Friday, January 28, 2011

Want To Know The Basics Of "How To" Crochet?!

       Okay, I'm gonna try to make this as simple as I can. At the end, if there's something you still have some questions about, just leave me a question in the comments and I'll address it in another post...Oh Yeah! There's going to have to be another post!! {I realized that when I was taking the pictures.}
      In my opinion, learning to crochet starts with having something you REALLY want to make! Something not too simple, but also not too ambitious for a first project...The top in the header photo looks waaaay difficult, but it's mostly made up of basic stitches {except for the edging}. This would have been my pick for a first project. You have to pick your own.
       Next comes the real to hold your hand! {Please ignore my fingernails. UGH! The close-ups!! LOL}
        Yes! It's just a hand people! :-] But notice the bottom three fingers...
      When you crochet the bottom 3 fingers will be in motion more often. Whereas the index, pointer, finger will just be the place to drape your yarn over...Let me show you what I mean. Notice the progression in the next few photos, starting with just a simple piece of yarn.
      Okay, now that the yarn is tied and on your hook, notice the way your yarn should be laced through your fingers. {For sewing machine users, it's sort of like the way you have to thread your machine before you get started on a project}
     Start by draping the yarn over your pinkie finger, from the back of your hand forward.
       As you can see in this last photo, your index finger will always have your yarn draped over it while you're crocheting. The bottom 3 fingers open and close...
      ...while you're crocheting, to lessen and tighten your yarn tension. {This is something, with time, you'll be more comfortable with. You'll find your own comfort level}
     This is what the hand positioning looks like while you're crocheting.
      As you also notice in this last photo, the bottom fingers hold your work while you're crocheting. {It sounds more involved than it is.} Just look at these next photos.
      Now, that's the basics of how to hold your yarn...Below is some info about what abbreviations mean, when you read patterns. 
       On a future post, I can show you what each of these looks like when you're doing them, if you like. But if you know how to read the abbreviations, it's pretty self explanatory.
     All you need is a stitch guide. It gives you the play by play for all of the basic stitches, which usually consist of how many times you wrap the yarn around your hook before you insert it into the next stitch. {Because doing a stitch is wrap, pull through 2 stitches, wrap, pull through 2 stitches......most of the time; unless otherwise stated in your particular pattern}
       This is how I learned! Just follow the red arrow with your hook! {As a memory aid.....this helped me....think of yourself as being like a pirate who has lost an arm, and you only have a hook to navigate everything with. When you're crocheting, your hook is your arm....Be One With Your Arm!!! LOL}
          And here are a few other little tidbits to know...
      Following this way of changing colors makes your work look clean. It'll look like you miraculously had a piece of yarn that changed colors all by itself at just the right spot!! :-)
      {And F.Y.I., treble is the same thing as "Triple"}...For people who use metric measurements...
        Okay, basics complete!!! I await any questions you might have...In the meantime, I'll leave you with a poem I wrote a few years ago about some projects I've done. And you can look below at some others I did when I was a new crocheter. I hope it inspires you to keep at it!....DON'T look at the photography! I was really bad at taking pictures back then...REALLY bad!! ^_^
       Have a good day crocheting!!

Blankets Of Love

I make blankets, in my own time;
putting love in every stitch;
I let no one rush the process;
I'm not concerned with getting rich.

Crocheting brings about a calm
that nothing else quite seems to do;
I get such joy from choosing patterns,
and from choosing colors, too.

The more intricate-the better;
that gives me much more time to think,
'cause I slow down, so I can read it
keeping brain cells in the pink.

Just the steady, jutting motion
of my needle's in and out
makes me remember who its for,
and what the pattern's all about.

I made a blanket for my sister,
with kittens crocheted all around;
and another one, for Tammy,
with her name written up and down.

I made a special one last year.
(made lovingly-to give away)
It marked the 20 years of love
that we remembered on that day.

We threw a party for our friends;
We had good food, and dancing too;
and on the blanket, it was written:
'Roses are red, violets are blue'.

That was a special blanket;
but special is always what I say
'cause I put the time into them
so that they won't easily fray.

They are blankets made with love
that I'm proud of-from 'chain one';
To watch the faces of receivers
is, without doubt, half the fun.

So-if I ever make a blanket
for your anniversary,
or your wedding, or engagement,
here's the thought you'll have from me:

That 'I love you very much,
and making it was fun to do;'
and that 'with every single stitch
my every thought had been of you!'


  1. Wow, you crochet so differently from us here in Europe! :D Your way seems so much harder too! LOL We don't hold the yarn like you taught. We just hold it under the three fingers and on top of the index finger. And as for the patterns we have images to show us how to crochet not text. Like this

  2. Wow Wug! I used to crochet many moons ago, but I forgot! Some things are very similar to knitting. I would love to try that sweater in the first photo! Scardy cat...that's me! Thanks for this information!!

  3. Mariann, It may look harder, but it's really not. And the diagram picture you linked me too is what I had for the Roses throw I made {the last photo above}. You REALLY have to concentrate when you use those kinds of patterns. NOT for beginners!...Thanks for the link too.

  4. CinLynn, I haven't done a knitting project in a long time. Maybe I should make something just to keep my knitting brain nimble! LOL I have a man's cable knit sweater I'd love to make for hubby...if I can keep my attention on it long enough. It's so BORING to me!!!... *Insert snoring noises!* ^_^

  5. O Debbie your poem made me have tears in my eyes so beautiful and heartfelt. Thank you so very much for doing this post, i am going to study it more later when the boys are in bed and i can bring my yarn etc up into my little computer cupboard with me. ;-)) I hope all went well for your husband today, hugs Dee x

  6. delia, Ohhh! I didn't mean to make you cry!! But I do hope the poem and the post give you something you can use...Yes, hubby is fine. He went for his procedure. It took about 2 hours. The result?...He's as clean as a whistle and doctor says he doesn't have to see him for another 10 years!!! YAY! Thanks for your concern. :-]

  7. I have no idea how I hold my yarn but I know my pointer finger ends up all folded up and starts to get a bit sore after a! I follow the American stitches as well. They call them different in Australia I discovered. A bit confusing, when I want to make something from an Aussie published book.
    My yoyo bag is coming along well. I've been taking progress photos and will have it posted when its done.

  8. Alittlesprite, I know that usually everybody finds a way to hold their yarn that's comfortable for them, but I learned this way from looking at a book on the basics of crochet many years ago. Over the years, in talking to MANY crocheters, I've found that holding my yarn like this is probably why I crochet so fast, and for such long periods of time without getting tired...Tell me, what do they call the stitches in Australia?!...And can't wait to see the yoyo bag!! :-)

  9. I may be wrong but I think single crochet in Australia is sort of a double crochet, double is triple.... etc I usually just re-write the pattern if I come across one that's confusing to read.

  10. Alittlesprite, Ohhhh! So what do you call a single crochet?!...Good for you, knowing how to rewrite a pattern too! :-))


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