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Monday, October 10, 2011

How To Crochet Series: Episode 1, Basic Crochet Stitches and What you NEED {and don't} to get started.




I would like to start out by giving a bit of my history in the world of crocheting.  It was my first real "craft".  My mother taught me how to crochet when I was fairly young, I enjoyed it, but it just wasn't something that I stuck with.  I just don't think my small brain was ready for something like this, and to me, crocheting was something that was equivalent of baby blankets and afghans.  As I got older, I started learning more about myself, and how dedicated I was to making art.  Art in any form is as second nature to me as breathing.  As I got older, I started seeing more and more that crocheting isn't just a craft, it can also be an art form.  They way you work the yarn to be something that is aesthetically pleasing really intrigued me.  Thus, about 4 years ago, I started crocheting again.

After this long being out of the saddle, I wasn't sure exactly where to begin.  I started with a basic package of 6 needles, sizes E, F, G, H, I, and J.  I got two skeins of yarn, one worsted weight and one heavy weight.  I googled stitches and patterns and tutorials and after about 2 weeks, I had about 25 scrapped pieces that I had done and tested and hated and started over.  I taught myself how to do every bit that I have learned, and I've learned almost every single bit from the internet.

One of the main things that I discovered during this learning process, is that there are
1) Many different ways of learning something
2) Many very very good websites, resources and tutorials available on the internet
3) Many very very BAD websites, resources and tutorials available on the internet

So, having said all of that, this episode of our "How-To" series isn't going to be a true tutorial.  Instead, it is going to be more of a list of all the things that you should have to get you started, along with some of the best tutorials that I have found from across the world wide web to help you get started.  I will explain any difficult or other things as I see fit.


Materials you will need to start crocheting:

  • Some various crochet hooks, particularly any sizes from G-J.  I find that as a beginning crocheter, when you begin to practice, you are better off going up a hook size.  Most people tend to hook very tightly when they first start and if you go up a hook size, you'll generally get the gauge that you need.  I will discuss gauges in another episode of our how to series.
  • Two skeins of WORSTED WEIGHT yarn. (any color that you like and would use again)  This is the easiest of all the yarns to learn on and should definitely be your first project.
Where to start:

  • Please...Please...Please... whatever you do.... Do NOT start on a project right away.  Get comfortable with your needles, learn how to gauge, learn the basic stitches and get a feel for how you crochet.  It won't take long to get through this initial learning phase, perhaps a couple of days, and your first piece will be all the better for it.
  • Learn the basic Stitches (see below for a list of tutorials of basic stitches and what you should learn before moving on to a pattern)
  • Make a couple of gauges (in our next installment of crochet how to's)
All right!  We're ready for the learning!!!

Basic Stitches and Crochet Techniques:

How to hold your hook, the first thing you need to know:
The Slip Knot:  The starter for every project ever.
How to make a chain:
Single Crochet, abbreviated as sc:
Half Double Crochet, abbreviated as hdc:
Double Crochet, abbreviated as dc:
Treble (or triple) Crochet, abbreviated as tc:
Slip Stitch, abbreviated as sl st:
    After having viewed the videos or read the lists, practice! Practice while watching them, reading them!  Try making a couple of rows, or just one really long row of stitches, just to get the hang of things.  Once you get your stitches to be pretty well uniform, you're ready for the next step...

    Stay tuned for Episode 2, Everything you needed to know about Gauges, and why they rock.

    Episode 1
    Episode 2
    Episode 3
    Episode 4
    Episode 5
    Episode 6
    Episode 7

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