Sunday, May 20, 2012

If You Give a Kid a Crochet Hook....

...He'll Want to Learn to Crochet. Ah, if only it were that easy. I have been training trying to teach my brother to crochet since his hands could hold the hook. He's pin sharp and curious as a cat. He also lives with a diagnosis of ADHD, so his brain sometimes goes a mile a minute. As someone who has anxiety, I know first hand the magical properties of crafting that soothe the mind and calm the soul. That being said, he's had his own bamboo handled "J" hook for a few years now, but it mostly collects dust unless I need one in a pinch. Whenever he sees me making something he either a) wants it for himself or b) has a new request for a handmade item he would like tomorrow please and thank you. But until yesterday, he had no real desire to learn the craft himself.

My Brother with his cool thrifted whip
I'm not really sure how it happened. I think I just caught him at the right moment, or maybe he caught me at the right moment. It happened yesterday, but I can't remember if I suggested it to him or if he suggested it to me. Either way, within a few minutes we were both at the kitchen table with a ball of wool from my stash and his neglected gold "J".

I crocheted the chain and did the first row, which is the most frustrating even for a seasoned crocheter. Then I just stood behind him and helped him here and there. Within the time it took for him to crochet his first few stitches he had already mastered the wrist movements! In my opinion, the wrist movements are the hurdle in teaching crochet. Every new thing we learn has a little hurdle that seems to make the new skill so very hard, yet when we jump that little hurdle the new skill seems all of a sudden so clear! When teaching crochet, I tend to think the first little hurdle is learning to twist your wrist with the hook and yarn. My brother, after watching me for about a second, said, "You do it so fluidly!" and that was it for him. He only had a little difficulty tensioning the yarn, so I helped him with that.

 In thirty short minutes we had a crochet square very indicative of a new crocheter, yet so beautiful all the same. For a moment I hesitated, what would the square be? While a first crocheted anything is very exciting, it is not as exciting as a first crocheted potholder, coaster, patch, or anything thing-with-a-purpose. Would he be disappointed, thinking this little square was obsolete?

First Stitches

Of course not! He's an eleven year old, with an imagination that stuns the adults in his life. Naturally, he knew what it was right away. A whip-grip. Yes, you heard me right. He as a whip we found in a thrift shop (that he is only allowed to use outside) that is "just like Indiana Jones".  I sewed the square onto the whip, it was a perfect two hand grip for him of course. Sometimes I wonder why I worry at all. In the end this colorful piece of wool fabric and it's purpose are so very him. And, a bonus, when we talked about his lesson the next day he told me he actually liked it and understood why I spend so much of my free time doing it!  Be still, my beating heart.


This experience, this quality time, with my little brother was so spontaneous yet so wonderful. I am trying to convince him to join me in a  Summer crochet-along featuring a favorite cat of ours. I'll let you know what he decides :)

Until Next Time

No comments:

Post a Comment