Skip to main content


January 5, 2008 Alan and I were leaving Panera after a delicious soup and sandwich when I spotted a former Beginning Crochet student from Continuing Ed. I went over to her and said, "Hi Miss Crocheter." (Sadly, I couldn't remember her name, as it had been a year at least since she took the class). She was so happy to see me and exclaimed loudly, "We were just talking about you" as she gave me a big hug!! Then she called across the room to her daughter, who had also taken the class and pointed to me and said, "Look who'es here!" The daughter came quickly my way and also hugged me. At this point my cheeks got all flushed and I was embarrased, but I DID feel like the ROCK STAR of Crochet! It feels really good to get that kind of validation and I interpret it to mean that they enjoyed the class, learned alot and think highly of me as a teacher. Alan, who I usually think of as objective, said that the camaraderie was obvious as well as the appreciation of my teaching them to crochet.

They said they have signed up for the class again and noticed that my name was not on the class listing. It's true, I explained, I have retired from teaching beginners. I cleazrly remember these people because they were so much fun and enthusiastic. The mother/daughter took the class together with another friend, as well. They plan on taking the brother's girlfriend along to class also this time.My friend and Chapter President, Rosalie, is taking over for me.

I joked with them they "sent me over the edge" and were the cause of my retirement! Seriously, I didn't retire on a whim; I had been thinking about it for about 2 years and each time the start of Fall classes came around, I groaned at having to go out at night after a long day and as each week went on it would get colder and colder making it less appealing to go out in the dark. As I got older, also, I was loosing my patience for teaching beginners. Each class has the whiners, the quitters and those who won't correct their mistakes. It is human nature, I know, but it gets tiresome and I had been teaching this class at Continuing Ed each semester for 13 years! All but about two times, the class filled up and even had a waiting list!


Anonymous said…
You carried the torch long enough, and thankfully passed it on to many others.
Thank you for being a "Rock Star" in my book!
What fun to receive comments on my blog and such a sweet one from you, Dee. Thanks so much for posting and you're no slacker yourself with that award winning blog of yours!
Anonymous said…
I just happened upon your blog!! I can relate with teaching beginners to crochet....TOTALLY! It is fun and a challenge, but there are those "whinners, quitters, and the ones who won't correct their own mistakes!" I have only been teaching the adult educ class for two years tho, but still feel the same as you in alot of ways!!Can't wait to read more ramblings! Oh, I also am in love with bead crochet!! And I love your post about another Crocheter is Born!! And "I birthed another crocheter! is great too!!

Popular posts from this blog

CGOA Celebrates 20 Years ~ Part 3: Juried Crochet Art Exhibits

Saturday, March 29, 2014

In August 1994, I hosted 90 avid crocheters for a weekend conference at De Paul University in Chicago that included classes taught by Bill Elmore, Joan Davis, Arlene Mintzer and more;  a Keynote Address by Sylvia Landman (Crafting for Dollars); a lecture by Annie Potter; marketplace, meals together, door prizes a plenty. An optional tour of Lake Michigan on the Spirit of Chicago was offered along with an optional post conference workshop with Pauline Turner. The most ambitious of all during the weekend was the Juried Exhibit of Crochet Art.
At the time, I firmly believed that crochet art was an amazing way to educate people about the vast possibilities of crochet. It is amazing to see what can be achieved with just a hook and flexible lines from many, many materials. Today I still hold the same belief: crochet is as varied as the crocheter who does it. Crochet art, however, moves and amazes even the most seasoned professionals when they see how artists apply t…

Wartime Crochet With Attitude, Part I

Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Karen Ballard and I have a mutual love of free form crochet. We met for the first time in a class taught by Prudence Mapstone of Australia at the Chain Link Crochet Conference 2011. I admire Karen's vast knowledge of needle work history and am grateful for her willingness to share with us as my guest blogger this week.
World War 1 Attitudes About Crochet by Karen Ballard
In 2008, I coined that term, "Workbasket Campaigns" to describe the organized efforts during World War I (WWI) and World War II (WWII) coordinated through the American Red Cross {ARC} and the Navy League to create needle crafted items.  These items were mostly knitted but also sewn, quilted, and crocheted for, or in support of, the military, wounded, allies, refugees, and the patriotic home-front. This effort was a significant: contribution of enormous numbers of needed items to those in war-torn areas and of improved morale for those on the home-front.  
As a crocheter, I real…

Craft vs. Fine Art: How is Crochet Blurring the Lines

I was awakening to the world of crochet in 1972,a time of immense artistic expression through fiber arts; and crochet was not the “ugly stepchild” at the time. In fact, Ferne Cone Gellar who I admire as a successful fiber artist said in “Knitting: The Stepchild of the Fiber Arts?” (Fibercraft Newsletter 1978), “Has knitting been slighted among the areas of the fiber arts? The very word ‘knitting’ evokes images of the little old lady in tennis shoes. Over the years, I’ve learned to ignore all those jokes.” Cone Gellar went on to publish Crazy Crocheting in 1981 and encouraged her readers to create more than bedspreads, providing ideas such as “things to play with or to display on a shelf or hang on a wall.” A photo of single crochet from bread wrappers served as inspiration. 

In 1972 in her book, Creating Art from Fibers & Fabrics, Dona Meilach wrote:
“Why are fibers and fabrics becoming increasingly appealing to artists? Most artists agree that because the materials are so varied, t…