Teach Someone You Love How to Crochet

May 9, 2011

Filet CrochetMy mother passed on to me the inability to sit still. Whether watching a movie, traveling, or visiting with friends, her hands were always busy spinning, knitting, or crocheting. And as soon as I was old enough, she attempted to pass her skills on to me. I was a decent but disinterested spinner, an abysmal knitter, but a voracious crocheter. My first crochet projects were simple picot edgings on receiving blankets, but I was soon craving more exciting projects. Before too long, I jumped into the challenging world of lace crochet. And, trust me,  my mom's support kept me from giving up and finding a less productive hobby like shopping. 

For Christmas one year, I decided to make my mother a filet crochet dresser scarf. This was my first attempt at filet crochet, but mom was right there with me throughout the entire project-offering encouragement even when she didn't know how to fix my mistakes. The dresser scarf wasn't finished by Christmas and instead became a Mother's Day gift. But despite the fact that the finished piece was inexplicably several inches too short, it still proudly rests on my parent's antique dresser. 

Now I, in turn, am passing my crochet knowledge on to others. It is amazing how many friends, family members, and coworkers have expressed a desire to learn to crochet and just need a willing teacher and a few fun and easy patterns to become passionate crocheters. I'm sure you have had a friend or two express a desire to learn the art of crochet as she (or he) admires your latest project. 

My advice: Start with easy and fun projects such as hats, scarves, or bags. Hip to Crochet or Getting Started Crochet, both by Judith L. Swartz, are both a great place to start. The stitch illustrations and explanations will help visualize the construction of the stitches and the quick, colorful projects walk the novice crocheter through the fundamentals without being boring.

 

  Easy Crochet Hat
    Summer Cloche, Hip to Crochet
Crocheted Market Bag

 

As my mother sat on the couch coaching me through the basic crochet stitches, I'm sure she never dreamed that I would one day turn that hobby into a full-time career. She shared her love of crafts simply because, in her mind, that's what mothers do. I silently thank her each time I pick up my hook. Give the gift of crochet to someone you love this year, and pick up a copy of Getting Started Crochet and Hip to Crochet.

 

Best wishes,

 

 

P.S. We would love to know who taught you to crochet. Or tell us about someone you have taught to crochet. Visit the blog at CrochetMe.com. 

 

Farmer's Market Bag, Getting Started Crochet

 

 


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Comments

threadsense wrote
on May 9, 2011 10:13 AM

What a great story, Toni!  My mom (now age 84) is still an avid needleworker, but wasn't the one who taught me, but she did set a great example.  At my first real job, at age 19, a co-worker used to crochet on breaks and at lunch.  We had a wild time with the teaching, as she's left handed and I am a rightie!  But it worked and 40 years later I've lost touch with Susan, but am still crocheting.  I've added knitting to the mix over the years and have always been a rabid sewer and quilter.  

My favorite niece has expressed an interest in learning and asked me to be her guide.  I'm honored and will certainly do my best with her.  She's a lefty!  Wild times ahead.

hegeel wrote
on May 9, 2011 10:57 AM

I´m sure your mom is really proud of you:)

I taught myself how to crochet. I was pregnant with my son, and the days were so long, so I picked up a book at the library, and got hooked on the first project. It became a huge passion, and it still is, 10 years later:)

I am teaching a friend of mine how to crochet a skirt, and I also have crochet lessons for another friend of mine and her mom every other Wednesday:)

amanda.k wrote
on May 9, 2011 1:26 PM

That is a sweet story!  Ha, I actually had the opposite experience of threadsense, one of the previous posters.  I am left-handed and learned to crochet at the end of an eighth-grade home ec. class.  We had made all of the baked goodies for the semester, and the teacher decided to fill the rest of the time with crochet.  Being left-handed and not always terribly patient, I quickly grew frustrated and declared that I would simply make the world's longest chain and call it quits. However, the mother of one of my classmates was left-handed and a novice crocheter and kindly came to class to teach me.  It quickly turned into one of my favorite hobbies, even though all I knew was how to chain and single crochet literally until the last couple of years - I just invented what I could with the basic stitches!

