Easy Crochet Patterns

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Fast Beginner Dishcloth

August 29th, 2011 · Crochet dishcloth

easy crochet patterns

photo: crochet spot ~ fast beginner dishcloth

Here is another great dishcloth pattern for beginners.  This one uses the treble crochet stitch so it is simple and fast to make, and gives you that mesh look in the end.  This pattern comes from Crochet Spot.

Difficulty: Easy – Get the pattern

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Easy Double Crochet Dishcloth

August 7th, 2011 · Crochet dishcloth, Easy crochet patterns

crochet dishcloth pattern

photo: knitterly things ~ double crochet dishcloth pattern

Here is another easy dishcloth pattern that is perfect for beginners to practice basic stitches.  This pattern is from Knitterly Things.  It uses Lily’s Sugar N’ Cream yarn (which I love!) but pretty much any yarn you want to work with can be used.  The whole dishcloth uses just the double crochet stitch, so it is super easy to do.

Difficulty: Beginner – Get the pattern

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Beginner Crochet Dishcloth

July 31st, 2011 · Crochet dishcloth, Easy crochet patterns

free crochet dishcloth pattern

photo: about.com ~ beginner single crochet dishcloth

Okay, we’ve pretty much covered the crochet basics that beginners need, so how about a simple project?  I can’t think of a much easier way for a beginner to learn crochet than by making dishcloths – and this pattern is just that.  It is a simple (and free) dishcloth pattern that uses only the single crochet stitch and it has the words written out rather than using abbreviations.  This is a great way to learn!  When I started out doing crochet, I made a dishcloth for every new stitch I was practicing.  This pattern comes from Sandi Marshall on about.com.  Enjoy!

Difficulty: Beginner  – Get the pattern

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Crochet Basics – First Crochet Stitches

July 25th, 2011 · Crochet basics

I could write a huge series of posts on nothing but crochet stitches, but I want to get on to the fun stuff (free patterns!) so I am just going to write a little about the very basic crochet stitches and include some resources that should make it easier for beginners to learn them.  Almost all patterns use these stitches in one way or another, and they are usually the foundation of more advanced crochet stitches.  So if you get these basics down, more advanced stitches and patterns will be pretty simple to conquer.


The Chain Stitch

crochet stitches for beginnersAlmost all crochet starts with the chain stitch.  The chain makes up the base that begins most projects.  This is the most basic of all the crochet stitches, so if you are a beginner, this is the stitch you will want to learn first.

When used at the beginning of the project, the chain stitch is often referred to as a starting chain, foundation chain, or base chain, and you work your first row of stitches into the loops of the starting chain.

The chain stitch is also used for what is known as a turning chain.  This is used between rows of stitches to add the height necessary for the next row of stitches.

Chain stitches can also be used within a pattern to add interesting effects, such as space and lace effects.

Learning the chain stitch

  • Make a slip stitch on your hook to hold the yarn.
  • Wrap the yarn over the hook in a counterclockwise direction (from back to front) – this is called a yarn over (yo) in crochet patterns – and draw the yarn through to form a new loop.
  • Repeat this action to form as many chains as required for your pattern.

If you would like to see this stitch in action, here is a link to a video that demonstrates the slip knot and chain stitch:

Crochet chain stitch


Single Crochet Stitch

crochet stitches for beginnersThe single crochet stitch is simple and can be used to create just about anything you want – scarves, dish cloths, blankets, and many other things.  There are many patterns that utilize this stitch.

 

 

Learning the single crochet stitch

  • Skip the first chain from the hook and insert your hook into the second chain
  • Yarn over and hook the yarn, then draw the yarn back through the stitch.
  • Yarn over again and bring the yarn through both loops on your hook.  One loop will remain on the hook.
  • Continue this sequence in the next stitch in your chain.

Here is a link to a video that demonstrates the single crochet stitch:

Single crochet stitch


Double Crochet Stitch

crochet stitches for beginnersDouble crochet is a taller stitch than single crochet, but is worked in a similar way.  Because the stitch is taller, it is quite a bit faster to complete a project with this stitch than with single crochet, but both make beautiful stitches.

Learning the double crochet stitch

  • Yarn over your hook and insert the hook into the fourth chain from the hook.
  • Hook the yarn and draw it through the chain stitch.  You will now have three loops on the hook.
  • Hook the yarn and draw it through the first 2 loops on the hook.  You now have 2 loops left on the hook.
  • Hook the yarn again and draw it through both loops on the hook.  You have now completed a double crochet stitch.
  • Repeat this process in the next chain.

