Regardless of the craft, event, activity, an expert is going to make something look easy. I remember watching cooking shows on PBS when I was a kid, and then “trying it at home.” I was always so frustrated when I couldn’t make those fancy icing flowers like they showed me on T.V.! In fact, I thought I wasn’t any good at making icing flowers. What I had not considered was the fact that a) it was the first time I was attempting the feat and b) the person on the T.V. made them all the time, mostly likely on a daily basis.
So it goes with crochet. Because I learned so long ago, I have forgotten how alien yarn and hook once felt in my own hands. I do remember learning to hand spin yarn however, and that helps me to slow down, and recognise that where hook and yarn are mere extensions of my appendages, for other people that may not be the case.
It’s really hard on people who are around me all the time, watching my fingers fly and my projects get made and given away or sold. I make it look easy. Throwing bullions, making lace, whiping out flower after flower in minutes, amusing little girls like Gandalf did the hobbits with fireworks. Sure, I’m a showboat, I love making flowers to dazzle the kids, or ripply snakes for those who don’t want flowers.
So when someone who knows me, decides to pick up the hook I over see a cloud of frustration cross over their brow. Sure they learned to chain as a kid, and the basic stitches, but why oh why aren’t they zooming along. I mean, it’s JUST crochet right? It’s no more technical that cooking right? Oh wait, it’s a skill.
Part of me gets a kick out of their frustration and confusion, not in a mean way; but it does make me feel better to know that they now understand that what I do IS a skill. I practice it all the time, I still make mistakes, but I’ve learned to fix them. I still bite off more than I can chew, but I’ve learned to finish the project, I still don’t weave in my ends on my own hats, but I do on others ! But, it’s not so easy that you can just grab a hook and run with it, with out a few bumps a long the way.
Invariably, I work with people quietly and slowly. Watching what they are doing, guiding them, and empowering them. Learning what is the cause of certain problems: “Oh that’s not you, it’s the yarn, it likes to do this and thus and so…” or “There are lots of ways to hold your tension. Here are two I do, but I’ve seen other people do it this way or that way. Be comfortable.” and always, “If you are getting the results you wanted, then you did it correctly!”
As the holidays approach like a derailed train, take it easy on yourself if you are a beginner/ocassional crocheter. Don’t worry if you can only get a hat or two done. After a few years of practice you too, can be your own mini crochet sweatshop. And, yes, those of us who do it all the time, we do make it look easier than it is, but unlike many reality tv show stunts, I urge you to: TRY THIS AT HOME!