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« on: December 11, 2005 02:18:16 PM »

Please read this before posting any questions. If you feel something should be added to or subtracted from this tutorial, PM pottermouth

What is crochet?
Crochet comes from the Middle French word croc or croche, meaning hook. In crochet, a hook is used (rather than two needles as with knitting) to create a piece of fabric. Before the nineteenth century, crochet was considered "common" and was disdained by the upper classes. Queen Victoria, however, popularized the practice of crochet. In the 20th century, crochet became a more widely accepted practice and was transformed by homemakers to create a more useful fabric for clothing, dishcloths, and similar items. Crochet was picked up by the younger generations in the 1960's and was used to make hip, artful clothing and accessories. The practice declined toward the latter half of the century until it was picked up again by another generation. Today, crochet is attempting to surpass its "common" stigma and has made its way onto the runway in the fashion world and into the hands of young and old alike. (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crochet for more history about crochet.)

What do I need to get started?
Crochet is done with a hook and yarn, so those two things are the key elements in learning to crochet. You may also need a yarn needle (a large, dull needle with a large eye used to weave in the loose ends of yarn) which can be bought at any craft store.

When first attempting to crochet, basic solid colored acrylic yarn is best because it makes your stitches more visible and it is inexpensive. Be sure to get a yarn you're comfortable with holding, though, and does not irritate your skin. Boucle yarns are difficult to work with in crochet as the fiber loops around a single piece of thread which makes your stitches much harder to see. There are many different types of yarn that are spun in different weights that will affect our crocheted piece.  

Most common weights & their yarn label number:
  • Thread
  • Lace-0
  • Super Fine-1 (sock, baby, fingering)
  • Fine-2 (baby, sport)
  • Light-3 (light worsted, DK)
  • Medium-4 (worsted, aran, afghan)
  • Bulky-5 (chunky, craft, rug)
  • Super Bulky-6

There are many different types of hooks to choose from. You have a choice between wood, plastic, and aluminum crochet hooks. Many people use aluminum hooks because of their durability and cost, though you should find a hook that feels good to use. When you buy the yarn you want to work with, there is generally a guide on the package that says what size hook you should use to get the best results. Do not assume, however, that you must use that particular size hook with that yarn. Many other factors come into play when crocheting, such as how tight you pull your stitches. Feel free to experiment with different crochet hooks and different yarns to see what results.

Useful when converting between Metric and US patterns:
  • 2.25mm-B/1
  • 2.75mm-C/2
  • 3.25mm-D/3
  • 3.5-E/4
  • 3.75mm-F/5
  • 4.0mm-G/6
  • 5.0mm-H/8
  • 5.5mm-I/9
  • 6.0mm-J/10
  • 6.5mm-K/10.5
  • 8.0mm-L/11
  • 9.0mm-M/13
  • 10.0mm-N/15
  • 11.5mm-P/16
  • 16.0mm-Q
Check out Craftster's Crochet Tutorial: Getting Started - yarn and hook

What is gauge?
The gauge refers to how many stitches per row equal a given increment, such as one inch. Generally the pattern you are using will tell you what the gauge should be when using a certain size hook (also, the guide on most skeins of yarn will tell you the gauge of the yarn). It's a good idea to crochet a swatch to see if your gauge matches what is given. If not, try using a larger or smaller hook or pulling your yarn tighter or looser to change the tension of the yarn. Once you've been crocheting for a while, the idea of gauge will come more naturally.

Bold, Blue are links to stitch tutorials (US)
  • BP=back post
  • BPdc=back post double crochet
  • BPsc=back post single crochet
  • BPtr=back post treble crochet
  • ch=Chain
  • ch-sp=chain space, the space made by the chain
  • dc=double crochet
  • dc2tog=double crochet 2 stitches together
  • dtr=double treble
  • FP=front post
  • FPdc=front post double crochet
  • FPsc=front post single crochet
  • FPtr=front post treble crochet
  • hdc=half double crochet
  • sc=single crochet
  • sc2tog=single crochet 2 stitches together
  • sl st=slip stitch
  • tr/trc=triple (or treble) crochet

