Crochet – It Might Be In The Genes

By Veronica Smith – 10 Comments

I am wondering if certain abilities are hereditary. My mum’s mother (Nana) could knit, crochet, and sew with perfection. A lot of it would have been necessity when she had 7 kids and little income to the home. Even after all the kids left she still knitted and crocheted with intricate lace pouring down from her hands as she worked away quickly and effortlessly with perfection and only glancing down occasionally.

Then there’s my mum, the daughter of the above mentioned knitting, sewing, and crocheting genius. Mum’s a tailor by trade although very rarely sews now. She does a myriad of handcrafts with perfection, fine intricate work that amazes those who even do the same thing. This same woman with so much natural talent cannot crochet to save her life. It’s not for a lack of trying, she wants to. I have tried teaching her repeatedly over the years and she has even gone to several lessons as well, in case it was my inability to teach. How can this be? By the way, I have taught many others to crochet successfully.

I can sew, knit (although this is under duress), and I crochet very well. I was self taught at 11 from a book. I picked it up quickly and I have never looked back. I have excellent fine motor skills but this comes at a cost. No gross motor skills, so running, catching, climbing, swimming, etc. are something I have never mastered รขโ‚ฌโ€œ well never really ever managed to get through the first step successfully. However, I can crochet. So the crochet gene has skipped a generation. My Nana can, my mum can’t, and I can.

The crochet gene has skipped again. My eldest daughter is very gifted in all ways, academically as well as anything to do with her hands (don’t you just hate that?). I am on my second attempt to teach the kid (now 22 years old) to crochet. It’s not going well. She is a visual learner so I have given her instruction books with big clear pictures and very simple instructions. I have sat with her and done the stitches whilst she looked on. I have done this only with her doing it as I go. I have sat with her whilst she has done it giving wrap by wrap, stitch by stitch, and loop by loop instructions. Done all of this and anything else you can think of to try and get her to do it. It’s not happening, we’ve been at it for a few hours a day for the better part of a week. I do have another daughter though.

In contrast to the older one she really isn’t good at much concerning dexterity. However, she has the best personality plus the best sense of humor! She does have processing problems, and no real patience to speak of, and an attention span of a goldfish. If she ever shows and interest and I can get her to pick up a hook it will be interesting to see what happens with her. At the moment she is just picking on her over talented sister that she is jealous of because she has finally failed at something. Oh well, it’s good we are all different!

How is your family tree?

Similar Posts


  1. Bev Wylie says:

    Hi Veronica,

    What an interesting thought: Crochet and genetics. I crochet too–self-taught from books–and it’s about the only thing I’m really “good” at. I also embroider and cross-stitch. My grandmother (my mother’s mother) crocheted and tatted. (I wish she had taught me to tat while her eyesight was still sharp.)

    My mom doesn’t do anything “crafty” at all except basic sewing. She has no patience for anything else.

    My sister has an artistic flair but has never really developed her talent–she has a very short attention span. She knows basic crochet but she’s never finished a project. Needlework generally bores her to tears whereas I love the intricate patterns and details.

    Now I’m wondering if it is “in our genes” and where I got it . . .


  2. Eve Sison says:

    Hello Veronica,

    I enjoyed reading your article as it reminds me of another featured article here in Crochet Spot, entitled “From umbrellas to rainbows” ( where I wrote about my personal experience when my mother taught me how to crochet.

    Then in one of my personal blog posts entitled “Does it really run in the blood,” found in, I wrote about how my younger daughter learned how to crochet.

    Well, isn’t it nice to talk about how the skill runs in different generations in one’s family?

