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Monday, June 23, 2008

Little hands

So I promised my children if they kept their rooms clean I would give a refresher course to the oldest on how to crochet. It has been 3 years since she did it last, and I would try and teach the youngest two; one I was thinking was about 1 year too young. Well, they did their rooms by the prescribed date so Saturday and Sunday was "Hey, let's drive Mae nuts" in a good way, of course. Nothing like 3 little girls with a thousand questions.

I started with the oldest, my fairy queen; just a refresher course. At first she couldn't remember, but after about 10 to 15 minuets her hands started to remember and it was old hack and on to making lace; that is what she wanted to do.


Next, on to the middle daughter, my ladybug princess. She had not done any crochet before, so she wanted to try lace making first. I thought too big a step, but I let her try. She tried and was frustrated, so at the end of Saturday night she finally let me convince her a simple pattern would be better, and we would pick it up the next day.

So the next day we started again with the middle daughter; this time it was a very simple pattern: chain 7, skip first chain,* sc in next 6 chains, ch 1 turn * repeat between stars all stitches are back loop only making a ripple effect. The rule is, she has to make the entire ball in this pattern; yes, very boring but having taught children before, this gets their hands used to the thread and the hook and the two working together (yep, she started with size 10 bedspread weight thread, hook size 6 steel) . Plus by the time she finishes she will have worked out all tension issues; kids tend to snap threads a lot in the beginning because they are not used to being delicate or manipulating their hands in so many directions all at once. I believe it is very good for coordination to teach a child to crochet. My oldest daughter I had make leprosy bandage as her first project; not only did she learn to crochet, but she did service work, too. But this daughter is the type of person that needs to see results quickly or gets discouraged, so a leprosy bandage was just too wide to show any length very soon. So, she is basically making the header for her next project where she will go on to making a piece of lace. She has a few inches made and has broken her thread once; not too bad.


The last daughter, the butterfly girl, I thought was a little young, but she wanted to learn so I wasn't going to stop her. Her hands and mine are the ones you see throughout this post. We started out and I made a few inches of lace. Then I showed her how the right hand worked, she is ambidextrous so this was interesting. Then I showed her how the left hand worked. Then both together, then she was on her own. She wanted to be like the oldest sister and make lace right off the bat. So I tried with her. Once she saw it was harder than she thought and that one sister had to go to an easier pattern, she was good with switching. Her little hands are just a little too babyish still, meaning the chubby little fingers rub together, and get sweaty easily, not letting the thread slide well. So we decided on my next day off (I think it is Wednesday) we would go up to a bigger hook and yarn and that would be easier for her. Maybe she will make a small doll blanket, Barbie size doll that is. I will post their progress Wednesday night.


I love these photos; some I took, some my middle daughter took, they are of me and the butterfly girl. In time her little hands won't fit inside of mine any more; that will be a happy-sad day. It was fun having her sit in my lap as I looked over her shoulder to show her little hands what to do. I miss being a full-time mom so much it hurts at times. But times like these I am glad I still get little glimpses of what I used to have with my kids. My kids are great and understand what is happening, and we all look forward to mommy-daughter times.

Just a side note: When teaching kids I have learned let them try and over step what you think they can do then have a back up plan so they can continue and feel like they have made progress and not failed. Also remember their different personalities when making projects. Some have more patience than others; take that into account. Lastly, the age of the child my kids are 10, 8 and 6. Coordination usually comes with age or practice. The older two do piano and one has crocheted before and made bobbin lace, another has made Russian needle punch. For the youngest, this is her first time into high-coordinated hand projects. So each has different capabilities due to their age and growth and past experiences; all can do it. I just had to find the right stitches, tools, supplies and project for each.


  1. You can be proud of yourself - you are such a wonderful mother and these memories you daughters will never forget. I crocheted for years before I was brave enough to experiment with thread crochet - and that was only crocheted edging on receiving blankets. I must try lace making - it is so beautiful.

  2. Thanks so much for this post. My two little nieces, ages 5 and 7, want me to teach them to crochet and your insight will really help. I haven't commented before, but I love to visit your blog and see all the fun things you do. I'm especially loving the apron a day posts. Thanks again!

  3. so sweet, love to see it!

  4. I think it's so wonderful that you teach your kids these fabulous handcraft arts at such a young age. So many Mothers will not attempt it and I think you should be commended! Good for you!

  5. cI feel my hearth beats...my mom did the same, I started crocheting at 6 you made me to remember !!!!


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