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getting started

Introduction

I never thought I’d master crochet. My Grandma tried to teach me when I was younger but being left-handed it was too confusing to master. A few years ago, I decided to give it another go and here I am! I’m a great believer that crochet can be enjoyed by everyone. I’ve designed my kits to be simple and fun to complete rather than a complex challenge so hopefully they’ll prove a good place to start.

 

One of the nice things about crochet is that you don’t need loads of complicated equipment. You can get started with a hook and some yarn.

Yarn

I use 3 mm, 5 mm and 9 mm Bobbiny braided cord in my makes. Whatever yarn you use, the yarn band should tell you the weight and length of the yarn and suggested hook or needle size.

Hook

Crochet hooks come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and materials. I’d recommend trying as many as you can to find the perfect fit for you. My kits come with bamboo hooks – they are lightweight, smooth and warm to the touch – however you might find that a plastic or metal hook works better. It’s definitely down to personal preference.

 

Size Guide

UK                    US

6 mm               J-10

6.5 mm           K-10½

7 mm              

8 mm               L-11

9 mm               M/N-13

10 mm             N-15

12 mm

15 mm             P/Q

 

How do you know what size hook you’ll need?

The pattern should include a yarn and hook size recommendation. If you are designing your own project, the band on the yarn should have a hook size suggestion. When working your project, if you find your work is too tight, you can go up a hook size (larger hook). If your work is too loose, you can go down a hook size (smaller hook).

Patterns

 

Crochet patterns can seem a little intimidating at first glance. Lots of people I teach confess to being terrified of reading them – but they’re not quite as complicated as they look! Crochet patterns come in two main types: written or charts/graphs. My patterns are currently all written and use standard terminology and abbreviations.

 

Asterisks *

These are used when an instruction needs to be repeated or where more than one stitch needs to be worked into the same place. There are two ways the asterisks can be used with the repeat after the asterisk (example 1) or between two asterisks (example 2):

 

Example 1      Round 2: Dc in the first st; *2dc in the next st, dc in the next st, rep from * in each st in the rnd

Example 2      Round 2: *dc, 2dc* 10 times

 

Parentheses ( )

Parentheses can be used to denote a variety of instructions. In my patterns, I mostly use them to indicate the total number of stitches in the round.

 

Example 3      Round 2: *dc, 2dc* 10 times (30)

 

 They can also be used like the asterisk to indicate a repeated sequence.

 

Example 4      Round 2: Dc in the first st; (2dc in the next st, dc in the next st) 10 times

 

And finally, they can be used for clarification – helpful little notes to make sure you’re on the right track.

 

Example 5      Foundation ring: create a magic ring, ch 1 (helps to secure the ring), 5dc into the ring, close ring (5)

 

Abbreviations

This is a list of crochet abbreviations used in The Left Hookery patterns. Patterns can be written using US or UK terminology. All my patterns are written in UK terms unless otherwise indicated.

 

bl or blo          back loop or back loop only

ch                    chain stitch

dc                    double crochet

dc2tog double crochet 2 stitches together

dec                  decrease

htr                    half treble crochet

inc                   increase

mr or mc         magic ring or magic circle

rem                  remaining

rep                  repeat

rnd                  round

rs                     right side

sk                     skip

sl st                  slip stitch

st                      stitch

ws                    wrong side

 

 

Getting Started

 

Comfort and consistency are the keys to happy hooking! There are several ways to hold your hook. There is no right or wrong way – you can use whatever variation feels most natural to you.

 

Knife Grip: Hold the hook in your dominant hand – just like you would a knife.

 

Pencil Grip: Hold the hook in your dominant hand – just like you would a pencil.

 

The same is true for creating a working tension in your yarn. I hold my working yarn in my non-dominant hand, wrapping it around my little finger, under the next two fingers and over my index finger. I use my middle finger and thumb to steady my work and raise my index finger when working to create tension.

 

 

Tips for Happy Hooking!

 

  • Be Patient: Crocheting takes time to master. Don’t be discouraged if your first projects don’t turn out perfectly.

  • Practice Regularly: Consistent practice helps improve your skills and muscle memory.

  • Don’t Fear Mistakes: Mistakes are a part of the learning process. Learn to read your work and fix errors as needed.

 

Remember, everyone progresses at their own pace, so enjoy the process of learning and creating with crochet!

Download your quick stitch guide here.

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