Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Crochet Basics for Lefties

Aaannndddddd with this one post I'm excluding 90% of the population. Sorry y'all.  You might still enjoy the preview at the bottom of some coming patterns.

I first started knitting in 6th grade, I believe. I learned from my right-handed Mom, so I knit right-handed. I only learned to crochet about 2 years ago when I first moved to Montana from a friend who just happened to be left-handed. I WAY prefer crocheting over knitting. It's so much faster and, in my opinion, easier. There are plenty of crochet tutorials out there but way less for us southpaws. You're doing the exact same thing but it can be confusing to see it the opposite direction. If you're a cynical righty and don't believe me, just look below and see if it confuses you at all.

I'm starting from the very basics. Please, please, please feel free to comment and ask any questions or make any suggestions for clarity.  Also, these are the American terms. The European stitches are different. Always make sure to check your pattern, just in case.

Here are some terms that will make learning the stitches a lot easier. First, the hook. This metal one was about $2 from Joann's and it's the one I use most frequently. I recommend size I, or 5.5 if you're getting one hook to start with. The tail is the end of the yarn which usually is just weaved in to the work. The working yarn is the part still connected to the source that's doing all the work, basically. Any time you have to "yarn over," you'll want to have the yarn resting across the front of the hook (pics below). You don't need to wrap it all the way around as some beginners tend to do. It is easiest if you hold the working yarn taught with your right hand so you can use the hook in your left hand to pick up the yarn, instead of wrapping. It goes much faster that way. Learning how to hold your hook and yarn takes practice and can be a little different for everyone.  Need a video? Let me know! 

Slip Knot 

Loop the tail over the working yarn (1). Pull the working yarn through the center (2). Insert hook (3). Tighten the working yarn gently until the knot fits the hook (4). This is how you will start almost all crochet projects. See how easy that was?

Chain Stitch or Foundation Stitch (ch)

The chain stitch it the EASIEST stitch. With the hook through the slip knot, yarn over (1). Pull the hook back through the slip knot with your yarn you just picked up (2). That's it! See how they form a chain (3)? 

Single Crochet (sc)

Now we're ready to start building on to our chain. As you can see, there are two parallel section of yarn at the top of each stitch in the chain and another piece on the bottom. Insert the hook through the top 2 pieces (1). Once the hook is through, yarn over (2) and pull it back through. You will have 2 loops on your hook (3-sorry the working yarn made this hard to tell!). Yarn over again and pull through both loops to complete the stitch (4). See how they look in a row(5)? 

Double Crochet (dc)

A double crochet starts with yarn over (1) BEFORE you put your hook through anything. After the yarn over, go through the top of a stitch the same as you would a single crochet. Yarn over (2). When you pull your hook back through, you should have 3 loops on it (3). Yarn over and pull through the first 2 loops only, leaving you with two loops left on your hook- the original loop, and the yarn over you just pulled through (4). Yarn over again and pull through the last 2 loops to get back down to 1 loop (5). It sounds like a lot of steps, but once you get the hang of it this stitch goes very quickly. It's the most common stitch used in patterns. Check out the difference between single crochet and double crochet when they're right next to each other (6). 

Now get to practicing! There will be many simple projects and easy patterns coming in the days ahead. Here's a small preview of things yet to come:

Are you left-handed? Are you interested in crocheting at all?? I'd love to know!


P.S. If you're already a crocheter, you should definitely be following My Rose Valley. I love everything Annette makes and her pictures are always gorgeous!

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