It has been a special week for me in Estes Park. Kat and Grace, our granddaughters, visited with us for a week. The girls have spent a week with us every summer for the last several years and it has been fun having them all to ourselves. Kat, the oldest, will be going to college this fall and we can feel her excitement. This summer, she expressed an interest in learning to crochet. I remember giving her a lesson in knitting a few years ago, but it just didn't take. Wrong timing, I suppose. Now, she was ready and motivated to learn. Apparently, a friend of hers crochets and looks forward to sharing the craft with Kat. I was thrilled that she asked me to teach her to crochet. Although I have crocheted neck and sleeve edging on knitted sweaters, it has been a while since I crocheted a granny square.
We started by digging through my craft closet where we located some size G crochet hooks and superwash yarn in various colors. Kat wanted to learn to make granny squares, so with that in mind, we found a free beginner’s pattern. Side by side on the sofa, we read through the instructions and started with making a chain. This gave me a chance to teach her how to hold her needle and yarn correctly and to develop an eye for what the right side of a crochet chain looks like.
It soon became apparent that a double crochet (dc) granny square was not the best place to start. Trying to learn to dc into a center loop was too much. So, we found a great beginning double crochet (dc) tutorial, by the Crochet Guru, as a starting point. The tutorial was clear and focused on making dc stitches in a row. This simple approach is similar to how crocheting is taught in The Stitchin’ Den’s class, where students learn to crochet a dishcloth. If you prefer to learn in person, you can sign up for our class, Beginning Crochet. Luckily, Kat had both the tutorial and her personal instructor sitting right next to her.
I learned a lot during our first session. Although I learned to crochet a long time ago (crocheting a hippy-style vest while in college), I was pretty rusty! After crocheting a couple of straight rows, Kat announced that she was ready to try a granny square. I helped her join her chain into a circle and begin her granny square. Armed with the knowledge of the dc stitch, we soon finished our first rounds. We both worked through the technique and steps in the stitches together. It was good for Kat to see me make mistakes, rip out, and start again. We laughed a lot.
Soon, Kat nailed down a good technique for holding her yarn and her tension improved. From the beginning, she was careful in reading the pattern and following the directions. Within an hour, she was flying solo. She was good at pacing herself, stopping to rest her hands and give her crafting brain a break. She improved her tension and technique on the next two squares.
Within a couple of days, she was crocheting squares. Just as importantly, she was able to identify her errors, rip out, and fix them on her own. The day before she left, she was teaching her sister. Before she left, we headed down to The Stitchin' Den where Kat picked out four colors of Cascade 220 Superwash to take home with her. I don't know what she plans to do with her granny squares and, I’m not sure she knows either. I suspect that inspiration will hit and, she will have some colorful pillows for her dorm room or gifts for friends.
It was such fun to share the craft with my granddaughter. It is a craft that she can take to college; it is a great stress reliever. My next project might have to be crochet rather than knitting.