Tag Archives: magic circle

Crochet Basics 101

Hey guys!!

Because I got a request to make a  “How to Crochet”, here it is..

I’ll just walk you guys through all the basic stitches in crochet, the things required and a few other things!

What we need :

*A crochet hook which looks something like this :

 It comes in various sizes, but for starters going with the biggest hook size will be best.

* Yarn, which is this this:

Yarn

The yarn can be of wool, or cotton or even synthetic. Just find what you like best and crochet with it. But as a beginner, you need to see the stitches, so go for a light coloured yarn.

*A scissor, which looks something like this:

Scissor

HAHAHAHAHAH I was just messing with you guys!! 😛

(And by the way, the joke was on me.. when I googled scissors, you have no idea how many types of scissors I was exposed to)

These are the only things you need at the moment to get started on crochet! Once you make progress and try more intricate patterns other stuff come into play (stitch markers, measuring tapes, etc.)

Before we begin, go grab the hook and yarn and sit down.. do it along with the instructions.

LET US BEGIN!!

STEP 1: Holding the Hook and Yarn

*The hook: You can either hold it like a pencil or a large wooden spoon(like you’d mix a thick batter)

holding the needle

*The yarn:

This should be in the opposite hand, i.e if you’re a righty and hold your hook in the right then the yarn should be on the left. If you’re a lefty and hold your hook on the left then  the yarn should be in the right. Don’t fret..  its gonna take some  time and practice to feel comfortable holding the yarn.


STEP 2: Making a Slip knot/Slip Stitch

Now lets move on to the next step in crochet, which is making a slip knot:

Slip knot

“B” is the yarn tail (left over yarn) and “A” is the yarn you’ll be working with.

A slipstitch is basically a stitch which you can adjust the size of.. You can make it tighter or looser by pulling at the yarn tail “B”.

After you make a Slip knot, just insert your hook in and tighten the stitch by pulling it at the yarn tail.

This is how you should hold the hook and yarn:

Holding yarn

Or find some other position you’re comfortable with. The above is best because the pinky helps to control the amount of yarn you’re feeding the hook.

STEP 3: Making a chain stitch

Now that the needle is in the stitch, bring the yarn over around the hook (called yarn over or YO) and pull it through the stitch with the hook, this is your chain stitch!!

Chain stitch

Keep repeating this, and you’ll end up with a long chain.

It is the most basic stitch and no crochet can be done without this stitch. (All the other stitches are built on top of this)

Practice making a lot of chains, once you’re comfortable lets move on to the different basic stitches.

 THE DIFFERENT STITCHES

Single crochet (SC)

These stitches are tighter, thicker and shortest of all the stitches.

This is how its done: Make about 6 chain stitches (you can do it any number of stitches, Im just giving an example) skip the one nearest to the hook and insert the needle in the next stitch, YO pull it through the stitch (but don’t pull it through the loop on the needle like you did for the chain stitch). You should have 2 loops on the hook. Now yarn over and pull it through both the loops, this is your SC!!! Pretty simple, huh?

Single crochet 1 Make the next SC on the next stitch (no need to skip stitches). If you continue this you’ll end up with something like this:

SC

Keep practicing it on chains of different length. And the reason why we skip the first stitch is to add height.  See, for all the basic stitches a certain number of chains must be skipped (if it’s the first row) or added (if it’s the subsequent rows) to give it a smooth continuation.

You can make mats or coasters or even pot holders out of this stitch as it gives some thickness.

To make the subsequent rows, please check this video out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Hm5cQ59BAY

Once you master the SC, nothing is impossible and all the other stitches pretty much follow the same path. So lets plough ahead!

Half Double Crochet (HDC)

This stitch is a bit tall compared to the SC, its puffy and gives a nice appearance with no defined edges.

This is how its done: Again make about 6 chain stitches. Yarn over (YO was not done in SC in this step. Keeping the yarn on the loop can be a bit of a challenge as it may tend to slip off. But don’t lose hope and keep at it!) and instead of skipping one stitch, skip 2 stitches from the hook and insert the needle in the next stitch, YO pull it through the stitch. You should have 3 loops on the hook. Now YO again and pull it through all the 3 loops. Voila, you made your first HDC!

