Tag Archives: hand made

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


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


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


Not- Too – Little Black Dress

Pattern 24 photo 2They say every woman needs a little black dress. Well, when you reach a certain age and size, you don’t want that black dress to be quite so little, so this is my solution. Pattern 24 photo 1Pattern 24 photo 3

This is a close up of the stitch work. It is a little bit different but not too hard to do.

The dress is on sale at Ravelry.com for anyone who wants to make one.

Granny Square Jewelry

Pattern 15 photo 1The Granny Square is a very popular design, known by most crocheters. It is usually used for large items like afghans and blankets. But here I have scaled it down and used it for a string of beads, a bracelet and a pair of earrings.

Pattern 13 photo 1

Pattern 14 photo 1

If you would like to make any of these patterns they are available for sale on Ravelry separately or together as an e-book.

Beads     $2.00 USD   buy now

Bracelet $1.50 USD  buy now

Earrings $1.50 USD buy now

E-book   $3.50 USD buy now