Category Archives: Beginner Crochet

Eyelet Scarf Tutorial – 5. Changing Color

DSC00001Woof and welcome, it’s Olive the dog here showing you how to make the Eyelet Scarf – let’s see how your first 17 rows went… all good? Congratulations. This is how mine is looking.

Lesson 5A

OK so the next thing to do, is to check your rows by counting them. When you are crocheting you can save yourself time by only counting the rows in the current section. For example after your 2 rows of eyelets count 5 wide rows to reach the top of the section. Then check that there is a short ridge – a row of sc – between each one. But you must end on a wide row.

When you think you’re at the top of Row 17 count ALL the rows a couple of times from the bottom to be certain.

The next thing we do is repeat row 2-17. Make sure you are starting with Row 2 – a sc row – and not Row 1 – a dc row. And that Row 3 – the first row of eyelets is – the SECOND row you make.

Lesson 5B

Then you should be right to just follow your nose, I mean the pattern. So now do 2 rows of eyelets, and 5 wide dc rows (always checking there is a sc row in between) and I’ll meet you at row 33. AFTER you’ve counted them from Row 1-33 to make sure you’ve done them all.

Lesson 5CGreat!

And now we’re going to do another 9 rows and a color change.  Make absolutely sure you’ve done Rows 1-42 and you’re about to start Row 43 first.

Now there are numerous ways to change color but we’re going to use Emma’s favorite.  It actually starts on the last stitch of the row before so undo one sc. Next go to make a sc but don’t quite complete it. STOP when you have 2 loops on the hook like this:

Lesson 5D

Then put the second color on your yarn holding paw … I mean hand, and pull the new color through the 2 loops to complete the stitch like this:

Lesson 5E

Pull both color ends to tidy up the stitch, and you are ready for your turning ch in the new color!

Lesson 5G

So now go ahead and finish the first row in the new color. It should look like this.

Lesson 5H

And that is all you need to know to get to the end of the scarf! Happy hooking and I’ll see you when you reach the end so I can show you how to finish it off.

Until next time …. Woof!

Olive paw 2

OLIVE

Eyelet Scarf Tutorial – 4. Making the Eyelets

Woof and welcome, Olive the dog here, continuing our lessons on the Eyelet Scarf

DSC00001Last time we made a sample square. OK, woof, so now you are happy with your sample, right?

Let’s start the scarf for real! Put aside your square, or unravel it.

As you will read on the pattern, the foundation ch is 18, Row 1 is dc and Row 2 is sc. This is basically the same as what we have already done but a bit wider.

Follow the instructions on the pattern and let’s meet up again when you’re ready for Row 3.

OK for Row 3, we do our turning ch (3 ch), 1 dc into the 2nd dc and then we do 2 chain stitches. To make the eyelet we skip the next two sc and we dc into the sc after that.  This is how it should look.Lesson 4A

As you can see, the two ch stitches line up over the two skipped sc so that we have a hole but we still have the same number of stitches.  Now see if you can complete the row and make it look like this, remember to count those stitches at the end of the row.

Lesson 4B

All good? Woof!

Now the next row is a sc row, but there is a trick to make it easier. Instead of trying to sc into the ch stitches themselves you can sc into the spaces they have made, as referred to in the pattern.

All you do is a turning ch, sc into the first two stitches, then instead of putting your hook into the chain stitch, put your hook into the space like this and pull the yarn through to make a sc.Lesson 4C

The finished stitch should look like this:Lesson 4D

Put a second sc stitch in this space as well, then continue to complete the row. It should look like this, with a total of 18 stitches.
Lesson 4E

Looking good?! Woof! Next we’re going to do it all again, repeat those 4 rows again.

Lesson 4F

Now don’t be alarmed that my square has turned pink. I had to start it again… I made a big mistake… I’ll explain in 7. Troubleshooting. Along with all the other things that have gone wrong.

