which would not be financially feasible (not to mention there is a very limited expertise pool.)
Again, different instructors have different preferences. I have written about my views before: one knitting/crochet customer at a time.
Generally crochet's first lessons are much longer compared to knitting.
There are many reasons to this.
With knitting, just knowing how to cast on, knit and purl can get you pretty far.
But with crochet, there are much more stitches one has to be familiar with before they can embark on creating exquisite motifs. Even basic granny squares require a minimum of 3 different stitches to be mastered. And with motifs, unfortunately, as it grows, each round takes a longer time to complete, hence the longer lesson time. The differing stitch counts and stitch repeats also does not make it easier.
Add motif joining to the fold and you get the idea.
But of course, if you are just looking at the typical row crochet, that would be much easier to begin with.
Angela signed up with us precisely because we offer crochet instruction classes.
Angela has attempted knitting before but she prefers the texture and definition that crochet has to offer; especially with the lacey feminine look.
So to kickstart, she decides on this baby blanket.
Contrary to most rectangular/squarish blanket, this one comes in a star shape.
Angela's first crochet lesson
In this case, the pattern she had consists only of written instructions and the pattern was started from the center in a circular approach. (Rounds, not rows.)
As such, apart from learning how to read the instructions and repetitions contained within each round instructions; she also had to learn the various sts.
We also upped the annte by introducing her to Japanese crochet symbols as I drew some of the initial rounds for her while breaking down the instructions so that she can have a firm grasp of what's required -- charting seems to work for customers who are visual-oriented. Others work well by just instruction reading.
Finally, this pattern was flexible enough to allow Angela to crochet on as many additional rounds as required.
This meant she also needed to know how to *grow* the project by extrapolation. By understanding the crochet formulae used this pattern.
A new crochet speed queen emerges -- she has taken barely less than TWO (2) weeks from start to finish! Considering that she has no prior crochet experience and this is her first project, it's got to be a new record!
You might be thinking how "easy" it is to use the blanket, giving its shape but it does work really well.
Just make sure that the widest point (the diameter) drapes well over the person's lap or the baby stroller.
Seriously, the pace of some customers are really putting me to shame. I really need to get my own knits and crochet projects from my WIP ("work-in-progress") bin soon!
Now she's already onto her next project. Given that she has been exposed to the crochet symbols previously, getting her started on her second project is a cinch!
The only thing she needs to get used to?
The finer gauge since the project is an everyday garment meant to be worn locally in Singapore!
PS. In case you are wondering why we don't publish as many FO ("finished projects") photos, that's because we usually send customers home with instructions to complete their finishing. Which in turn means that unless the customers make it a point to bring their FOs back to show me or email me photos they have taken, I wouldn't get to see them. So for you ladies reading this out there, do remember to email me those FO photos you promised ok? [grin]
PPS. For anyone who is thinking of starting crochet with us, I would really suggest that you start with knitting first as it really helps with improving the coordination and finger reflexes.
Finally.... Thanks to all the 6 ladies who attended our Dec 04 preview over the weekend. For those of you interested, there is an afternoon session tomorrow Tuesday Dec 06 at 12pm. This will be our final preview session for 2011 so if you miss it, you'll have to wait till Jan 2012!Sharing is sexy