Last night I taught my first ever crochet class at a CBD café - and it went surprisingly well for my first time ever hosting any sort of hands-on workshop.
The idea behind it
Emma (CoffeePotHead.RI) works at a Cannabis Café in East Providence and thought it would be cool to collab on a crochet class where everyone gets to come, drink some yummy CBD coffees, learn how to crochet and hang with some chill people. And that's exactly what we did!
We offered seven (7) seats (plus mine - me being the teacher of course) and I would say this was a good size for a first class. Anything more than ten, I think would be a little overwhelming because if everybody isn't on the same page experience wise, or if people have questions, it could take a long time to finish the class.
We had scheduled the event for 2 hours, and planned on making one mug hugger.
The class ended up being closer to two and a half hours (granted, we did chat a lot - but that was part of the fun!) Next time around, for a beginner class, I would allot two and a half hours instead of just the two.
Prepping for the workshop
As the crochet teacher, I prepared all of the materials for the workshop (with the help of Emma!) I printed out enough copies of the pattern for everyone to refer to (which they could then keep at the end of the class) and I even recorded a short video tutorial explaining the process step by step - but we didn't even really need to utilize this at all.
Emma helped me gather the supplies for the event. We had asked that everyone who bought a ticket leave a note at checkout with their color preference, so that when we picked up the supplies, we could get everyone a color of yarn that they liked. Then, of course, we supplied the crochet hooks, tapestry needles, and brought a few pairs of scissors to share.
I made sure to bring one completed mug hugger with me as an example to show everyone what the finished product should look like.
How I Demonstrated and Taught the Class
I started the class by going over how to hold a crochet hook and yarn, and explained that there are MANY different ways to do so - but for the purpose of the class, I wanted to get all of the crochet beginners on the same page.
I briefly described the basic process that we'd be going through for the pattern so they'd have a good idea of how the project would work up. Then I began demonstrating the project, holding up my yarn and crochet hook high enough so everyone could see. Thankfully, everyone in the class was a righty, so I didn't have to mirror for any lefties. We went over each step, one at a time and I went around to anybody who wanted a closer look at what I was doing. What I tried NOT to do was to take their yarn or hooks out of their hands and fix what they were doing (because they're not gonna learn anything that way!).
I waited for everyone to catch up before moving onto any new part of the pattern, so no one felt left behind. About a half hour into the class, everyone was chuggin' along, focused in on their projects!
I did have printouts of the pattern, but noticed that the only people who really used that were those who had crochet experience and kinda went ahead of the group because they knew how to read a pattern. I would still recommend printing out the pattern, though, because at the end of the class, everyone was so excited to go home and try again on their own!
I was afraid that I wasn't going to be able to explain all of the instructions clearly, but the students reassured me that I was able to explain everything in simple, easy-to-follow terms (so that was a huge weight off my shoulders!) I like to think about how I would've like to have been taught when I first started crocheting - and that helped me explain the steps in a clear, concise way.
At the end of the workshop, I encouraged everyone to try the pattern again on their own, and I even gave some adjustments for those who wanted to challenge themselves to try a new stitch (like instead of a single crochet, try the pattern with a double crochet). Everyone was so proud of their creations and it was an incredible success for my first class!
I will be sending out an email to gather any feedback on things that everyone liked or suggestions on how to make the next class even better.
Things that I would do differently next time around:
- Allot 2.5 hours instead of 2 hours
- Ask everyone who signs up to leave a little note stating their crochet experience (if any) so I can gauge the experience level I should be aiming for
*Once I get feedback from the students who attended, I will update you here!*