Some basics in crochet for you, before I start showing you the pattern for the sisterhood crochet blanket squares
Hello! Nice to see you! Today I'm starting on the marathon explanation of my crochet square. I"m going to start with the basics, for new crocheters. I thought there might be some out there who would like to take up crochet, but aren't sure where to start. So this post covers a few basic stitches that will be needed when crocheting my square. I'll do the full explanation of my pattern in my next post. What I'm going to do is this, I'm going to start at the very beginning, showing you how to do a slip knot, which is the very first thing you do when you start any crochet pattern. The slip knot isn't counted as a stitch, remember that, it's just a knot to attach the yarn to your hook, and begin the process of crocheting.
You've got your yarn in your left hand. (It's just occurred to me that I don't know what you do if you're left handed, I imagine you just do the reverse?). Position your yarn around your fingers, like I've done.
Take the yarn that you are holding in your right hand and bring it up and over as above. This yarn you have just pulled up and over is going to be the section you pull through the loop.
Pick up your hook in your right hand, and poke it through the loop. You are aiming to grab the yarn you pulled up and over, with the bent bit of your hook (the hook bit!).
Now pull that bit of yarn you hooked, through the loop, towards you.
You've pulled it up, and now...............
Holding on to the yarn in your right hand, pull at the yarn in your left hand.
Pull the yarn untill the loop on the end of your crochet hook tightens into a knot, (but not too tight, you want it to be able to move along the hook). There you have it! A slip knot! Well done! The next step I'm going to show you is a chain, which is used in all crochet patterns, and is something you need to know. It's very easy, which you'll be pleased to hear!
I suggest that you first get the positioning of your hook and yarn in your hands positioned right, it will make life so much easier, and I speak from hard experience here! I hope you can see how I've got the yarn in my left hand? Some people wrap it differently, you'll probably find what's most comfortable for you as time goes on, but for now, perhaps try it as I have mine?
Now pinch your thumb and index fingers, on your left hand, round the yarn, just below the knot on the hook. Hold the hook like you might hold a pen or pencil, in your right hand. Here's a little tip, it's important to keep your fingers of your left hand, pinching the yarn near to the hook. This helps with the tension and control. It's tricky to start with, but with practise it will come naturally, honest it will!
Now, you see that bit of yarn heading off to the left, behind the hook? That is the yarn which you have wrapped round the fingers of your left hand. You now want to take your hook and swoop it over and under that yarn, from left to right.
Like this. You have now hooked the yarn, so you will be able to pull it back through the loop towards you.
You see how I've pulled it through the loop?
Perhaps you can see it better now?
And here you have it, one chain! You might be wondering about the loop of yarn around the hook? That isn't counted as a chain, that's just the yarn round your hook, and should never be counted as a stitch. In patterns, you will be told to do say, "four chain", that means four of the chain I have just shown you. I'll show you how to do that next.
So, we'll just carry on creating chains, like the one you've just done. Swoop your hook round from left to right, hooking the yarn.
like this, remember?
Hook the yarn.
And draw through the loop. Repeat your single chains twice more.
And there you have your four chains......... Four chain, as they say in the patterns! Well done! You're doing brilliantly! I'm now going to show you how to join that chain with a slip stitch, to create a circle of the four chain.
You need to go to the first of the chains you created, and you need to pinch the next chain along from that, leaving you first chain clear to put the hook through. When you put your hook through, be careful it goes through the first chain, and not through the slip knot. And the other thing you need to do, which can be tricky to start with, is to make sure you go through the chain correctly. Each chain is composed of three lines of yarn lying side-by-side, hold up your chain and have a look. When you put your hook through, you need to have two lines of yarn above the hook, and one line below. Look at the next photo, it's clearer.
You can just see what I mean.
Now wrap the yarn round the hook like you did before, to hook the yarn, and pull through the loop towards you.
You have created a slip stitch! In patterns, you will be asked to "join with a slip stitch". It's very simple, as you've just seen.
You've also created a circle! Well done! Fantastic!
Now I want you to do two chain for me! O.K? And the reason I want you to do this, is because I'm going to show you how to do my "thicker, bulkier, treble crochet"! You'll need to know how to do this if you want to do the square in my pattern. (I just need to make an important note here. The treble I do in my pattern is not the one you would see in English or U.S. books, because it's a treble with one extra action, it's a treble I've made up, and it makes the treble thicker, so that there's less space between the rows of trebles, giving you a more dense fabric. So when you come to other people's instructions to do a treble, don't do my version, do the English or U.S. version!) It sounds scary, but honestly, it's not once you've got the hang of it!
So! You done two chain? Great! Now.........
Before you put your hook through anything, I want you to do your swoop from left to right, wrapping the yarn round your hook as though you were going to do a single chain. Now you can poke your hook through the circle you created earlier.
Wrap the yarn around the hook with your swooping action, as before, and draw the yarn back through the circle.
You are now set up to start your "treble", your movement of three I like to think. Wrap your yarn around the hook, and pull it through the first stitch on your crochet hook, just the first one.(This is the extra action I was telling you about, the one I made up. I don't think it's a stitch that exists in the books, as far as I know. To do a proper English treble, you would leave this first action out, and go straight to my next step. It's entirely up to you, you may want to do the proper, authorised treble, or you might want to do my invented "thicker treble"! You choose, but remember to bear that in mind when you're following the rest of my instructions, because they all involve my "thicker treble"!).
You should have three stitches on your crochet hook.
Wrap your yarn round your hook again. Pull the yarn through the next TWO stitches on your crochet hook.
You should now have two stitches remaining on your crochet hook.
Wrap your yarn round your hook once more, and draw it through the ramaining stitches on your crochet hook.
There will be one stitch remaining on your hook.
And that's your treble. Hurrah! Well done! You've done really, really well. I'm thinking that if you've mastered these stitches, you should be equipped to make a start on my pattern! I'm going to explain the pattern in a new post, because I think that's probably enough to take in for the moment! Also, tonight is my knitting night, where I go and knit with others at my local yarn shop, we always have a lovely natter, and leave feeling very chilled out, I love it. So I hope all these instructions made sense, and were helpful. Next time, I get down to the knitty-gritty of the pattern itself. Exciting isn't it?!
Love Vanessa xxx
Hello, my name is Vanessa Cabban, and I'm so pleased you've dropped by! I'm an artist and illustrator, working from home. I have two Miniature wire-haired Dachshunds, Ellie and Douglas. I love being part of the blogosphere, reading your comments, and feeling like I'm part of a community. I hope you enjoy reading about my small world.
AN IMPORTANT NOTICE ABOUT MY BLOG AND WORK: Please note that the photos and text, my creations and my art shown on my blog are copyrighted and may not be copied, in whole or in part, without my express permission. Patterns and techniques shown in my tutorials may be followed but for personal use only and not for commercial reward. Thank you.
Books I have illustrated!
The Best Gift of All
Book and dvd,(narrated by Kevin Whateley), of Bringing Down the Moon