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Today I’ve got a special treat! It’s a guest post from Marie Segares.
Marie Segares is a crochet and knitting teacher, designer, blogger, and podcaster. She hosts the Creative Yarn Entrepreneur Show, and shares her patterns, tips, and projects on the Underground Crafter blog. We’re celebrating the release of her new book, Make Money Teaching Crochet: Launch Your Business, Increase Your Side Income, Reach More Students. This handy resource is available as an ebook or you can get the paperback Workbook Edition which includes 15 worksheets and forms to guide you as you use your passion for crochet to earn side income or to supplement your full time crochet business..
If you’ve ever tried to teach someone – or yourself – to crochet with patterns, you know it can be a daunting challenge. Learning to read patterns is not much different from learning a new and unfamiliar language. Here are three tips for making the learning process a bit more successful – and fun!
3 Tips for Teaching Someone to Read Crochet Patterns
Choose a beginner-friendly pattern
There are plenty of advanced or beyond beginner crocheters who don’t know how to read patterns. I’ve taught people who have been crocheting for decades to read their first patterns. These crocheters may have been making that one project someone taught them long ago over and over, or they may be self-taught designers who have created fitted garments and intricate doilies of their own design.
The one thing they all have in common, though, is that they are beginners to pattern reading. The Craft Yarn Council skill levels address the complexity of the pattern, not the crocheters ability level. Starting with “beginner” or “easy” patterns will make it easier to focus on the translation from “crochet” into your own tongue. These patterns focus on basic stitches and simple pattern repeats, color changes, and shaping. This will allow the crocheter to focus on the pattern itself rather than on learning new skills or remembering complex details.
Choose a pattern that uses standard terminology
Many of today’s independent crochet designers are self-taught, so they may have developed their own way of communicating. As an independent designer myself, I’m all for this creative freedom.
When you’re teaching someone to read patterns, though, focusing on patterns using standard terminology is most helpful. This will allow the crocheter to easily transfer this new pattern reading ability to patterns shared by a broad range of traditional and independent publishers, instead of being restricted to the unusual terminology of one designer.
You can find these patterns in most traditionally published books and magazines, on the websites of large companies, and through independent designers who use Craft Yarn Council standard abbreviations.
Choose a project that interests the crocheter
Most of us are more willing to struggle through learning something new when we are excited about the outcome, so choose a pattern for project that the crocheter actually wants to make.
In my crochet classes, I ask the students about their “dream projects” – you know, the stuff they would make if a magic wand granted them all the crochet skills in the world. If you can find a project that gets your student excited, she (or he) will be more willing to struggle through the learning process. If you’re teaching a large group and can’t fully customize the projects, bring a few carefully selected patterns and allow the students to choose their favorites. This small amount of choice will go far!
I hope these three tips help you find great patterns to teach your students – or yourself – to read crochet patterns. Thank you, Lindsey, for inviting me to visit.
Thank YOU, Marie. Those really are fantastic tips. If you’re interested in learning more about teaching crochet, make sure to check out the book Make Money Teaching Crochet. Marie is kindly offering a giveaway for Poetry in Yarn blog readers! You have a chance to win the Ultimate Printable Edition Ebook of Make Money Teaching Crochet. To enter, leave a comment here with your thoughts on teaching (or being taught) crochet before midnight (Easter time) on July 5th, and we’ll use the random number generator to pick a winner. This giveaway is open internationally.
Edited to Add: I’m extending the deadline to enter. You now have until midnight on July 6th! Hurry up and comment.