Today I’m blogging to celebrate National Crochet Month. Thanks so much to Amy and Donna of Crochetville for including me in the blog tour!
I’d like to talk about crochet skills, and how we get them. Unlike skills that are taught in a school or university, crochet is something we usually learn from a relative or friend, or by teaching ourselves from a book or video. There’s no real curriculum or orderly course of study. That’s not surprising since crochet is “just a hobby.” The problem is, it can be hard to find one’s way with so little guidance.
These matters have been on my mind lately, because my book called The Crocheter’s Skill Building Workshop was just published. I’d like to share this section from the book’s Preface:
When the publisher, Storey, approached me about writing a reference book for crocheters, I realized it was an amazing opportunity. Crochet has emerged from its relatively short history — it’s only been documented back to the mid-nineteenth century — and is in full blossom today, with fabulous crochet on the runway every season, and very fine designs for crafters too. Thinner yarns and fluid, silky fibers that aren’t stiff, are also contributing to the crochet renaissance. It seemed to me that the crochet community needed a book that would help crocheters move into these new areas, by providing knowledge and techniques that draw on the traditions of the past but go beyond them.
Crocheters tend to have a high skill level in areas of crochet they’ve done many times. If you love to make hats, you probably already know quite a bit about working in the round. If you are a committed maker of afghans, you know your favorite seams for attaching blocks. When approaching a different area of crochet where you have less experience, some of your skill and knowledge will apply, but unresolved questions may come up. This is quite common, and very few people, including me, are expert in every aspect of crochet. What’s important, though, is to approach the less familiar areas not with trepidation, but rather with an inquisitive, open mind.
There are several ways to tackle just about any crochet problem. In The Crocheter’s Skill-Building Workshop I show four different ways to make a turning chain, three ways to start a circle, and thirteen different places you can insert the hook when making stitches.Today’s yarns and hooks are very different, and in some ways improved, from those of the past, and they allow us to do more with crochet than ever. We seek a different look and feel in our garments, which in turn affects our choice of stitches and tools. So our techniques change as our materials and aesthetics do.
Well, as you can see, I get all excited about this stuff! I do hope my book can be part of the crochet renaissance, not only teaching new skills but stimulating your creativity.
Note: All photos on this page copyright by John Pollack from The Crocheter’s Skill-Building Workshop