I decided to learn how to crochet because I saw a pattern on Pinterest that I really liked. The pattern was for a tiny turtle, the size of the tip of your finger. I printed off the pattern and went to Walmart to buy a hook and thread. I then went home and watched several Youtube videos on how to crochet. Unfortunately, after several hours, I still wasn’t even able to start the first chain (crocheting term). The video went too fast, the person held her hands in an awkward way and I just couldn’t seem to follow along. At this point I decided that I needed some hand-on teaching so I asked a colleague at work who had recently showed me a sweater she had crocheted. My colleague was more than happy to give me a few lessons and I seemed to be on my way. I practiced every night for about two weeks, simply making chain stitches and trying to keep count.
I then found a pattern on the internet that I decided I was going to make. I chose this particular pattern because I spent much of the previous summer playing Pokemon Go and had developed a fondness for the Pikachu character. I went to Michaels (because that is my FAVOURITE store) and purchased the cheapest wool I could find that would work with the pattern I chose. When I started to make the pattern I quickly realised that it required me to make a circle stitch, rather than a chain stitch. As such, I went back to Youtube and watched several videos on ‘crocheting in the round.’ I found one I really liked and watched it several times, pausing throughout. I didn’t really get frustrated because each time I got closer to where I wanted to be and I found the process to be relaxing. If I hadn’t been making progress, I would likely have been frustrated. Although the project took me a lot longer than it should have, given that I had to start over many times, I was eventually able to complete it and was proud of my accomplishment.
This experience makes me look at learning a bit differently than I had before. It became clear through this assignment that learning is a process that takes time as well as trial and error. Some students might get a concept right away, while others may take more time. I think the important thing is to remember that there are many paths to an end goal and that we as educators need to support students in finding their own path. I also learned that learning can sometimes be frustrating. It’s important to be supportive of students during those frustrating times so that they can stay motivated enough to reach their end goals. The activity also gave me some insight on what it feels like to learn an entirely unfamiliar concept. I had no previous knowledge of crocheting so I was literally starting from ground zero. This is a tough place to be; a place that requires a lot of time, motivation and work. I found this really interesting article that outlines the learning process– might be worth taking a look at!