  • alt=alternate
  • approx=approximately
  • beg=begin/beginning
  • bet=between
  • BLO/BL=Back Loop Only
  • CA=color A
  • CB=color B
  • CC=contrasting color
  • cont =continue
  • dec=decrease, eliminate one or more stitches
  • FLO/FL=Front Loop Only
  • FO=finish off (cut thread)
  • inc=increase, adding one or more stitches
  • join=usually done in rounds by working a slip stitch in the top of the next stitch
  • lp(s)=loops
  • MC=main color
  • PM=place marker
  • prev=previous
  • rem=remain/remaining
  • rep=repeat
  • rnd(s)=round(s)
  • RS=right side
  • sk=skip
  • sp(s)=space(s)
  • st(s)=stitch(es)
  • tog =together
  • turn=Turn your work so you can work back for the next row
  • WS=wrong side
  • YO=yarn over

  • [ ]= work directions within brackets as many times as directed
  • ( )= work directions within parentheses as many times as directed
  • * *= repeat directions  between asterisks as many times as directed
  • *= repeat directions following the single asterisk as directed

A list of Craftster's BASIC CROCHET & CROCHET TECHNIQUE are compiled here: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=346848.0

A list of Craftster's STITCH PATTERN & MOTIF Patterns and Tutorials are compiled here: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=415987.0#axzz2hZLKxJhU

What's the difference between US & UK terminology?
The US and UK use the same terms to describe different stitches.

Here's a quick conversion info to help you out:
  • US chain(ch)=UK chain(ch)
  • US single crochet(sc)=UK double crochet(dc)
  • US double crochet(dc)=UK treble(tr)
  • US half double crochet(hdc)=UK half treble(htr)
  • US triple crochet(trc)=UK double treble(dtr)
  • US slip stitch(sl st)=UK    slip stitch(sl st)

How do I learn how to crochet?
There are many books sold in craft stores that you can buy to learn to do certain stitches. There are also many online tutorials (several of which are listed on craftster) with pictures and streaming videos. Feel free to search the site or visit any of the links given here.

« Last Edit: June 10, 2019 06:27:46 PM by sweets4ever » THIS ROCKS   Logged

I'm no longer a moderator, but I will always love June 2005 - October 2008

« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2005 02:20:36 PM »

What is a round?
Crocheting in the round means to chain a certain length of stitches and then join the first and last stitches using a slip stitch to form a circle. Next, you crochet in the circle (With most patterns, you crochet inside the circle rather than into the stitches, though the pattern should specify). The next part can be done in two different ways: first, you can simply keep crocheting around and around to form a spiral. When reading a pattern, it will say "do not join" or something similar if you are to crochet using this method. Or, you could join the the first stitch of the round with the last stitch of the round using a slip stitch, then chaining however many chains to equate to one stitch (ie: single crochet: chain one, sc in next stitch. double crochet: chain (2 or 3, depending on how many equates to one of your dc's), dc in next stitch, etc..).

What is a granny square and how do I make one?
The granny square is a basic square crocheted on the round using (mainly) double crochet. Most granny squares are very easy to make and are great first projects.

How do I change colors when crocheting?
Changing colors with crochet is incredibly simple. All you have to do is drop the color you were using and pick up the next color and start crocheting with it. When finished, be sure to weave the ends in. There are several other methods to changing colors, such as weaving the two ends of the pieces of yarn together  to make one continuous piece of yarn, or crochet using both pieces with one color in front and one in back.

My crocheting is turning into a triangle! Help!
If you're crocheting and your piece starts to become uneven, there are a few explanations. Either your tension is too tight (ie, you're starting to pull the thread tighter than you were in the beginning) or you're missing the last stitch.

I give up, I can't make this work.
Don't give up: practice makes perfect. You can always start over. Don't just cut the yarn from the skein, though. You can "frog" it and unravel the yarn from the work, rather than throwing it all away.

Okay, Im done! What do I do with the ends?
Weave them in! Crochet does not involve knots, though many crocheters knot two ends together to save time. It is much better to weave your ends into the work because the fabric will stretch and move more freely. If you knot the pieces, the ends can only stretch so far and you run the risk of break your yarn or having tight spots in the piece. Use a yarn needle and weave your loose ends into the fabric.

My piece is all wonky. Can I block crochet?
Of course you can! As with knitting, crochet can be blocked depending on the fiber type.  First, note what type of fiber you used; some fibers need special care.  For example, acrylics would melt if you used heat heat to block.  Second, you will need to acquire some notions; you will need rust-proof pins, towels, and blocking board to pin and block your item (though you can substitute blocking board with bed, table, bed...any flat surface that you have padded.  I use those playmat blocks you can find in the kids/toys section.).  I suggest you read the yarn label care instructions and try a blocking method on a sample piece before applying it to your finished piece.

