We have a “Catch 22” happening in our crochet world. Crochet lovers want more classes and crochet instructors want to teach more classes, and finally events and stores are offering more diverse crochet classes. Here’s the rub, signups are still sketchy, now I do believe that this is a complex issue and it’s also about to change for the better! Yet, I feel the problem(s) need to be addressed one by one and they have to do with everything from cultural beliefs, marketing strategies (or lack thereof), information overload and a lack of understanding as to why anyone would want to take a class centering on crochet.
#5 Taking a class can spark your creativity.
There is nothing quite like sitting with people who share your passion for crochet. Beyond the helpful hints, tricks and guidance of a good instructor, just sitting and talking shop will often leave you inspired and ready for more!
#4 No matter how long you have crocheted you can always learn something new.
A friend of mine owns a yarn store and reminds long time needle artists that even if you’ve done something for 40 years, there may still be a better way to do it. I agree! I used to be dead set on doing front loop/back loop ribbing for cuffs, until Deb Burger talked me into trying front post/back post ribbing. I haven’t looked back since.
# 3 Taking a class means you’ll learn more than you think you will!
Sure, we’re all smart, we can figure almost anything out on our own. Yet, there is something so satisfying to try a new technique that posses a challenge and having someone there to guide you through the process. I love taking classes for more advanced techniques, sure I can figure things out watching YouTube videos, or reading books, but having someone else there who probably made the same mistakes when they began the new technique is worth the time and money I spend on the class! This summer, I treated myself to Karen Ratto Whooley’s class on Tunisian Knit Stitch Entrelac and it was so great when I made an error to have her say, “Oops! I know what you did, I did that too when I first started working this way. You want to do X to avoid that.”
I would have figured that out on my own, but having her there saved me hours of struggling with my work as I tried to figure out what I was doing wrong. Plus, Karen always shares tips, tricks and her experience so that I always learn far more than I expect out of the class!
# 2 You will save money in the long run.
Taking a class will help you save money in the long run. You can spend hundreds of hours (yes your time is worth money) and dollars on yarn as you try to figure out how to make a sweater or learn a new technique that is troublesome to you. You may find this satisfying. Yet, imagine if you could pay $45 for a class, get a teachers attention, knowledge and experience, spend another sum of $ on the project materials and leave actually knowing how to complete the project? What if you actually leave with a project? You are cutting down your learning curve and saving money by using the materials chosen by a knowledgeable instructor. You also save on having to rip out rows and rounds, frustration, and beating yourself up for “not getting it.” As I tell my kids when they expand their knowledge and skills in any subject, “it’s okay not to know the answers, if you did you’d be teaching the class.”
#1 Crocheting is a skill, skills are best learned from an expert.
People take classes on how to fix cars, computers, how to be hairstylists, on gardening and cooking, why wouldn’t you take a class on how to make things with crochet? Even if you have crocheted for a very long time, decades even, it is doubtful that you know it all, have done it all and are good at it all. If you are, then you should be a teacher! I crocheted for more than 30 years before I took my first formal class. I was a very good stitcher, but it was in that class that I discovered how much I had to learn to be a true expert crocheter. Perhaps it’s because we were often taught by loved ones and friends that we discount the skill necessary to create beautiful lace, fashionable garments and accessories as well as toys and three dimensional art.