Tag Archives: slip knot

Missenden Abbey – Day 1

Gorgeous view out of my window this morning…

Phew, that was a long day!  I met my lovely ladies at 9.30 this morning, we started by doing a bunch of paperwork, then on to the real business of the day… learning to hold the hook and yarn (which they could all do quite happily!) and making a chain, then on to a sample, making a treble crochet, and working in rows.

We had a coffee break with delicious handmade biscuits, then back to work making holes – deliberate ones!  Which can be the basis of Filet crochet.

Lunch was lovely – shepherds pie or quiche and salad, with a delicious banoffee pie!

2015-08-05 16.37.41

After lunch – Granny squares!!! lots of counting and memorising of the pattern, but also colour changing, and how best to sew in ends – during the afternoon another coffee break and freshly made little doughnuts and then back to the grannies, we concentrated on making 3 round squares, some in the same colours, some in multi colours, we finished at 5pm, and then I stayed and set up the room for tomorrow, with worksheets, and lots more yarn to wind!

2015-08-05 16.37.17  2015-08-05 16.36.57 2015-08-05 16.35.02

An overall delightful day, and I am looking forward to tomorrow and wrestling with the ripple!

Learn to crochet – Granny Square – Round 1

Ding ding!  That’s what I think of when hearing Round 1!  Would you really like to learn how to crochet?  Would you love to know how to make a Granny square?  This is the post for you.  If you are starting to crochet for the very first time, check out these two posts, which talk about how to hold your hook and yarn, and how to make a chain.  Then you will be ready to start here.  For those in the know I am using UK terminology (if you are in the US, I will post later about the differences)

The basic treble-crochet granny square is easy to learn how to make and is a great way to use up some of your yarn stash.  You can use grannies for much more than blankets—with just a few you’ve got the start of a bag, or a colourful headband, coasters, placemats, etc.

Firstly, Yarn and hook.  for the video and when I teach, I use a Double Knit acrylic yarn (Stylecraft Special DK) and a 5mm hook.  Any double knit will be ok, but i have found that this has the perfect mix of stretch and firmness.  You may be recommended to use a 4mm hook, but I have found that using a larger one is better for beginners, as there is a tendency to crochet tightly when you start.

Next a little summary of the basic crochet stitches – don’t worry I will use proper english for the explanations, then put the pattern as it would be written at the end of this post
sl st :: slip stitch – insert  hook, yarn over, pull the loop back through the stitch, then through the loop on your hook.
tr :: treble – yarn over, insert hook, yarn over, pull the loop back through the stitch (three loops on hook), yarn over and pull through two loops on hook (two loops left on hook), yarn over and pull through remaining two loops.
ch ::chain – yarn over and pull through loop on hook.
and we will be using a chain to start 🙂

Here is a video to watch, then there are photos and an explanation, and lastly the pattern as it would be written.

(This seems not to be working automatically from WordPress as it has does in other posts… so click anywhere here to go to the video on Youtube 

To get started, make a slip knot in the yarn and chain 4, and join with a slip stitch to form a ring.

DSCF4830   LH Granny pics 1

Once you make the ring, chain 3 —this will count as your first treble stitch This is really important, these 3 chains are the same as a stitch… Make 2 more treble stitches into the ring. This is your first 3 treble shell.

DSCF4831   LH Granny pics 02

Then chain 2 stitches, and make 3 more trebles into the ring – make sure that every stitch you make goes into the first ring that you made. (2nd shell)

Repeat this 2 more times – Chain 2, and make 3 trebles into the ring, Ch 2, and make 3 trebles into the ring,

DSCF4832   LH Granny pics 03

Finally, chain 2 and join yarn with a slip stitch to the 1st treble stitch you made (side note – usual instructions are to slip stitch to the 3rd chain of the starting chain – this is my method, but either will work) Fasten off by making a chain, snipping the yarn and pulling it through the working loop. You’ll have a nice little starter square.

DSCF4833  LH Granny pics 4

This would be written as follows…

With first colour, 4ch, slst to make a ring

Round 1:  3ch, 2tr in ring *2ch, 3tr repeat from * 3 times, 2ch, slst to join, Fasten off.

