Crochet Summer: Why I Am a Crochet Teacher

We are joined on the blog today by a special Crochet Summer guest, Liz Kaplan. If you are a Mason Dixon Knitting fan (and if you're not, you should be!) you may already be familiar with Liz and her crochet skills. She is a contributor to MDK, as well as a crochet instructor in Oakland, CA. 


I’ve been looping yarn around sticks ever since I was a young child. It was something to do.

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I crochet and knit, and personally do not find one easier than the other although, I know that some people do. I knit when I want to make a garment and I crochet when I want to more freely manipulate colors, direction, texture and shape. It’s not that you can’t crochet a well-fitting garment or create sculpture with knitting, it’s just not how I choose to do so. (For inspiring tutorials and patterns for comfortable and well fitted crocheted clothing, check out one of Dora Ohrenstein’s books.)

I began teaching crochet for two very practical reasons; I needed a source of income and there was a surfeit of knitting teachers. Crochet became my niche. Ten years ago, I was working at a local yarn shop - alas, now closed - and came upon Lucy at Attic24. I got hooked on her cheery use of color and crazy detailed, illustrated instructions.

I began teaching granny shapes - circles, squares, flowers and more. It made me happy to create and to see the pleasure and delight it gave to my students. I went heart crazy around Valentine’s Day and gave everyone heart garlands. On Christmas I gave away snowflake ornaments (and some leftover hearts)!

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I genuinely enjoy teaching because of the challenge it presents.  The soon-won-success of turning a novice into a capable creator had me hooked (pun intended). For the record, some of my most challenging students have been experienced knitters. I think, as is the case for learning most new skills, you have to really want to learn how to crochet to get it. The first five to thirty minutes can be quite frustrating. How does one hold the hook, the yarn, keep the tension and still keep anything flowing freely? I promise, I will stay until you know how to create a piece of cloth. I’ve never had to stay past the three hours of my intro to crochet classes.

And often, my students come back for more.

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If you're in the bay area, you can find Liz teaching at A Verb for Keeping Warm, Busy Stix, and various special events around town. Follow her on Instagram @lkstitches.

Did you learn to crochet after being a knitter? How was the learning curve? Tell us your story in the comments!