Follow the pattern till you get to Row 17 and we’ll check in there at the beginning of the next lesson. You’re doing  woof …. I mean, wonderful!

Until next time…. Woof!

Olive paw 2OLIVE

Eyelet Scarf Tutorial – 3. Making a sample square

Woof and welcome,

DSC00001Today we’re going to make a sample square. Now I know you’re probably thinking  “enough of this already, let’s make the woofing scarf!” but this isn’t an unusual thing to be doing. Many patterns and just about all garments start with a tension square. We’re not going to do that entirely but starting with a sample square is a great habit to get into.

As I said yesterday, if you look through the pattern you will see that every odd row is double crochet, and every even row is single crochet, so that is what we are going to practice.

Start with 15 chain (ch) stitches.

Lesson 3A

Make sure you don’t include the loop on the hook as one of your ch stitches.

Next we’ll make our turning chain. Because this is a row of double crochet (dc) stitches coming up we need a turning chain of 3 ch stitches, this will create a ladder like stitch as tall as a dc.

So do another 3 ch as your turning ch for Row 1, which means you’ll have 18 ch in total, then do your first dc into the 5th ch from the hook.

Lesson 3B

Now you have 2 stitches in your first row.

Keep doing dcs and when you get to the end of the row you will have 15 stitches including the turning chain (first 3 ch) as 1 stitch. Make sure you count them! ALWAYS count your stitches at the end of the line – it will save you a lot of trouble!!

It is easy counting dcs, just count the columns (these are called posts).

Lesson 3C

Next we will do a row of single crochet (sc).

This is a short stitch so our turning ch only needs to be 1 ch. So do 1 ch then turn the work around so you are ready to crochet at the far right side.

Crochet a sc into the top of the last dc in the previous row.

Lesson 3D

Next, sc into each of the remaining dcs in the last row. When you get to the turning ch at the end of the dc row, sc into the 3rd of the 3 ch, in other words the very top chain. See my hook in the third ch??

Lesson 3E

Now that you have completed your row of sc COUNT them!

Having trouble? Look at the top loops and count each one. Are there 15? Or did you count 16?? If you counted 16 don’t panic, you have probably counted the turning ch as a sc. Look carefully and see if this is so. The turning ch will be a loop only, whereas a sc have have a chunky little stitch below the loop.

 

OK so now we’ve done 2 rows. That was woof… I mean fun, wasn’t it!

Lesson 3F

Next let’s do 6 more rows alternating between sc and dc and see how we go. Remember to count those stitches at the end of each row.

If you don’t remember which row you are up to – dc or sc – an easy way to remind yourself is to look at the tail and incoming yarn threads. If both  yarn threads are on the one side you have completed a dc row, if they are on different sides you have completed a sc row.

And if you do make a mistake, pull the hook out and pull the yarn. Just unravel back to where you went wrong and try again! Don’t be frustrated, we all make mistakes, just think of the beautiful scarf you’ll soon own and keep on trying.

OK so this is what it should look like when you’re done.

Lesson 3G

Now if you have a problem and you don’t know why, jump ahead to lesson 7.Troubleshooting for some examples of the kind of things that go wrong and how to fix them. Or contact me at the end of this tutorial or through the contact us page. Don’t give up!

Once you’re happy with how your stitches are looking you are ready to move on to the actual scarf. Woof… I mean yah!

Until then … Woof!

Olive paw 2OLIVE

Eyelet Scarf Tutorial – 2. Understanding the pattern

DSC00001Woof and welcome!

Today is a beautiful but cold day, perfect for making a scarf!

So have you got all your things together and downloaded the pattern? If not go to 1. Getting Ready for the details.

Let’s read through the pattern and make sure we understand it before we start.

The first page contains the photo of the finished scarf and all the items you need in order to make the scarf, we have already covered this.

