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Crochet for beginners...

(234 Posts)
CouthyMow Tue 28-May-13 04:06:25

I'm desperately trying to learn to crochet. I want to be able to do Granny squares.

I can make a foundation chain, I can do double and triple, but after that I just end up in a knotty mess!

I have two crochet books, both of which are meant to be from the basics onwards. Neither of which seemingly explain it in a way that makes sense to me...

Can anyone help me to crochet a granny square?!

CouthyMow Wed 29-May-13 11:35:34

The pattern I have says to start with a chain of 3, then I get lost. I can't seem to follow the pattern. confused

CouthyMow Wed 29-May-13 11:36:15

I want to crochet nice blankets!!

I'm working on squares for a blanket at the moment - I've got The Crochet Bible, and a couple of granny square-specific books that I can't remember the name of right now.

What I found helpful was watching and working through the granny square tutorials on youtube, and then going back and reading the instructions in the book - sort-of working backwards from knowing what to do to working out what the instructions meant.

I have been struggling with my tension - I did some simple granny squares, but they were all loose and baggy - and I was kindly told on here that I am a loose hooker (much to dh's delight shock). I have gone down to a smaller hook, but my tension is still quite loose.

Do you have a knitting/crochet group in your area, Couthy? Or could you go along to your local knitting shop and ask for some help? I have found that knitters and crocheters are more than willing to help out someone who wants to learn. If you are in my area (near Paisley, Scotland) you would be very welcome to come round here for coffee and hooking. Otherwise, find a local group and get thee along there.

TheNinjaGooseIsOnAMission Wed 29-May-13 12:23:53

how to do a UK treble and turn your work here couthy smile

RenterNomad Wed 29-May-13 13:21:26

Oh, a friend of mine really recommends Erika Knight! smile

MiaowTheCat Wed 29-May-13 13:52:17

The way I've been doing them (granted I only started the other day, taught myself to do the basic stitches and then my mum showed me how to do a square)...

Make a chain of 6 stitches then go through the first stitch in the chain, catch the yarn and pull it through the stitch and the loop on your hook - that makes you a circle to start with.

Hook through the big hole in the middle and make a chain stitch, followed by another two so you've got a little bit coming off your circle (kind of like a capital Q) - that little three chain "tail" counts as your first treble stitch.
Two trebles into the centre hole - so yarn round hook, into hole, catch the yarn and pull it through so you have three loops on your hook and treble stitch like normal.... so you have three treble stitches together (counting your three singles as one) for your first "cluster)... then do a joining chain of 2 which will make your corner and then another three treble cluster (so you'll have a clump of trebles - a big holey bit for a corner, and another clump of trebles)... go round the circle until you've got four clumps, and then do another two chain corner which gets you back to the three chain you started that level with - hook through the top of that three chain and a slip stitch - catch yarn, pull it through the top of the three chain and the loop on your hook to close that level off.

Now you need to move up a level - hook through the big corner hole bit where you've just closed the corner up - and make another three chain (so you have a bigger, squarer letter Q) which counts as your first treble... another two trebles to finish that cluster and off you go again - two-chains between each set of three trebles as a cluster till you're back round to the start.

Only minor difference is that this time you'll end up with big holes in the corners but also in the middle of each side of the square - so when you move up another level to go around the edge again - you work ONE cluster of three treble stitches in the centre-side holes, and then two chain stitches to move on... and when you get to the corners you do a cluster, two chain stitches to make the corner, and then another cluster in the same hole to make the other side. Basically you just keep going round adding tiers on (making a three chain as the first treble in each tier) until you get the size square you're after.

Dunno how much sense that makes, or if it's the most efficient or beautiful way of doing them - but it seems to be working for me to get a decent pile of squares going so it might at least clarify some of the pattern gobbledygook I can't understand either.

alemci Wed 29-May-13 20:09:56

Sally Bear I am making a single bed blanket. I am doing large squares with smaller granny squares within. It is either 3 or 4 large 30cm squares across with 6 down then some grannying for a border.

Harder with single bed because usually one side faces a wall so do you make the blanket narrower as you won't see one side.

TimrousBeastie Wed 29-May-13 20:23:05

Just started to crochet and i'm making a granny square blanket. Doing mine the same way as yours SDTG

Oscar cat creations do lessons in crochet in the south side of glasgow- thinking about going to her next amigurumi workshop if i'm feeling brave enough.

TimrousBeastie Wed 29-May-13 20:24:05

oops mean the same way as miaow

CouthyMow Wed 29-May-13 20:28:04

There's only a knitting club in my town, crafts aren't well catered for (we don't even have a craft shop since the one I worked in closed down 5 years ago).