  3. Betty says:

    My mom could crochet anything, and gave up trying to teach me when I was younger. She died when I was 19, so I didn’t get the chance to try again till many years later. My daughter and I wanted to find a class to learn how to crochet, and we were lucky to find a lady to teach us a couple of years ago. I was almost 50, and it was so weird that everything just clicked this time. If I have any trouble I just google it, and sit here with my laptop and crochet. My daughter, who is 26, is so uncoordinated that she still cannot jump rope, can barely ride a bike, and has always been so clutsy that the emergency clinic knows her by name, picked it up pretty quickly also. The strange thing is that while I can’t crochet without a pattern, she can’t usually follow one, and ends up just doing her own thing. It is something we both enjoy, and I am so glad we were able to learn together.

  4. Jan says:

    My grandmother (my mom’s mother) taught me how to embroider as that was what she did, I don’t ever remember her knitting but when she did crochet, she made doilies. I learned how to knit from my mom, who is left-handed and as much as she tried, she could never teach me how to crochet. I did teach myself and now crochet all the time. When my grandchildren were little, they always wanted to learn how to crochet, even the 2 boys. So, I gave them all a hook and some yarn and they were happy just making chains. Then they all grew up and the oldest girl went away to college. When she was home this summer, she came over one night at 9:30 pm, and said “Gram, I want you to teach me how to crochet, now!” I gave her a hook and some yarn, (not even a full skein) and taught her how to make a granny square. Well, in just a week, she made an entire afghan, just one big granny square. She loves it.

  5. MIchelle says:

    Your article was very interesting to me because it is a lot like my family- my maternal grandmother can sew, crochet and do any handicraft with perfection. I am always blown away with how talented she is. Anything she makes always turns out better than anything you could buy in a department store. My mother on the other hand does not sew or, but she is quite crafty in other ways putting things together and painting, but has never picked up crochet. Then comes me, I am quite adept at crocheting, my grandmother taught me the basics when I was 13, and the rest I self-taught from books. I like to sew, but without a sewing machine I don’t get much practice. I’d like to think that one day I could be as good as my grandmother. For now- I’ll stick with my crochet. I have 3 small sons, maybe some day one of them will want to learn, but I can barely get them to sit still long enough to eat dinner so I’m not holding my breath that they will sit still long enough to learn some day.

  6. Varsha suraiya says:

    Yes yes yes!craft runs in the blood I .feel it is genetic as it comes in every generation.My grand ma could knit stitch,crochet and bead- crochet elaborate designs.My mom improvised on knitting by learning to hand and machine knit.She could also crochet sew almost anything,do batik,paint,embroider and make ribbon flowers.I too crochet all the time plus can paint ,sew,embroider. Now my daughter can create paper craft,knit,sketch and illustrate on the net.she designs gorgeous personalised cards for weddings,birthdays,baby- books almost anything with paper.Genetics and creativity do link very closely only the form changes with different exposers of different generations.So glad to read your blog. I find myself waiting for the next one every week!

  7. Veronica Smith says:

    I love all your comments. It is really interesting to see how certain talents are passed through families. It is also heartwarming to know that so many of the “old crafts” are still flourishing.

  8. Lizzie says:

    My mother could sew and knit any and every thing BUT she could not crotchet to save her life. She did teach me to knit, but not till I was older (24 or 25 yoa). Perhaps that’s part of the learning. My mother told me she would never had tried to teach me to knit when I was younger, because I had no patience to sit still long enough to learn. I knit, sew, cross stitch, but I love to crochet. Now I have a granddaughter who’s 5 years old and she asks me if I would teach her…I said “Yes, when you’re older…” ๐Ÿ™‚ If you can teach…do it…most crafts are not being passed down to the next generation. It would be a shame if this knowledge is lost. Happy Hooking to one and all!!

  9. Kittalia says:

    That’s interesting. I learned crocheting from my friend when I was 11, but both of my grandmothers crocheted.

  10. Karen says:

    Haha, my mom and I joke about how the crochet gene skipped her all the time ๐Ÿ˜› My grandmother, great-grandmother, and myself can all crochet effortlessly. Mom, despite my grandma and I both trying to teach her several times, just can’t get it.

Leave a Reply