Thursday, 27 June 2013

Half Treble Crochet Stitches

Once you have mastered the art of how to crochet the foundation chain, the double and treble stitch, you are ready to move onto other stitches. There is the triple treble stitch, which stands quite tall, the half treble and the double treble stitch.  The clue is in the name.  A double crochet stitch is shorter than the treble crochet stitch and the quadruple treble stitch stands taller still.  You will find that the taller the stitch, the quicker your work will grow.  The smallest stitch in crochet is known as the slip stitch, and it has no height.  The purpose of this stitch is to move the crochet hook from one place to another position or for joining two pieces of work together.

How To Crochet A Half Treble (also known as Half Triple Crochet Stitch)

The half treble crochet stitch is what the name implies, which is half a treble stitch and it stands about just over half the height of the treble crochet stitch. 

Half Treble Crochet (UK) or Half double Crochet (US)
To crochet a half treble stitch, start by making some foundation chains, then wrap the yarn over the crochet hook and insert the hook into the third chain, wrap the yarn over the hook again and draw the loop through.  You should now have three loops on your crochet hook.  Wrap the yarn over the hook again and draw the first loop through all the three loops together, so you only have one hoop on your crochet hook again.  You have now created your first half treble crochet stitch.

Insert your crochet hook into the next chain along, and repeat the same action again.  Work the half treble crochet stitch into each of the chains until you reach the end of the row.  Turn your work around and make two turning chains.  This turning chain represents your first half treble stitch and brings the hook to the right height to continue the next stitch.  When you insert your hook into the next space, ensure your hook is inserted underneath the ‘v’ shaped threads of the stitches below.  Continue crocheting your half treble stitches until you reach the end again, turn your work round and make two turning chains and continue working your next row along.

The half treble stitch is shown in abbreviated terms as ‘htr’ in a crochet pattern.

For a demonstration of how to do a half treble crochet stitch, view the YouTube video shown below.

The half treble stitch is commonly used in lots of crochet patterns and is quite easy to learn.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Double Crochet Stitches

Double crochet is one of the most commonly used and well-known stitches in crochet and stands about a third of a height of a treble crochet stitch.  In abbreviated terms when following a crochet pattern, double crochet is known as ‘dc’ in shorthand. 

How To Crochet Double Crochet Stitches

To make a double crochet stitch, first of all, make some foundation chain stitches.  The foundation stitches are always made first before crocheting any crochet stitches.  Insert your crochet hook into the second chain stitch from your hook.  Wrap the yarn over the crochet hook (yoh), and then draw the yarn through.  You should have 2 loops on your crochet hook.  Wrap the yarn over your crochet hook again and draw through the 2 last loops on your crochet hook.  You should now only have one hook on your crochet hook.  You have just created your first double crochet.  Continue working your double crochet into each of the foundation chain stitches until you reach the end.
Turn your work around and then make 1 chain.  This is your turning chain.  However, this may vary when following a crochet pattern; always check your pattern for instructions for where you should insert your crochet hook. 

Once you have made your turning chain, insert your hook into the first double crochet in the first space. Yarn over hook (yoh), and then draw the yarn through the space.  Yarn over hook again and then draw the last 2 hoops on your hook.  Repeat this and work your double crochet stitches until you reach the end of the row, turn your work and make 1 turning chain, and so on.

For a more detailed demonstration of how to crochet a double crochet stitch, you can view the YouTube video, shown on this post for guidance.

What Is Double Crochet Used For

Double Crochet (Single Crochet in US)
Double crochet is used in so many different ways and is one of the basic crochet stitches.  It is commonly used for edgings, seams and also general patterns such as garments, scarves, hats and gloves. 

It is always a good idea to learn how to do crochet double stitches before moving onto taller and more complex stitches, such as the treble stitches, half treble stitches, and many other crochet stitches.

Crochet And The US and UK

In other parts of the world, names of crochet stitches may vary, for example, in the US, the double crochet stitch is known as the single crochet stitch and the treble (triple) crochet stitch is known as the double crochet stitch so it can be confusing to some people.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Chain Stitches

You have your materials and your crochet hook ready.  The first thing to do is to make a slip stitch to get your started.  The slip stitch is the first stitch you do before progressing to making the chain stitch.  The crochet hook never has many stitches on it and the slip stitch forms the beginning part of crochet.

