Adventures in Crochet: The Initial Quest (or something like that)

With my test date for the Physics GRE booked for the end of September, I finally opened up one of the practice tests, thinking it couldn’t be that bad…It was beyond that bad. Everything I have ever learned about anything before the past four months has flown entirely out of the attic. But! I have two months! It’s too early to panic…right?

Anyway, I thought I’d take a break out of trying to cram first year electrodynamics back into my head and share a couple of links and tutorials I found really useful for learning to crochet.

First of all:

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Happy birthday dad!

Tadah! We combined my dad’s birthday and general father’s day celebrations into one this year (lunch at Canoe for summerlicious!) and even though my siblings and I always do something for my mom’s birhtday/mother’s day (usually along the lines of making breakfast, or this year, lunch), we end up skipping my dad’s days a lot more often. What do you buy for your dad anyway????

Hence, learning to crochet so I could crochet him some coasters.

The two patterns I picked that looked both easy and “dad-appropriate” enough were this Happy Coaster pattern from Annemarie’s Haakblog and this Flower Coaster pattern from One Dog Woof. It took me a couple tries before I managed to get them looking decent, but here they are:

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Okay, so they’re not great, but hey! Rome wasn’t built in a day and all that jazz. Since I started crocheting (as in, three weeks ago?) a bunch of my friends have been going “BUT IT LOOKS SO HARD HOW DO YOU DO IT” so I thought I’d put together a list of tutorials that got me going.

1. Chaining

So the first thing was to learn how to chain. Which, for the first time ever, I managed to figure out from about.com, haha. I like this video tutorial! Basically, a chain is like casting on in knitting. IMO it’s actually easier to learn than casting on.

2. Single Crochet

Step two! Single crochet stitch. This was the point where I was about ready to throw my crochet hook and yarn at the screen. WHAT HAPPENED TO CROCHET BEING EASY I screamed!!! I’m never going to crochet again after this!!! I’m sticking to knitting forever!!!! Either way, I found these two video tutorials to be the most useful: 1 & 2.

The first row (the one that you crochet into the chain) really is the hardest. It’s not just because it’s the first row you’ve ever crocheted, it’s just…hard. It gets easier after you have a couple rows down, because you have something to hold in your hand.

For practice, I crocheted a square. This took me a very, very, very, very long time. I am not good with my hands.

Unfortunately, squares are not round. Coasters are round. Nooooooo time to do this ring thing.

magic ring

A magic ring before it’s been “closed” and a magic ring after it’s been pulled shut. No hole in the middle!

3. Magic Ring

I actually figured out how to do the magic ring before I understood that “double crochet in the ring” meant….stick your crochet hook through the ring made up by the chains, and not stick your hook into the chain.

A magic ring basically starts a circle without a hole in the middle, like in the Flower Coasters. Video tutorial! Now you’re ready to make the flower coasters! Or, most of it. But it’s good practice. My first few looked…very…interesting. I have a lot of trouble keeping track of stitches, so everything was lumpy. I try to count aloud, but apparently, I have trouble counting above twenty…oh no.

4. Double Crochet

If you’ve got the single crochet down, the double crochet should be no problem. Looking through my youtube history, apparently most of my favourite videos are from theknitwitch, including this double crochet tutorial.

PS. If the pattern says to double crochet in the ring (or single crochet in the ring) it means to put it through the ring made by the chain. Although I guess most people would figure that out without…being told…

And that’s it! Actually! You’re ready to crochet! Yay!

My newest catnip stuffed toy. Made with crochet :)

My newest catnip stuffed toy. Made with crochet 🙂

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