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KarinB

What is a good first project?

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I am teaching a "Beginning Crochet" class in a few weeks and an "Advanced Beginner/Continuing" Class after that. I have never taught this class before (nor taken a formal crochet class) and would love some advice! I am thinking that I will use dishcloths as the item to make while we learn ... is there someting better?

 

Thanks for anything you can share!

Karin

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If I were to teach a class -- and I've considered it -- I'd probably start with granny squares, because there's instant gratification from them, and they offer infinite possibilities of variations in size, design, and colors. Dish cloths could be good, but if you have younger students, they might be more turned on by something wearable like a scarf, which also could be made from grannies. Last winter, I saw some beautiful crocheted granny scarves at Macy's. If I decide to teach a class at a local craft store, I'll probably call it "Not Just for Grannies," "Great Grannies," or something of the kind. For me, motif crocheting is something that particularly distinguishes crocheting from knitting, which -- after all -- can be done by machine.

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I start my beginner class with a potholder (all sc), a magic square potholder, a dishcloth with a scallopped edge, and a no button towel topper (to teach increases/decreases). All of my patterns are picked so that by the end of the class they have learned sc, hdc, dc, and sl st things together and adding on to non crochet item like towel.

 

PLEASE GIVE CREDIT TO THE DESIGNERS OF THESE PATTERNS! Anyone can find them on the net but they still deserve the credit for them.

 

Good Luck. I find teaching to be so rewarding!

 

Have A Great Week!

 

SC Potholder - all sc; ch 31 and sc even until pc is square; make 2 of them and sc or sl st them together; I add option of adding bone ring with sc around it.

 

Magic Square Potholder

http://www.mielkesfarm.com/diagonal_hotpad.htm

 

Washboard Dishcloth

http://members.aol.com/crochetalong/wbdc.html

 

No Button towel topper (my pattern is similar to these)

http://www.geocities.com/lindaslists/topper.htm

http://www.geocities.com/lindaslists/nobutton.htm

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I'm starting a beginner class on the 9th and chose a chenille scarf as our first project. I didn't use dishcloths or potholders (no offense) because they are just boring :lol The scarf actually can be done in chenille or Paton's Bohemian which I think I'm going to do at the same time. It's a combination of sc and chains and teaches counting, gauge, turns and without getting too involved right off the bat and getting them frustrated.. yet it's satisfying enough that if someone is more advanced they can do this and still feel like they are DOING something.

 

Granted this is a "beginner" class.. I'd go into more depth if we get some more advanced students that need to learn increases, decreases and crocheting in the round.. I'm really going to have to gauge it by the students I have and make adjustments where needed I'm sure :)

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I think a dishcloth would be perfect. It has all the requirements. It's simple but you can vary stitches and teach about creating a pattern and it teaches finishing techniques with a border. Also it helps that it's small to teach about turning and counting. Besides I can almost bet all your students will want to ditch the first project they do, so a cheap dishcloth is just the thing.

 

If you have time and they want to learn working in the round you could do a round or granny square dishcloth too.

 

Get them used to frogging. Mistakes are ok. In fact you could teach them some stitches and then let them create their own dishcloth. That way they experience alittle about design.

 

I mean I understand why people get frustrated with beginning classes. Instructors spend all the time on technique and almost nothing on how it relates to design. Ok great you've learned all the basic stitches but how do you put then together. Most books don't go into that much so even a few words on it in a face to face environment might just send someone off on a designing frenzy.

 

And maybe instead of calling it a dishcloth you could call it a facecloth.

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I would go with dishcloths, becuz I just love 'em. It's all I use now, and I'm making a bunch for Christmas. :D

Depending on yarn used, they don't have to be dishcloths, but could be used for afghan squares. So each student could chose: dishcloth or afghan square?:think

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I took a class where we made squares of each stitch we learned. At the end of the class we sewed them all together and made an afgan.

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I think a lot of it depends on the ages of your students. There are many things you could make using the granny square, so I'd go with the granny square, and give them the opition of using this for a scarf project, or potholders, or a small baby blanket. Many different items to choose if you go with the granny. Hope you keep us updated on your class.

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I took a class where we made squares of each stitch we learned. At the end of the class we sewed them all together and made an afgan.

 

This is an awesome idea :clap I may utilize this to try to get more repeat signups for classes :devil Kind of an incentive deal ;)

 

The reason I chose a scarf rather than something like granny squares or dishcloths is really simple.. most of the public has this fuddy duddy view of crochet being a granny thing that isn't chic or cool. To me, and this is JMO feeding into that by doing granny squares or something every day like a dishcloth doesn't improve the image. A scarf perhaps doesn't either, but it gives them a project that is a bit more .. hmm.. up to date and fun? than something like towel toppers or dishcloths :) Again JMO :blush but I want my students to be excited about crochet... I'm not sure the same old standbys are particularly exciting :hook

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Congrats on you teaching opp. for me I would start with the basics of crochet and make a square in the stitch patterns so at the end they could either make a afghan or scarf, etc. the projects with squares are endless.