Here is a link to a video demonstration of the double crochet stitch:

Double crochet stitch



Triple (treble) Crochet Stitch

The treble, or triple, crochet stitch is even taller than the double crochet, so works up even faster and is fun to do.  I personally like projects that I can finish fast, so the treble crochet is one of my favorites.

Learning the treble crochet stitch

  • Yarn over the hook twice, so you have two loops on the hook.
  • Skip the first four chains and insert your hook into the fifth chain from the hook.
  • Hook the yarn and draw it through the chain stitch.  You now have four loops on your hook.
  • Hook the yarn and draw it through the first two loops on the hook.  You now have three loops left on the hook.
  • Hook the yarn and again draw it through the first two loops on the hook.  You now have two loops left on the hook.
  • Hook the yarn and draw it through both loops on the hook.  You have now completed one treble crochet stitch.
  • Repeat this stitch in the remaining loops of your chain.

Here is a link to a video that nicely demonstrates the treble crochet stitch:

Treble crochet stitch

 

Hopefully this will give you a basic understanding of some of the most common crochet stitches that beginners need to know.  I know there are many more, so I will probably be posting some tutorials in the future to cover them.  For now, though, this should be sufficient to get any beginner crochet enthusiast on a path in the right direction.  Stay tuned for some great free crochet patterns!

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Crochet Basics – Crochet Abbreviations & How To Read Crochet Patterns

July 7th, 2011 · Crochet basics

So you have your yarn, have your hook, and you are ready to tackle that first crochet project!  The next step is to learn how to read crochet patterns.  They look complicated initially, but they are really pretty simple.  A crochet pattern can be thought of as a list of crochet directions that need to be followed one step at a time.  The beginning of the pattern will show you what you will need to complete the pattern (yarn, hook size, any other notions or materials) as well as the size of the finished project and gauge you need so the project ends up the right size (more about gauge in a future post).  Crochet patterns are written as row-by-row or round-by-round instructions, depending on what type of project you are making.

Crochet Abbreviations

Crochet patterns use abbreviations to save space and to make the patterns easier to follow.  Here is a list of common crochet abbreviations you will come across in crochet patterns:

  • approx – approximately
  • beg – beginning
  • bet – between
  • blo – back loop only
  • ch, ch(s) – chain(s)
  • ch sp or ch-sp – chain space
  • cont – continue
  • dc - double crochet
  • dec – decrease
  • flo – front loop only
  • hdc – half double crochet
  • hk – hook
  • inc – increase
  • lp or lp(s) – loop(s)
  • pm – place marker
  • rep – repeat
  • rnd(s) – round(s)
  • sc – single crochet
  • slst or ss – slip stitch
  • st(s) - stitch or stitches
  • tog – together
  • yo – yarnover

 

How To Read Crochet Patterns

Brackets [ ] or parentheses ( ) sometimes enclose a group of instructions that you will repeat.  After the brackets or parentheses, the instructions will tell you how many times to repeat the enclosed instructions.  For example: [sc, chain 1, sc] 4 times would mean single crochet, chain one, single crochet, and repeat this sequence four times.  Another example would be [dc, chain 1, dc] into the next stitch, which means you will work a double crochet, chain one, and another double crochet all into the next single stitch.

 

Crochet Pattern Examples

Hopefully these examples will help you better understand how to read crochet patterns.  I have taken these examples directly out of some of the patterns I have been using and will explain how they read.

Example 1 -

Using all 4 strands at once, ch 80

Row 1: dc into 3rd ch from hk… dc in every ch to end… ch2, turn

This comes from a simple scarf pattern that is worked in rows and uses 4 strands of yarn at a time to make it nice and thick.  It means: using all 4 strands, chain 80.  Row 1 – double crochet into 3rd chain from the hook, double crochet in every chain to the end of the chain, chain 2, turn.

Example 2 -

With dark, chain 4 sts and join w slip st to form ring.

Round 1: Work 9 hdc in ring (first stitch in each round is always presumed to be a ch-2, or a ch-1 if that works better for you)

This comes from a pattern that is worked in the round with 2 different colors.  It means: with your dark yarn color, chain 4 stitches and join with a slip stitch to  form a ring.  Round 1 – work 9 half double crochet in the ring, with the first stitch in each round a chain 2 or chain 1 as you would do to increase your stitch height for the next round.


