Friday, December 10, 2010

crochet basics: slip knots

Hello! This is my first post in the 101 series. I'm going to talk about the basics of crocheting. Perhaps you've crocheted in the past and are picking it up again, or you may be a knitter who sees crochet patterns they'd love to try (I'm the opposite!) or maybe you're looking for a new hobby and you're just getting started.

Whichever your path, let me start with some words of encouragement: You can do it! Really, though, crochet can seem intimidating at first, the patterns are written in a crazy-looking, foreign language, the are all the different hooks and yarn, and watching someone else crochet kind of makes your head hurt (how do they do it so fast?).

Believe me when I say, if you stick it out, crochet is an extremely rewarding hobby. You can make so many things... for yourself, for gifts. Practical things, cute things... (but you knew that already!) So stay positive and know that no one gets crochet right the first time they try,  you will make mistakes, and you will have to tear up things you've made. (hopefully not at midnight the night before you needed something to be complete.) But with a little practice, you'll do just fine.

Slip knots
Almost every project will start with a slip knot. (The only alternative I can think of is an adjustable ring or "magic ring" used for pulling a circular opening tight) As with a lot of things in crochet, there are many ways of reaching similar results, so you just have to figure out what works best for you. This is how I make a slip knot:

first of all, you'll need your yarn and hook

hold both the "tail" and ball ends of the yarn in one hand, and a part of it in the other

cross it over itself once

and twice

grab the "tail" end with two fingers of one hand to pull it tight, then cross the loop you made over the ball end of the yarn

pull the ball end of the yarn up through the loop

pull both end the same way while you hold the loop to tighten

put the yarn on your hook

pull it tight (but loose enough to still move) by pulling the ball end

There you have it. What did you think? Do you make your knots a different way? Let me know!

In the next basics post I'll talk about making your starting chain.

(The hook I'm using is a Clover brand size I/9 and the yarn is Lion Brand Cotton-Ease)

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