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Monday, 8 September 2014

Beginning Crochet With Children

The very first step in leaning how to crochet is to make a chain of stitches. Although crochet seems easy once learnt, it is surprising how difficult the physical action of making the very first stitches can be having never done it before.

So, to practice chain stitch and do more and more chain stitch until it comes naturally, is a good thing that children can do to help themselves to progress further. Children and beginners will find it difficult to follow a pattern or even do a row of single crochet without the ability to hold the yarn at the right tension for it to slide easily through the stitches. The action of the wrist of the hand that holds the hook when making stitches is also something to be acquired. Chain and more chain is the way to go!

Here is how to do a slip knot and chain stitch

But what can you do with all the lengths of chain once they have been made? Well, simply making them might be enough to satisfy some children. Others might want to see a purpose, not just doing it for the sake of learning it before they can really crochet 'something'. The amount of chain stitch needed to do will really depend on each individual child but to be impatient before they are really ready to move on to learning stitches could only end in frustration.

We discovered that buttons can easily be incorporated with chain stitch. They really look quiet pretty when hung in a string. Lengths of chain stitch and buttons can be made into bracelets, necklaces, room decorations, belts depending on the size buttons that you choose to use.

Crochet Chain Stitch
Crochet Chain & Buttons

We chose to use cool coloured buttons and decorated a mini foil covered Christmas tree so as to look icy, as a winter decoration. To do this, you will need to thread all the buttons onto a length of wool before the chaining can begin.
Using a sewing needle, thread the buttons on to the yarn

Chain Stitch

Slide the buttons along the yarn before a stitch is made

Buttons & yarn decorated tree
Icy Christmas tree craft
Building a child's confidence in their own ability is important - enjoy being creative, making it up as you go along, one step at a time!

At what age can a child learn to crochet? We would recommend, on average, age 7 years upwards. If you try before then, without success, the child could be discouraged forever. Buying a whole ready made crochet kit for children can be over facing for a child, with many projects left unfinished.

All you really need is a coloured yarn in order to take it step by step, at your child's pace.

Once a certain level of competency has been reached, only then will you be able to tackle a crochet pattern with instructions. There are several instructional videos on the internet demonstrating crochet stitches, which are possibly easier to follow than diagrams and written text. And for a future date there are suitable ideas for children's crochet on Pinterest.

Much depends on what you are looking for, be it something to pass a few hours and nothing more than that, or teaching and learning a life long hobby which, once learnt, at whatever age, can be picked up and down with a passion and suit your circumstances at the time.

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