Editors Foreword: It is a rainy Saturday and you have nothing to do, fear not! Because rainy days are a perfect day to teach your child how to crochet and if you don’t know how you have come to the right place! Firstly you want to track down your local Spotlight Australia store and get the tools you need. THEN you do what I did and ask a craft blogger to write you a step by step instruction linking to YouTube videos on how to teach your 4 year old and… wait for it… yourself.. to crochet!
Making crochet possible for kids aged 4 and up.. the bloggers instructions
I’m constantly amazed by a toddler’s ability to flout the rules of propriety, ask questions about everything, and make a complete mess of something as simple as an apple (you bite it, you chew it, you throw away the core… the end). So when I was tasked with teaching a kid to crochet, I had images of hooks up noses, fingers tied together and a jumbled mess of frayed yarn. Still, I accepted the challenge.
For this exercise, I borrowed a child of age 4. (I also instructed his parents to enforce a nil by mouth diet for two hours prior – so as to better my chances of offering food as a bribe for good behaviour.) When devising a project, I realised that at this age it’s not necessarily about the child creating a finished masterpiece – it’s the taking part that counts. Especially when it comes to crochet hooks; they’re a tricky thing to master and are a potential hazard for those under 5. I started my protégé on finger crochet, with graduation to a hook as a good behaviour bond (my father was a policeman – what can I say?).
The tools you need to Crochet
Spotlight has this handy downloadable which teaches you about the crochet hook you will need depending on the project.
Flower Garland Crochet
A flower garland is something that can be whipped up pretty quickly, and I have it on good authority that garlands are the next big thing in the children’s interiors world. So I separated our project into two sections: 1) the garland chain, and 2) the flowers. The garland is the ‘most important’ part – this is where the child comes in. A simple chain using finger crochet, with the age-8-and-above-flowers attached to the chain.
I picked up my flower pattern from here but head to Spotlight and there are plenty of patterns to choose from. You can choose to add more layers of flowers if you want to brush up on your skills here. Each flower should take about 10 minutes:
Round 1: 5 sc into first ch. Pull tail to tighten.
Round 2: sl st in top of first SC. *ch 2. dc, hdc, sl st* into each stitch around. You will have a total of five little petals. Cut yarn and leave ends loose.
For the chain, I helped my protégé make a slip stitch and then inserted his left index finger as the hook. Then, I showed him how to chain a stitch (yarn over the front of the finger, and pull the back stitch over and off the finger). And off he went.
Then, the assembly is as simple as tying the flowers to the chain with their loose ends and trimming them off with some scissors.
A garland is a great starter project for crocheting kids – you can replace the flowers with pom poms, buttons, tassles or whatever floats your boat. If your child is particularly talented at crochet, get them started on some granny square coasters or even a cushion cover – the possibilities are endless.
My protégé gifted this garland to his baby sister to adorn her pram. I’m making my own too, and as Christmas gets scarily closer I’m planning an advent calendar garland, with some wrapped choccies tied on for a treat each day. For the kids, of course…
If you got this far and you still aren’t sure, I did some research and found that Spotlight Australia also have a downloadable PDF guide to the basics of crochet here including tips on the exact tools to buy (actually what to ask for) and tips and tricks like how to hold the hook. They also rate their projects in terms of how easy they are to do which means you can decide if you are ready for the challenge.