These examples come from easy patterns but may still seem a little confusing if you are a beginner.  I will follow up this post with plenty of easy-to-follow examples that will help you get used to the idea of following the patterns and creating some nice beginner crochet projects.

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Crochet Basics – A Little About Yarn

June 30th, 2011 · Crochet basics

Now that we have covered the topic of crochet hooks, it’s time to talk about the next most important thing in crochet – yarn!  There are so many types of yarns available for purchase that you may get a little overwhelmed with it at first.  Just remember that most patterns specify the type and weight of yarn you should use, which makes it easier to select the yarn you need, but also don’t be afraid to change it up a bit if you want something different.  As long as the yarn weights are similar to what is stated in the pattern, your project should turn out just fine.  There are just a couple important things about yarn you will want to understand.

Yarn Fiber

Yarns are made of fibers that are natural or synthetic.  Natural fibers are from animals (sheep, rabbits, silkworms, alpacas, etc.) or from plants (hemp, soy, cotton, etc.).  Synthetic fibers include materials like acrylic, polyester, and nylon.  While there are yarns of both types in many different price ranges, you will generally find that synthetic yarns are cheaper.  Some yarns are made with a combination of synthetic and natural fibers.  Yarns are labeled with their fiber content and with care instructions, which you will find helpful when choosing yarns for different types of projects.

When starting out, I have found that a synthetic yarn, such as acrylic, is a little easier to work with.  There are some truly beautiful natural yarns available, and don’t be afraid to try them out, but when learning your stitches you might find the synthetics a little more forgiving.

Yarn Weight

Weight refers to how thick or thin a yarn is.  Weights can range from super fine to super bulky.  The finer – or thinner – the yarn, the smaller the hook you will use with that yarn; the bulkier – or thicker – the yarn, the bigger the hook you will use.  Again, most patterns will specify which weight of yarn to use, and as long as you stay within that weight guideline you can usually use whatever yarn you prefer for that pattern.

I could go on all day about yarns, but I will keep this post shorter and let you decide which yarns you want to use for your first projects.  Just like hooks, after crocheting for a while you will find some yarns that you prefer over others.  In the beginning, though, I would recommend a light-colored, synthetic (like acrylic), medium (worsted) weight yarn.  This allows you to see your stitches easily when you are learning the basics.

 

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Crochet Basics – Let’s Talk Hooks

June 27th, 2011 · Crochet basics

crochet hooks

A variety of crochet hooks

In this second post of my Crochet Basics series, I would like to go over crochet hooks a little more, specifically crochet hook sizes.  But first, you might notice when you go shopping for your first crochet hooks that they are available in several different materials – plastic, aluminum, wood, bamboo, and even steel (for the tiny hooks).  Which kind you get depends a lot on personal preference, and I encourage you to try them to see what you like to work with best, but to start out I would recommend getting an aluminum hook.  I have tried aluminum, plastic, and wood, and I found when starting out that aluminum just seemed like an easier one to work the yarn with.  As you get into more projects, you might find that one type of hook works best with a particular type of yarn, so you may end up with several hooks of each type.

Crochet Hook Sizes

Size is important when it comes to crochet hooks, and there are a few things about size that you will want to know.  The larger the diameter of the hook, the larger your stitch will be.  More narrow hooks are for smaller stitches and finer yarns.  The very small steel hooks are used for crochet thread for projects such as doilies.  Almost every crochet pattern will specify the hook size you need to use, so there won’t be too much guesswork about which size will work best for a particular pattern when you are starting out.

crochet hook sizes

Crochet hook sizes

There is no universal standard for how hook sizes are labeled, with some variance between brands of hooks, so on most hooks you will see two sizes given: the American size (a letter or number) and the metric size.  The metric size is the actual metric measurement of the diameter of the hook in millimeters.  If you want to make absolutely sure you have the right hook for your project, always rely on the metric measurement.  As you can see in the image, these aluminum hooks are all labeled with a letter and number followed by the metric size.  When crochet patterns specify the hook size you need to use, most give both the letter size and millimeter size, but again, just to makes sure you have the right hook, you should refer to the millimeter size, as that will remain consistent no matter who manufactures the hook.

