I’ve been a knitter since I was a small child, my mum and both my grans knitted and I can remember one of my grans teaching me to cast on and also making blanket squares at guide camp.
I’ve made knitted presents for friends and family for years and last year I set up my business to see if I could make money from doing what I love.
Once I started my little venture I realised there were loads of wonderful things I was missing out on making because the patterns were crochet which I had never learned.
So I decided to set aside some time to learn how so that I could make the beautiful blanket squares and Amigurumi I was interested in.
Learning these new skills got me to thinking. It has been said that it takes 10,000 hours to master a new skill, in this case I think it would be slightly less as I am already a proficient knitter. I am just over a year into this mammoth undertaking and have come up with the following tips to help you with a similar project:
- Set Goals
When I started I had particular projects I wanted to be able to make, this allowed me to identify the different techniques I would need to learn and gave me something to keep me motivated and look forward to completing
- Break it down into steps
Don’t overwhelm yourself! Once I had identified the techniques and stitches I needed to learn I methodically set about learning how to do each one starting with the easiest and working upto the hardest. Learning the basics well is really important, it’s no good trying to run before you can walk. I enjoy taking part in CALs (crochet alongs) e.g making blanket squares which allows me to practice basic stitches while adding new ones to my repertoire.
“Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist” Picasso
- Watch others
Books are all very well and good, and I do have a couple, but to really understand a craft you need to watch it being done, whether this is by a friend, on a course or just on YouTube – visual learning is very important.
- Practice practice practice!
As well as being into crafts I am also a muscician (violin and flute), and I can’t tell you the number of hours practice I had to put in to get to grade 8 standard – it was A LOT. Hours of playing the same thing over and over. You need to do as much practice as you can (without growing tired of what you are doing!) this will embed skills into your muscle memory making them much more second nature!
“You only fail when you stop trying”
- Teach your skill to others
I have not retched this level yet with crochet but I am competent enough with knitting to help others. Teaching someone else a skill takes patience, but it is an activity which you can still learn new things from.
Remember, be patient and persistent, it won’t happen overnight but it will be worth it!
“Your speed doesn’t matter, forward is forward”