A couple of weeks ago Venetia decided that she would like to learn how to crochet. She found a few tutorials on YouTube and sat in front of them working out how to do it with her hook and wool. After a couple of hours practising she came to me frustrated with her progress, her stitches still coming slowly and unevenly. I praised what she'd managed so far and told her that with almost any new skill lots of practice is required before the skill is even close to being mastered. And I gave her lots of positive encouragement to carry on practising, telling her I was sure she'd start seeing big improvements if she did keep trying. Off she went again and she kept at it, here and there over the next few days. And gradually she did find a rhythm with it, her stitches started to look really good and she became much more confident and speedy with it. Once she'd got the hang of her basic chain stitch, she branched out a bit. With every new variation she tried she struggled for a while initially, but she's kept going and is doing brilliantly with it.
Here are her first completed attempts at Granny Squares:
And then she worked out how to change colour:
In one of her squares she used quite fluffy, thick wool (very technical term!) and ended up with a larger square which didn't match, so she's decided to keep going round on this particular one:
She's really excited because two of her teachers (one at school and one at ballet) are pregnant, and she's thinking a crocheted baby blanket for each would be very doable. So her plan is to make one with lots of the small squares, and to keep building up her larger square for the other one until it's baby blanket size.
Her enthusiasm and success encouraged me to give it another try too. I've spent a good few hours over this last week hooking together a chain, then pulling it apart and trying again and again. I'm not even beyond getting passably even stitches in a single line, never mind building it up further. And my hands and fingers feel awkward and clumsy still in my efforts. It feels exactly like my previous attempts when I gave it up in frustration, deciding crochet obviously just wasn't my craft. And right now I would love to give it up again. But there's one difference this time around. This time around I have Venetia smiling kindly at me (as her hook flashes away seemingly effortlessly!), and telling me that it just takes a bit more practice, and that if I keep going I'll definitely get the hang of it! Grrrrrrrrr!