I write with a great sense of pleasure and achievement to tell you I am the proud possessor of the International Diploma in Crochet – the Part III Certificate and Diploma were presented to me by Pauline Turner at a cheese and wine evening at Lancaster Castle on May 6th 2006 as part of a celebration of crochet, 'Bringing Crochet Back to Morecambe'.
My journey from Part I through to this date has taken ten years. Actually it started a bit before that, as fifteen years ago I was fortunate enough to spend a weekend workshop with Sylvia Cosh & James Walters. (This was a happy accident – someone couldn't attend and I had her place, otherwise the course was full.) Having always been a reasonable knitter, a fairly experienced machine knitter and a keen embroiderer, always attending the Embroiderers Guild Meetings, crochet was not to the forefront, but I had attended Adult Education for a year's crochet course – the tuition was good, but the projects dated – when Sylvia and James opened the door to the freedom of crochet worked in an entirely new way. I definitely became a "happy hooker".
It was sometime after this I was in Exeter on holiday and attended the 'Knit & Stitch' event. I found Pauline' Turner's 'Crochet Design' stand, took all the leaflets, had a brief chat with Pauline concerning the Diploma, and ten years on … here we are.
The Diploma Part I was definitely a huge learning experience. A few things were returned for improvement, but not many. I can remember well, spending a whole day making and remaking a flower button. It began white; by the time I was finished, it was grey. I used a lot of talcum powder … to get past Pauline's eagle eye!
Part II was for me the most difficult to achieve, because in my opinion it is the most disciplined – and rightly so. We don't learn anything if our projects work smoothly every time. Suffice to say some of the big yarn companies are knocking on my door. That's OK. I'll manage.
Part III is where everything learned in Parts I & II bears fruit. This part will determine for you whether you are a competent, confident crochet worker. The projects are all within your capability. If you get stuck for ideas, go to my favourite (free) 'shop', the public library. Look at all of the art and craft books they have, also gardening books, travel books … and don't neglect the children's section – great for simplifying line drawings and diagrams. I spent many hours sketching, doodling and colouring at the library. It is also a quiet place to do your writing, and handy for dates and references, etc, at the same time.
I pay tribute to the late Sylvia Cosh, who is still an inspiration to us all. We speak of her often at our local spinning bees. Thank you again to Pauline Turner, without whom there would be no International Crochet Diploma, and also James Walters, whose workbook is invaluable, and to all of the other authors whose books I have found so useful, but are too numerous to list here. It was lovely to meet crochet 'cousins' from all over the globe at Morecambe. I haven't stopped using Prudence Mapstone's book since I came home. I have some super memories. Thank you all so much.
I also offer from a fellow student … sorry, 'graduate' … all good wishes to those who are undertakiing the International Diploma in Crochet.
Sheila Horton, Deal, Kent