                                                          HDC

Scarves and cowls can be made from this stitch, it even forms the basis of the petals on some flowers.

Double Crochet (DC)

This stitch is a taller than the HDC, its sturdy and neither too tight nor too loose.

This is how its done: Make 6 chain stitches. YO,  skip 3 stitches from the hook (not 2) and insert the hook in the next stitch, YO pull it through the stitch. You’ll have 3 loops on the hook (similar to HDC). Now YO, and instead of pulling it through all the 3 loops, just pull it through the first 2 loops.

After you do that, you’ll end up with 2 loops. YO again, and pull it through both the loops. Your first DC is done!!

DC

And if you got till here, you must be feeling pretty invincible right now, which is great!! 😀

The last and final basic stitch is,

Treble Crochet (TC)

This is the tallest stitch of all and not all that sturdy. It tends to be wobbly and I wouldn’t recommend making anything from it. But it is a cheat code in crochet and if you use this stitch, you can finish off your projects faster!

This is how its done: Make 6 chain stitches. Here’s where the change comes. Instead of doing a Yarn Over once, do it twice. Then skip 4 stitches from the hook (not 3) and insert the hook in the next stitch, YO pull it through the stitch. You’ll have 4 loops on the hook. Now YO, and just pull it through the first 2 loops. You’ll have 3 remaining loops, again YO and pull it through the first 2 loops. There will be 2 more loops remaining, YO for the last time (finally!!) and pull it through both the loops.

Treble crochet

Well there you go!! Those are the basic stitches in crochet and once you practice them and don’t need to refer to the instructions anymore, you’ll be good to go!

 EASY TECHNIQUES IN CROCHET

Now, I just want to share two more techniques in crochet. Everybody seems to miss out on this, even I learned these techniques recently.

The magic circle

Magic circle is a really useful method for crocheting flowers or anything circular. It can be pulled and made bigger or smaller according to our need. Usually flower patterns, just ask us to make a chain of a certain length and then make a ring by making a slipstitch into the first stitch, like this:

Magic circle

But this ring easy as it is, cannot be adjusted and sometimes it leaves a big gaping hole in the middle. And to our horror, we discover this only when we are nearly done with the pattern!

There’s no sane way to explain a magic circle in writing. (I mean, I’m basically a written instructions person.. But when I tried to learn it that way, I went MAD!!)

So check this video out, I found it really helpful: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNeiPIL41M4

Foundation Single Crochet (FSC)

In your crochet/knitting  life, there often comes a time when you wonder, “Wow, I cant believe I did not know this before! This would’ve made my life so much more easier!!!  :O )

Well the discovery of the FSC was such a moment for me and I couldn’t believe how stupid I was to not know this technique before!

First, let me back up and tell you about this wonder stitch the FSC.

Usually when we do patterns, the foundation is always the same:  make a certain number of chain stitches then SC (/DC/TC- Very rare cases) into each one of them then start your project.

But the problem with that was, if we miscount the number of chains then we’re in for big trouble.. we have to unravel everything we did up till that point and start all over again. Which is so annoying, and frustrating (believe me, I know :/) that you just think of giving up the whole project altogether (I did that a one too many times too!).

So when I discovered FSC I was literally singing, “I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW, THE RAIN IS GONE!!! I CAN SEE ALL OBSTACLES IN MY WAYYYYYYY..”

Because as the name suggests in this stitch, you’re  basically making a FOUNDATION but by combining the 2 step process (creating the chain first, then the SC over it) into one! So if you miscount the number of chains you can just pull out one stitch and not the whole thing!

Besides that, the FSC is really elastic and not rigid like the traditional foundations, and hence a joy to work with!

Ive heard of Foundation DC and Foundation TC, but I like my foundations to be stable and So I do not go down those unstable paths 😛

This video here demonstrates the FSC, once you learn it you’ll never use any other technique!]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sIJXTx7ilQ

I admit it’s a bit tricky, but just pause the video and do along with it, till you master every little step!

Well that was all the basics I could think of! If I missed out on anything please let me know.

And also let me know if you beginner crocheters found it helpful!

Next Up, is my Knitting Revelation. 😉

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