Google the words “knitting” or “crochet”, combined with words like “how-to”, “patterns”, “lessons”, “tutorials” or “help” and get “between 1.96 and 9.28 MILLION results”; that is a big WOW. Through the decades, interest in the crafts of knitting and crochet ebbs and flows. Resurgence in their popularity the last few years is tremendous.
As a teacher of these fine arts, I am excited to be a part of this phenomenon. I cannot state this strongly enough. It is a labor of love to teach neophyte to advanced skill levels. I have been doing it more than fifteen years. The availability and variety of yarns and needles is huge and affordable to develop a satisfying, lifelong hobby. I promote the benefits of these activities. They yield enjoyment, relaxation, challenge and self-satisfaction. Project work is as simple or as complex as desired. Copious projects of all kinds work up quickly with super simple stitch patterns including hats and scarves and other clothing accessories, sweaters, afghans, toys, doilies and more. Do it while watching television or having a chat. Even better, do it for meditation and stress relief.
In learning, you get out what you put in. Learning to knit and crochet is no different. Practice takes time and results are always worth the effort. Those with the benefit of lessons become confident and are able to work patterns ranked for more advanced skill levels. “Students” become my students because simply knowing how to do the knit stitch or how to crochet a stitch is one thing, but knowing what to do with them is another. Written patterns must be understood and executed correctly if a project is to “turn out like the picture”. Instructions are just that, instructions. They do not tell “how” or the “best technique” to use. There is always more than one way to skin that cat in knitting and crochet. Lessons provide students with an arsenal of knowledge, a bag of tricks newly practiced, which are learned from an expert. This gained confidence kicks in easily when an instruction needs dissecting.
There is always something to learn. Genres and tangential subjects related to knitting and crochet are many. My library on these subjects numbers 4,000 books. In teaching avid students who just “can’t get enough”, it is equally stimulating for me. Related teaching for all skill levels includes properties of yarn, project planning, pattern applications, the design process, modifying patterns, mathematical and geometric formulas, positive and negative space, texture, special tools – a truly endless list.
For myself, I am well-practiced and have achieved “proclaimed” status as an award winning, national (thanks to having a www.website) professional designer in knitting and crochet. My work has appeared on covers of national catalogs and books.
Knitters and crocheters can be compared to golfers. Some are self-taught and sometimes that works well; but many need a teacher. Many are labeled “hackers”. Hackers could enjoy the game so much more with lessons, enabling them to move from a 30 handicap to a 20 or better. Applying this philosophy to knitting and crochet would provide an increase in skill level, pleasure and satisfaction.
Teaching is a major focus for me and I do a lot of it. It’s a win-win situation; students inspire me as much as I inspire them. Personally, it catapults me into my special world of research and study, design and sharing knowledge in my public lectures.
All of this goes toward creating new and further interest in the fine arts of knitting and crochet.
In Ocean Pines, I will be giving multiple public lectures (at the Recreation Department) all about knitting and crochet. These lectures are well received and I always look forward to them. Once again, a mutual stimulation, I believe, is found here.
Happy Knitting and Crocheting !