Friday, April 20, 2012

Crochet rocks!

Every so often in the knitting world, I come across a bit of crochet hate. Hate might be too strong, perhaps distaste might be more appropriate.  It's a bit of a shame, really, because crochet is not evil.  It has suffered due to grievous misuse in the late 60s and 70s (but then, so did knitting in the 80s, I think!). I totally accept that some knitters are not interested in crochet (and vice versa) but I've always thought they are complementary skills. And there are certainly a lot more lovely crochet patterns (eg garments that are not stiff and bulky!) around now.

In the interests of spreading the crochet love (and because I was asked!), I have started teaching crochet for beginners at one of Sydney's lovely yarn (and fabric) stores, Calico & Ivy, in Balmain.  I did my first series in February/March, and I am teaching again in May/June, as well as doing a crochet clinic for specific issues.

I worked up some samples for the shop, which I also use as the basis for the classes too, all in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, which of course the shop stocks, in a really nice range of colours.

First up, I made some granny square blocks - all with the same basic granny pattern but showing different uses of colours (shame about the terrible photo! sorry).
Then I made a cushion in the popular African Flower hexagon pattern.  This is a really versatile hex - the way I've done it shows the flowers clearly against the green (grass!) background, while if you change colours for each row it can give a different look.  There is a great flickr group dedicated to the African Flower, it is full of inspiration.
One of the loveliest things after my first series of classes finished was getting an email from one of the attendees saying she was so inspired she spent the rest of the weekend crocheting!  The best feedback you can get!

If you are in the area and looking to learn to crochet (or you can crochet and have a specific issue you need help with), give the shop a call! I am doing a weekday and weekend series of classes, both starting in mid-May.

And don't forget, Crochet Rocks!

22 comments:

Bells said...

I think the crochet hate thing is bizarre. It's kind of painful really. There are, as you have shown, some great things you can make. Love the blocks, love the cushion!

I remember moving aside from crochet ten years ago because knitting seemed to have a lot patterns available - ten years ago I just couldn't find many crochet patterns I liked.

How the world has changed!

DrK said...

your crochet always leaves me awestruck. unlike some of the hideousness that we see in glass cabinets in shows. thats pretty much where the bad rep comes from, and we cant deny its hideousness. but these are beautiful, as is your babette. if i ever wanted to learn the craft that can not be named, i would have you teach me it. im so glad you're getting more work out of it.

Michelle said...

Crocheters represent! Also, I think I may be in love with you and your teaching the crochet love ways! I have never understood the hatred. And yes, I would go so far as to say hate - some of the things knitters have said to me!

I'm glad you're enjoying teaching it, and at Calico and Ivy - what a great store! I have loved the classes I've done at Brown Owls, and I've only been defeated once, by a lefthander who just didn't click with it. It was almost as if her brain and crochet just didn't mesh. But other lefthanders I've taught just fine. Go figure.

Michelle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
2paw said...

The only downside of crocheting for me is I can't crochet and read or watch TV. I have to look where the hook goes in every time. I can knit and not look. Well done, I love your green cushion and the blocks too!!

traveller's yarn said...

I love some crochet, but Kylie is right - the hideous representations give it a bad reputation. I could so do an afghan (in wool) - any ideas for cool patterns? I'm thinking of getting rid of some of the less appealing worsted weights that I have around (maybe with some BWM to pad them out...)

Suzanne Warren said...

I admire people who do all those intricate crochet patterns and how they turn out so fabulously. I tend to be able to do crochet sometimes, and then promptly forget how I did it for the next time around!

MadMad said...

Oh, that is such exciting news - it is fun to get out of the house a bit and be doing something you love, to boot, isn't it? Good for you - hope you're loving it as much as I do!

kgirl said...

go you, giving classes!!

that's some lovely crochet you've got going on there, too.

I think crochet has really started to surpass it's cringe-days, don't you? Some of the projects on Ravelry are STUNNING

Donna Lee said...

I learned to crochet long before I taught myself to knit. I don't understand the animosity (but I hear it). In our "knitting" group, there are far more crocheters than knitters. A lot of folks are afraid of more than one implement and choose the single hook over the double (or 3 or 4 or 5!) needles.

Both have their place and I enjoy both.

Mereknits said...

As you know I am a bit addicted to crochet and as an avid knitter I had to come to terms with that. I think it was the really horrid acrylic granny blankets my Grandmother used to make, in those 70's color, yikes that turned me off crochet for so long! I think there is room for both in your life and I am thrilled you are teaching a whole new round of people crochet love!
Have a great weekend,
Meredith

LynS said...

I'm not a great crochet fan but...I do remember a burnt orange crochet poncho I wore (and made) in the 70s - and loved. And I think your grey earrings are super. And Sophie Digard - sigh! Maybe I need to come to a class.

mooncalf said...

ooh I love those blocks. They might be my favourite granny square thing ever!

amy said...

I think I've mentioned before, my mother taught me to crochet but didn't tell me what anything was called, and patterns confuse the heck out of me. (One of the reasons I taught myself to knit? It seemed easier than trying to rewire my brain to understand crochet patterns!) I need to sit down with a pattern, you tube, and some yarn, and figure out exactly what I know how to do. My mother crocheted tons of granny squares (yes, out of squeaky plastic yarn) but never showed me how to do that, and I wish I could. Pity your classes are so far away. :)

Also? YAY YOU! I think it's awesome you were ASKED to teach!

Yarna said...

I agree with Kylie - the bad rep is possibly due to the hideous crochet we see at shows. Perhaps we need to approach that the way we have the knitting. Oh - but I must learn to crochet to first! As it happens I don't live too far from C&I!

Caffeine Girl said...

I've never understood crochet hate, either. And I agree that it's complementary to knitting. I've meant to learn how for a long time. If only I could take a class with you!

Sarah said...

Yay teach! You keep spreading the love, I haven't done any for ages, will try and fit a bit in this weekend

Snoozen said...

Hey RR I love crochet and you were my teacher. I would love for you to teach me these wonderful flowers if you think I am upto it.

del said...

What wonderful news! I bet you're a great teacher. I think knitting and crochet are very complementary, so congrats, you!

Knitdra said...

Much like it was at school, it's all about the teacher and their enthusiasm. You clearly have skill and passion for the crochet arts and I'd love to learn how to make those earrings!

Alwen said...

It wasn't crochet's fault - it was those granny-square ponchos and vests from the 1970s that did it!

When I first saw Irish thread crochet, I thought it was awesome, and I was just amazed that it was the same technique that spawned beercan hats!

1funkyknitwit said...

I think knitting and crochet can have some bad representations out there, but when both are done well (and there are many examples out there) it can outdo any machine made shop bought item. Your crochet work is lovely Jane and you bring what is great about crochet out. YaY to you teaching classes and so fab that you inspired someone enough to continue on all weekend.