Hold your crochet hook with your right hand and the yarn with your left hand.  If you are left handed, you will need to hold your crochet hook with your left hand and work backwards.  There will be more tutorials about left-handed crochet later in this blog.

 The Slip Stitch

The cut end of the yarn is used to pull the loop tight.  Slip this loop over your crotchet hook and then pull the end up to your hook, but not too tight.  The loop on your crochet hook forms the first stitch.  Slip stitch in abbreviation is ‘ss’.  Some people may prefer to simply start the chain with a small, tied loop, big enough to fit snugly onto your crochet hook.

The Foundation Chain

All crochet starts with the foundation chain.  This is a long chain of stitches, which are used as the first row of stitches for crochet.  In reading crochet patterns, the chain is abbreviated to ‘ch’.

To start your chain stitches, wrap the yarn around your crochet hook, from back, over your hook to the front, as shown on the video below.  Next, put your crochet hook into the loop, and then yarn over hook and pull this loop through the loop that is already on your hook.  This creates your first chain stitch.  Yarn over hook again (yoh) and then put your crochet hook into the next chain and pull the yarn through.  Yarn over hook and draw the next yarn through the loop. Yarn over hook, then pull through the yarn to form the next chain, and so on. Keep doing this until you have the required number of chains.

Counting Chain Stitches

Once you have completed a row of chain stitches, you will see that there is a row of neat ‘v’ shapes.  Each v shape represents each chain stitch, so chain stitches are easy to count.

Wikimedia Commons

Chain stitches can represent the first proper crochet stitch at the beginning of a row of crochet, and this is known as the turning chain. For example, double crochet has a turning chain of 1 chain; the treble stitch has a turning chain of 3 chains and so on.

Other Uses For Chain Stitches

You can make a simple friendship bracelet by making a row of chain stitches and working some colourful beads threaded into the chain stitch and some tassels left at the end of the chain stitch.  Experiment with different yarns and colours for different effects.

Crochet Abbreviations

It may feel a little daunting at first to read crochet patterns, which are usually full of abbreviations and symbols.  Some may describe it like learning another language but in time you will become familiar with these common crochet terms.  Here are the basic abbreviations used for crochet patterns in the UK.  The US and other countries use slightly different or a variation of these abbreviations.

Commonly Used Crochet Abbreviated Terms

Ch = Chain
Yoh = yarn over hook

Beg = Beginning
Foll = Following

Rep = repeat
Miss = Skip

Cont = Continue
WS = Wrong side

RS = Right Side

Inc = Increase

Dtr = Double Treble
Dec = Decrease

Sp(s) = Space(s)
Patt = pattern

Ss = Slip stitch
Tog = together

Sk = Skip
Rnd = round

Lp = Loop
Yo = Yarn over

Reading Crochet Patterns

Crochet patterns are generally written in shorthand to save on space.  If you are unsure of a crochet term or unfamiliar with an abbreviation, you will normally find the meaning of the term printed in the beginning on your crochet pattern. 

A pattern may say ’18 ch’. This would mean do 18 chains, or 2 tr, meaning do 2 treble stitches.

You will find that more complex crochet patterns are a combination of any of these simple crochet stitches.  With repeated combination of patterns, square brackets or parenthesis are commonly used [ ].  Some patterns use the normal brackets e.g. ().  Some patterns use a combination of the square brackets with the normal brackets inside a repeated instruction.  Other symbols such as the asterisk may be used, for example, for when a repetition of a pattern starts.

Wikimedia Commons
Patterns normally indicate a skill level.  To start you off, choose the easy skill stage.  A great start is to crochet a simple scarf, a doily or a tablecloth.  Granny squares is another simple project to set you off.  Experiment with different colours and yarns and practice some simple stitches, for example, chain stitches and double and treble crochet.  After a little practice, you will get the feel of crocheting these simple stitches and then you will be ready to move up to a more complex pattern.  Seeing your crochet work grow quickly will spur you on to learning more about crocheting.  You will also find, with practice, that crocheting becomes second nature and your work will look neater and you crochet speed will increase.

Crochet Basics

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Crochet is a great and relaxing hobby and so easy to learn.  All you need is some balls of wool or yarn and a crochet hook!  Crochet is a combination of easy and basic crochet stitches to create some beautiful lacy patterns or chunky textured crochet work. 

