Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Teaching Crochet ~ Flowers & Leaves

I'm back to share this week's adventures in teaching crochet. My crochet class meets on Tuesday mornings, so I am writing this after the fact. Of course blog posts are sort of frozen in time, so I guess it doesn't matter all that much whether I talk about the class before or after it happens. I just like the idea of bringing you along for the ride.

I always tell my kids to have their assignments done at least 24 hours early so they have time to tweak them or possibly to remember any details they may have missed. Do I take my own advice? No, I'm afraid not. When did I prepare for my Tuesday crochet class? Monday! So rather than leisurely getting things together, I celebrate mad Monday where I run around like a crazy woman, shopping for supplies, working through patterns, filming tutorials and writing up designs. As a matter of fact, as I came out of Joann's with two bags full of yarn and other various supplies, I had the strongest sense of deja vu. I wondered to myself if this feeling would become a weekly occurrence.

So let's talk about the actual lesson plan. Last week my fellow teacher and I introduced crocheted flowers to the class. They were such a big hit that it was decided that we would focus on flowers as a theme for the time being. Our first project was the Deco Rose whose pattern I now have listed here at Wind Rose. The Deco Rose was a very good starting pattern. This week we tackled a Zinnia Flower.

Years ago I found a Zinnia pattern on Crochet Pattern Central that I really liked. When I went back to find it, I had no luck. If it's still there, it's hiding from me. I remembered the basic premise, so I just wrote my own pattern. I knew that the Zinnia Flower Pattern would be more of a challenge for our students, so I made a video tutorial for it as well. Actually, since I was filming anyway, I made videos for the Deco Rose, Zinnia and also a Veined Leaf. I think the video tutorials really help. The class can watch the project from beginning to end and then feel more confident as they follow the directions and make the pattern themselves.

In preparation for teaching class, I also worked through a traditional rose pattern that one of the students saw in my book Crochet Bouquet. I wanted to be ready to help her through the pattern if she wanted to give it a try. In a nutshell, I wrote up patterns for the Deco Rose, the Zinnia and the Veined Leaf. I made samples of each including the traditional Rose, and I filmed and edited three video tutorials. That was a lot to do in one day!

On the upside, I shouldn't have as much to do for next week. I'll probably add one more flower to the collection and write up a couple more patterns, but whether I'm preparing like crazy or not, it's all worth it. The class had a great time today visiting and crocheting. Flowers were made and newer members were inspired to learn. I thoroughly enjoy the time I spend this this great group of people. Also, from one crocheter to another, I like passing on my lesson plans. I hope you enjoy the patterns and if you happen to teach a class of your own, maybe your class will have fun with these flowers too. Until next time...

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