I've taught a couple of friends to crochet and recently taught myself how to knit!  I'm actually trying to get a new shop started on Etsy.com, called Handcrafts4Humanity, with the goal of donating the proceeds from my projects to the relief efforts in Haiti (I'm currently a Peace Corps Volunteer serving in the Dominican Republic).  Coming soon!

myangelnow wrote
on May 9, 2011 1:28 PM

I recently taught a fellow graduate student how to crochet. She claimed she was never into girly stuff but would like to pick up something as a hobby. After letting her try both crochet and knitting, she preferred crochet since you are working one stitch at a time and with only one needle.

She has since finished a scarf for her husband and a pretty complicated lacy halter top for herself. I am so proud of her work and glad that I uncovered her hidden talent.

on May 9, 2011 2:22 PM

Crocheting is one of the many things i got passed down from my mum. I started crocheting at the age of 12, and have since then loved it and made it my hobby. It became a passion to me a year after i got my daughter in 2004. I then realized i have a talent i needed to develop . I started crocheting different stuff like hats, scarfs etc, and decided to collect them on a webside. Now seeing all the tihings i have produced, inspires me a lot. I believe each day is a new opportunity for me to be my best, and that they are many blessings in store for me. I am so grateful for this gift God has blessed me with.

www.nalaku-collection.org

SashaCameron wrote
on May 9, 2011 5:34 PM

My great grandma was the first person to teach me how to crochet. I started learning when I was only three, sitting on her lap while she coached me and guided my hands. She taught me all of the basic stitches, and my first projected was a striped doll blanket made with the sraps left over from her projects. My grandma (her daughter) taught me how to make crochet lace, knit, and tunisian crochet. I didn't even know that's what it was until very recently, I had always considered it "knitting with an extra long crochet hook". I taught my mom how to crochet, and I helped grandmas teach my younger sisters. But I haven't had anyone else to teach yet, all of my friends think it's for little old ladies, not young people. My husband's best friend is facinated by it though, he always watches when I'm making something. I've offered to show him how, but he has turned me down so far.

RichardRose wrote
on May 9, 2011 5:48 PM

Great story!

My sister taught me while I was on holiday at her place (I was getting bored and she was making granny squares so I offer to help) and now I make a large range of articles to sell at craft markets. I also help teach at a local community centre (I'm in training to take over from the current teacher who plans on going on holidays later this year).

on May 9, 2011 6:38 PM

I recently taught my grandmother to crochet it was ironic and fun :)

revy_halim wrote
on May 9, 2011 8:48 PM

I learned crochet from a book and youtube (thank u for the hi-tech hehehe)....because every time I go to a bookstore, I always love to see handycraft books especially crochet...so I decided it's about time for me to learn and make one too....

Since I am working in the school (although I am working in the office area and not dealing with the students), however, the principal keeps telling me that I should teach crochet to students for the afternoon program....So, this is my first year for me as a teacher and I teach 8 girls from primary 4 - 6, once a week for an hour.. And I am very very happy to see their eagerness to learn how to stitch, to make a loop, and finally they can make one simple scarf, mini motifs....

tmcp wrote
on May 9, 2011 9:35 PM

When I was in 5th grade my teacher, Mrs. Tate was making a ripple afghan and I thought that was the most beutiful thing I had ever seen. Several of us girls would stay in during recess so she could teach us how to crochet. I have crochet with most every medium, yarn, thread, plastic bags, fabric and have taught several classes in rag rugs. It has been a favorite past time of mine for many years.

roxie92191 wrote
on May 9, 2011 11:06 PM

when i was 12 my grandma, who i was named after, tried to teach me a few times but i was just aweful! when i was 22 she passed away and i was heartbroken and i wished over and over that i had been able to learn from her. when i went to visit my grandpa afterwards he gave me all of my grandmas crochet supplies, the same hooks and everything, i havent put down those hooks since. it was like she wanted me to pick up where we left off that day and it makes me feel close to her everyday.

franki07 wrote
on May 10, 2011 12:53 AM

My aunt taught me how to crochet and the first thing that she taught me how to make was how to make a bun net its like a small bag that goes around your hair that you have put in a bun I forget the proper name for it. That was 50 years ago since then I have made coats, jackets, vests, animals, animal door handle covers, afghans some that I have sold and some that my friends still have after 40 years.  I have taught a few people and they have gone on to teach other people.  I also still have all the hooks that my aunt left me when she passed but my best story is when a friend of mine came to me annd said I have a baby shower can you make something.  I said sure when do you want it she said this evening.  I sat  down right then and made a 3 piece baby set (hat jacket and booties) by 7 that evening.   She didn't have anything to wrap it in so toilet paper it was.  But the person loved it and it now has been passsed down to her grandaughter.  Crochet is fast to learn fast to make something up secial for someone else or even all your left over squares can go to charity to make up bankets for persons in need.

