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Sunday, November 27, 2011

How to crochet the basic chain stitch

Whoever said crocheting is exclusively for grandmothers and spinsters couldn't have been more incorrect! Crochet is too awesome to only be associated with newborns, potholders and afghans. While I do loveto make the occasional cliche bootie and mittens, I am more thrilled to create the trendy hat, sexy dress or fun bikini. For many years, crocheted items has been flaunted on the runways and advertised in fall catalogs. and If you want to learn to crochet, you've come to the right place!

I have found many great patterns and ideas for crocheting online! However, you can't enjoy the patterns if you don't know how to begin the basic stitch. So, I'll show you how to get started!

Materials you will need: a ball of yarn and a crochet needle

Tip: Make sure the needle is the right size for the thickness of your yarn. If you use an extremely small needle for a thick string of yarn, you will find it difficult to pull the yarn through the loops. Most yarn companies have paper labels that will include the size for the best needle to use, and they usually throw in a free pattern (usually for oven mitts or an afgahn)!


Step 1: Take your yarn and twist it securely around the needle.


Step 2: There is a proper way to hold a crochet needle and thread. If you are right handed, like myself, you will hold the needle in your right hand, and wrap the hanging yarn (leading to the ball of yarn) around your index finger until there is tension in the string. Grasp the base of the loop (there should be a small piece of string hanging from the base of the loop around the needle) initially tied around the needle with your left thumb and middle finger. Now you are ready to start your chain stitch!

Step 3: "Yarn over" is the term that can be found in patterns when instructing to wrap the needle around the yarn to where the thread is beneath the hook in order to be pulled through the loop on the needle/hook. The final product is a braid/chain like effect. The diagram below from www.tlc.howstuffworks.com clearly displays the technique.

 A pattern often begins with a certain number of chains to build upon. For example, it may instruct you to begin a hat by saying, "ch 6". So, you will wrap the yarn around the needle to create your first loop, and then "yarn over" and pull the thread through the loop on the needle/hook six times to start the hat.


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