Friday, 26 October 2012

Beginners crochet tutorial - bigger flower


I have finally finished the second flower tutorial. I hope you find it useful. Once again, if you spot any errors or have any suggestions for improvements, let me know. For information about yarn, hooks and holding your work see this post.

This is what we are going to do:

Foundation ring: make 4ch, join into a ring with a slst
Round 1: 3ch (counts as 1 tr), 11tr into ring
Round 2: [3ch, slst into front strand of next stitch] 12 times
Round 3: join new colour into back strand of R1 stitches, [4ch, 2dtr into same stitch, 4ch, slst into same stitch, slst into next stitch] 12 times.

Sounds advanced for your second project? Never fear we'll go through it step by step.

This time we are going to start with a chain ring.

Make a slip knot: Wind the yarn round your finger

pull a loop through,

and tightening the knot by pulling on the short end.

Insert the hook into the loop.

Make four chain: Yarn over hook and pull through to make one chain.

Make three more chain.

Join into a ring: Insert the hook into the first loop of the slip knot.

Yarn over hook

and pull through both loops on the hook to join the  4 chain into a ring.

[Observant readers may have noticed that I changed from a 4.5mm to a 3mm hook part way through making the chain ring. I actually undid the whole thing and started again because the hook felt too big for the dk cotton yarn I had chosen.]

Next make three chain.


Now you are going to learn to do a treble crochet (exciting huh?)

Treble crochet into the ring: Yarn over hook

Insert the hook into the centre of the ring

Yarn over hook

Pull the loop through the ring (3 loops on hook)

Yarn over hook

Pull through two loops (2 loops on hook)

Yarn over hook

Pull through both loops. There you've done it!

Now, just for the practice make ten more so you have eleven trebles plus the 3 chain (12 stitches).

Join with a slip stitch: Insert the hook into the top of the 3 chain,

Yarn over hook

Pull through all the loops on the hook. Now isn't that lovely!

Next we are going to embellish the centre of the flower with a wee frill. (That sound much posher than it is).

Make three chain

Insert the hook into the front strand only of the next stitch


and join with a slip stitch.

Repeat this eleven more times (3 chain, join to the next stitch with a slip stitch) to make a frilly flower centre, cut the yarn and fasten off.

Join in a new colour into the back strand of the stitches you have just been working in.

Make four chain.

Now you are going to make a double treble (!)

Two double treble into the same stitch: Yarn over hook twice,

Insert the hook into the same stitch that you joined the yarn into,

Yarn over hook, pull through (4 loops on hook), yarn over hook,

Pull through two loops (3 loops on hook),

Yarn over hook

Pull through two loops (2 loops on hook),

Yarn over hook,

Pull through the last two loops. Then make another double treble just for practice.

Make four chain.

Slip stitch into the same stitch as you have been working in for the whole petal.

Congratulations you have made one petal!

Now slip stitch into the remaining strand of the next stitch,

and you are ready to make eleven more petals (4ch, 2dtr, 4ch, slst into same stitch, slst into next stitch).

Cut the yarn and fasten off.

Transform your wibbly-wobbly flower into a thing of beauty by sewing in the ends and neatly arranging the petals to your satisfaction.

Happy hooking...


Wednesday, 24 October 2012

And the winner is...

(drum roll...)

Lazy Daisy Jones!

Daisy, let me know whether you would prefer hair clips, hair bands, earrings or cuff links to go with the bag, and what colours you like and I'll get hooking!

The bigger flower tutorial will come  promise but life just got a bit crazy so it'll be a couple of days...


Monday, 22 October 2012

Another hookie lover is born

After watching over my shoulder while I put up yesterday's epic post (not sure how it got soooo looooong!) Tall Girl asked me to teach her to crochet. She wants to make a flag so we are dcing backwards and forwards with the 4.5mm hook and some pink dk yarn. So far we have a piece measuring about 10cm wide by 3cm long.

Turns out that the hardest bit is learning to hold the yarn with your left hand. I seem to remember I found this really hard when I started out too.

By the way, 24 hours left on my give-away...


Sunday, 21 October 2012

Beginners crochet tutorial - tiny flower


I can't bear just practising something for the sake of it, I always want to get on and make something. So, whether you have ever crocheted before or not, I am hoping my tutorial will help you to make your own tiny flower. We'll learn the required stitches as we go... Oh, and please forgive the marker pen that I can't get off my thumb and the fact that a manicure wouldn't go amiss.

