“The trick is all in the holding of the wool and the needles. Once you have that right it’s easy.”
This was one of the many pearls of wisdom I learnt yesterday from Bernadette. She is an Amazing. The Amazings is a social enterprise with a brilliant idea at its core; getting retired people to teach their skills and wisdom in evening classes to those that wish to learn them. The class I dropped in on was my first in learning how to crochet, which was I wasn’t doing too well at. “You’re holding the needles wrong. Are you left handed?” No, just cack handed.
It was a small class of eager beginners, all as bimbly thumbed as myself. Learning the three basic stitches, a chain, a double crochet and a triple crochet, we were given the pattern for a granny square, with the idea in mind to finish the two-hour session with the finished piece. Our beginners techniques were humorously familiar to Bernadette, “You crochet just like my daughter, she pulls the needles closer and closer to her face until she is practically picking her nose with them.” Bernadette’s sense of humor makes this class. She teaches it with the warmth and familiarity of your own Grandma, helping you with the needles and showing her secret trick and tips. “Crocheting in the Summer is difficult as your hands get sweaty,” she tells us, “So I keep some talcum power handy.” A top tip right there.
Crochet is a skill that is a challenge to master, but once you have you can be stunningly creative with. We all gasp when Bernadette shows off her latest triple crochet weave which only took her an evening. We can all do that? The needles start cracking. The concentration in the room is fierce. One hour in and I wasn’t even able to complete a line or turn around on myself. Thankfully Bernadette was there to help me start again. “That’s the beauty of crochet, it’s easy to unravel if you make a mistake.” Except I ended up unravelling to the beginning. Twice. I’m still hopeful. I have had a dream of a Granny Square patchwork and I am going to make it.
I learnt three things last night. 1) The Amazings are amazing. 2) Bernadette is a crocheting legend, and probably has the coolest dressed grand-kids in the world thanks to herself. 3) Like Captain Hook and the Candyman, I can’t be left alone with a hook. I cause no end of hole-some terror. Maybe next time I will try making a hammock.
Image from the event provided by The Amazings.
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