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Friday, May 27, 2011

Class Pictures

These pictures were taken during our fourth lesson together. Our first finished projects were eyeglass classes using single crochet stitches. Ladies made the cases to fit cell phones, scissors, and large sunglasses.  What a great sense of accomplishment to be able to finish something. I think it is much more important for beginners to have success with a small project, than to start a large project and get overwhelmed.

The second project was a dish cloth using double crochet, chains, and single crochet around the edges. The ladies had fun, and one even embellished the edge with picot stitches. What a fun and creative group of women.

My Class has decided that they would like to continue the lessons through June which is fine with me. An additional eight hours will be more than I need to satisfy the Craft Yarn Council of America (CYCA )requirements for volunteer teaching and Level I certification which they call  "Instructor" level.  I have already completed the first four lessons and have passed review, 15 hours of volunteer teaching will complete Level I requirements.  I am looking forward to receiving my Instructor Certificate and Pin.

Next week I will be showing the class how to increase and decrease stitches. If time allows we will also introduce working in the round.

 In June, we may pick up a couple more beginner students. Stay tuned for further updates.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Lessons Learned

One of the great things about teaching is that the teacher learns right along with the students.  I have now completed thee of the four scheduled beginner crochet classes. I have six true beginners.  I want to share with you several things that I discovered to help  my beginner crocheters.

  • Beginners tend to crochet "tight" so have students use a size or two bigger hook to make their starting chain.
  • Beginners can have a problem finding the first and the last single crochet stitch in a row. Use a safety pin, or a length of yarn (contrasting color) or a commercial stitch marker to mark the beginning and ending single crochet stitches, moving the marker up on each row.  This was a big help to my beginner students.
  • Encourage beginners to "count" their stitches often making sure they are working even and not increasing or decreasing accidentally.
I'm sure I will learn more as I continue to lead these students, and I'll share what I learn with you.

Lesson Eight

Lesson eight in the certified crochet instructors program is about specialty stitch techniques including: Cro-Hook, Broomstick Lace, and Hairpin Lace. The assignment is to create a swatch of each and then plan a lesson to teach one of these techniques including the finished project and written instructions.

This lesson is a bit of a challenge for me because I've never crochet anything using these techniques. I didn't own a broomstick pin, a double ended crochet hook, or the hairpin lace tool.  A trip to Hobby Lobby, and I was in business to learn Cro-Hook and Hairpin Lace.  The Broomstick pin was a problem, Hobby Lobby didn't have any, so my dear husband came to the rescue. A trip to his "shop" solved the problem. He sawed off the end of an old broomstick, and smoothed off the rough edges, and I was in business.

Thank goodness for You Tube.  I found lots of great videos to help me to learn these specialty stitch techniques.

I'm not crazy about Broomstick Lace. I didn't care for it back in the 70's when it was very popular, which is probably the reason I never learned.  I do like the look of Hairpin Lace, and plan to work on this technique more so that I can move beyond the basics.  I also found Cro-Hook fascinating.  My lesson plan and project uses Cro Hook to make a potholder. I also have ideas about using this technique to make a baby blanket, but that's for another day.

The pattern instructions aren't too long so I'm including them in the blog for all of you. I'll also make the pattern available as a free download through Ravelry, but give me a day or two to get that done.

Cro Hook Potholder
Intermediate Skill Level
1 skein Color A
1 skein Color B
H double ended crochet hook

Special Note and Tips: Each row consists of 2 passes, one pass to load loops on hook and one pass to remove loops from hook. The color you use to remove loops from hook is the same color you use to load the loops back onto the hook. Count the loops on the hook frequently making sure you have 25 loops each time the hook is fully loaded. If you want, you can use a regular H hook to make the starting chain, and to complete the single crochet edging.

Chain 25 with color A

Row 1: Insert hook under the horizontal bar of the 2nd ch from the hook (you are working on the back side of the chain), yo and pull loop through (there are now two loops on hook.) Insert hook under the next horizontal bar, yo and pull a loop through (there are now three loops on hook).  Continue until the end, 25 loops on the hook. Drop color A, move loops to the other end of the hook and turn hook. Make a slip knot with Color B put the slip knot on the end of the hook and pull through 1 loop only, *yo and pull through 2 loops, repeat from * to end (1 loop left on the hook)

Row 2: With Color B. Insert hook under the 2nd vertical bar, yo and pull up a loop leaving it on the hook.
*Insert hook under the next vertical bar, yo and pull up a loop leaving it on the hook. Repeat from * to the end (25 loops on hook). Drop color B, move work to the other end of hook and turn. With color A, yo and pull through 1 loop, *yo and pull through 2 loops. Repeat from * to end (1 loop on hook)

Rows 3-28  repeat the method described in row 2, using whichever color you used to remove the loops from the hook to reload the loops onto the hook, then move the loops to the end of the hook and turn hook. Use the other color to remove the loops from the hook. Note that each row consists of two passes, one pass to load the hook with 25 loops, and one pass to remove the loops from the hook.

Bind off. With color A insert hook under the 2nd vertical bar, yo and pull through both loops (1 slip stitch), continue across in this manner to the end, but do not finish off

Edge: sc in each loop around pot holder ending with a slip stitch to beginning sc. chain 10, slip stitch in same sc. Finish off  weave in ends and enjoy.

Lesson Seven

Yes, I'm still working on the advanced lessons for the Certified Crochet Instrutor Program.
I recently completed lesson seven, but didn't blog about it at that time mostly because I've been busy with other things including teaching six online classes, for three different colleges. I really do need to practice the word "no" :-)

Lesson seven consists of Tunisian and Aran crochet stitches.  There are two parts to this lesson, one is to crochet a swatch in Tunisian crochet and then work cross stitch on the swatch.

The second part is to plan an intermediate project using the Aran stitches knurl, diamond, and cable stitches.
First I had to "practice" these stitches, then figure out a small project incorporating all of them. My project is a small pillow top.

The program handbook does provide assistance on these stitches, however, the multiples given are not correct. It took me a while to figure this out because I assumed that I was the problem not the handbook. The handbook turns out is not correct.

It is Official

I heard back from the editor of Quick and Easy Crochet magazine. She likes the model in person just as much as she liked the pictures. This means that my design will appear in a fall issue of the magazine. YES!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Exciting Day

This is an exciting day for me.  I'm sending off my very first model and instructions for publication with the the Crochet Quick and Easy Magazine.  If the editor,  Diane Simpson,  likes the model as well as she liked the pictures of the model, the hat and scarf will be published in the either the Oct/Nov  or Nov/Dec issue of the magazine.