I learned to crochet with the help of two books, a Beginners Guide to Crochet

and 100 Flowers to Knit and Crochet

I can recommend them both. I also began by trying a very complicated pattern for a lily of the valley. This I do not recommend! (The pattern is great, just not as your first go - it made my ears bleed with concentration).

A word about yarn: I use a mishmash of yarns for making wee bits and pieces such as flowers. They are usually found in the bargain bin of the wool shop. I tend to buy for colour rather than anything else although it is worth watching for yarns that won't split when you poke them with the crochet hook as that is plain annoying.

A word about hooks: For this tutorial I have used a 4.5mm hook and some DK yarn. I would have preferred the 4mm but I think it must be packed because I can't find it. For a tighter and more solid result use a smaller hook. 3.5mm is about the smallest you can get away with using DK.

Slip ring: This flower begins in the middle with a slip ring. You crochet round the ring then pull it tight at the end making a solid middle.

Wind the yarn round your finger

Then slip it off

 and pull a loop through.

Put your hook through the loop

then transfer the long end attached to the ball behind and to the left.

The ball should sit on your left.

Holding your work: Next you have to pick the thing up which makes it hard to photograph at the same time! You have to wind the yarn around your left hand in such a way that you can control the tension and manipulate the bit of the yarn you are about to work with. I didn't feel comfortable with the way they did it in the book so I do it my way. Try my way and do it however you like...

Hook it over your last two fingers,

twice, then behind your first two.

You manipulate the yarn with your middle finger and use your first finger and thumb to pinch the work. This pinching does a lot to control the tension.

You then hold the hook with your right hand like a dinner knife. {Addendum: or like a pencil}

Making 1 chain: All crochet stitches involve the move 'yarn over hook'. This means lifting the yarn a little with the middle finger of your left hand and moving the hook end of the hook down, back and up. In this case you are going to create one 'chain'.

Yarn over hook , then pull through the loop that was already on the hook.

Double crochet into the ring: Next you are going to make six dc stitches round in a circle. Each stitch is going to cover a little of the yarn used to make the slip ring.

First poke your hook into the centre of the slip ring.

Yarn over hook

and pull through the ring so you have two loops on your hook.

Yarn over hook

and pull through both the loops on the hook.

Brilliant -  that's your first double crochet right there!

Now do five more.

Now grab hold of the short end of the yarn and gently pull it to tighten the ring. Your mess of stitches should transform into  a pretty little ring.

You can tighten it a bit more when you sew in the ends.

Joining with a slip stitch: Next you have to join the stitch on the hook to the first stitch of the ring. If you count back, including the stitch on the hook until you have six stitches, poke your hook under both the loops of this sixth stitch. (it was the first dc you made, not the chain you made before the dcs)

Yarn over hook.

Pull through the dc stitch and the loop on the hook.

One little ring of perfection! Now, you can carry on from here with the same colour or you can change to a different colour. If you want to change, snip the yarn from the ball,

Yarn over hook (this is quite fiddly since it is a wee end)

Pull through the loop on the hook

then pull tight.

You should be able to count your six stitches clearly.

Next you are going to make a petal into each of these stitches.

Poke the hook under both strands of one of the stitches.

Pick up the new yarn in your left hand.

Yarn over hook

and pull through the stitch to make a loop.

Make one chain (remember YOH then pull through)

Making a Half Treble: Ok, were going to move onto a complicated sounding half treble. Really you do nothing you have not done before.

Start with a yarn over hook,

then poke the hook back into the SAME stitch as it went into before.

Yarn over hook,

pull through the stitch so you have three loops on the hook.

Yarn over hook

pull through all three loops on the hook.

Make a second half treble into the same stitch (YOH, poke into stitch, YOH, pull through stitch, YOH, pull through all three loops)

Slip stitch into the next dc stitch (poke the hook in, YOH and pull through everything on the hook)

Great, one petal done! To make each of the other petals, make one chain, make two half trebles into the same stitch then slip stitch into the next stitch.

Yey! Six petals. After the second half treble of the last petal you need to slip stitch into the stitch you used for the first petal, snip the yarn and pull through to fasten off, just like you did with the first colour.

Ta-da! Now you need to sew in the ends and you have one tiny flower to make your heart sing.

In a book this would all be condensed into:

Make a slip ring,
Round 1 - 1ch, 6dc into ring. Fasten off.
Round 2 - Join new colour, [1ch, 2htr into same stitch, slst into next st] six times. Fasten off.

Maybe we'll tackle a bigger flower with the exciting components of a chain ring and double treble and even triple treble crochets next time...