Good luck and keep us posted on how it is going.

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That is a good idea as well :)

 

What I did after reading through this thread and the different ideas and thinking it through a bit more, was give them a first project supply list, but put on there that that project, in my case a chenille scarf, is optional. If they have something else in mind they are welcome to bring that and we can work on that together in class. I don't want to make anyone think that crochet is all scarves and potholders and granny squares :lol Trying to help them think outside of the box just a little I think :devil

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In my opinion, the most important thing in project selection for a beginning class is to choose something small and simple so that the student can actually complete it. When you are teaching a beginning class, you will not be spending all your time making a project but actually teaching the basic techniques of crochet. That will most likely take all of the first class and could take a good portion of the second class, depending on your students. That doesn't leave a lot of time for starting, progressing through and completing a project. If you have more than two sessions to work with then you will have more flexibility in your choice.

 

I think to complete something -- anything -- whether it seems "fuddy duddy" or not is very important to a student's wanting to continue learning more. Even if they decide not to continue on with crocheting, they at least have a finished "something" rather than a half completed afghan, scarf or purse stuffed in a bag in their closet. When I was teaching I did not often have the luxury of choosing the projects and that was very frustrating -- for me and the students. Sometimes students actually took a class just to make the project and if they didn't get to it or get it done then they were very disappointed.

 

A scarf can be a good project, although there can be a lot of crocheting in a scarf. I like the idea of a dishcloth, potholder, cell phone / Ipod holder, etc.

 

I always liked to bring some of my own finished projects that showcased the more exciting looks in crochet, in addition to bringing the latest issues of some of the crochet magazines. This helped reinforce that crochet is not stuck in the 18th century, and gave us an opportunity to talk about how the different yarns look when they are crocheted into projects.

 

I agree with you all, beginner project selection is very important. You want to make it interesting and give them confidence, but not overwhelm them.

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Thanks for all the different thoughts and input! These are the things that I needed to hear because I just can't think everything myself. I love this board :)

 

What I realized is that I didn't say that this is one of several classes that I am teaching ... I get to do whatever I want class-wise (yay!) and so I am thinking of a sequence of crochet classes ... Beginning (yarn & hooks, foundation chain, sc and dc). Advanced Beginner will go on to cover increase and decrease and maybe a few more stitches. Additional classes will include Granny Squares, crocheting in the round (making a hat), Simple Baby Sweater, Pick a Project (choose what you want and I will work with you so that you know how to do what you need to), and a few open nights to come and work together on different things (UFO nights). I want to introduce people to crochet and then open doors for them to succeed and continue ... not toss an UFO in the closet from project #1. There are so many different things that you can do in crochet that it is overwhelming! It is challenging me to go further (tunesian, thread, etc) than I would otherwise. But I am struggling to find places to learn new things myself! Even lookig online for class ideas, it is amazing how limited the options are to learn such an amazing art/craft such as crochet.

 

If you have any other ideas, I would love to hear it!

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I realize this is a slightly older thread, but I just thought of a neat idea for a beginner...well, advanced beginner learning to count and work in the round. This time of year, I think one of the most perfect projects for this level would be this snowflake!! It would be very pretty in yarn, I think, and would make for a beautiful table topper, or trivet (if made in white kitchen cotton). Or, it could even make a beautiful window or door decoration....mmmm, the possibilities!!:flake:flake:flake:flake:flake:flake

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One of my classes in December is going to be Snazzy Snowflakes! :D GMTA!!

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wow, i posted the exact same thread!

 

i was just asked to teach a crochet class at the local high school as part of the adult ed program

 

someone recommended getting kits for the beginners this way they'll get a hook, pattern, instructions, and yarn.

 

dishcloths are a good first pattern and round coasters are one of my favorites to teach friends how to crochet in the round.

 

if you want a big project that can be used for graduation, then try the one skein scarf from patons yarns

 

http://www.patonsyarns.com/data/pattern/pdf/instruction_1858.en_US.pdf

 

good luck! i'd love to hear how it goes!

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let me get this straight... most people learn how to crochet in rows first then they learn circular??

 

woah. then i feel really weird. i learned to crochet in the round first and when i finally learned to crochet in rows, i found that harder! it's just how my mom taught me. she felt it would be easier to teach me how to crochet circular first. *shrugs*

 

this could be why i can't think of anything but hats and granny squares to teach in a beginner class i was offered to, well, teach at the local high school.

