Sunday, May 17, 2009

Picking up and Learning Crochet Stitches

Crocheting is very relaxing, rewarding, and can be learned quite easily. Crochet is a technique favored by those who enjoy needlecrafts, mainly because crochet stitches allow you to make useful home decor such as doilies, bedspreads, blankets and tablecloths which add to your home environment.
Here are some things worth knowing about before starting a crochet project:

1. All crochet designs begin with a “foundation chain” that can be long (for afghan) or short for a project that starts as a "circle".

2. Understand that applying even pressure is important so as to make the correct size of your project.

3. With each project, you should try out a sample and then adjust the size of the hook either down or up to reach the gauge required.

4. Hold the hook and the yarn in such manner that it is comfortable to you and just let the yarn flow without restraint.

5. The loop that is on the hook is not always counted.

6. The correct number or counting of chains should be formed always at the start of every row in order for you to continue at the correct height or length for the succeeding row. This “turning chain” establishes the first or “initial stitch” of the subsequent row.

7. At all times, you need to pick two loops that is from the previous row of the stitch except when the pattern indicates back or front loop.

8. A “space” is described as the interval between stitches.

9. Do not make a “slip stitch” into your first stitch.

10. After your completed work, you need to pull through a “loop on hook” one last time and cut the yarn and pull the end through.

Here are some basic crochet stitches that you need to familiarize yourself with:

1. Chain stitch or “ch”. Create a “loop in thread” and insert your hook in the loop, and pull towards you the central length of the yarn through. Continue drawing the yarn through every new loop that you form until you reach the desired length.

2. Single crochet stitch or “sc”. You will need to insert the hook underneath two loops of a stitch then draw the yarn through the stitch, creating “2 loops on hook”, then thread over the hook and pull through towards your direction the two loops.

3. “Half double crochet” stitch or “half dc”. Create similar double crochet stitches until you form three “loops on hook” and thread over the pull the yarn through all of three loops.

4. Double crochet stitch “dc”. Thread over the hook, then insert the hook in the stitch and then pull the thread towards you through, making “3 loops on hook”, then you need to thread the hook over and pull through “two loops”, and once more thread over and pull through the remaining two loops.

5. Treble stitch or “tr”. You need to thread over the hook two times then insert the hook in the stitch and pull the thread through the stitch, creating “4 loops on hook” then thread over, pull through the 2 loops, and thread over, then pull through “2 loops”, then thread over, pull through the remaining 2 loops.

6. Slip stitch or “sl st”. Insert the hook through the stitch, then catch the yarn, and with a single motion, pull both stitches through and the “1 loop on hook”. This stitch is used generally for joining.

7. Popcorn stitch or “pc st”. Make one chain stitch, five double crochet stitches then drop stitches from hook and insert the “hook” back in that 1 chain stitch and pull the “loop” through the “one on hook”.

8. “Block (bl) and space (sp)” stitch. You need to create four double crochet stitches over four stitches of the preceding row, making 1 block, then create 2 chain stitches skip 2 stitches, creating 1 space stitch.

The saying “practice makes perfect” is so very true in crochet. With practice, patience and determination one can easily make simple crochet patterns. So have some fun while you’re doing it!

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