Andrea C. wrote
on May 10, 2011 6:44 AM

My mom taught me to crochet when I was 5, and we spent many hours sitting on the sofa crocheting together. In the 51 years since then I've made lots of progress! I also knit, weave, quilt, and sew, but crocheting is my favorite craft.

When mom was in the last stages of cancer 20 years ago, I was sitting next to her bed crocheting squares for a baby blanket. She was on some heavy duty medication, and in and out of consciousness. At one point, she opened her eyes and saw me crocheting - and she started moving her hands as if she had yarn and a hook.  She died a few days later. I always think of that moment as the last time we crocheted together.

I teach an after-school needlework class for high schoolers. I'm amazed at how creative they become after learning the basics. They really enjoy making up their own designs, and I enjoy passing the skills on to another generation.

Debbie569 wrote
on May 10, 2011 7:35 AM

I taught myself to crochet. My mother always crocheted but didn't have the patience to "mess with me." I got married right after graduating from high school, at the ripe old age of 17. My husband worked a swing shift and I was often alone at night. We were definitely on a low budget and had no television, so I would read and listen to music. Then i decided that would be a great time to learn to crochet. I bought a how-to book that cost me 49¢ a size G hook (which I still have) and a skien of white yarn. I worked and practiced until I was finally able to master it. Now I can make about anything I choose. I have never had a problem with reading patterns so I can crochet by pattern or by sight. I LOVE to crochet and have been now for 38 years; it is my passion and number one source of relaxation. And I feel if I can learn, anyone who wants to can learn also.

Shellie2355 wrote
on May 10, 2011 8:35 AM

This is so funny! My Mom passed on her crafting skills to me, as well. She also was a prolific knitter. I caught on to the whole sewing gig, hand embroidery and we studied stained glass art together. However, try as she might, she couldn't teach me how to knit. I dropped stitches. My edges were crooked. My cast-ons were horrendous! In sheer desparation, she handed me a crochet hook (she couldn't crochet much beyond chains and single crochets). Well, that became MY art medium! I still sew, so some hand embroidery and could probably create a stained glass window, but my heart (and hands) belong to crochet. I took her basic instructions and went on to self-teach myself every aspect of crochet that I could get my hands on (except Tunisian crochet -- for some reason, I have the same results as when I knit). I now consider myself an advanced technique crocheter and designer and I owe it all to my wonderful Mom.

twinks wrote
on May 10, 2011 9:31 AM

I loved your story about how you learned to crochet.  In my case it was reverse.

I taught myself to crochet when my children were small and my husband worked afternoons so I had evenings to myself.  I started with a ripple afghan and went on from there until after my Children were grown and I'd made all forms of things with crochet and my Mom asked me to teach her during one visit.  I teach all ages to crochet.  First I have them pick out a pattern they want to do.  If it's simple enough we dive in and make it.  Learning as we create their first crochet project.  It works out well usually and holds their interest.  

I've spent the last few years making baby items for underprivilaged families .  and preemie items.   I love crocheting, I also have done, needlepoint, ccs, and knit. My favorite is crocheting, I always have something going next to my lift chair that I can do while watching tv.  I have MS now and am very thankful for knowing how to crochet to keep my hands strong.  my only question is how can I play on my PC while I crochet.??  lol  hard to do together, lol.  any ideas???

mswild wrote
on May 10, 2011 10:42 AM

My mother taught me to crochet when I was about 10 or 11 years old. I think she was searching for a way to keep me busy when I couldn't play outside.  By the time I had my first child I was hooked.  Now that I'm a grandmother I'm hoping to teach my granddaughters how to "get hooked"!  God Bless my mother. At 88 years old she still helps me fix my mistakes and read difficult patterns.  

sacredlilac wrote
on May 10, 2011 2:58 PM

After learning the basics from a friend (and getting 1/4 way through a blanket), my aunt taught me how to crochet again right before I moved from Canada to Japan. It was amusing to watch the reactions of the people on the subway and trains of Japan as I crocheted. Only once did I see another person crocheting on the subway there; a Japanese woman standing down the train from me was beginning a crocheted project. It was nice to share a moment as our eyes met and created a micro-community among strangers.