(when you see a * you repeat just that little bit for however many times specified, then continue with the rest of the line of the pattern)

Wow that’s short isn’t it!  don’t worry, watch the video to get the hang of making this first round, and make loads (you are going to want to make many, many granny squares very soon!  They are ridiculously addictive.  The pattern will gradually make sense we are in no hurry here, and you will learn to read the pattern as we go along.

Please leave comments, I would like to know what you think of the videos especially, as I have chosen to use captions rather than talk!  Now get that yarn, and get hooking your first granny square!

Learn to Crochet – slip knot and crochet chain

Here is the first in a series of posts that will take you through the process of learning how to crochet.

So why am I doing this?  since closing the physical shop and not really having a space where I can set up and do course, I thought that I would like to share the tutorials that I have made over the years of designing courses for my shop, I will say that while learning using the internet is great, and something that I do on a regular basis – there is always a new way of doing something, or a new technique to be learned – I have taught well over 100 people to crochet over the last 4 years, and many have struggled with the basics until they have someone beside them, so that they can ask for help as they are learning.  I hope that I can do this through my videos, but really the very best way to learn is with a patient teacher!

The other thing to mention before you start is that you will make mistakes.  If you are a knitter, you may be a bit frustrated that crochet doesn’t come easily.

You will loose stitches, make tight stitches, find difficulty counting, have wiggly edges, different size stitches, and many other problems, but just like when you start to learn any skill, you just need to keep practising, until it becomes automatic. Think of when you started to drive, at first there was soooo many things to think about, gears, mirrors, steering, brakes, accelerator, but if you have been driving for a while, you don’t think about any of these things, just where you have to go!

To start you will need a hook and some yarn. when I am teaching I generally use an Acrylic Double Knit yarn (DK) and a 5mm hook. This is larger than you might expect, but I have found that there are very few people when starting off that have loose tension, most have a very tight tension. so a bigger hook helps.

The parts of the hook are as follows,

So to start to crochet, you will need a slip knot. this has to slip in a certain way, so that the working end slips through the knot.  see the video below.


Insert your hook, into the slip knot.  There are two strands of yarn, one is short, the other attached to your ball of yarn – this is the working end.  the loop on your hook is the working loop.

You will then need to decide how to hold the hook and the yarn. It is worth trying a few different ways until you are comfortable.

There are two main ways to hold the hook, like a pencil, or like a knife, you can see pictures in this post and below with yarn

Right handed pencil hold

pencil hold left hand - RH  pencil hold both hands - RH

Right handed knife hold

knife hold left hand - RH  knife hold both hands - RH

Left handed pencil hold

pencil hold left hand - LH  pencil hold both hands - LH

Left handed knife hold

knife hold left hand - LH  knife hold both hands - LH

When holding the yarn the most important thing is to have a space where the hook can grab the yarn.  There are loads of different ways to do this.  The most important is that you hold your yarn in the opposite hand to your hook

The pictures above, show a few different ways, the video shows my most comfortable position, once you are ready, you have to bring the hook in front of the yarn, move it to the back (without rotating the hook) so that the so that the yarn ‘catches’ under the hook.  then pull this through the loop that is on the hook.  Well done! you have made your first chain!

You need to repeat this motion, bringing the hook in front of the yarn, round to the back, hook and through the working loop.  After you have made a two or three chains, move your grip up close to the working loop, this will help to keep all the chains the same size (we call this keeping tension even)

This is the very first thing to get right, so keep making chains until you are comfortable using the hook and the yarn.  You might want to put it down, and pick up again, so that you can be sure about the way that you are working.  once you have made about a metre length, stop and relax!   When you start you might be quite tense so sit back , rotate your shoulders and make a cup of coffee or tea!

To finish the chain pull up the working loop, and snip the loop – trust me this will work!  pull out the working end, then pull the other end, this will tighten the last loop and make sure that it won’t undo.

At this point it is good to repeat from the beginning, making more chains.  In the past we have used these as shoelaces, spectacle cords, necklaces even scarves!

I hope that you are now able to make lots of chains, starting with the slip knot, chaining for a bit then fastening off, I would looove to see piccys of your work!

If you do have any problems learning how to crochet a chain, and you are not sure what to do, please do feel free to leave a comment with a picture if you can, and I will do my very best to help.