If I’ve learned anything from my lackluster performance concerning New Year’s Resolutions for 2011, it’s that the key to greater success in 2012 is to keep the list really really short… and absolutely doable.
DoubleDogDangit, I had some brilliant but unfulfilled resolutions from last year, for example: “screw not with deadlines, you procrastinator”, “lose those horrible, lingering five pounds”, “blog more often”, “exercise, you slug”, “organize the stash, you slob”. Similar hopes for a better self have populated my list of resolutions for the past decade, ever witness to the foolish belief that I could change my nature in the span of a year. So I’ve decided to shift all of that stuff into a Ten Year Plan. Knowing that I don’t have to obsess over any of those things yet has instantaneously lifted my mood.
You’re not supposed to begin a numbered list if there’s only one thing in the list. By labeling this “Crochet Resolution #1” I am implying, promising that there will be a #2 and perhaps even more. No. There can be only one. I should go back and change the blog post title, but it sounds better as is, so I think I’ll let this slide.
My number one and only one resolution for 2012 is deceptively simple: teach someone to crochet. Many crochet professionals wouldn’t need to make a big deal or special resolution out of this because teaching happens to them as a matter of course. But those four words scare the hell out of me.
Teaching beginning crochet isn’t about one’s own expertise or experience or how many books you’ve written, how many designs you’ve published or how many awards you’ve garnered in your career because none of that matters to someone who doesn’t speak crochet. It’s about understanding exactly what’s happening every time you pick up a crochet hook. It’s about breaking down the complex, compound motions of crochet into their constituent elements and then effectively communicating them to a total newbie who may very well be silently cursing you. I am in fear of being reviled.
Most of what I do with crochet is… well… rather complicated and leaves beginners flinging their hooks and projects against the wall in frustrated disgust. I am best received by experienced crocheters who are conversant in the language of lace and aren’t put off by long, convoluted crochet patterns. In other words I can teach techniques and constructions to those who already have crazy skills. This is easy compared to teaching beginners, trust me.
In order to succeed at teaching someone to crochet, I need to find the right victims… uh… students; I needs me newbies who are gung-ho but not too scarily so, as well as dedicated, self-sacrificing and patient beyond belief. Toward that end I have volunteered to join Vickie Howell and other noteworthy instructors at the Beginner Lounge at Vogue Knitting Live, 14 and 15 January in New York. Throughout the weekend I’ll be that small person with the crochet hook lurking among the many knitting teachers, cringing in terror. If just one person shows up, looks me in the face and says “Yes, you can do this”, then I’ll be on the way to making my one heartfelt resolution for 2012 succeed. Come and help me learn how to teach you how to crochet. 🙂