I have to say that crochet is quite enjoyable. I still am a fan of knitting- been doing it for many more years so it goes quickly. I think as I continue crocheting- it will actually work up considerably faster than knitting. For me that’s a good thing: as my Grandma used to tell me, “Patience is not a virtue you were born with, and it’s not one you later acquired”
Here is my finished project.
I’m actually pretty happy with it. Like knitting, the final product is ultimately decided based on the yarn choice made. I like the colours and texture of this yarn, and it crocheted up quite quickly.
Although the result is small- it took considerable time to get to this point.
I started with just the single crochet. It took a long time to find a video that I was finally happy with. Many of them either moved too fast, or too slow. I also struggled to find a video that I was happy with the voice of the person, or them telling me some big long story before we got to the task at hand. In the end, I found one.
My single crochet took many attempts. Not so much in figuring out how to form the stitch, but in getting the tension right so my work wasn’t completely lop sided. I had to start with a small number of stitches so that I didn’t end up with too many or too few stitches by the time I got to the end of the row, (happened anyway- more than once). This was my favourite “teacher” and I found the videos easy to follow and pretty straight forward. I also liked the fact that angle showed from overhead so I could see where the hook had to be inserted. In addition to the videos, I found some other visuals that helped me out as well.
Double crochet actually took less time to figure out. I was able to count my stitches better, and had better technique for holding the yarn and needle. My way didn’t complete replicate anything that I had watched online, but it worked for me with results I could live with.
Feeling slightly cocky I moved on to the granny square. This proved a difficult challenge. I am wondering now if I would have chosen a lighter coloured yarn if it would have been easier to see. There are apparently many variations on the granny square. Honestly, I went with variation of the video that I liked. It is posted in the blog post. Again, there were many that were simply so long, I knew there was no way it was holding my attention. This video moved along quickly enough too in the beginning, but I just kept stopping and going back and eventually got it figured out.
The pattern I chose for my cowl was a half double crochet. I actually learned this one using a book that I had borrowed. I wouldn’t have been able to figure it out just from the book I don’t think if I didn’t have the other stitches down pat.
What I learned about learning a new skill online is that it takes some patience. You have to invest a considerable amount of time in finding the tutorial video that matches your learning style and is paced in a way that works for you. There are literally tens of thousands to go through, ok if I’m precise, 3 380 000.
You have to know yourself as a learner. For example, I know that I am not patient at all- there is no way that I would use a video that is 30 minutes long to get started. The other thing I figured out, was that I could eliminate a video pretty quickly just by the background music, the voice of the instructor, or if the video was simply to busy and distracting to me. I can’t handle the animations and the zooming in and out- totally lose my focus.
What I learned about learning is that imagine if you are the kid in the classroom who doesn’t have the ability to rewatch a section where the teacher went too fast, or what about the teachers where you simply hate their voice, or the over the top theatrical teachers where there is no way to concentrate if you are a student like me.
The other missing link for me, is that no matter how many different videos I watched, or how many times I could re-watch, I would have appreciated someone there being able to help me out where I was stuck. In many aspects it was good that I had to work through the trouble areas and figure it out, however, I can also see where some people would just chose to give up. What kept me working was that it was my desire to learn. When learning solely online, I can see issues if the material is mandated to be learned rather than chosen.
Many people had such cool ideas for learning- things I didn’t even think about in terms of learning, like organizing closets, or learning ways to work towards healthier lifestyles. Through sharing of what others were learning, it has inspired me to also take some time and learn a few new skills. It again makes me realize the power and importance of sharing things. I have taken some of these ideas and already started to rehash them for my own use!