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Chloe Crochets!!

My sweet and very crafty granddaughter, Chloe, has wanted to learn to crochet since she was about 4 years old. Needless to say, I have exposed her to my non-stop crochet habit, but we've had to wait it out on a frustrating journey for official lessons until just the right age and motor skills.

My book, Kids Can Do It Crocheting, written with Jackie Young (Daugherty), has been around Chloe's house forever; and she's been around my house a lot since I moved near her in 2015. Every Summer, I organize Gigi's Craft Camp on a weekly basis for both grandchildren. Jack, almost 7, has become more interested lately as his small motor skills develop. Chloe, 8 1/2, has long been interested in crafts of all kinds. She has woven potholders, made bracelets by weaving rubber bands and creates many things with "Duck Tape!"

There is a craft box in my yarn studio just for the kids separate from my own craft drawer. Every week, we try a different craft and each year Chloe has asked to learn to crochet. I've worked with her each time she's asked, but she just hadn't had the patience or the ability to get started. Each time, she would give it a try and then ask me to do it for her. We also tried the Knitty Knoddy, but even I had trouble with that!

We've used yarn many a time in our various craft projects and Chloe even created bracelets and bookmarks by just tying knots in the yarn. I have a hunch Chloe knows every inch of my yarn closet by now! One of their first escapades a few years ago was when I was, obviously, not watching them carefully enough. They chose a yarn from my closest (best and brightest) and proceeded to create laser beams by stretching the whole skein across the room from one side to the other! Yeeks! While shocked, I had to admit that it a was creative and the yarn was recoverable!

This summer, lessons in crochet for Chloe was put on the To-Do list. I was especially motivated because one of her teachers who knows I crochet had hopes that Chloe would learn during summer vacation. My book is geared for 81/2 year olds so the timing is perfect. Our plan was to invite a 10-year-old friend to join in on the lessons. Before that happened, Chloe's 12-year-old cousin, Emma, came to visit last weeknd.

I had heard Emma was crocheting and wanted to encourage her and give her a copy of the book. She was ably crocheting a blanket for her little sister in super bulky yarn; I was amazed that she had only had hook in hand for two weeks. Now who is motivated?  Chloe, of course!

So, we gave it a try and with just a little whining and several very rigid digits, the yarn stars and hook moon began to align and she was making a chain! As with any beginning crocheter, coordinating the hands, the yarn, and the hook was challenging. However, Chloe herself figured out that if she held her chain between her knees, she had the stability needed to created her chains!

I sent her home with homework: "Create a chain that is long enough to measure the perimeter of your bedroom" and a proud Grandma's smile on my face!! Later that night I got an urgent text from my daughter: "She's finished a skein of yarn; how do we join more yarn?" I did my best to explain and also suggested checking into YouTube.

The next day, my son-in-law with other dads loaded up their kids in a mini-van and headed to a Cubs game in Cincinnati. The next day Chloe told me that the 2-hour trip felt like only ten minutes because she crocheted chains all the way to and from the game! During our craft camp this week, while we waited on paint to dry and glue to harden, Chloe returned to her chains! I think we have a convert and a new crocheter has been born into the world. Boy am I proud of my her!

My computer suddenly needed to be taken for repair last week and I didn't get to finish this post. Since then, I have given Chloe Lesson #2. I like to avoid the daunting "crocheting into the beginning chain" with beginners. I provided Chloe with a row of single crochets and taught her how to work into the first row. She got it!

It does no good to force or rush the learning process when it comes to handcrafts. When the time is right, they will learn! It is very satisfying to have gotten over that first hurdle, though. I'm confident enough in her progress now that I gave her hooks of her own and a case to carry them in!  This thread will continue and my crochet legacy will be knotted tightly!


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