Written by Sequoia Abbott-Saulteaux
For my ninth #LeaningProject blog I’ve decided to focus more on some tips and tricks that I’ve learned through social media and how you can find resources! It’s so bittersweet to think that this semester is almost over, but I will definitely be continuing to crochet and dive into educational technology for a long time to come!
I am still working on Leon the Llama but his fur stitch seems to be taking longer than I thought it would. I am laughing at the fact that when I started, I thought his head and body would amount to the same time because Yarnspiration’s Llama-No-Drama pattern and the Crochet Crowds YouTube videos give both parts roughly the same amount of time/space. However, there is a part in the body that the fur stitch repeats 11 times in order to give him that nice long llama body, which I did not take into account when glancing over the pattern and looking at the length of the YouTube videos.From today, I am just over halfway through his body, which seems like it may need a lot of stuffing in the end. This is definitely the biggest part of the project though, so it does feel good to be almost done! After that I have the smaller portions of his legs, tail, ears, bangs, halter, and little blanket (along with tassels). I have heard from a lot of people that sewing the parts together is their least favorite part of building these little guys, so I am a little nervous about that. Thankfully, I took a sewing class in grade nine giving me at least some experience, so we will see how it goes!
Since I don’t have much to show for Leon this week, apart from his slowly growing body, I wanted to highlight some of the social media resources that I use day to day. I am personally big fan for Reddit when it comes to specific interests, since there seems to be a subreddit for just about everything! The main one that I follow is r/Crochet which has a whopping 231 THOUSAND members and is constantly active. The sub has some really great features such as “tags” that you can mark your posts with including “finished object”, “work-in-progress”, “stash”, “pattern”, “discussion” and more. The tags make it easier to navigate posts and help with the organization of the community.
I find that most people on this sub are very willing to offer advice and opinions. When browsing through posts, I found this adorable little amigurumi coffee cup that I never realised I desperately needed. When looking through the comments, there was some really great suggests among them that I also would have never thought of. One user suggested putting a couple of espresso beans inside the cup so that it would smell like coffee! Brilliant! Then I asked the OP (original poster) if they used a pattern for their darling coffee cup, and they replied with a recommendation towards a book called Crochet Cafe: Recipes for Amigurumi Crochet Patterns by Lauren Espy.
The sense of community and creativity in r/Crochet is a large part of the reason why I keep coming back to this social media site over others. While there are some really great groups on Facebook for specific interests, they are not built into the foundation as much as it is with Reddit.
From the advice of the Reddit user, I decided to look up the amigurumi book. I have heard previously that books can be really good resources since they usually also came with descriptions and pictures of the stitches (unlike what you would find on a free pattern online). I did buy a Crochet magazine earlier in the semester that had some really useful stuff, but it also had some really irrelevant stuff so I never ended up picking it up more than a couple of times.
Since where I live is currently locked down right now, I decided to order the book online which also gave me the opportunity to look at the reviews (even if I’ve heard Amazon’s reviews can be a bit spotty at times). While the pictures for the book did not include many peeks inside, I was able to see some of the pages from the customer reviews. I also died a little inside when looking at the “reviews with images”; everyone’s little treats looked so cute!! I am very excited for the order to come in, which should be sometime next week! Maybe I’ll be able to throw together a little something cute for the end of the semester, but I have also been getting ahead of myself a little since I still want to finish Leon!
While looking at books, I also decided to make myself another little purchase, “Caron’s Little Crafties 20 Acrylic Yarn Skeins“. This package comes with twenty different colours in little 20 gram balls of worsted acrylic yarn. I thought that this might be the perfect thing I need to start a little project or two without having to buy multiple full skeins of yarn. The only thing that I am worried about is 20 grams will be enough to start these little projects but I can also find a way to use up yarn with the help of social media!
Throughout this semester, I have found myself using social media more and more in teaching myself crocheting. While I still really depend on resources like YouTube, patterns, books, and websites, I can only interact with these tools so much. Sometimes I feel like I have the most part figured out but I want to ask a very specific question. I can leave a comment on a YouTube video but I might not get a reply back, especially if the video is older. With social media, I can post a question on a subreddit or read the comment section of other people posts for good advice. Paired together, it has never been easier to learn something online.