This year the Eckman family started a new family holiday tradition: crafting together. Over Christmas week, both my 20-something children were home for a visit at the same time.
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Daughter Meg had brought a variety of left-over yarns to crochet flowers for a Spring Wreath. Charles, visiting from far-away California, had in mind that he wanted to crochet a Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) dice bag. He asked if I’d teach him to crochet. How could I possibly refuse?
A Crochet Lesson
I grabbed a ball of Meg’s green yarn (conveniently sitting on the coffee table in front of us), a 5 mm crochet hook (conveniently within reach on my rolling cart), and demonstrated holding the hook and yarn.
A bag is a great first project. We covered the skills of slip knot, chain, slip stitch, chain-1 build-up chains, working into a ring, and single crochet in the first five minutes. Charles was a quick study, understanding the concepts right away. It was just a matter of his becoming comfortable manipulating the yarn and hook.
With the basic skills in place, we went back to our respective projects. I worked on my Crochet Skill-Builder Afghan (Crochet Along coming very soon!), Meg grew an entire garden of blooming flowers, and Charles worked out his own way of holding yarn and hook. And husband Bill? He joined in by helping untangle and re-wind a mess of yarn. It really was a family affair!
After a while, I demonstrated double crochet, so the bag-in-progress got a round of taller stitches here and there. When the bag was the right size, he added a drawstring chain in a contrasting color. By the end of the day, the bag was complete, and it was a rousing success!
Outfitting the Newbie
Of course, our next step was to go shopping in the Yarn Room (AKA “the attic”) for yarn for the next bag. Mountain Colors Weaver’s Wool Quarters in color Glacier Teal was the winner, with a bit of odd-ball teal of unknown origin for accent. This bag is a bit larger. It’s designated as a project bag, to hold not only a WIP (Work in Progress), but also the small collection of stitch markers, scissors, and other necessities that every crocheter needs.
Over several days, we worked on various projects. Instead of staring at our individual device screens, we worked with nice yarn, created beautiful things and (gasp!) talked to one another.
We now have a Crochet Convert. Between stitching sessions, Charles polled members of his D&D campaign to ask what two colors would best represent their characters. He headed back to California with enough yarn to make custom dice bags for all the players in the campaign, along with hooks in varying sizes, and a copy of The Crochet Answer Book. (I’m assuming that none of them read this blog, so a spoiler alert wasn’t necessary there.)
Planning for Next Year
Crocheting together was a lovely way to spend time together as a family. I think we’ve crafted a new holiday tradition! This year it was crochet. I wonder what we’ll do next year?
Next week, I’ll share the pattern for the Crochet Bag for Beginners (AKA D&D Dice Bag).
For a bit of perspective, check out Teach a Young Child to Knit. These same two “children” appear with yarn there, too.