Proof of Crochet at VKL

My friends don’t believe that I taught beginning crochet at Vogue Knitting Live a couple of weeks ago in New York.  Not even my mom believed it when I told her today how it went.  You see, my mom understands too well how much like my dad I am.  He was a great person, kind, generous, honest and true.  Dad was not a tyrant or control freak,  but he did live by the words “my way or the highway” and he expected us to respect that.  He did not suffer fools nor did he waste time and effort on fools errands.

Today, over a lunch of long noodles to bring longevity in the New Year, Mom and I laughed about our experiences learning how to drive…. from Dad.  I never knew until today that he considered Mom too stupid to drive.  Honestly.  Too stupid.  He made her such a nervous wreck that eventually she paid to go to driving school.  Within two weeks she had her license and some validation.

In my case, I drove only once with Dad riding shotgun.  That was enough to send me running to Mom.  Wanna know how I learned how to drive?  Mom took me to the parking lot at the mall on Sunday, empty because in those days the mall closed on Sunday, and she sat there while I drove round and round and practiced parking.

Anyway, it appears that I have infinite patience for crochet, but not for people crocheting.  My worst fault as a teacher is that I am so tempted to snatch the work out of a struggling student’s hands in order to ” fix” it.  So I forced myself to keep my hands to myself and I think the lessons I gave at Vickie Howell‘s Caron Beginner Lounge went well.  For the unbelievers, here is photographic proof.

Me teaching crochet

I am so sorry I did not record nor do I recall the name of my wonderful student here.  If you recognize yourself, please make a comment below and I will make it right! The lounge was well attended throughout the two day event and Vickie, a team of Vogue Knitting Live event volunteer teachers and I were kept pretty busy dispensing guidance and praise. It pleasantly surprised the students that the Tulip Etimo crochet hooks (or Tulip bamboo knitting needles) that we used for the lessons were theirs to take home along with their practice skein of Vic’s yarn, Sheepish.  Thanks to Caron for the tools, yarn and for sponsoring such a successful Beginner Lounge.

Looking more closely at that image, it’s funny how my hands are blurry (moving fast?) and her hands are in focus.  That’s the second of my major teaching faults.  I move too fast and probably talk too fast as well.  But I think the lessons stuck with many of those intrepid newbies and I hope they are happily hooking still.
More suited to my temperament and easier on the attendees’ nerves was my book signing.  This year Knitty City set up two tables in their market booth so we authors wouldn’t be climbing over each other.  Brilliant.  As ever,  Pearl and the staff were wonderful, thank you all.  When I wasn’t signing books I was working on a special hoodie version of my DJC Designs Snow Day mobius cowl, the pattern for which I handed out to any who wandered by showing their crochet.

Me and my Snow Day at book signing

Kudos to my publisher Potter Craft for their support and to Publicity Director and sweetheart Kimberly Small for the above photos.  Oh, and, Kim… that poster of Crochet Lace Innovations next to me… I took it home  as it was so beautifully done.  Thanks!

In summary, I feel I did not unduly torture any newbies.  But then again, you must really ask them. 🙂


15 thoughts on “Proof of Crochet at VKL

  1. This is such a calming piece to read. It makes me want a ball of yarn and a hook in my hands, an impressive feat on a day that hasn’t been good to me. I’m thankful for being an average crocheter/knitter. That being one with a rainy day stash. It also makes me wish I’d been to this event. Do you know if there will be one in Chicago that I can look forward to?

  2. Wow, I love this so much! I would love it if you would follow my blog. I am a crochet and knitter and I will be posting tutorials, and my life experiences through baking, knitting, crocheting and crafting. It would mean so much if you would follow my blog. Please and thank you! Also, will there be a convention anywhere near Seattle for Vogue Knitting?

  3. Doris, I could have written the first four paragraphs myself! I mean, word for word! Learning how to drive! My dad too is a my way or the highway kind of guy! As am I! Mall closed on Sundays! Snatching work out of students hands! I so understand all of that! Anyway, great post! I’m going to Stitches West next month in Santa Clara, California as a guest of! Maybe I will see/meet you there! Keep up all your good works!


  4. I wish I lived near enough to go! I would give anything to meet you and just to look at all the beautiful clothing you have designed!
    I’d pretend to be a newbie crocheter just to steal a few precious minutes for some one on one help 🙂

    Ever make it up here to Canada! ie: Toronto… Hamilton… you’d have quite a few of us crocheting gals coming out in droves to meet you.

  5. Dear Doris:
    Well, I was not your wonderful student, but I was certainly the student who you inspired the most. YOU ROCK THE HOUSE!!! I got so much inspiration and encouragement to keep on trying to improve my crochet skills, as well as my knitting skills, that I have barely put down my hook and needles since Vogue Knitting Live ended. Thank you, thank you.

    See you in Chicago, I hope!!!

  6. Your father and my father must have been related. My mother had a driving lesson or two from him then wisely chose to go to driving school. The only driving I learned from my father was on the riding lawn mower. For the car, I took driver’s ed in school. Another thing we share – when I teach some one to crochet, I have to practically sit on my hands to keep from grabbing their work to “help.” I also have to bite my tongue, or I’ll over-explain things. Glad the show went well. It sounds like fun, and I’d love to have gone.

  7. I’m someone else who had their mother teach them to drive. My step-father did some of the “road driving” bits, but my mother taught me how to do 3-point turns. We went to the east parking lot of my high school after school hours and she patiently sat there teaching me how to do 3 point turns. For that I am forever grateful.

    As for my step-dad? He did, as previously mentioned, help with the road driving, but he made me extremely nervous… to the point where I didn’t get my driver’s license until I was almost 17.

  8. new to your site.So glad I found you!! i am a 4 yr newbie. last year at my local library i offered to teach “Granny Squares” at the “knit in public day” as i am a hook-er and belive in equal time…. So with no teaching skills at all I set out….OH GOODNESS LOL wanting to jerk thier hooks and go LOOK its easy..I learnd alot that day.about me and how others “see” .Two out twenty of my “students” fineally got it Yay. love your work looking forward to following you.

  9. Hello again Ms. Doris, it was a pleasure meeting you and getting my book sticker signed. Your blogs are always such a laugh. Well just to let you know that I have since filled out the survey for the VKL experience and written your name all over the place and outright demanded more crochet classes and teachers such as DORIS CHAN. So look out you are about to teach a class at the next VKL…well that is if they take those surveys seriously anyway. Once again it was a pleasure meeting the best designer of easy to understand one peice garments ever. Btw. I read your introduction again and started taking pictures of my stuff and posting them to my page on Ravelry and as well to the yarn company community sites. And why not?

  10. And I am bashful not to know this, but what DJC pattern are you wearing? I really like how it looks on YOU! Sorry to not have made it to VKL a few weeks ago. Totally broke and knew this would send me deeper into debt. Next time!

    • Hey Ann Marie,

      No reason you should know that top. It is a secret. SHHHHH. It’s a prototype of a design in my next book that I can’t talk about yet. But this top will look wonderful on practically everyone, you’ll see. 🙂



  11. Looking forward to finding out more about that top!

    Congrats on the successfull teaching event and great crochet turnout.

    I’m another one that suffered through driving lessons with dad. Great guy, patient is about 1,000 ways about a million other things, but not driving. At the end of one ‘lesson,’ near the point of tears, I begged my mom to take me to the parking lot the following weekend. She did, but apparently also said something to dad (so parents talk to each other. Huh.) because he was much more patient the weekend after that. He’s been gone for 5 years now, and I miss him terribly, but can now laugh about things like that. Thanks for the stroll down memory lane.

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