Hi folks

Before we get into the crochet fun, I need to announce that the winner of last week’s giveaway is :  Alice! Congrats!  I’ll email you with details on how to get your lovely pattern from TheMinersWife.  Hope you enjoy stitching up something gorgeous!

Willow Tree Journal Cover PDF Sewing Pattern by The Miners Wife

Willow Tree Journal Cover PDF Sewing Pattern by The Miners Wife

Now on to the crochet!  It’s just one more week until we begin the In a Spin Crochet Along.  I am so excited about it and to be honest a little overwhelmed with just how many folks are interested.  Hope its all you want it to be.

As I have only recently become a crochety type, I know I went looking for a lot of help when I first started.  So I thought before we start our crochet journey together, I’d put together a quick list of tips and tricks to help you out if you are just starting to crochet. Thanks to the Krista Crochet Group on Facebook ladies, this list is pretty long! This is by no means the definitive list of the info out there, it’s just a taster really. Much more is out there – google is your friend.

 Tips and Tricks for Terrific Crochet

  • My hot tip – weave in your ends as you finish each week’s block.  Its not much fun when you finish making something and you still have the job of dealing with a bazillion ends.  Do it as you go and you’ll thank me 🙂 This link has a mountain on info on ways to do it.
Ends! Weave them as you go

Ends! Weave them as you go

  • Are you a leftie?  Search YouTube for “tjw1963” – she has lots of videos that will help all you left-handed folk.
  • A very extensive US/UK terms and symbol conversion chart to be found here.
  • Need to hook UK/US conversion info? Look here
  • Changing colours in a block can add a lot of interest and variety to your blocks.  A tute on how to is here
A change of colour

A change of colour

  • Holding your hook and yarn can be tricky – this article has the basics
  • Some patterns will include such words as “gauge” and “tension” “test swatch” – if it’s all gobbledygook to you, this article may help
  • If you want to get all technical about yarn weight and comparisons, good old Wikipedia can help here
  • The term “blocking” will probably come up at some stage in our throw. Now I confess here and now that I have never done it. Basically, it is a way of straightening and making your crochet look that little bit more finished.  There are lots of methods out there. This article has a couple of them.  I know, I know I should do it! UPDATE  I’ve now tried it and I am a convert!  Check out this post for a tutorial on how I did it.
  • These tips come straight from the Krista Crochet Group on Facebook ladies
    • Jen says “I usually go up 2 hook sizes when I make foundation chains for bigger things like blankets to avoid that tight puckered look. it helps to keep your work flat”
    • Also from Jen ” when you’re experimenting or making something & don’t know how big you want it or how many stitches you need for your foundation chain, use 2 balls of wool, one for the foundation chains & one to work with, that way you can unravel if you have too many or extend the chains if you’re too short. learned that from an older lady at my craft group.”
    • From our Krista guru Kim ” Using a smaller hook for that final round of dc, it really does make a big difference.”
  • I like to start my blocks with a magic circle as an alternative to a chain loop.  This video shows you how if you want to learn
  • Hate weaving in ends? The Russian Join may be for you
  • This great if you dislike how a starting chain stands out – you don’t have to do it that way!
  • This tip is probably for your more advanced crocheter – starting without a foundation chain – must learn this one myself!

Well I think I have rabbited on enough!  But if you still have questions – please ask away and I’ll do my best to help you out.

See you next week for our first block!  Don’t worry, the first one is easy 🙂 Its going to be such fun!

17 thoughts on “Ready…Set….CROCHET!

  1. Jane

    What a comprehsive run down Shelley! As a crotcheter ( is that a word?) from the 70’s who gave it away long ago, I am extremely tempted to take up the hook again! I will pass this info on to my daughter who has caught the bug as well. Thanks so much Shelley and happy crocheting:)

  2. Bob

    Hi, I just wanted to say I have started blocking recently and suddenly I’m its new biggest fan!
    It’s not that you “should” do it, you will really really want to once you try it – you wouldn’t believe the difference it makes. Basically, the big obstacle for me was making a blocking board (big piece of cardboard, cover with bin bag, then batting, then checkered fabric and staple it together), but once you’ve done that once, you’re set for LIFE. Just pin stuff to it into the shape you want and steam it with a steam iron, and leave for a minimum of 24 hrs. I had to do it because my “squares” were turning out more circular than squared… but blocking fixed that like magic, and fixed the massive difference in size between the squares! And they just look smoother and more even. Well worth the small amount of effort needed to set up.
    I hope you can give it a try and experience the joy for yourself :o)

  3. Kate

    I am going to join this one! It’s good timing for me, and I think I can handle one block a week! 🙂

    Do you have any suggestions for how to hide the ends? I know how to hide them well in knitted fabric but now in crochet. Thanks,kate


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