Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Crochet Basics: Chain

I've got a little mini-series planned for you this week that I hope you will enjoy. It will be leading up to making something super cool and sustainable (it's a mystery! you'll just have to wait and see!), but first you need the proper tools to start. 

So, as you may have gathered from the post title, we're going to be talking about crochet today. This will be a photo heavy post, and some of the next few as well, but I am hoping it will be very useful to you in the future. Crochet is one of the most useful skills I have learned because it is so versatile! You can keep electronic devices organized using a chain sinnet (secret code for crochet!), you can use it to mend holes in your favorite sweater, and you can make anything from clothing to socks, hats to toys and even gloves. Crochet is also awesome because it can be very relaxing and it reduces screen time when done as a hobby. 

Today, I have a photo tutorial of how to make a slip knot and a crochet chain. All you need is a hook and a ball of yarn (I'm using some worsted weight yarn and a size G hook. Don't worry if that means nothing to you, size doesn't really matter)
First you'll want to hold the tail of the yarn and the end that is connected to the ball in two separate fingers with a loop on your other hand (I'm right handed!). Twist the loop so that the tail side of the yarn is on top of the side connected to the ball of yarn. 
Using your index finger, reach through the hole that you just made and grab onto the yarn end that is connected to the ball... NOT THE TAIL SIDE!!!
Pull the yarn through the loop so it looks something like this. With the loop still on your index finger, pull the two ends of the yarn tight. Now you have a loop.
To make the chain, put the slip knot that you just created onto your crochet hook and pull it tight. I wrap the tail end around the thumb of my left hand and the ball end around my index finger but whatever works for you is fine...
Wrap the yarn around the hook that is connected to the ball.
Gently pull it through the first hole of the slip knot. CAUTION: This part may be a little bit tricky for beginners because you don't have the muscle memory built up and it may feel like you are attempting to follow my directions with flippers on your hands. That's ok, as long as you don't give up and start crying. Just keep trying and you should pick it up soon.
Once you get the hang of the whole crocheting business, you should have this nice little line of v's that looks like a chain. If you want to leave your chain as is, all you have to do is cut the yarn from the ball with about 2-3" of a tail (just to be safe, you don't really need this but you can cut it off later once your chain is secure). Wrap the yarn around the hook as if you are going to make another chain but then just pull the whole string through the loop and pull it tight. Look at you crocheting and everything! Does anyone else have a cool use for crochet that I didn't think of?

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