The second page contains diagram 1: Overview of the scarf. Let’s look at that first. It is a stretched out picture of the whole scarf in color.Pattern BEG001 diagram 1

As you can see the top the scarf starts with 2 rows of eyelets then a section of solid scarf. This pattern is then repeated 6 more times. And then 2 more rows of eyelets are added at the end. That makes a total of 8 sets of eyelets.

There are 3 colors. The scarf has 3 sets of eyelets in the first color, 2 sets in the second color and 3 sets of eyelets in the third color.

So let’s take a closer look at what is going on.

  • The Foundation Chain is the number of chain stitches we make to start, it also tells us how wide the project is going to be, which in this case is 18 stitches.
  • The pattern is made in Rows going back and forth. You always work right to left. So when you finish a Row you turn it over and crochet back across the row you did before. To remind us the pattern says turn at the end of each row.
  • All the odd rows, starting with Row 1, are rows of double crochet (dc) stitches and this includes the rows with eyelets.
  • All the even rows, starting with Row 2, are of single crochet (sc) stitches
  • The first row of eyelets takes place in Row 3, an odd row and therefor a dc row. The pattern for this is two stitches of dc followed by 2 ch stitches which make one eyelet, followed by 2 dc, followed by 2 ch etc. All up there are 4 eyelets in the row.
  • Everything else in the pattern is about mixing and matching these 3 types of Rows. So really you only need to know these three things.

That doesn’t sound too woof …. I mean hard, does it!?

Now let’s look at Diagram 2: The Chart for pattern Row 1-17.

Although this chart is hand written, the symbols are international. This means you can learn them and follow patterns in other languages as well.

Pattern BEG001 diagram 2

We start reading the chart at the bottom – at the foundation chain.

Row 1 has 3 turning ch, which we shall talk about later, followed by a row of double crochet (dc)

Row 2 has 1 turning ch then a row of  single crochet (sc)

Row 3 has 3 turning ch followed by  2 dc and 2 ch which makes the eyelet pattern.

As you can see every other line is one of these 3. And mostly we keep alternating a row of sc with dc until we have 17 rows.

So what happens after that?

We repeat Row 1-17 6 more times.

Then at the very end, we copy Row 2-9, which you can see on the diagram means:

1 row of sc

1 row of eyelets and dc

1 row of sc

1 row of dc

1 row of sc

1 row of eyelets and dc

1 row of sc

1 row of dc

And that is it!!

So tomorrow we’ll start making a sample square to practice the fabric pattern. How excitement is that?

Until then…. Woof!

Olive paw 2OLIVE

Eyelet Scarf Tutorial – 1. Getting Ready

Woof and welcome. This is the finished scarf.  If you don’t have the pattern you can downloaded it here.  Pattern BEG001 Eyelet ScarfDSC00001Pattern BEG001

Before you start you will need to already know how to:

  • hold the yarn and hook
  • make chain stitches
  • make single crochet stitches
  • make double crochet stitches

If you don’t know  how to hold the yarn and hook you can go to Beginner Guide – Basic skills you need to crochet

To learn to make the stitches you can download our BEGINNER STITCH GUIDE  for links that will teach you .

I suggest you then practice making the stitches you need over and over on a sample square before you try making the project.

The materials you will need to make this scarf are:

  • 1 x 6mm hook (size J in US)
  • 3x 50g balls of 8ply yarn, each of different colors that go well together
  • a wool or tapestry needle for sewing in ends
  • a pair of scissors
  • a needle threader (Optional)

For my scarf I originally chose an orange, pink and multi-colored ball of pink, orange and purple.

Tutorial 3 - photo 1

However this was a bit of a naughty -puppy- breaking-the- rules thing to do because the multi-colored yarn was thicker than the other two. It didn’t turn out so well (Eyelet Scarf Tutorial – 7. Troubleshooting) so I replaced the multi-colored thread with an 8ply light purple which looked much better.

Get your pattern downloaded and gather your skills, supplies and tools.  Tomorrow we will take a good look at the pattern and learn how to understand it.

