Crochet Basics – Slip Knot and Chains

Like Maria says in The Sound of Music, “Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start, when you read you begin with ABC.” When you crochet you begin with a slip knot and chain. So, to continue with Crochet Basics (did you check out the previous post on What is crochet?) I’ll be showing you how to make a slip knot and chain.

First, make a slip knot by forming a loop with your yarn. Wrap the working yarn around your hand or finger (play around and see what feels comfortable) hold the loop between thumb and finger, insert the crochet hook in the loop from back to front, wrap yarn around the hook and pull it through the loop.Crochet Basics - Slip Knot and Chain - Pops de Milk #learntocrochet #crochet #basics Crochet Basics - Slip Knot and Chain - Pops de Milk #learntocrochet #crochet #basics Crochet Basics - Slip Knot and Chain - Pops de Milk #learntocrochet #crochet #basics Crochet Basics - Slip Knot and Chain - Pops de Milk #learntocrochet #crochet #basics Crochet Basics - Slip Knot and Chain - Pops de Milk #learntocrochet #crochet #basics Crochet Basics - Slip Knot and Chain - Pops de Milk #learntocrochet #crochet #basics Crochet Basics - Slip Knot and Chain - Pops de Milk #learntocrochet #crochet #basics Crochet Basics - Slip Knot and Chain - Pops de Milk #learntocrochet #crochet #basics

Slip knot complete!

To make the first chain, wrap yarn around hook and pull through the loop. And remember, the slip knot never counts as a chain!Crochet Basics - Slip Knot and Chain - Pops de Milk #learntocrochet #crochet #basics Crochet Basics - Slip Knot and Chain - Pops de Milk #learntocrochet #crochet #basics Crochet Basics - Slip Knot and Chain - Pops de Milk #learntocrochet #crochet #basicsThere’s your first chain! Now repeat and practice by making as many chains as you want.Crochet Basics - Slip Knot and Chain - Pops de Milk #learntocrochet #crochet #basics Crochet Basics - Slip Knot and Chain - Pops de Milk #learntocrochet #crochet #basics Crochet Basics - Slip Knot and Chain - Pops de Milk #learntocrochet #crochet #basics

In the next post I will show you how to make the single crochet stitch.

What is crochet?

For some time now I’ve been wanting to put together a short series on the basics of crochet – mainly because Jay and Little Sister Sue, as well as others, have asked if I could teach them to crochet. In the next few posts I will show you the basics of crochet, with a strong focus on working in the round or continuous spiral (for making amigurumi/cute stuffed toys) and once I’ve shown you the basics I will share a simple crochet pattern of a Jack-o’-lantern to practice what you’ve learned.

What is crochet? - Pops de Milk

Rather than writing an incredibly long blog post about everything there is to know about crochet, I thought instead I would ask Jay what he would like to know to get started with crochet – he was really curious about yarn. And then it turned into a sort of Crochet Basics Q&A. So, here goes:

What exactly is crochet? And how is it different from knitting?

Crochet comes from the French word for “hook” and the fiber art was used mainly for making lace work. The main concept of crochet, no matter what size hook or yarn you use, is: wrap yarn over hook, pull through loop. It may seem like it’s the same as knitting but knitting uses two pointed needles and crochet uses one hook to make a patterned fabric. With crochet there is usually only one working loop on the hook, whereas knitting will have multiple loops on a needle. Here you can see that the stitches are different in each of the samples:

Crochet sample of single crochet stitch:What is crochet - Pops de Milk

Knit sample of basic knit stitch:What is crochet - Pops de Milk

What are the main types of yarn and when would I want to use each of them?

Yarns are categorized by weight with a number:

(1) super fine/fingering/3 ply – recommended hook sizes 2.25mm to 3.50mm. Very light weight yarn used to make baby clothing or intricate detailed work like lace.

(2) fine/sport/4 ply – recommended hook sizes 3.5mm to 4.5mm. Light weight yarn used for making socks, sweaters, or fabric with drape, ie. for clothing.

