Well it’s still going and it seemed like it was time to share an update.
My library isn’t always the best with teen retention–we have regulars but even they won’t come to the same program every week. In the months that I have been doing this club, I only have one regular. However it has been so incredibly satisfying to watch her learn and grow. She just told me this week that she crocheted Easter eggs this year for her family’s egg hunt. How cool is that?
Periodically others will drop in but never with the same regularity. I’m not sure if that’s because they don’t actually like to crochet or just because they’re busy.
In having a weekly craft program, I have learned that weekly craft programs are exhausting. It’s a weird push and pull between always having the same things available and also having new projects. It’s also hard to have someone who can’t even do chain crochet while my regular girl is making hats and stuffed animals but I try to tell everyone it’s about working at their own pace. (As I suspected, the older kids catch on with the crochet nuances a lot quicker.)
I’ve also learned that metal crochet hooks and acrylic yarn are the way to go. I’m hoping to order some when our new budget rolls out.
For every Crochet Club, I come assuming I will be teaching someone to crochet from scratch (which means I rarely crochet things and spend a lot of time doing slip knots and chains). I also have some simple patterns including Granny Squares printed on my yarn labels, a slouchy hat, a keychain and my template of a freehand bookmark that I made as my first sample.
I also have a board on Pinterest with super simple projects that I can add into the rotation. Amigurumi is really simple to do once kids figure out how to read stitches and feel comfortable working in the round. (I don’t do Magic Rings so the only thing is I have to show them an alternative for that.)
As hooks have disappeared and broken, I’ve also stopped stressing about gauge. Except for the one hat pattern (which I help with fitting) all of the projects can be done to any scale so we just work with whatever hooks are on hand.
As we’ve started working on stuffed critters we’ve also covered sewing and finishing. I knew my mom taught me a lot but I have to admit I was surprised when no one knew how to sew together a finished project. (In doing this I’ve also discovered I need shorter, smaller blunt needles. Live and learn!)
I’m particularly fond of this owl pattern found free on Ravelry and this monster pattern. Both projects are simple and invite enough variation that they can be made repeatedly without feeling boring. Sometimes they don’t look exactly like the demo item, but I’ve realized that doesn’t even matter as long as it’s fun.
My library also has a huge box of buttons and white glue so we’ve been using those for eyes.
Last week I made this little monster and already have plans to make more:
My regular also made one and even added a mouth. I was very impressed.
While the program isn’t the biggest or coolest thing my library has, it is one of my favorite parts of the week and I’m really happy to continue to have the opportunity to host it.