Crochet is increasingly becoming a part of education.
Waldorf schools teach crochet to children as young as kindergarten and then use the tasks and skills of crochet to teach them other lessons (such as math and problem solving.)
At the university level, a number of people are researching and writing academic papers about the health benefits of crochet, crochet as a form of activism, and other cutting-edge aspects of the craft.
But, to date, you can’t actually go to crochet school and earn credentials in crochet.
Enter the American Crochet Association.
Since 2015, this organization has offered a unique set of lesson plans that will truly broaden your knowledge and skill in the beautiful craft of crochet.
How Did You Learn to Crochet?
Think back to how you learned to crochet. Chances are that it was one of the following ways:
- Your mother, grandmother, or aunt taught you the basics as a child.
- A friend taught you as a teen or adult.
- You took a class at your local yarn shop or library.
- Thanks to YouTube and other online channels, you taught yourself.
- You learned, or supplemented learning, with books and/or classes at craft fairs.
Those are all great ways to learn the basics. But what if there was a better way?
Most of those teachers weren’t professionals.
They probably knew a lot about how to crochet and perhaps not as much about the right way to teach someone else.
If you could have gone to a professional teacher to get one-on-one instruction through a curriculum that would give you everything that you need to know about the craft, would you have?
What Would You Do With Crochet Education?
Now, let’s imagine that you are a crochet teacher.
Perhaps you’ve taught the basics to a few friends, your children, or some folks in your local community, maybe you’ve created some blog posts or YouTube tutorials to show others what you love so much about crochet.
What if you could take it further?
What if you could get a foundation in how to teach this craft you love to others?
If you had the option to get professional training in crochet, what would you do with it?
Perhaps you would teach more people, get paid to teach crochet, or share online lessons with your knowledge. Or perhaps you’re more interested in learning how to design and sell your own crochet patterns? Perhaps you’d like to do both.
This is exactly what you get with the American Crochet Association.
They offer professional crochet training and business models for people who want to learn to teach the craft and/or work as professional designers.
American Crochet Association Courses
I have been crocheting for many years. I didn’t realize there was so much more to learn until I joined thet American Crochet Association. Their courses are thorough, easy to understand, professional, and include clear pictures and instructions.Connie Emerson, Facebook reviews
There are multiple course options with American Crochet Association, including professional-level training as well as shorter workshops and challenges.
Become a member:
The Crochet Membership includes our 12-course Learning Path that fills in learning gaps most crocheters aren’t even aware of; helping them to build knowledge and advance skills. Plus, this membership offers something new, fun or challenging each month.
Professional Training courses include:
- Crochet Instructor Training for people who want to learn to teach the craft to others; it includes a full lesson plan alongside key tips such as “reasons to start teaching just 1-2 people if they’re brand new to the craft.”
- Pattern Writing Training for people who want to turn their creativity in crochet patterns using universal terms, standards, guidelines & templates.
- Pattern Launch Formula grow a community of people who know, like and trust you while earning a consistent paycheck with your pattern work (without publishing new patterns all the time).
- My Crochet Career everything you need to know to start and grow a business selling the items you make, without overwhelming yourself.
Workshops & challenges include:
- Assess and Build Skills helps you to get a sense of where you’re at with crochet and how to grow your skills with lots of fun and skill-building homework.
- Ultimate Stitch Challenge 30 crochet stitches, 85 video tutorials and 54 functional patterns to learn and try.
If you love crochet then give yourself the chance to see if you can make a career, or at least a side income, from it by arming yourself with these skills.
These courses are all online, so you can gain new crochet skills on your own time, on any device!
Plus, you’ll receive a certificate of completion for the 12 Course Learning Path, and our professional training courses, which you can add to your resume.
History of ACA
This organization was created with a specific intention in mind and has followed a strategic growth path.
I knew that I wanted the ACA to become a trusted resource in the crochet world. I built and grew it carefully to provide a baseline of education that we can all point to. Crochet has been a craft that has been passed down through the generations. This is a way to pass it down mindfully, leaving it in better hands with each generation.Salena Baca, ACA Founder
The organization began with the 12 Course Learning Path.
Salena spent a full year developing the content and another two full years testing and fine-tuning each lesson, using student feedback to perfect this part of the program. These courses are the prerequisites of any other professional development in crochet, so solidifying their content was the first goal achieved by the ACA.
Then, the Crochet Instructor Training course was next (again, this was perfected over the course of a full year). Salena has extensive experience teaching crochet and created the Crochet Start Up Library with Craftsy so she used that experience along with feedback from a few dozen students to make sure that this set of lessons was of the highest caliber for people who want to learn to teach crochet.
