I mentioned to LA, friend that organizes monthly Bingo parties at a nearby nursing home, that I’d like to start a crochet group or class for the folks there. She immediately gave me the number of the head of the facility’s Rec. Dept., E. The very next day we had a great chat and Ellen thought of three female residents who would probably be interested in crocheting with me, so already I feel like my idea is off to a good start! She also explained the volunteer application process, offered to be a reference, and gave me the number of D, the Director of Volunteer Services.
My interview with D isn’t for a couple more weeks, but Ellen and I decided to get together anyway to go over my ideas for beginner crochet projects. . .
to introduce the Crochet Chain with a Beaded Spring Garland – E thinks the ladies may actually prefer to wear one as a necklace –
Practice the Chain and Introduce Slip Stitch
with a cute little Daisy Bookmark
Practice Chain and Slip Stitch with a Daisy Chain
Notice how the colors in the daisy yarn coordinate with the beads on the first garland?
I thought these first three projects might be too simple/juvenile for my mature audience, but E assured me that “her ladies” enjoy having silly fun – as proof, the beaded garland ‘necklace’. When I mentioned hanging samples of the two garlands somewhere she immediately pointed out a large whiteboard in the Rec Room. Perfect!
Next up – to Introduce and Practice Double Crochet on a Cotton Dishcloth
Working into a foundation chain can be difficult for a beginner, so I’m going to help them out by doing the foundation chain and first row, neither of which are necessary for a granny square, which will be our next project. . .
It can be pretty hard to get excited over making one little granny square.
I hope multi-square samples will give a better idea of the humble granny’s design potential. – What a difference a change in color of the lattice makes! –
I plan to make more granny samples: solid saltines, checkerboard in which the dark squares are scraps, a ‘giant’ granny, and the granny’s step-daughter; if time allowed I could do dozens!
I’ve also started thinking about appropriate granny projects, both small projects like purses, fingerless mitts, pillows, and hats, and larger ones like tote bags, baby blankets, and shawls. There are an incredible number of free patterns available for unique granny projects! I can’t wait to hear what the ladies are most interested in making. As for myself, I feel the need to make at least one Granny Square Kitty Cat!
It was wonderful to meet Ellen as well as a couple of the ladies that I’m likely to see again once the ‘Crochet Corner’ * opens for “business”.
While there I also sorted all the yarn in the Rec. Dept. storeroom. . .
wool and wool blends,
fingering and sportweight acrylic,
and, my fave for both beginning crocheters and granny squares, worsted weight acrylic.
The sight of all that yarn got the attention of longtime knitter, M, who told me that before she moved into assisted living she used to knit every day. She would like to get started again with a dishcloth, and then do a baby hat or two, working her way up to making a warm scarf. Stowed away with the yarn are many knitting needles: long, short, circular and double-pointed, in a variety of sizes and you know that I’ve got dishcloth cotton to spare, so I see no reason why M won’t be able to reestablish her daily knitting habit very soon! cool.
E happened to mention that there once was a volunteer who crocheted seasonal pins for the ladies. I’m going to give it a try. As we all know, “April showers bring May flowers.”, so I’ve chosen three flower patterns to audition for next month’s pin: 1. Crochet Flowers and Leaves, 2. Rose and Leaf, and 3. Layered Ruffled Flower.
* E came up with the name, ‘Crochet Corner’. Cute, eh?