After almost eight years, I am grateful to my aunt for teaching me (I'm a leftie and she's a rightie). She was great when I would call home from Japan (or even when we lived in different provinces in Canada) to discuss on-going projects. It's wonderful to share a hobby with someone you love.

crochetjoan wrote
on May 10, 2011 6:13 PM

My maternal grandmother started me out crocheting by finger chaining to keep me busy while she cooked, etc.  I'd bring my ch to her; she'd hold it up inspect it and pull it out and hand it to me to do over!  

My mother taught me to crochet when I was about 8 and home sick at the end of Christmas holidays.  I became well enough to get in her hair, but not well enough to return to school.  She patiently showed me how to crochet a doily using blue and white varigated thread and a steel hook.  I would memorize the round and then call to her to teach me the next round.  

She eventually taught me to read the directions myself as she wasn't getting any housework done with me calling to her so often to teach me the next round!

My doily turned out "cupped" but I was so proud of it.

I then made baby booties, baby afghans, etc.  My maternal grandmother taught me to crochet a simple edging on baby flannel for receiving blankets.  

I have taught others to crochet too.  

I do many crafts, but crochet is my favorite and the one that I think I do the best.

Joan M. Adams

on May 10, 2011 6:44 PM

My mom got me started.  She knew a little and taught me that much.  I found some patterns to take me from there.  

I taught a summer school teacher when I was in 10th grade.  She was left-handed and couldn't get the directions reversed in her mind.  I sat across from her and she mirrored me.  It worked!

Linda Blake wrote
on May 11, 2011 7:33 AM

My entry into needlework was guided by my Mother (sewing), Grandmother (crochet) and, yes, my Granfathe (knitting).  I've passed on these skills to several people - nieces, godchildren, friends.  Mom started me sewing when I was just about 2 - sewing buttons on washclothes.  By kindergarten, I was helping make my first dresses for school (hemming & buttons), doing embroidery and starting to learn the basics of using the sewing machine.  To this date, I still enjoying sewing.  

When it comes to my crochet & knitting, I was doing both by 6.  The best part is knowing that my grandfather shared his knitting with me - something he and his shipmates did during the Wars (WWI/WWII) when they ran dark.  He said they would sit and knit hats and scarves.  

At the same time, my granmother taught me to crochet.  My favorite project, whih I wore out, was working on a wool afghan with her during high school.  We never finished the edging as she passed away before we finished it and my mother broke it off of the skein of yarn and ended the project.  I loved that afghan and again, to this day, I enjoying crocheting blankets and toys for children.  It doesn't take a lot of time (especially if you can multi-task crochet & TV) to make simple toys for the local Toys- for Tots or other Toy drive during the holidays - uses up the scrap yarn and gives an underpriviledged child a soft, cuddly toy to love.

Linda

Toni Rexroat wrote
on May 11, 2011 12:15 PM

I don't know how to express how touched I am with all of your responses. I've laughed and I've cried. Crochet has a special place in all of our lives. I look forward to hearing more stories as you share them and getting to know each of you better.

dsmom wrote
on May 11, 2011 3:26 PM

I taught 2 of my Sons how to crochet. They use to sit by me when I would be crocheting something, and they looked so interested. So I asked them if they would like to learn. They said yes; so I got them out some needles-yarn and went to teaching. It didn't take them very long to catch on either. That was 23 years ago and they can still do it.

