People are forever asking to watch how I crochet, I think, because I do it a little bit different to everybody else.
I LOVE teaching crochet. To get to show a person (who starts off saying “good luck, I’m hopeless at this sort of thing”) how genuinely easy it is once they know all the tips and tricks, is awesome. Especially when they go on to be crochet designers themselves 😉
I’ve taught the Mollie Makes girls how to crochet (shown above), then taught alongside them at both the Folksy Summer School and Kirstie’s Handmade Fair, Tilly Walnes (from The Great British Sewing Bee, shown above), men, women and children of all ages and from all over the world, but the trickiest group was definitely this lot…
A couple of years back, I took on some amazing crocheters from all around the UK, to teach Frank&Olive workshops for Frank&Olive, and I gathered them all together to show them how I do it. Well… as you can imagine, telling a group of very talented women, who’d been crocheting for years (some 20+), to “forget everything and try it like this”, went down like a lead balloon. They all hated me, but kept on practicing my technique nevertheless. A few days after the meeting, one by one, the crocheters began to get in touch with photos of new projects and little samples that they had made using my technique – and they genuinely couldn’t believe how quickly they could knock it out, how perfect their tension was, how neat their work turned out AND how they didn’t get any cramp or discomfort whatsoever, even after hours of crochet. They were converted – and to be quite honest, not one person has gone back, once they’ve mastered crochet ‘the Frank&Olive way’.
So, after being asked by so many people about crochet tutorials, we decided it needed to happen. Kimberley and I both believe that crochet is easy, and that learning to do it shouldn’t be as complicated and as scary as many of the YouTube videos suggest. There are also TONS of American tutorials available, which is awesome, but sadly the different terminology for UK and US crochet is just mind-boggling for beginners – I know it was for me when I was teaching myself through watching videos and flicking through books!
When Coats approached us, about producing some tutorials, it was like they’d been reading our minds. Together we chatted about the need for bright, to-the-point, quick and simple videos, showing people our technique. So that’s what we did 🙂 I hope you enjoy them!
Sounds silly, but the hardest bit is just getting going, so I wanted to show you how I do the slip knot. (This method comes in handy later)
Ok, so this is the good stuff; this is how I hold my hook and yarn. Worth a try, even if you’d consider yourself a pro. You never know, you might just prefer it 😉
I hate the magic circle. I think it’s difficult, confusing for beginners and, to be honest, not overly secure. This is what I do instead, whenever a pattern tells me to do a magic circle. So again, even the pro’s might find this one useful…
There’s not loaaaads of stitches in crochet, but that exactly what the averge non-crocheter thinks when picking up a hook for the first time – usually after a brief (and scary) look on YouTube. Here’s a quick and simple run-down of the different stitches. You don’t need to master all of them to be a brilliant crocheter and make epic crocheted things, everybody has their favourite stitch and you can experiment!
Stay tuned and subscribe for the second installment of ‘How to crochet – the Frank&Olive way – part deux’. And don’t forget, it’s ALWAYS so much better to be shown in person and to not stress yourself out, so why not come along to The Retreat and I can show you myself (while you relax with prosecco!).