Tuesday, 2 August 2011

A lesson in Crochet

I spend over two hours a day on my daily commute, so if I do something useful on my journey the total woman hours of slightly more than 250 a year seem not such a waste.  This week I am crocheting. 

I am embarking on quite a big project with the granny squares I blogged about last week.  It was something Tracy over at prosestitch said that got me going, that and the photograph of water at teh end of last week's blog.   More of that later, the thing is that I seemed to gather a bit of attention as I hooked away at my watery project on the train yesterday.  The person sitting next to me said (after about 30 minutes) 'what ARE you making?'  I explained briefly, after saying something nice about the colours she said 'how sad that crochet was a dying craft'.  Then on the way home another woman, about the same age asked me what I was knitting!

A dying craft?  I don't think so judging by the number of new yarn shops springing up all over the place.  And with all the books and magazines on the subject I think lots of people are learning new crafts and certainly know the difference between knitting and crochet.

I know I could have looked at one of my books on crochet but when I wanted to make something based on granny squares I worked it out by trial and error so I thought I would blog a little beginners tutorial.  Experienced crafters look away now, or perhaps just skip to the last paragraph.

The Tutorial

Start with a slip knot and pull it up gently to fit snuggly around the hook.  All crocheting is based on drawing the yarn through the loop on the hook to form a chain.  Hold the hook in your right hand and the work in your left in a pinch grip with your index finger and thumb.  The tail of the yarn falls down the palm of your hand towards your wrist and the yarn you are working with goes from the chain over your first three fingers and under your little finger. It's your little finger that keeps the tension on the yarn.

Make five loops (chains)

Join the chains into a ring by slipping the hook through the first chain and drawing the yarn through both chains then make a three more chains.  The granny square is made entirely of a stitch called treble crochet and chains.

This is how you make your first treble stitch

Wind the yarn once around the hook then pass the tip of the hook through your foundation chain ring drawing another loop through, you will have three loops on your hook now

Hook the yarn through the first two stitches, then...

Hook it through again.  That's your first treble

Make one more treble, then two chain then three more trebles

Continue making three trebles then two chain until you have four groups of three trebles two chain (in patterns this is written *3tr 2ch, repeat from * three more times). You now have a circle.  You begin to form the corners of the square in the next row.

Begin with four chain then *three trebles, two chain and three trebles  into the two chain space then one chain, repeat from * twice more.  Work two trebles into the last two chain space then link up to the third chain of the 4 chain with a slip stitch

Keep making rounds like this with one set of three trebles in every chain space on the side and 3tr 2ch 3tr into each corner.  You can completely finish the squares to the size you want and sew them together but you can also link as you go...

by slip stitching into the corresponding  chain space of the previous square as you work the last row.

There are all sorts of designs for squares (I have just bought Jan Eaton's book 200 crochet blocks ) and I intend to incorporate some of these in my project.

This morning Alison, who blogs as plus 2.4 blogged about her first efforts at crochet , in a few weeks with help from a friend and some on line tutorials she has produced some brilliant brightly coloured squares (and a very funny picture of her first effort) .

Its simple when you know how!



ISIS Au Fil Des Fils said...

I love the colors and the form square, is a nice project !

Jan said...

This brought back so many memories. Many years ago when crochet waistcoats were in fashion I was often asked to make one for someone else. I remember crocheting a dress for myself and, of course, I did lots when my daughter was born. I haven't done any crochet for many years but still have all the hooks. Maybe I should take it up again. Thank you for showing us your lovely work.

Tracy said...

I thought it was rather cheeky of me to pass comment on the work you showed in your last post so I am glad I didn't offend. I can see a real connection between the muted colours you are working with and your photos of Paxos and I am looking forward to seeing your project finished.

Catherine said...

thank you all for your comments - Jan I remember crochet waistcoats too!

And Tracy I welcome comments like yours, keep making them

Aly said...

Hello! Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving the link to your tutorial.I'll give it go over the weekend thanks.

Gigi said...

What a beautiful granny square - your time will be well spent making a lovely cost blanket!