AngiesSong wrote
on May 12, 2011 1:29 PM

I would like to say my mom taught me,but it was the other way around. I taught myself, then I taught mom. It was a great time we had togather just the same. She got to be very interested in doing doilies and I in everything. Mostly larger projects,afghans,etc. Then into designing my own clothes,and making smaller things and selling them for extra money etc. Then of course I would buy more yarns and continue crocheting more items,giving them away for presents etc. Always enjoying the crocheting time and could not wait to get back to it. Recently I was teaching my husbands granddaughter,she seemed to enjoy it as well. I recently took up knitting and looming as well and have made several crazy quilts over the yrs,love it all!

dogmus wrote
on May 13, 2011 7:26 AM

When I was in fifth grade, a classmate said she would teach me to crochet.  So I begged my mom for a hook and yarn.  All the girl could teach me was all she knew:  the chain stitch.  Fast forward to junior year of college, I finally learned to crochet.

For the past six years I have volunteered at a local grammar school teaching fourth, fifth, and sixth graders to crochet.  Last year I added the Knifty Knitter to the supplies, and this year the students and I have advanced to knitting as well.  I provide the supplies, and my pay comes when I meet students a few years later and they tell me they are still crocheting.

nhazard wrote
on May 14, 2011 5:28 PM

I started to teach my 7 and 8 (almost 9) old kids. The 7 year old lost interest fast and the 9 year old just wanted to to the chain, which i figured was a good start!!!!!

So, to be continued!!!!

Nicole

ReneeR@12 wrote
on May 14, 2011 6:32 PM

My grandmother taught me when I was young and uninterested.  But when she died, I knew someone should carry on her great skills.  I remembered she taught me to crochet a granny square.  I bought a book and retaught myself to crochet.  That was about 15 years ago.  Now I teach at our local yarn shop.  I even have a 94 yr old student.  I would teach anyone.  It is so much fun.  It becomes relaxing once you get the hang of it.  

pinkpearls85 wrote
on Jun 10, 2011 3:04 AM

My mother taught me crochet too. I started a website I want to add tutorials for beginners so that I can help them learn crochet

Dating99 wrote
on Aug 15, 2011 10:52 AM

thank you toni

Susyl wrote
on Oct 1, 2011 1:22 PM

What a nice story ...it is similar to mine ... I was living with my grandma and she was the kind of person saying that you cannot be still: you have to do something! so I cannot be quiet watching tv (it is boring). I started knitting, I found it easier, so I loved knitting ... then I learnd crocheting baby shoes, mmm, that was wonderful what I could do! so I went on doing more, now I make only "difficult"  things like atistic knitting (real laces, doilies etc) wich I find great, I cannot find much patterns for this in spain, sometimes in germany (I'm half spanish half german) and on the internet!!. Going on time, I went on doing more crochetting, there are great ideas, so I did laces, doilies, and the last I found where the Annies Attic clothes for fashion dolls, they are great! So I had to learn how to crochet "in english" because it is not the same method, germans and spanish do crochet with a diagram, not written instructions, so is easier, because you can see the work you are doing. But I thought it could also be possible, so I started with simple things, learning the names of the stiches, so I learned a lot of things I didn't know (like the eyelet foundation row, or the foundation row without chain), it is perfect that internet exists!

Now I found this site looking for understanding one of the annie's attic patterns, I cannot understand anything and they are things I am not able to do ... hope I will found the system here. :)

Thank you for the idea of this site, I will be participating

Susy

Toni Rexroat wrote
on Oct 3, 2011 11:40 AM

Hi Susyl,

Welcome! Yes, you will find that English crochet stitches and American crochet stitches are named different. We are so happy to have you join us. You can find free crochet patterns, as well as other free eBooks from Interweave, at the link below.

www.interweave.com/free-eBooks-videos

grannygail45 wrote
on Jan 15, 2012 5:26 PM

My Grandmother (Mawmaw) taught me to crochet when I was 8 or 9. In my adult life I taught myself how to read patterns and charts. I taught myself to knit. I also dabble in Pyrography (woodburning), and have made enough items to give to everyone in my family and also my friends. I taught my Mom how to work plastic canvas. I have recently gotten into beading and jewelry making. I have also finally gotten the strokes right in painting flowers..especially roses. I have ADD and have a hard time sitting down to the tv.. but give me a hook and some yarn and off I go... I now have 3 grandkids of my own and they all show an interest in learning crochet and some of the other crafts I work on. I am eager to pass this knowledge on to their generation.