Crocheting is my Super Power!

I think I learned to crochet back when I was barely in the double digits. It's one of those skills that stay with you. I wasn't a huge hobby of mine, but I could do it, and I did now and again. Then I probably went almost a decade without doing it....then picked it up again to make a few baby blankets when I was pregnant. Or rather, I started a few. I only actually finished one. When Andrew was little, he loved dinosaurs, as most little boys tend to do, and I had a pattern for a crocheted dinosaur that I started...and never finished.

But all those half-finished products I kept, along with a ton of yarn in a yarn bag that I've had in my closet for 17 years now. Untouched. For 17 years. We moved approximately seven times since the last time I actually did anything with that yarn bag...until now!

I have a big volunteer project I'm planning with my friend Tara, at the nonprofit where I had the backpack project last year. It's called Creation Station and it's going to be a gathering for the Bienestar residents, with the purpose of teaching and empowering. It's an experiment really...we don't know if 50 people will show or 250. And those that do show might not like it....but regardless, we'll do our best. I'll share more about it later, but the station that I'm leading is: teaching how to crochet. I know, you're laughing right? Remember I haven't done this particular activity myself for 17 years? And I have never tried to teach anyone. Much less a group.

Oh, and did I mention that it's highly likely that about 50% of the people attending will speak very little English? Bienestar serves mostly Hispanic families. My Spanish skills are limited.

I know some key phrases, like:
  • Lo siento, mi espanol es muy mal! (I'm sorry, my spanish is very bad)
  • No puedo ayudarle. (I can't help you)
  • No puedo comer ahora (I can't eat now)
  • No tengo gusto el usted. (I don't like you)
  • Hay un perro en mis pantalones. (There's a dog in my pants-I learned this from a teenager a few yrs ago, haven't used it yet)
I think a few of these will come in handy, but won't be very helpful in the actual project. Anyway, it'll all work out, it always does...

In preparation of my big debut as a crochet teacher, I had a few friends over to let me practice my skill-sharing. The plan is that I will attempt to teach a group of 8-12 people of all ages how to do a basic crochet stitch in a 20 minutes period.

Working with my four friends - it took us almost 20 minutes for me to teach them how to hold the yarn correctly and make their slipknot. I definitely don't think it was my friends who were the holdup. Did I mention I haven't done any crocheting for 17 years? True. And it shows.

But once we got going, it went a little more smoother, and it took just 20 more minutes to get to the second row. And there may have been some tears of frustration from the young ones, but really - nobody blamed her. It was really frustrating. I think what we learned was that teaching crochet is a skill I don't really have...but I think I will be able to make it work. The first hurdle was learning how to hold the yarn in your hand to make it "pull" through smoothly and making the slipknot to start. I can overcome that by having some simple instructions enlarged and printed to show people how to do this. And then we'll just hope for the best.

If anyone has any words of wisdom on how to teach this type of skill, or other great Spanish phrases to add to my list, or even just words of encouragement - please leave a message. Consider it your good deed of the day!  

11 comments:

  1. Brian Miller said...:

    there is a dog in my pants..rofl...nice...this is a cool skill to teach...therapeutic and useful

  1. Very cool.

    My husband's grandmother taught my 12 year old how to crochet last year. She has made a few scarfs and funky headbands.

    I need to pick up a hobby... maybe I will ask the daughter to teach me. :)

  1. Brandy@YDK said...:

    i think your super power is your optimism and go with the flow attitude. I'm sure your workshop will be great!

  1. Jessica Brown said...:

    "more smoother" really? Not the grammer I've come to expect from you, Kaylen. I've only tried to teach someone crocheting once and it didn't work out so well, so I have zero tips. Maybe drink some wine before you go, then whatever happens will be funny? LOL

  1. Unknown Mami said...:

    I'm sure you will do great. If you can find someone in the group that is bilingual perhaps they could translate your directions to the Spanish speakers.

  1. Crocheting?!?!? My wife suddenly decided before Christmas that she had to drag out every project she has ever started and finish them all off RIGHT NOW.

  1. I imagine if crocheting is anything like knitting, it's all about muscle memory. good for you to pass along the gift of something useful and creative to do!

  1. lo said...:

    I can't crochet but I can knit and I taught myself from old craft books of my grandma's and videos online. Maybe you can bring your laptop and show some good YouTube tutorials? This way some people could watch those while you give one on one instruction to others.

    Either way you can do it!! Good luck :)

  1. Debbie said...:

    That is wonderful! I know you will do well. And what a great project.

  1. Blogger101L said...:

    Crocheting is a fun activity and that you can do while watching tv, or on a plane, or a bus. I was taught how to Crochet when I was around 7, and it's definitely something I'll teach my children to do. Sometimes I think crocheting and Knitting is a lost art, but I strive to keep the next generation knowledgeable about something other than video games!

  1. Penny W said...:

    I find that yarn choice can make a big difference to a beginner.

    I'd recommend you choose light colors over dark. Choose solid over variegated. Choose smooth over bumpy/fuzzy/whatever. Choose worsted weight over baby weight. Try to find a yarn that doesn't tend to split.

    I find the initial chain to be the most difficult for beginners. When I taught a minor, I found it was less frustrating for her if I made the chain stitch for her and then taught other stitches from there. Eventually we came around to teaching her the initial chain.

    The printed instructions will come in handy. You may want to try to find some left-handed instructions as well.

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