Until then…. woof!

Olive paw 2OLIVE

Beginner Guide – The Basic Skills You Need to Crochet

Woof and welcome! Olive the dog here.
004 Today I’m going to tell you about the beginner skills you need to crochet. At first I found them really HARD. Many times I just wanted to take my early stitches out into the garden and bury them. But then I learnt! So the first thing I want to tell you is have PATIENCE and PERSISTENCE and then you will succeed.

  1. How do you hold the hook and yarn?

Because I’m a dog, and I’m missing a toe as well, my way of holding the hook and yarn is a bit unique. So rather than showing you myself, I decided to research how humans do it. All the resources I’ve linked to below will show you ways to do this. If none of these ways are good for you, go to youtube and find some more to try. The important thing is learning to control the yarn tension with one hand and the hook with the other. It takes some practice, but this is the hardest part of crocheting.

2. What is a slip knot and how do you make them?

Well, the first stitch you make when crocheting is a slip knot, without it you can’t make the others. Strangely enough it is never included in the pattern. For the ins and outs of it check any of the resources below.

  1. How do I make the stitches?

The stitches can all be found on our BEGINNER STITCH GUIDE but you don’t need to learn them all at once. You can’t make anything without knowing chain stitch, so that is where you’ll start. Single crochet and double crochet are the next most popular – the best guide is to look at your pattern and learn the stitches it requires first… aim for one that doesn’t have too many to start and you’ll be fine.

  1. What should I do if I make a mistake?

Well this is really very easy. If you make a mistake just take your hook out of the loop and pull the yarn attached to the ball and unravel your work. When you’ve removed the offending part, put your hook in the loop again and crochet some more. We all have to do it it’s nothing to get upset over.

  1. How do I keep it from unravelling when I take a break?

Sometimes I get so excited when my people come home that I rush to the door with my crochet work in my mouth to show them and I forget that the ball is still on the other side of the room and all the stitches start unravelling… It’s very FRUSTRATION.

However, if I put a safety pin into the loop of my work when I finish working it saves the work from unravelling. I suggest you do the same.

  1. How do I finish off?

When you have finished making your project, or the pattern tells you to, you can finish off by cutting the yarn and pulling the end through the loop until the loop shrinks into a knot. After this you sew the end into the fabric with a tapestry or wool needle. If you aren’t good at threading needles … or you have old eyes like mine, you can get a needle threader to help you… they make a big difference for me at least.

Well that is all the woof… I mean help I have to offer at this stage. You’ll go well I’m sure.

Until next time, WOOF

Olive paw 2

OLIVE

Beginner Guide – Where do I find a teacher?

Olive mugshotWelcome and woof. It’s Olive the dog here.

Do you want to learn to crochet but don’t know anyone who can teach you? Let’s look at your options. There are probably more than you realise! Because we’re on the internet I know you are at least a little computer savvy, and with my help you’ll hopefully be able to find teachers online as well as teachers who live in your area and can help you on a one-to-one level.

  1. On-line

If you can learn by reading, or from a youtube video there is no end to the free instruction available on-line. That means if one internet instructor can’t help you maybe another will make more sense. I have 4 resources that I will be continually recommending but feel free to google or youtube the topic “Learn to Crochet” and you will find many more options.

The sites I use personally are:

Another important site is Ravelry http://www.ravelry.com/  Ravelry is more of a community than a learn to crochet resource. But they do have forums in which you can post questions and get help from other hookers around the world. This can be great if you don’t know quite what you are doing  wrong.

  1. Local Teachers

Probably the easiest way to find a local teacher is to google Learn to Crochet in ___________ (where ever you live). But if that doesn’t help you can try the following:

Now the only problem you’ll have finding a teacher is being spoilt for choice!

Until next time …. Woof!

Olive paw 2OLIVE

Beginner Basics – How do I pick a suitable pattern?