 

to me, the only way to learn increasing/decreasing is to learn a round b/c the way the round will react to your stitches will show if you need to increase or decrease to keep it flat.

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Depending on who is in your class flowers are also an easy first project. I also saw a garland for a Christmas tree made from a chain in novelty yarn in a recent magazine. I think that one would be better for young kids. I made a granny square when I was 7 or something as my first project and used it as a coaster. I then went on to make a thong type bookmark.

 

HTH

Rachel

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PLEASE GIVE CREDIT TO THE DESIGNERS OF THESE PATTERNS! Anyone can find them on the net but they still deserve the credit for them.

 

You CANNOT use free patterns on the Internet for classes unless you get permission from the designer. Even if they are free, they are still copyrighted. It is not a matter of giving them credit though you need to do that as well. You still need to get permission.

 

I have taught both private classes and a class of adults. The granny square is very difficult for a beginner to learn and my class of adults had a hard time with it.

 

IMHO first they need to learn the stitches. I crocheted small swatches for them to learn the stitches. I LOVE the idea of having them make squares in the different stitches and then joining them. That is a wonderful idea. I made the mistake of teaching two stitches in one class. They got all confused. I now teach one stitch per class and concentrate on that one.

 

I had my class make a dishcloth, using back loop only as a finishing project, so they could experience working with cotton yarn and learn to make a border around the entire thing.

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Sandie my classes go much as yours. A granny square was chucked as an idea for my new students because it's alot to learn in 2 hours.. especially with raw beginners. I too use the swatches and start them out on usually a single.. when they are comfortable with a single and have some consistency with their tension then we move to a beginning chain and usually I find something like a dishcloth or scarf or whatever using a simple *sc, ch1 sk next st, sc. Repeat from * across. I've found with a 2 hour class this is about the bulk of what they can absorb and become proficient with. If I threw them into granny squares or anything more difficult they would get frustrated.. I know some of them get frustrated with the sc, ch pattern.

 

I think sometimes people forget what it's like to start out brand new. I always tell my students that this is the very basic beginning.. and encourage them to practice and let them know they will NOT be proficient when they leave the class.... and also leave my phone number for them to call if they get stuck or need a class one on one for help. I've found some people pick itup very fast.. others don't. Some take that class and never look back... others take the class and never pick up a hook again.

 

one other thing I also do is ASK what they want to learn to crochet. What inspired them to want to learn this skill? Sometimes it's a scarf, sometimes it's a new gramma wanting to make baby things... sometimes it's soething else, but if I can get them started initially on something they want to make.. a baby afghan or wash cloth, a scarf, or whatever it helps keep them inspired. With my knitting class (but this applies for crochet as well) my main student right now wanted to learn to knit to do baby booties. No other grand plans in mind but booties.. so we've started out with the basic stuff and she knows it's going to take probably a few classes to get her making booties. The first night we worked on the garter stitch, just plain knit stitch over and over and she's gotten pretty good at cast on and knitting, now next lesson we learn to purl and when she's proficient with that then I'll start her on booties. The most important thing? She's excited!! She knows the swatches she's practicing on now will work towards the baby afgan after the squares are put together and when I showed her the bootie patter which was garter stich, stocking stitch and bind off.. instead of making it a bit THING to learn we broke it down into smaller parts and she's seeing her own progress. :)

 

The biggest challenge with students is keeping them interested.. and its all fine and good to say this is our first project... but you'll find you interest more students and keep them interested with something that they WANT to do. Teaching crochet or knitting either one is very much giving people what they want and helping them reach a goal. I love it, it's expanded my thinking... made me a better craftster and introduced me to some wonderful, fun people. I truly love it.... but I always ask "What got you interested in crochet(or knitting)" with a big smile and if it's a complicated project then we break it down into steps and they see progress faster than trying something too difficult all at one big bite :)

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Yes, that is how it is. I ask them what their goal is and they usually say something outlandish. LOL No way can you finish an afghan in four classes, but you can get the skills necessary to complete an afghan on your own. Different people come with different expectations. You need to know what those are to prevent them from getting frustrated.

 

To the ones who say they will never be able to do this, you have to encourage "Yes, you can!"

 

To the ones who think they will be walking on the treadmill making a sweater by the last class, you have to say "First, let's learn the basics."

 

Hopefully, you can keep everyone happy and all go home learning at least something they can use in the future.

 

Sandie

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I love the idea of making squares of individual stitches and sewing them together for an afghan. Thanks for sharing that idea.

Cheryl

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I love the idea of making squares of individual stitches and sewing them together for an afghan. Thanks for sharing that idea.Cheryl

 

That is what I am doing right now for my sudoku afghan. I am using the basic granny square but you could use any square as long as they are the same size.

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