Skip to main content

10 Tips for Teaching Crochet (Or Really Any Craft)

I firmly believe that anyone can learn how to crochet. I've taught my family members, friends, my local 4H group, and pretty much anyone who asks me.  It's an incredibly rewarding experience for both teacher and student. 
However, being a good teacher and a good crocheter are two entirely different skill sets. (Skills that apply to pretty much any craft, not just crochet.) There are SO many things I wish I'd known but fortunately, you can learn from my experience. Whether you're trying to teach a large group or one-on-one, here are my top 10 tips for teaching crochet. 

1. Nobody is a super crochet lady (or dude) right away.
I was reminded of this a few days ago when I asked my mom for help with a knitting project. When we looked at my little swatch, we each saw something different. She noticed each individual stitch, increase, and even the slant of each stitch. Me? I just saw a swatch of something that was (probably) knitting. It takes years to learn that stuff. Be patient will your student and remind them to be patient with themselves. 

2. Have multiple methods for each technique.
Although it's not always possible, it's incredibly helpful. Show different ways to hold the yarn/hook, start a circle, make a slipknot, etc. Remember: the important part is not the method but the finished product.

3. Go slowly and repeat steps as necessary.
When I was learning to sew, I was taught by a large group of super-sewing ladies. They all went very fast through the steps without explaining what or why they did what they did. It was frustrating to see them whip through steps even after I asked them to slow down. It's actually one of the reasons I didn't pursue sewing. Going slow enough and making sure your student understands can be the difference between them loving or hating the craft.

4. Use a bright, single-colored, non-fuzzy yarn.
 This is important for a number of reasons. Dark or variegated yarn makes it extra hard to see the stitches. And fuzzy yarn is a nightmare because the stitches are hidden and it's almost impossible to frog. 

5. Stitch markers are your best friend. 
A beginner hasn't had enough experience to recognize stitches. For example, she might confuse the turning chain as a stitch or vice versa. Explaining the difference is helpful but having her mark that turning chain or the stitch she's skipping in that place can make a world of difference.

6. Do (or at least offer to do) the first few rows for them. 
Let's face it: Working that first row is tough. Give your student a firm foundation before having her work her first row.

7. Teach your student to crochet with their dominant hand. 
I get that sometimes it's not possible. (I still haven't mastered left-hand crochet myself) If that's the case, at least help them find some photo or video tutorials using their dominant hand. I highly recommend Moogly for both hands.

8. Find a project your student can complete right away with no previous experience. 
This is especially important for children. Often, they can't see the payoff of learning a bunch of stitches and techniques without getting to make anything. Fortunately, there are tons of super easy projects out there. That first chain makes a great bracelet, necklace, or Barbie scarf. A simple swatch becomes a doll blanket or fingerless mitts. Adults might prefer an easy chain cowl.

9. Never say anything bad about your students' work. Ever. 
 This should be a given but unfortunately, it's not. My mom has taught hundreds (I'm not exaggerating) of people to knit. Her policy? When they make a mistake, explain how it's not so much a mistake as it's a different stitch/technique/method. Accidentally put two stitches in the same place? Congratulations, you've learned how to increase. Added a yarnover before a single crochet? Now you know how to half double crochet! 

10. Crochet is not for everyone. 
Although anyone can learn how to crochet, not everyone wants to. Sometimes you'll have a student who doesn't enjoy it-- and that's ok. You should let all of your students know they're free to stop if they want and you're not forcing anyone into anything. 

Have a teaching tip I didn't cover? Let me know in the comments!

While writing this post, I came across Left in Knots' fabulous 3-part series about teaching crochet. If you're looking for even more tips (or want to make some money off of teaching) definitely check that out HERE


Popular posts from this blog

Free Crochet Pattern: Flower Scrubbie

I haven't posted anything in a long time but I'm finally back with a simple flower scrubbie. It's a mere three rounds, requires little counting, and takes about ten minutes to make. You can make a bunch in a single sitting, making them perfect for Croflixing (Crochet+Netflix). They're also versatile-- I've been using mine as face scrubbies but they would be just as good in the kitchen.  I included some round-by-round photos to help with construction. It's such an easy, straightforward pattern it probably doesn't need a photo tutorial but now it's got one anyway.  I ' ve been working on better photos and hope to eventually take good  photos myself.  I don't know if I'm improved much but I certainly have been having fun.  But enough about photos. Let get right into the pattern.  Add this to Ravelry  HERE. Pin this  HERE. Abbreviations: Ch: Chain Sl st: Slip stitch Dc: Double crochet Shell: 5 dc in the same st Sk

Lucy's Kimono ~ A Free Crochet Pattern

Believe it or not, I started this in June. I thought it would be a good early-summer-so-sometimes-it's-chilly-at-night piece. But summer came and went and it still never got finished. Then I thought it would be a good transitioning-into-fall piece. But here it is! If you're wondering why that's because this Kimono is over 12,300 stitches and made with almost 1500 yards of yarn. You read that right.  Fifteen-hundred yards.  So I feel slightly vindicated in this delay.  I considered waiting for a more seasonable time to release this pattern but decided against it. I've worn it quite a few times and always get tons of sweet compliments. I hope you enjoy it!  Before we get into the pattern, let's talk about the Diamond Stitch.  Although the repeat is 8 rows, those rows repeat themselves so it's essentially made up of 5 rows. The repeat is a, b, c, d, e, d, c, b, a. In the back panel, this is rows, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2.   Both of the

Tiny Flower Blossoms: A Free Quick Crochet Pattern

I have a doozy of a simple pattern for you. These adorable mini flowers take all of three minutes to make and use somewhere between 1-4 yards (The exact amounts depend on your gauge).  This is a one-round instant gratification project. The size is a little bit bigger than a quarter. Depending on how much yarn you have, hook size, and how many petals you make, they can end up very different. The differences add to the eclectic, handmade feel.  I used yarn scraps between less than what I estimate is four-ish yards (left) and just under a yard (far right). So when I say you can use the tiniest scraps, I'm not exaggerating.  They are addictive; before you know it you'll have a whole meadow of tiny blossoms.  Add to Ravelry. Pin on Pinterest.   Find me on Facebook. Tiny Flower Blossoms Materials needed: Scrap yarn (weight is not important) Crochet hook to match (size is not important) Optional: Scissors and yarn needle Abbr