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A beginner's guide to crochet

A beginner’s guide to crochet

Crochet is a fun and versatile craft that requires very few tools to get started, and can be used to create beautiful gifts, accessories, and items for your home.

Which tools do you need for crochet?

The three key tools you’ll need to begin crocheting are:

  • a crochet hook
  • wool or yarn
  • scissors

As a beginner, you may also want to start crocheting by following a pattern. Traditionally, patterns were written for right-handed crafters, but contemporary patterns often include left-handed instructions also. Patterns will list the number and types of crochet stitches to be followed in a design, often using abbreviations. For example, 'ch 35' means that you will need to create 35 chain stitches, and 'Chain 1' means that you need to make one chain stitch.

Crochet hooks can be made from a number of different materials, such as metal, bamboo, or plastic. They are also available in different sizes depending on the tension of the yarn that you are using, and the type of stitch that you are aiming for.

If you are following a pattern, it should guide you to the size of hook you’ll need, but as a general rule for a standard crochet stitch, the thicker the yarn you use, the bigger the hook you’ll need.

Some crochet designs (such as Amigurumi, a style used to create stuffed toys) will call for a denser stitch, which is created by using a smaller hook in relation to the yarn, while a larger hook will provide your designs with a looser stitch.

The basic stitches you’ll need to start crocheting

Unlike knitting, in crochet each stitch is completed before the next one is begun. Learning just a handful of basic stitches will allow you to embark on a host of crochet projects!

Chain Stitch (ch st)

The chain stitch is an important stitch that is often used as the basis of most designs.
 

Wrap the yarn around the hook and pull it through the loop, creating a new loop on the hook. Continue in this way to create a chain of the required length.

Keep moving your middle finger and thumb close to the hook, to hold in place with your other hand.

Magic Ring

All Amigurumi projects are started using the Magic Ring method, which allows you to pull the ring tightly closed after working the first round so that there is no hole whatsoever at the centre of the work. The hook is inserted into the middle of the ring, so the stitches will wrap around the beginning stitch.

Make a large loop with your wool, leaving a 4” tail trailing from your loop. With the hook, draw working wool through the loop.

The hook is inserted into the middle of the ring, so the stitches will wrap around the beginning stitch. Chain 1.

Follow the pattern instructions to determine how many stitches to work in the ring. Once the first round of stitches is complete, pull the tail snugly to close the ring and create a perfect first round.

Other useful stitches

Double Crochet (dc)

Insert the hook into your work, yarn around the hook and pull the yarn through the work. You’ll now have two loops on the hook.

Yarn around the hook and pull through the two loops on the hook. You will now have one loop on the hook.

Treble Crochet (tr)

Before inserting the hook into your work, wrap the yarn around the hook and pull it through your work with the yarn wrapped around.

Yarn around the hook and pull through the first loop on the hook, leaving three loops on the hook. Yarn around the hook again and pull through two loops. You’ll now have two loops on the hook.

Pull the yarn through two loops again. You’ll be left with one loop on the hook.

Half Treble Crochet (htr)

Before inserting the hook into your work, wrap the yarn around the hook and pull it through your work with the yarn wrapped around.

Yarn around the hook again and pull through the first loop on the hook. You’ll now have three loops on the hook.

Yarn around the hook again and pull through all three loops. You’ll be left with one loop on the hook.

Tempted to try crochet?

If you're tempted to try crochet, why not start by making your own poppy broochPlease share your creations with us - find us on FacebookInstagramPinterest, & Twitter!

 

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