And it is right across the other side of town, in the evening, and I would only be able to get as far as town on the way back by public transport, as it would be after my last bus home. (I don't drive).

I'm in the East of England - not very near Paisley! grin

MiaowTheCat Wed 29-May-13 20:38:42

I've actually invented a new sport today:

Extreme Crochet.

Beginner Extreme Crochet requires the addition of a 10 week old baby that refuses to be put down (add in colic screaming for ambience if desired)

Mid-level Extreme Crochet requires adding in a demented geriatric 3 legged cat who suddenly decides to relive her kittenhood with your ball of yarn.

Then you have Advanced Extreme Crochet in which there is a 13 month old "helping" with your yarn tension added for extra spice.

And then you earn your Extreme Crochet black belt if you have ALL of the above, plus a bonkers greyhound trying to sit on your knee as well as the 10 week old in the middle of the fun.

The resulting product was more of a Granny Rhombus not surprisingly... but the 13 month old thought grabbing the wool was hilariously fun!

CouthyMow Wed 29-May-13 22:15:09

I am only attempting wool based craft because a crochet hook can be held firmly with one hand, and the ball of wool can sit in my dressing gown pocket...

Unlike my usual cross stitch that requires sharp needles - and plenty of them - 90+ different colours, a stand and a table.

I don't do small cross stitch pictures, as I've been doing that since I was 7yo.

Crochet is more of a challenge to me.

But I doubt I'll be at extreme crochet levels...wink

SallyBear Thu 30-May-13 09:14:37

Our local craft shop is made up of franchises, and the wool one is run by a lady in her 50s. She was made redundant after working as a HR Manager in a London Bank for 25 years and decided to take a risk and set up a wool shop business. She is lovely and it's like walking into a Treasure Den. Much better than my local John Lewis!

CouthyMow Thu 30-May-13 11:19:21

We don't have a John Lewis either! grin

<<Back of beyond despite being a town with a large enough population to be a city...>>

CouthyMow Thu 30-May-13 11:21:40

Ooh, Miaow - I've put a link on that '2 under 2' thread for our dairy free recipe and chat thread in allergies.

Link again [[ Here] in case you can't find it]]

Sorry for diversion!

CouthyMow Thu 30-May-13 11:22:42

My link didn't convert?! It did on the other thread!

I'll try again.

Thread here

CouthyMow Thu 30-May-13 11:24:46

Miaow - I'm so thick when it comes to crochet that even the first paragraph of your instructions leaves me confused!

I need a 'crochet for dummies' book!!

CouthyMow Thu 30-May-13 11:28:54

So you do 6 stitches on a foundation chain.

Then you poke the hook through (front to back? Back to front?) the first stitch you did, with the 6th stitch still on the hook?

Then loop the wool over the hook, and pull it through both the first stitch you did that is now on your hook, and also through the 6th stitch that was also on your hook?

I think I've got that bit!

CouthyMow Thu 30-May-13 11:31:53

Then with that loop on the hook, you poke the hook through the big hole in the middle of your circle.

Then do three chain stitches. Think I've got that far now!

CouthyMow Thu 30-May-13 11:36:06

By Jove, I think I might actually understand it now, at least for the first row of trebles.

I'll give that a go later, then return to see about the next round.

Quick question - what would be the best size hook to use for granny squares?

I have a 5.5mm one, and one that is really skinny.

CouthyMow Thu 30-May-13 11:37:22

The skinny one is 3.5mm. Random but from Tesco!

alemci Thu 30-May-13 12:26:27

I would use 4mm. I have used this for most projects.

I'd use 4mm for DK, so 3.5 should be ok, it depends on how loose your tension is/will be once you get the hang of it. 5.5 should be good for Arran (or DK if your tension is tight.)

MiaowTheCat Thu 30-May-13 13:06:17

I generally just randomly jab the hook in wherever it'll fit basically! I'm using a 4mm hook on DK yarn.

I found that graduated colour-changey yarn is being really helpful since I can differentiate the different stitches a bit easier.

Like I say - I'm basically an utter beginner - similar reasons to yourself, I'm NOT having cross stitch needles around with Madams Chaos and Mini-Mayhem for some strange reason and my mum talked me through how to structure it since she couldn't easily show me visually since she crochets left-handedly.

TheWoollybacksWife Thu 30-May-13 13:10:48

Couthy whereabouts in the East of England are you? I'm in Northants if I can help with one-to-one queries.

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