Welcome to The Gingerbread Bunny! I'm Sarah, a textile artist specialising in crochet and felt based in Wigan in the North-West of England.

On my blog, you can find my day-to-day craft adventures and tutorials.

You can find details of my work for sale and workshops on my website - www.thegingerbreadbunny.co.uk

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Teaching Crochet - Perfect Patterns for Beginners

It's half term at the moment here in Wigan, so that means no crochet classes.  I've got a few interesting posts lined up over the next few weeks but today I'm going to share some of my favourite patterns for beginners.

I'm pretty sure that the main reason we learn to crochet is so we can make something. Yes, there are other benefits to crochet - it keeps my hands busy, helps me to relax and, quite frankly, is the most awesomist hobby in the whole wide World.  For me, I wanted to be able to make garments.  Quite a big ambition for a beginner but that's why I initially picked up my hook and yarn. 

I've found this to be true of almost every student I've ever taught.  Some of them are obsessed with scarves, others want to master amigurumi and then there are those with the big ambitions of making a blanket to cover a king size bed (I wonder if any of my students will recognise themselves here?)

Bearing this in mind, I plan my sessions to include links to patterns that I feel are suitable for beginners.  It's really important to test these out first to make sure that they work and are written in an easy to follow way and sometimes I've re-written them to make sure they are. 

Below you will find links to some of the patterns I recommend to my students - I hope you find these useful either to share with your own students or to use if you're a beginner.  You may also find my previous post on reading crochet patterns useful to which can be found here.

The Humble Granny Square

Everyone loves granny squares.  I teach granny squares as part of my 1 day beginners crochet workshop and as the third lesson on my 10 week course.   I wrote this pattern to make changing colour at the end of each round easy.  I give the students handouts with all of the photographs on so that when they go home, they have a little bit of help. I've seen some fabulous creations with granny squares - a few blankets in beautiful colours and a child's dress with granny squares as the top and fabric for the bottom. 

The Granny Shrug


I love this pattern! (Although I have re-written it to make it easier for my students to follow and one day I will post it to my blog)  It is a super easy way to make a garment.  It is made of 2 granny hexagons that when folded and stitched, makes a cardigan.  I love that students can make it to fit them really easily just by altering the number of rounds they work.  You can also make it in any weight of yarn - I've seen it successfully made in chunky yarn and in cotton DK.

Amigurumi Owls


These go down a storm on my course.  The pattern is well written and very easy to follow and, best of all, makes a really cute owl!  Each owl has it's own little personality. I use this pattern as an introduction to crocheting 3D objects and amigurumi.  As it is an American pattern, I use it as an opportunity to teach students about the differences in terminology and to allow them to find their own way to manage this.

The Granny Shawl


As part of my beginners course, I give the students 2 weeks where they can work on a project in class.  This way, they can make something a bit more challenging, have access to me for help and apply the skills they've learnt working more independently.  I offer the choice of 2 patterns, this or the Granny Shrug or students can work on something  of their own.  I love the granny shawl as it is just the right amount of challenging.  It also looks great in any yarn and can be made for winter or summer.  The pattern I use isn't on Ravelry but I have found this brilliant one, complete with video, by Lally Lou Lou (I think this may be the one I use in future!)

The Chevron Scarf

I have to admit that the chevron stitch has to be one of the most beautiful stitch patterns there is, but it is also one of the most difficult.  One mistake, and it just doesn't work.  It has been requested as a session on a number of occasions so I spent hours trying out chevron patterns until I found one that was easy to follow for beginners.  In this version of the stitch, the mountains and valleys line up on top of each other so, once a few rows have been worked, it's clear to see where they go.  This pattern requires perseverance and you must, must, must count your stitches carefully.

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