Three Basic Blocking Methods:
  • Cold/Spray Blocking: (good for acrylic) First, shape your piece on the blocking board, holding it in place with rust-proof pins.  Then, using a spray bottle with water, spray pinned piece until wet.  Next, leave item to dry.  Once completely dry, unpin, and ta-da, you have a blocked piece.
  • Wet Blocking: (fab for thread pieces) First, immerse your piece into cool water.  Next, squeeze out excess water, being careful not to wring or twist your piece. (You could roll a flatten piece in a towel to remove excess water.)  Then take your damp piece and place it on the blocking board, and use pins to to hold down piece in shape desired.  Now, leave item to dry.  Once completely dry, unpin, and admire your blocked piece.
  • Steam Blocking: (works well with wool) First, pin item to blocking board in desired shape.  Next, set your iron to lowest temperature that will produce steam.  Once you have steam coming from the iron, hold the iron close, but NOT on, to your item.  Move iron around item, making sure you dampen all areas of your piece.  Then, wait until piece is dry.  Once completely dry, unpin, and admire your blocked piece.

What is felting? How do I know if my yarn will felt?

Felting is actually the process by which raw wool is matted by either water and agitation or a barbed needle to make an object. With felting, you do not use processed wool; meaning, the wool is not in the form of yarn. When you crochet an object out of yarn and put it in the washing machine to felt the object, it is actually called fulling. Many different types of wool will felt, but some are better than others. Cellulose and synthetic fibers, like cotton and acrylic, may mat together, but they will not felt. Some yarns which are a blend of cotton and synthetic fibers may work for fulling to an extent, but may warp the project. The link below explains the process by which wool can be tested for shrinkage and felting ability.

Where can I find ___ pattern?
There are hundreds of posts asking for different patterns on craftster, and at least 2/3 of them have a link to at least one pattern. Before posting, PLEASE search the site for the pattern you're looking for. If you have a repeat post, it will be deleted.

Copyright and etiquette:

As stated in craftsters rules of conduct:
Don't hotlink to an image on someone else's site without their permission because it can cause a bandwidth drain for them without their permission and it also may be a copyright violation. Post a link to such an image instead.

Borrowed from Melidomi and the knitting board:

COPYRIGHT(thanks ax174)
Is it ok to post a copyrighted pattern here on Craftster?
Only if you wrote it yourself.  If the pattern is already on the web, post a link.  If it's in a book or magazine, post the name and author (and issue if it's a magazine).  You can post an excerpt if you have a question about it, but don't post the whole thing.

Can I sell stuff I made from someone else's pattern?
 Usually no, unless your have author's or publisher's permission.

Can I make patterns from trademarked images?
Yes, as long as you don't sell the pattern or sell stuff made from it.

Can I swap copyrighted patterns?
If you bought a physical hard copy of a pattern, you can trade that for someone else's (e.g. you can trade a magazine for another magazine).  You cannot trade a photocopy of a pattern, or a printout of a pattern you bought electronically, or an electronic version of a pattern (that could be interpreted as redistribution in digital form, and the author/publisher usually holds digital rights).

« Last Edit: October 11, 2013 07:52:30 PM by pinkleo - Reason: update & fix broken links » THIS ROCKS   Logged

I'm no longer a moderator, but I will always love June 2005 - October 2008

« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2007 09:34:26 AM »

We're in need of the following tutorials to help fill in the gaps in our List of BASIC CROCHET & CROCHET TECHNIQUE Tutorials on Craftster in Crochet

Getting Started
slip stitch - sl st
half double crochet - hdc / half treble - htr
half triple crochet - htr / half double treble - hdtr
triple crochet - trc / double treble - dtr

Other Stitches

Crab stitch (backwards sc)
Clones Knot

Special Techniques
Broomstick Lace
    in rows
    in the round
Bruges Lace
Crochet-on-the-Double / Cro-hook / Crochenit
    short rows
Hairpin lace
    Making a strip
    braided join
    in the round
Mosaic Crochet
Overlay Crochet
Polish Star
Tapestry Crochet
Tunisian / Afghan Stitch
    knit stitch
    short rows

Beyond the Basics

Magic Ring
Golden Loop
No-Turning-Chain stitch

Joining Methods

Flat Braid
Single Crochet Join
Slip Stitch Join
Whip Stitch


If you post one of these tutorials, PM pottermouth I can add your tutorial to the page. Grin
« Last Edit: May 24, 2016 03:01:43 PM by pottermouth » THIS ROCKS   Logged

I'm no longer a moderator, but I will always love June 2005 - October 2008

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