Crocheting for Fun, Relaxation, and…Anger Management! Q&A with Andrea Lemire, Education Coordinator of Lion Brand Yard Studio in New York City
Howcast: You teach people how to crochet every day as part of your job at Lion Brand Yard Studio. What was it like to do it in front of a camera?
Andrea Lemire: I was more nervous than I expected to be. I decided to start off with “What is Crochet?” and quickly realized that it wasn’t going to be easy to explain in 3 minutes what I usually teach in a 2- to 4-hour class! Patty (Lyons, studio director) gave me a hug and told me to just be myself, and then it got easier.
Howcast: When did you start crocheting?
AL: I was 4 years old when a great aunt taught me. Of course, I only knew how to start, not how to finish, so for several years I just made never-ending scarves. My mom is a professional seamstress and she taught me how to sew, but crocheting interested me more. What I love about crocheting — and knitting, which I also do — is that you are actually creating the fabric.
Howcast: What’s it like teaching people how to crochet?
AL: It’s a little daunting for adults to learn; in a beginner class, they spend the entire first hour just learning how to hold the yarn and get their hands comfortable with the crochet hook. It takes 2 weeks for hands to learn new finite motions; I tell my students that if they can stick with it that long, they’ll be rewarded.
Howcast: I’ve read that both knitting and crocheting reduce stress by lowering heart rate and pressure. Do you find it relaxing?
AL: Yes! It’s incredibly meditative and soothing, and I think a lot of people are taking it up for that very reason. In fact, someone once told me that her therapist suggested she take up crocheting to get her anger management issues in check!
Howcast: Any funny moments on the shoot?
AL: The Howcast producer, Ben, walked in wearing a crocheted hat and told me he’d made it himself. Later, when I was explaining how to work your first row in the turning video, he said, “I’ve been doing that wrong the whole time!” And I said, “Uh, yeah. I know. I could tell by your hat. I didn’t want to say anything because you were so proud of it.”
-Rosemarie L., Senior Writer