Tuesday, September 27, 2011

How-To Tuesdays: Slip Knots & Chains

I realize that many of my friends don't know much about crochet.  I am a crafter of all kinds, but have found that crochet is by far my favorite.  Once you get it down, it's a great way to keep your hands busy.  It's very soothing, and can be a relaxing way to unwind at the end of the day or on a lazy Sunday.  So, I would love to share it with you!  Ready for a crash course in crochet basics?  Here we go!

To begin crocheting, you don't need much.  Just a crochet hook, some yarn and some scissors.

This picture just won't rotate, I'm sorry!

To begin, we need to attach the yarn to the hook using a slip knot.  Here is a video tutorial, and then a picture tutorial.  :)

Picture Tutorial

Hold yarn between ring finger and pinky finger

Wrap yarn over the top of index finger, behind fingers and back to top of index finger

Insert hook from right to left, under first string, over second string

Using hook, pull second string under the first

Grab both the end of the string and the string attached to the rest of the yarn (the skein) and pull gently

This creates the knot

Let go of the end of the yarn, but pull gently on the yarn still attached to the skein.  This will bring the knot to the hook.  You'll want the yarn to be snug against the hook, but not so tight that the knot isn't able to slide easily up and down the hook.  This is important, as you will be sliding the yarn across the hook when you make your stitches.

Now, you can begin creating a foundation chain!  A foundation chain is the beginning of your piece.  The number of chains you make will determine how big your piece will be.

Start with a slipknot.  Lucky you, you just learned how to make one!  ;)

Wrap the yarn over the hook.  From the bottom, wrap the yarn up and behind the hook, then down and in front of the hook.

Using the hook, pull the wrapped yarn through the existing loop on the hook.

Continue the process again.

When following (or creating) a pattern, a chain foundation is the most common way to begin.  Practice the chain technique until you can comfortable move through it.  You don't want your chains to be too loose, or your work will easily stretch and look sloppy.  You also don't want your chains to be too tight, or you won't be able to reenter them to continue your stitches.  Keep your stitches about the size of the circumference of your hook.  You'll have to gauge the tension by feel.  This takes time and practice, so don't feel bad if it takes you a while to get it!  It took me a while before I really got my tension down.

This takes a bit of coordination and getting used to, so don't feel bad if it takes a while to get it down!  In fact, why don't you take this week to practice?  ;)  Come back next Tuesday and we will learn our first stitch!

1 comment:

  1. Not sure where to leave this at but i was wondering if you could help me figure out the pattern used to make these, i cant find it anywhere or one that even come close to it. i would love to make these or something that resembles them. any help would be greatly appreciated thank you in advance