By Casey Smith, Naturalist
I’ve written here before about crochet. About its health benefits, buying sustainable yarn, and using crochet to give back to your community. In a blog post I wrote in 2019, I had declared it the year I get really good at crochet. I had started teaching Beginning Crochet classes for Preservation Parks that year. Since 2019, I’ve made 16 stuffed rabbits, a stuffed dinosaur, two stuffed llamas, a stuffed doll, 3 blankets, and countless hats. I’m sure I’m missing some. I consider myself really good at crochet at this point. That was until I found the Craft Yarn Council. Their website states they are “the yarn industry’s one-stop resource” to learn to knit or crochet, find patterns, look up standards, find tips and techniques, and get certified as a knit or crochet instructor.
Now, if you know me, you know I love a certification. I feel like offering a crochet class is ok, but offering a crochet class taught by a certified instructor has more legitimacy. So, in 2022 I began my journey to become a Level 1 Crochet Instructor. I signed up for the Craft Yarn Council website, paid my fees, and was sent a 77-page pdf of information, standards, and instructions for assignments I was to complete. I was also sent a 24-page teacher’s handbook. I had six months to complete my assignments. At this point, I was worried I was in over my head.
In order to complete the certification, I was required to complete a sample square of each of the stitches – single crochet, half double, double with a color change halfway through, and treble. I had to count stitches and label samples with the correct symbols. I also had to make a circle and a hexagon motif, and two beginner level projects. Finally, I had to write a paragraph about my personal crochet history, a paragraph about the importance of making a gauge, and submit a lesson plan. After six months of work, all samples were placed into clear binder pouches, and mailed off to a teacher to check my work. The teacher found a couple mistakes, and I had two months to resubmit two pieces.
So finally, after eight months of work, I’m proud to say I’m Level 1 Crochet Instructor Certified! It took me less time to get certified in CPR! I know the certification process improved my crochet skills, and my ability teach crochet. I’m teaching Learn to Crochet and Beyond Beginner classes at Deer Haven Park starting next week. Who’s going to join me?