What Are The Benefits Of Learning To Crochet

You will find that your crochet work will grow very quickly and is satisfying and relaxing.  You can create some stunning and beautiful patterns with crochet.

Another great advantage is that if you make an error, it is easy to unpick your work and if you drop a stitch, it is easy to rectify. 

Wikimedia Commons
You can introduce crochet to lots of needlework projects, for example you can crochet fancy motif patterns around a tablecloth to liven it up, so crochet can be introduced in so many different ways.

Crochet Hooks
Crochet hooks come in all different sizes.  Generally, the smaller hooks are used for fine, lacy work and the bigger hooks are used for crocheting chunky and textured garments.

The hook sizes come in either the new metric size or the older UK sizes.  The smallest hooks are 0.60mm (old UK size 6), generally used for fine lacy work and the larger hook size is 7.00mm (old UK size 2), which is generally used for larger, chunky and textured work.  The more commonly used sizes are from 1.25mm (old UK size 3) to 4.50mm (old UK size 7).  You will find hooks are generally made of steel for smaller sizes and plastic for the larger hook sizes.

What Wool Should I Use For Crochet

You can use any wool but generally, the finer the yarn, the smaller hook size you will need.  Yarns that have loose twists that split easily may not be so ideal for crochet work.  Wool can be brought in various weights, commonly from 50g, 100g, 150g and 200g balls.

Try to buy all your wool at the same time, as you will find that different batches do vary very slightly in dyes and colours.  Check your wool quantity and make sure you buy enough desired for your work.  Check the washing and pressing instructions on your wool for future reference.

What About Tension And Sizes In Crochet

Everyone works differently so it is important to check the tension of your work regularly.  If you find your crochet work is too big to the pattern you are following, you may find that your tension is too loose.  Use a smaller crochet hook to correct this and measure it again. If your tension is too tight, you may find your work is too small.  Try a larger crochet hook to correct this and then measure your work again.   It is important to have a tape measure to hand to check that your work is the correct size to the pattern.  Lay your work flat and measure it to check its size.

What Other Equipment Do I Need For Crochet

You will need some scissors and long pins with large, plastic heads to pin your work together for sewing.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Treble or Triple Crochet Stiches

Crochet is a great hobby for creating some beautiful patterns and all it takes is some yarn or wool and a crochet hook.  Once you have mastered the art of crochet, you will become addicted and crochet is easier than it looks!

Treble or Triple Crochet Stitches (Double in the US)
The treble crochet stitch is one of the most commonly used patterns in crochet designs.  It is commonly used as a simple pattern on its own or can be used as part of an intricate and complicated crochet pattern.

The abbreviation for the treble or triple crochet stitch is ‘tr’.  You will commonly see this abbreviation in crochet patterns.

How to do a treble or triple crochet pattern

First of all, crochet some chain stitches, about 30 chains.  This is your foundation chain.  Then wrap the yarn around your crochet hook once, then insert your crochet hook through into the third chain, wrap the yarn around the hook and then draw the yarn back through the chain so you now have 3 loops on your hook.  Wrap the yarn around the hook again and draw through the 2 last loops on your crochet hook and you should be left with just 2 hoops on your crochet hook.  Wrap the yarn around your crochet hook again and draw through the 2 remaining loops.  You should just have one loop left remaining wrapped around your crochet hook.  You have now completed your first treble crochet stitch.

Insert your crochet hook into the next chain and repeat the same action as described.

Once you have completed your first row of treble crochet stitches, turn your work around and then make 3 chains with your crochet hook.  These 3 chains counts as your first treble stitch.  Miss the first treble stitch, wrap the yarn around your crochet hook and insert your crochet hook into the next treble crochet.  Your hook should pass through inside the treble crochet stitch rows below (the V shape which is the chain part of the treble stitch row below).  Continue creating your triple crochet pattern in the same way as before.

Here is a video demonstration of how to do the foundation crochet chain stitches and the treble or triple crochet stitches using dark red acrylic wool and size 7 or 4.5 mm crochet hook.

The treble stitch is a little taller than the double crochet stitches and you will find that your work will grow quickly using the treble stitches. 

The treble crochet stitches are great for making scarves, hats and chunky winter jumpers.

Try experimenting with different yarns, wool and different colours and shades for great results.