How to crochet for the absolute beginner!

How to crochet for the absolute beginner!

There have been many times people have asked me to sit down with them and teach them to crochet. The problem is that half the time we don’t manage to find the right time and space!

So here, I’ve put my utmost into creating the best and super easy how-to instructions, including video and diagrams where you can feel like I’m sitting right beside you! Except it will be in your time and space!

Feel welcome to come back in your own time, after you’ve got your tools. Get yourself a nice cup of tea, make yourself comfortable, and let’s do this!

A couple of inital considerations…

First, Gather your tools!

If you don’t have your tools as yet, I suggest you take a look at my little analysis on where to find your resources! Everyone is different, but I love to help people to find the best tools availabe.

Are you left-handed?

Now, if you happen to be left handed, then I have good news! We have a lot of left-handed people in our family, and I am somewhat ambidextrous… so I will be doing all of these demonstrations from both sides… just watch the video that suit you best!

Learning how to make that first loop

That first loop can sometimes be a little difficult to negotiate! What you need to remember is that you’re making a small slip knot and not a tied knot.

I’ll simply show you in the video:

Hold your crochet hook the “right” way, then forget about it for a bit…

If you learn to hold your crochet hook the “right” way, it can be helpful in saving you time and effort in the long run, but at first you don’t want it to stop you from starting to crochet.

So, I’ll demonstrate here…  Give it a go, but if it isn’t working for you, just hold the hook how it feels best.

With the other hand, you’ll be using your finger to apply tension to the yarn. As you get use to this, you’ll gradually realise how you can adjust the tension to make your crochet tighter or looser as desired.

Make your first 5 chains

Chains are the most basic stitch in crochet. Without them there is not crochet. Fortunately they are easy!  I take you through the basics of chain in this video here:

Now finish off that chain to make a circle!

This is what they call a slip stitch. It’s even easier than a chain stitch. Just slip your crochet hook through the first chain you made and draw the wool through both the loops.

Now you have a circle!

A lot of patterns start off with a chain circle like this.

Just in case you need to know, when reading them on patterns, this is how they look.

5ch, 1slipstich.

Although I rarely read patterns while I’m making things with crochet, it can come in handy when you’re wanting to get insights into various patterns!

So, now let’s learn the treble stitch. This is almost like learning music, isn’t it?

I explain it all in the video here:

VIDEO of treble stitch.

Now, with the treble clef you’ll notice I needed to start with 3 chain. The reason for this is that we need to bring the height of the crochet to the same level all our treble stitches will be. Take a quick look at what happens if I try to start a treble stitch without the 3 chain. It is almost like the 3 chain replace one of the treble stiches. If you don’t look to closely, it is the same.

Where do you enter into the top chains?

This was a question that use to bother me when I was young. As I looked around at what other people were doing, I gradually came to an understanding that it all depends on the effect you want. There is no right or wrong, just different outcomes according to what you want.

Now if you watch this video, you can quickly see me doing it in different ways.

A Quick Quiz…

Now, quick quiz to see if you’re getting this.

I’m about to show you how to do a double stitch. How many chain do I need to do at the start?

Let me know your answer here:

If you got this right, you’re likely to be understanding. That was easy, you’re a crocheter already!

Now, we have the basics to make something with more complexity than you would have thought possible.

Let’s make a little flower! We’ll make a small flower with five petals.  As you do each petal you’ll find that you get a little more adept with the crochet hook.

The flower

You already have the first petal in place, so let’s continue and make the other four… I suggest at this stage you try holding the crochet hook from underneath, if you were having difficulty with that at the start, and see if you can feel more comfortable with it now. Hold it a little more like you would hold chopsticks.

Watch the video to see the details.

You can see from this video, that it is quite easy to to make your way around the 5 petals.

One of the great things about crochet, is that it is so flexible in allowing us to shape it in both two and three dimensions.

Once you’ve done your petals, we can use a little more wool to add a little more “shape” or dimension. Watch this video here to see how this is done:

Of course, you may have your own ideas on how to add more dimensions.

Like in the true craft circle, I would love it if anyone has an idea on how to shape flowers that people on this page could benefit from. If you want to take a video and share, I am sure I’ll be able to share it here on your behalf! Just send your short video (not too long because it will take up too much server space), to jacquie@thewoollycreative.com

Looking foward to seeing what you achieve!

Now… for the final piece… please share your crocheted flower! I would so love to see what you did. No matter how it turned out I encourage you to take a photo and share it here. No judgements, just lots of flowers to share with others who are keen to see what other beginners or learners are achieving. Its not so much to compare or judge, but to appreciate our work.

I will make a wall of all our flowers once I have enough!

If any of these instructions weren’t clear enough for you, I would love your feedback! Just send me an email or explain in the comments!

Now… off to the next project!

An easy project – woollen leg warmers

An easy project – woollen leg warmers

These warm leg warmers are an easy project that don’t use up a lot of wool, are easy to make, and a great way of upcycling an old jumper

What You’ll need

  1. An old woollen jumper. If you don’t have one handy, you might be able to find one at your local op shop.
  2. Some matching wool colours to your liking. Anywhere between 200-600grams
  3. Your usual wet felting kit or supplies.
  4. Your dry felting kit or suppies.

Measuring up

Leg warmers can just be down to the ankle level or they can be full leg length.

These leg warmers I made are around knee height, and are great to tuck into a pair of boots. I like the way the keep the ankles just that little bit warmer, and show a rustic look above the boots.

You can match or contrast the colours of your base woollen jumper.

Cut the sleeves off each jumper as shown straight across as shown in the diagram. Now try them on for size, and start to get a sense of how they might fit after you’ve added the extra wool around the top.

Laying the wool

For this technique I like to use a pool foam to give me a base for the dry felting.

This allows for a lot of control when laying out the pattern, and I am less likely to prick myself while putting it together.

Every now and then, as you build up your pattern, peel the wool off the foam tube, as some of the fibres will be attaching to it.

Using this technique you can start to build up a pattern on your leg warmers. Whether you want flowers, unicorns, initials or anything else, just start decorating the wool.

I find the wrist band is good for tucking into the upper part around the ankle.

Once you’ve finished one side, go ahead and do the next one.

This is where you can spend as little or as long as you like. Some like to make elaborate patterns, while others like to lay the wool down roughly. It isn’t necessary to go to much of a plan, but let your imagination take you where you want to o. Just remember to be careful of that rather sharp felting needle.

Start Wet Felting

For this part, I find it is often easier to just wet felt on the tube. Make sure that you don’t want to add anymore wool at this stage, as it will make it harder to deal with both dry and wet felt. Work your way around the whole pattern, starting gently and gradually making your way around the whole legging.

Once you’ve got each of your leggings felted to some degree, it can often be handy to squeeze out the excess water and try them on.

As you bring them up to your knees, you’ll start to get a feel for how they’re fitting. This can help you decide if you want to

Be creative!

Remember that these instructions are really just suggestions. You can make your legging very differently to this!

Some like to use more wool. and loud and contrasting colours, while others like to make them a little more subtle.

I’d love to see what you make, so please feel free to share what you did on Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest, and make sure you tag me!