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beginner crochet

  • Learn to Crochet: Let's Wrap Things Up

    We've reached the end of our Learn to Crochet series, and it's time to wrap things up.

    learn-to-crochet-wrap-up

    Over the past ten weeks we've learned the basic stitches -- sc, hdc, dc, trc -- as well as how to work in the round, change colors, read patterns and charts, and increase and decrease. We've made fingerless mitts, a hat, and two cowls. This has been an intense crash course on crochet, and we're ready to make our ways into the world, armed with our hooks.

    Basically, we've all become expert-level crocheters. So where do we go from here?

    OK, technically we're probably more advanced-beginner than expert, but we've learned a lot in a short time. We don't want those skills to disappear, so it's time to practice!

    Practice New Stitches

    Our Stitch Finder page is a great place for practicing new stitches. Check it out to find lace, motifs, colorwork, and more to play with. Try making squares out of Crochet Cable, Basic Shell, Checkerboard, and Fanfare, all pictured above, or any of the other stitches listed.

    We will be spotlighting different patterns from the Stitch Finder -- in both knit and crochet -- on the blog going forward, so keep checking back.

    Patterns to Try

    Saddlebrook Cape Scarf by Two of Wands

    We have tons of great patterns right here on our site, and you can even sort them by difficulty. Levels 1 and 2 should be old hat (pun intended) for you by now, and you could likely handle 3 as well. Challenge yourself a bit and try level 4. Level 5 might be a struggle at this point, but with practice you'll work your way up to it.

    Easy Blanket Sweater by Mama in a Stitch

    With the skills you've learned, you can make projects of any kind. Sweaters, bags, blankets, shawls, you name it. If you aren't sure about something, I've found that the best way to learn is to just jump in and do it. Try that new stitch, or the shape you thought was too hard. Follow the directions and see what happened -- you'll probably be pleasantly surprised.

    Tea House Wrap by Two of Wands

    Let's Wrap It Up

    I genuinely hope that this series has helped you learn to crochet. It's definitely been useful for me to write it -- I know I've learned a lot over the past couple of months. Learning to crochet was my New Years resolution, and for the first time in many years, I actually fulfilled it!

    These posts aren't going anywhere, so if you ever need a refresher, just pull them up and read! And if you need even more help, our Learn section has instructions on many crochet techniques as well.

    Thanks so much for being a part of this series and learning with me. You've got a whole lifetime of crocheting ahead of you, so go forth and do it. There are always new projects to try and new stitches to learn. Get creative, and most of all, have fun!

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  • Learn to Crochet, Project 4: Level 3 Ripple Cowl

    It's our last project, you guys! Is anyone else a little bit sad? For this final week, we're making the Level 3 Ripple Cowl.

    learn-to-crochet-ripple

    The ripple cowl uses the skills we learned last week: increasing and decreasing. As we practiced in that lesson, making increases and decreases across a row creates a zigzag effect. Switching colors as well as stitches back and forth keeps the pattern interesting without being too difficult.

    The Ripple Cowl

    For this cowl, you'll need two skeins of Heartland® -- one each in two colors. I chose Cuyahoga Valley and Yellowstone. You'll also need a J-10 (6.0 mm) hook and a darning needle to weave in ends -- which there are plenty of, since it's striped.

    You start by chaining 39, but since you're working dc on the first row, you skip the first 3 chains. So you actually should end up with 36 stitches on each row.

    ripple-1

    The body of the cowl itself is fairly simple and repetitive (not in a bad way) once you get the hang of it. Each row is an increase stitch (with the turning ch counting as the first stitch), 3 stitches, 2 decreases, 3 stitches, 2 increases, repeated across the row, with one increase at the end. You do this for two rows of dc in one color and then two rows of hdc in the other color.

    If that sounds confusing, the pattern has both a chart and more detailed written directions.

    The bulk of this project is just those four rows over and over. The pattern instructs you to repeat is a total of 19 times, but if you want it shorter or longer, you can adjust accordingly. Since you start with the dc rows, you need to end with the hdc ones, so that it fits together correctly when you sew it up.

    Finishing

    The short ends of the cowl should line up nicely to seam together.

    If you sew it neatly, you shouldn't be able to see the seam at all, and the cowl will look like one consistent piece.

    The last step is edging. This pattern calls for you to use color A for it, which in this case would have been Yellowstone. However, I am a sucker for any shade of teal, so I used color B, Cuyahoga Valley.

     

    Moving Forward

    We are done with this series, so you're basically a crochet expert now, right? You have the skills you need to break out on your own and try some new things.

    Next week, we will have one last post to talk about where to go from here. If you have any questions you'd like me to address, leave a comment and ask!

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  • When Did You Learn to Knit or Crochet?

    We all learn to knit or crochet at different points in our lives. Some are taught as children, while others don't pick it up until retirement.

    learn-crochet-hook

    So, right now, we ask you:

    When did you learn to knit or crochet?

    A follow up to that is, if you know how to do both, which did you learn first, and at what ages did you pick up each craft?

    To answer my own question, I learned to knit when I was 24. After my grandmother passed away, I was helping clean out her house and found a bag of old knitting needles and some extremely scratchy yarn. I eventually replaced both of those things with my own tools (which included some Lion Brand Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick®). However, finding that bag of stuff is what set me on my knitting path.

    As for crochet, I tried a few times over the years, but didn't take it up in earnest until starting my Learn to Crochet series at the beginning of this year.

    Let us know your answer in the comments!

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