To get you started out, you can buy several different sizes of hooks packaged together or buy just one or two individually.  For most of my upcoming examples on crochet stitches, I will be using a size H/8 (5 millimeter) hook.  Next, we will be talking a little more about yarns before moving on to the fun part – basic crochet stitches!

 

 

 

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Crochet Basics – Tool Time!

June 23rd, 2011 · Crochet basics

crochet basicsToday I will be starting a series of posts on crochet basics.  I am going to be discussing the absolute basics of crochet for people just starting out, so if you are a beginner, or even if you just need a refresher on crochet basics, this is a good place to start. In this post, we will be going over the tools you will need to get started crocheting.  All you really need is a hook and some yarn, but there are a few other things that will make your life easier. :)

You really do not need a whole lot of supplies to get going on your first crochet projects, and the tools you do need can be found relatively inexpensively at your local craft store.  Sure, you can go buy a huge arsenal of hooks, yarns, and extra supplies but that is not necessary when you are starting out.  The best thing to do is find a few easy beginner crochet patterns and then go buy one or two hooks and your choice of yarn to do those projects.

So, what tools do you need to get started with crochet?

  • Crochet hook – this is the tool you will use to make your crochet stitches .  Hooks come in many different sizes and materials – and we will go into this deeper in a future post – but you can start out with just one or two hooks depending on the specified size in the patterns you are starting out with.  When I get into discussing the basic stitches and beginner projects, I will be using an aluminum hook, size H.
  • Yarn – just like hooks, yarn comes in a huge variety of sizes (weight and thickness), colors, textures, and materials.  We will also cover these details on yarn further in a future post, but when you are first starting out, it is best to use worsted weight (medium weight) yarn in a lighter color so you can easily see your stitches.
  • Stitch Markers – these are used to mark stitches in your work.  They can be used to mark specific areas that a pattern tells you to mark, such as where you need to increase or decrease stitches, or to mark the beginning of a round when working rounds.  I use them when I have to stop in the middle of a project to mark the last stitch I made since I have little kids that like to unravel my yarn. :)   The basic stitch markers sold in stores are just plastic or metal loops or spirals, but you get get some pretty fancy ones online if you choose.
  • Tapestry Needles – these needles are used to weave in the ends of the yarn to hide them.  They look like sewing needles but are larger with round ends and large eyes that are big enough for use with yarn.  Tapestry needles also come in different sizes, but the larger ones work best with yarn.
  • Scissors – you can probably guess what you will be using these for, right?  You might find it easier to get small scissors that you can easily carry along when you want to take your crochet work with you to work on when you aren’t at home.
  • Tape measure or ruler – used to measure your gauge before starting a pattern (we will talk more about gauge later).

That’s about it!  Once you have these basics, you pretty much have all you will need to complete a beginner crochet project.  In the next post, I will be going over a little more about crochet hook sizes, then move on to yarns and basic stitches.

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About Crochet & Easy Crochet Patterns

October 14th, 2009 · Easy crochet patterns

Why crochet? Crochet is a creative and exciting hobby with a wealth of information and easy crochet patterns available for beginners and advanced hobbyists alike!

Crochet has moved beyond the old clichés that most people first think of when crochet is mentioned. The lumpy, odd-colored scarves and mismatched afghan blankets that may come to mind with crochet are a thing of the past! In recent years, crochet has seen an uprising in popularity as people discover the modern, creative possibilities it has to offer. With some easy crochet directions and the easy crochet patterns now available, beginner crochet has become completely pain-free! You can create attractive garments, cute and unique toys, and fashionable accessories that you will be proud to show off. Not to mention, crochet is fun and relaxing!

Crochet is the process of creating fabric, through a variety of stitches, from yarn or thread with the use of a crochet hook.  Crochet allows you to do create a wide assortment of things, from bags and purses to sweaters and coats and allows for a great amount of creativity and freedom when experimenting with patterns. Crocheted items make wonderful hand-made gifts and are a great way to show off your unique style and personality.  Several of the easy crochet patterns available include crochet hat patterns, crochet scarf patterns, and crochet baby blanket patterns, just to name a few!

Crochet is one of the easiest forms of creative work. It is quick to do and easy to learn! Its simplicity and rapidity with which it can be done makes it ideal for the beginner.

Anyone can learn crochet! All it takes is a hook and ball of yarn to learn the basic stitches. From there, one can move on to easy crochet patterns to create those first exciting projects!

 

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