Welcome and woof. I’m Olive the dog and it is great to have you with me. Today we’re going to talk about choosing a pattern when you are a beginner hooker.

  1. Do you really like what you are making?

When you are about to make something new, or learn a skill you’ve never tried before, it is easy to get stuck into the project without really thinking it through much. It’s exciting! You want to get your teeth into it!!

Then part way through you start to have doubts… do I really want an orange and purple spotted sweater? Will this green tree frog beanie look good on me? How do you do a 2togsctr stitch anyway?

And then… you lose your enthusiasm, you put it down, and it becomes a UFO (unfinished object) forever more.

So the first and most important question to ask is do you LOVE this project and will you use it when it’s finished? If not, keep looking for one you do. The internet is a big place… there is bound to be something out there that really appeals… and don’t forget to check out ours!

  1. Is the pattern too hard?

Do you often find that the projects you like most are really REALLY difficult? Me too.  I’mdoily looking forward to the day when I can make that white lace wedding dress in Irish crochet lace, but that day is not today.

By all means choose something that includes a challenge – a new skill you have never tried – but make sure the pattern makes sense to you and you can do most of it.

 

  1. What should I avoid?

As a beginner the things you can’t expect to be able to do include:

  • frequent color changes
  • lace work
  • thin thread work
  • shaping – garments particularly involve a lot of shaping
  • things that look fancy
  • items that are really big – you don’t want to be making your first project for the rest of your life

Be honest with yourself  and choose something you know you can do.

I’m starting with a scarf.

And I can’t wait to get started!! Until next time …. Woof!

Olive paw 2

OLIVE

Beginner Basics – What Tools Do I Need?

Woof and welcome to Beginner Basics everyone! I’m Olive the dog and I’m very excitement to have you here with me on this learn to crochet journey.Olive mugshot

Many people, and quite a few dogs, would like to learn crochet but they don’t know how to get started. We’re going to start by getting your tools together.

All these objects are easy to obtain at a craft or sewing shop. Are you woof … I mean ready?

  1. A Crochet Hook

As a beginner you want to be using a thick hook – like a 6 or 7 mm hook (US J or K). Patterns always tell you what size hook to use, and so do most balls of yarn. Thinner hooks are best avoided at the start since they are more fiddly to use and the projects are slow to grow. Tools

  1. Some Yarn

Yarn can be very confusing. Most patterns will tell you what yarn to use, that makes it easy.  If you still aren’t clear you can ask someone in the yarn shop to give you a hand – take your pattern with you and show them. That way if the exact yarn isn’t available they can help you find one that will work just as well.

But as I’ve always been a naughty puppy, the sort that likes to follow their nose, I want to choose my own yarns. I see all the exciting colors available and there is always something irresistible.

There is a super lot to know about yarn, but as a beginner these are a few simple rules of thumb.

  • Avoid anything thin, you want to be able to use a big hook and this requires a thicker yarn – aim for 8ply or higher (a ply with a bigger number, like 12 ply)
  • If using multiple colors in a project try and make them all the same thickness
  • Choose a yarn that doesn’t fray
  • Do not choose anything fancy – for example with bobbles or fluffy eyelash stuff – the plainer the yarn the easier it is to use
  • Don’t choose colors randomly because you like them, make sure they go well with each other
  1. Scissors

Any old scissors are fine but you won’t be able to finish a project without a good old snip at the end.

  1. A Wool Needle

There are also many types of needles to choose from even though they all look so similar. A wool or tapestry needle is what you want because you need to be able to put your thick yarn through the eye of that needle. The purpose of this is to sew in the left over ends of your crochet project. If you’re no good with needles you will also need ….

  1. (Optional) A needle threader
     There are a few types but these little metal wonders are the best in my experience because they are simple to use and they don’t break if you pull the yarn hard.

And that is all! So get your tools together and you’ll be one good strong step closer to crocheting.

Until next time… woof!

Olive paw 2

OLIVE