Crochet Craziness III – Some more basics

While doing all the tidying out and cleaning and everything, I took a break or two (or three or four or actually… well, you I think I get my point across).

And during that break I started a new project.

For about a year now I’ve been wanting to crochet a granny blanket – and I finally started!

Tomorrow, I’m going to show you how to crochet granny squares but before we get started we have to make sure to know the basics.

(Make sure to have a look at Crochet Craziness I, where exactly one year ago I put together a photo tutorial on how to start crocheting!)

On zzzebra, a German website for kids, I found a great tutorial for one of the most basic stitches, the double crochet:

Basically, you pull the yarn over the hook, insert the hook in the next stitch you want to work and pull the thread through the first two loops.

Then pull the yarn over the hook a second time and through the two remaining loops.

Too complicated?

Sorry, my explanatory skills might not be the best, but why not have a look at an even more detailed step-by-step guide here?

And if you need to start right at the beginning, have a look here, there is a great slideshow that explains how to start with a chain.

Luigi and I are now going back to work on some more granny squares (and granny square tutorials) to show you tomorrow.

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Crochet Craziness II – Amigurumi Ambush | WEEKEND WIND UP#8

A little while back, I showed you some crochet basics and promised you to tell you what these newly adopted skills are good for.

It took a little longer than expected to write this post, but it also turned out a little longer than anticipated, so I hope in the meantime you practised a lot to be ready to go and try some of the following stuff.

[From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:]

Crochet (pronounced /kroʊˈʃeɪ/) is a process of creating fabric from yarn or thread using a crochet hook. The word is derived from the French word “crochet”, meaning hook. Crocheting, similar to knitting, consists of pulling loops of yarn through other loops. Crochet differs from knitting in that only one loop is active at one time (the sole exception being Tunisian crochet), and that a crochet hook is used instead of knitting needles.

So what can you crochet?

I. Amigurumi – the real reason why I picked up the crochet hook again after years of abandonment

[From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:]

Amigurumi (編みぐるみ?, lit. knitted stuffed toy) is the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small stuffed animals and anthropomorphic creatures. The word is derived from a combination of the Japanese words ami, meaning crocheted or knitted, and nuigurumi, meaning stuffed doll. Amigurumi are typically animals, but can include artistic renderings or inanimate objects endowed with anthropomorphic features.

amigurumi.png

Aren’t they cute? I found this adorable picture on Juicefairy, a blog that seems to point out all things beautiful.

I got myself an amigurumi-book (picture right) with patterns when I first started making them, but there are also some good tutorials to be found online.

To start with, I bought this book. It is in German, but there are great opportunities in English books as well.

It takes a little practise and I would recommend to start with big amigurumi, before trying the mini amigurumi, but don’t worry, they’ll all look cute eventually, even if the first one turns out to be a bit… hm… you know… my first one looked like this:

The simplest form of amigurumi consists of a ball and a face, maybe a flipper and voilà – you’ve got a cute little amigurumi fish. Later you add arms and legs and accessories and you’ve got a kitten, a bear or a rabbit.

More online tutorials here and here and here.

Another cute conclusion of what amigurumi is can be found on Linsy’s Blog

So after I did my fair share of practise, I figured it was time to move on and try something new.

And that was how I found this book from NeedleNoodles and made my very first own ninja.

I reckon it turned out pretty good (especially in comparison to that blue and white bear-meant-to-be-a-tiger above!), have a look:

Now the patterns in “Creepy Cute Crochet” are a bit harder to understand than the ones in the book before, but that is simply because the author uses “crochet language”.

Crochet language is pretty much like shorthand: once you are able to remember what the short letters stand for, it’s easy.

But the great news is: NeedleNoodle keeps explaining on her blog whenever you have a problem. In her HELP section, she has a collection of useful tips and tricks, tutorials and even videos that make things so much easier.

Currently, I am working on this little guy – without pattern, just intentionally. Not sure if he looks like a hamster yet, but we’re working on it. ^^

I think this is enough for today. Preeeeetty sure there is heaps of information and inspiration here for the moment.

I have a whole list of other crochet-stuff I’d like to show you, but this will have to wait until next time.

For now, I’ll get myself a cup of coffee and get ready to head off to work.

Have fun indulging yourself with cuteness!

Until next time

~Sabrina~

COFFEE TIME: Amigurumi coffee cup (pic: linsy.nl)

P.S.: If you like the idea of amigurumi but are certainly not a crochet-person, there are also lots of possibilities to buy the little cuteness attacks online. For example on Amigurumi Kingdom or on Etsy.

{Pics top from left: Kaboodle, Linsy’s Blog, The Happy Mountain , Blogarsay, Juicefairy, Lydia Ashe’s Weblog}

Crochet Craziness I – A tutorial on how to start…

When I started to crochet, I had not only trouble pronouncing the word “crocheting”, but also would have appreciated some sort of guidance.

I was eight years old.

Mum doesn’t do crafty stuff at all, Nana hasn’t done it in ages, because she’s busy being the town’s gossip girl #1 and my Kiwi host-mum prefers knitting over crochet. So that left me to myself and I learned it the hard way.

By the way, my English-speaking friends couldn’t help me with the pronunciation-problem either, so if you have a solution, please tell me about it.

Anyways, if you want to learn to crochet, I am sure you can profit from my experience – which is, admittedly still limited, but I think there is a reason why they call it “life-long learning”.

To start with, you need a crochet hook and yarn. At the beginning, it doesn’t really matter what type or colour of yarn, because it won’t look that great anyway (but it helps to start with a colour you like – I used some ugly brown, that was the first mistake!).

✂ ✂ ✂✂ ✂ ✂✂ ✂ ✂✂ ✂ ✂✂ ✂ ✂✂ ✂ ✂✂ ✂ ✂✂ ✂ ✂✂ ✂ ✂✂ ✂ ✂✂ ✂ ✂✂ ✂ ✂

I) So you grab your yarn and lay a snare of some sort:

This is the place where your hook will go through and then it’ll be easy as: from underneath, you pull your hook around the thread, sort of “grab” it with the hook and pull it through the snare (first loop of the chain).

Now that was easy. Repeat that a few times, depending on how wide your piece is supposed to be.

And voilà – this chain is the beginning of your needlework.

✂ ✂ ✂

II) For round patterns that start off with circles, it is quite handy to use the magic ring:


From underneath, pull the working end and “wrap” it around your crochet hook.

Now start like you would otherwise: wrap the crochet hook around the working end, then grab the working end once again, this time from underneath the two circular strings.

Pull the working end through – and that was your first single crochet. Now continue as many times as required inside the circle.

Once your needlework has the required length (e. g. 5 stitches in the first round), just pull the loose end:

I always like to add one chain (just like in the example above: wrap your crochet hook around the working end and pull it through the loop) and then one slip stitch to close the round:

For the slip stitch, just put your hook through the next stitch and pull the working end through both.

✂ ✂ ✂✂ ✂ ✂✂ ✂ ✂✂ ✂ ✂✂ ✂ ✂✂ ✂ ✂✂ ✂ ✂✂ ✂ ✂✂ ✂ ✂✂ ✂ ✂✂ ✂ ✂✂ ✂ ✂

It’s always easiest to try it out yourself, but I hope this helps a little bit.

If something is not clear, please ask. I will reply as quickly as possible.

However,  I warmly welcome any tipps and tricks from those of you who know more that I do.

Next time I’ll show you what you can do with those crochet skills you are developing now. Until then: have fun and practise a lot!