Friday, August 10, 2012

Creating with Crochet and Musings on Mentoring

One of the beautiful aspects of biblical womanhood is that of mentoring. For some it may be a spiritual mentorship while others provide a practical mentorship in skills that we ourselves do not possess. For example, crochet is something my daughter had a desire to learn. I was blessed to have a sister-in-law proficient in this art who is also a godly role model for her. Two needs were met when they spent an afternoon with a ball of yarn, a crochet hook and a desire to "worketh willingly" with their hands.

Due to certain circumstances, they were only given a few hours together but the basic skills were taught which inspired these self-created projects.  

Position of the hands and explanation of chain stitch.

Position of the hands and explanation of chain stitch.—Take the thread in the left hand between the finger and thumb, hold the needle between the thumb and first finger of the right hand, letting it rest on the second finger, in the same manner in which you hold your pen, and put it into the loop, which you hold between the finger and thumb of the left hand. Take up the thread, lying on your finger, with the needle and make your first stitch as you do in knitting, tightening the loop just enough to leave an easy passage through it for the needle. The end of the thread must be held by the thumb and forefinger. The next stitches are made by taking up the thread with the needle and drawing it through the loop. The throwing of the thread round the needle by a jerk of the wrist is called an 'over'.

If we can provide our daughters with at least a taste of handiwork knowledge, their imaginations can produce many lovely items. Furnish them with books or video tutorials on the subject and their artistry will continue to flourish. These types of skills nurture the moments of beautiful girlhood.

Even a pair of socks become special when adorned with a few simple stitches. The possibilities are limitless with only two hours of tutoring… 

The supplies are minimal for crochet and therefore economical. Balls of yarn are found in plenty at thrift stores and estate sales. Crochets hooks are affordable as well. Once these two simple materials are procured, one can spend hours crafting handmade goods.

Single stitch.

Single stitch.—Put the needle in from the right side of the work, into the uppermost loop of the preceding row, take up the thread on the needle and draw it through both loops.

The basic projects shown here are done with the knowledge of two basic stitches known as single crochet and double crochet (shown above).

Queen Victoria was knowledgable in the art of crochet. She was responsible for making crochet popular. Prior to her interest, it was deemed a poor substitute for lace. Her desire was to boost the Irish economy at the time of a potato famine and this skill helped to pave the way. (You can read more about this topic here.)

She also crocheted eight scarves as awards for a select group of veterans from the South African war when she was 82 years old (actual scarf shown above).

Victorian era writer, Elizabeth Gaskell mentions crochet (in a humorous account) in her novel, Cranford.

"When we came back, nothing would serve him but he must read us the poems he had been speaking of; and Miss Pole encouraged him in his proposal, I thought, because she wished me to hear his beautiful reading, of which she had boasted; but she afterwards said it was because she had got to a difficult part of her crochet, and wanted to count her stitches without having to talk." 
~ Elizabeth Gaskell, Cranford

You will find many other lovely ideas in the art of homemaking for young ladies here.

Crochet instructions are excerpts from:
Encyclopedia of Needlework by Therese de Dillmont


  1. My grandmother and Aunt were also crotcheting inot there 80's. I also crochet but never seem to get around to finishing things or end up with the wool coming apart at the seems as I rush in and forget to finish off the ends well.
    I love the soft colours of the pretty hair band, it amazing the memories that are created when a Godly woman takes the time to care and share her gifts.. Thankyou for posting.
    Blessings Nell

    1. Hi Nell, Thank you for sharing here today and for your sweet words of kindness. Have a wonderful week! ~ JES


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