Once that was ready, the ACA launched Pattern Writing Training. That was in early 2018, starting with just a few beta test groups. In fact, this set of lessons is still in “beta mode” today. The content and lessons are fully developed and available to students. However, in order to make sure that the lessons meet their high standards, ACA is continuing to stay open to feedback to fully develop this lesson set even further.
5 Reasons to Support ACA
Here are some of my favorite reasons to join the American Crochet Association:
1. It’s a woman-owned business. Both men and women crochet, of course, but the craft is heavily dominated by women (particularly throughout the course of history.) And yet, a number of prominent yarn and craft businesses are owned by men. As mentioned, this business was started by crochet designer, author, and teacher Salena Baca who now has a team of women helping her grow it. Support these entrepreneurial women.
2. It lends legitimacy to the craft. For too long, the larger world hasn’t taken craft seriously. It hasn’t been treated well by the arts. It’s seen as “women’s work” which has historically been dismissed. But this is a thriving industry. People pay (and earn) good money in the world of crochet. By creating a stringent professional curriculum, the American Crochet Association helps bring legitimacy to the value of this work. That’s something worth supporting.
3. It will be fun. Crochet is fun. Learning new things in crochet is fun. Even if you never want to teach a class or get paid to create your own patterns, you can enjoy setting a goal in crochet and meeting it. The great thing about this craft is that there always is something new to learn, even though you can do a lot with the basics. Push yourself!
4. You’ll be part of a community. When you go to college, you develop a network of peers and professionals that often become a part of your life forever. It’s the same thing when you join the American Crochet Association. You’ll get access to private groups where you and other crafters can help support each other in this journey. If you do start to teach or design patterns for a living, these people can be an invaluable support. The online community of crafters is truly one of the most wonderful, healing parts of being a crocheter today, and you can take that to a new level when you join.
5. Do it for yourself. More than any other reason, offer yourself the gift of taking the craft of crochet further. Crochet heals people. It makes people happy. Many crafters tend to put themselves last in life when they could better help others by putting themselves first. Treat yourself to the kind of craft education that will give you pleasure, increase your confidence with crochet, and perhaps provide you with the stepping stones that you need to make a living in the craft that you love.
Interview with the Founder Salena Baca
It’s always helpful to learn more about an organization by speaking directly with the people who work there. Founder Salena Baca answered a few questions for this article:
What inspired you to start American Crochet Association?
Even though I’ve crocheted my entire life, there were so many things I didn’t know were possible in crochet. For example, it took 25 years before I realized that I could work in joined rounds.
As crocheters, we are typically self-taught, and even with the internet, we are starved of basic foundational aspects in our craft. I was looking for a baseline of education or progressive path to learn and advanced. When I couldn’t find one, I build theAmerican Crochet Association to provide a baseline of knowledge and resources, including a path to becoming a masterful crocheter or confident professional in this industry.
What was it like in that first year and how has it changed since then?
The first year was revolutionary for me. I spent every day researching content, applying new skills, building resources and testing all that I had come across in order to build the Learning Path.
I believe in refined educational resources that are fun to follow and also provide actionable results. It takes a lot of work on my end to make that possible for each and every student. Thousands of hours have gone into everything we are, and all that we offer. Building the ACA is an obsession for me, and I pride myself on the success of every single student and their experience.
Now, most of our core resources, lessons, courses, workshops and training have been launched, so my work has shifted toward growing our student base, and asking ourselves how we can help more people.
What’s your number one favorite accomplishment of the past five years?
Building a baseline of education in crochet. Our lessons have the ability to advance the skill and ability for individual crocheters. Using the ACA as a foundational resource, we are creating a better skilled crochet experience.
If someone knows how to crochet and might want to make a career out of it, but they aren’t sure, where on the site should they start?
The Crochet Membership! This includes our 12 Course Learning Path, which will build your crochet knowledge and skills to make you a better crocheter or professional.
What’s the number one thing that you hope people take away from being part of the ACA?
That education and community are paramount! We hope our members use their ACA education to continue the advancement of crochet; in their own communities, and throughout the world.
How do social media and your blog enhance what ACA offers?
Social media is a way we can share experiences, have meaningful conversations, and offer support. We use our blog to share crochet tips, resources and advice that will better the lives of crocheters with topics like stitch counting and recognition, using stitch markers and figuring out yarn substitution. You don’t have to be a member of the ACA to enjoy any of these resources and social spaces, but we do hope that they lead you to joining us for much more!
What do you hope to see from ACA in the next five years?
We hope to continue helping crocheters to reach their full potential. We focus on every individual member, and their experience, to assure that all of our products and services are truly helping and adding value. We take pride in knowing that every experience matters. And so, in the next 5 years, we hope to continue making a positive impact in the crochet world, so that crochet can truly be passed through the generations in better hands than we found it.