(3) light/light worsted/DK (double knit) – recommended hook sizes 4.5mm to 5.5mm. Used for clothing, like sweaters, and accessories.

(4) medium/worsted/aran – recommended hook sizes 5.5mm to 6.5mm. Used for hats, scarves, blankets, stuffed toys. This is also the yarn weight of choice for most crochet and knit projects.

(5) heavy/bulky/chunky – recommended hook sizes 6.5mm to 9mm. Used for hats, scarves, blankets, baskets, bags.

(6) very heavy/extra bulky/super chunky – recommended hook sizes 9mm and larger. Used for blankets, mats, baskets.

What is crochet? - Pops de Milk

Which hook should I use?

The size of hook you use will depend on the pattern you’re working on but the type you use is a personal preference. There are a variety of hooks out there – some are ergonomic, some are made of curved wood, and some are made of steel (or plastic). Try different kinds to see which is more comfortable and easy to work with.

Are some yarns better for crochet than knitting?

Crochet and knitting can both use the same yarn for projects but it’s the stitches that are different and that will create very distinct objects. For example, I might use cotton yarn to crochet and knit a wash cloth but the crochet wash cloth will feel thicker and stiff (great for washing dishes and cleaning) than the knit version which will feel softer and stretchy (great for baby wash cloths). So it’s not necessarily the yarn that is “better” for crochet or knitting but the project at hand. Additionally, if I used different sized hooks with the same yarn I would get different results in fabric.

Can I crochet things just as fast as knitting?

Typically, crochet is a bit faster, unless you’re a really fast knitter! I’m a very slow knitter so I’m sure others would have a different opinion on this.

Do people crochet clothing or is that more of a knitting domain?

Crochet tends to make a thicker fabric that’s perfect for hats and warm blankets. Or adorable stuffed creatures. People do crochet clothing as well but the fabric can sometimes be dense without the stretch and drape of knit fabric. Again, it all depends on the project at hand. For example, if I use a worsted weight yarn with a small hook to make a flowy dress, I will create a fabric that is very tightly woven and impossible to wear. But if I use a much thinner yarn or crochet thread with a smaller hook, I will create a more delicate crochet pattern that has the same stretch and drape as knit fabric. For example, this crochet bolero I made that is soft and stretchy.Fancy Bolero - Pops de Milk

In the next post I will show you how to make a slip knot and a chain so grab a hook and some yarn – if this is your first time crocheting I would recommend using a hook size between 4.00 to 6.00 mm and worsted to bulky weight yarn (Little Sister Sue found it easier to work with thicker yarn and a larger hook).

End of Summer Leg Warmers

September is flying by and I’m trying my best to hold on! I’ve been crocheting away, making as much as I can for the Etsy: Made in Canada craft show, and thinking of ways to display my booth. Last week my Death Star pillow made it on George Takei’s Facebook page. Needless to say, I was beyond surprised/happy/giddy. And then the emails started coming in – I got lots of questions that gave me the push I needed to finish making the Death Star video. And then the custom order requests started coming in. So, like I said, I’m trying my best to hold on to this crazy-exciting month! The show is next Saturday (OMG!!!) and I think I’m almost there…but of course that tiny voice inside my head keeps telling me I don’t have enough items and my table display looks like a barren wasteland. Jay has been lovely, telling me everything is cool and I’m cool and my stuff is cool. Bless him, he’s keeping me from burrowing my face in my yarn stash.

But, despite my frenetic mood, I realise I need to take some time for myself and have a little break by working on something unrelated to craft shows and Death Stars.End of Summer Leg Warmers - Pops de Milk

Leg warmers. The nights are getting cold and even the days now have a chill to them, so why not slip into something warm? To make these leg warmers I started with a simple ribbing at the top and then used the Lacy Wave crochet stitch from New Stitch A Day. Make sure to watch the video and familiarise yourself with the stitch before starting the pattern. The pattern is worked flat, then sewn together and then a strip of elastic is stitched around the inside rib to keep them from sliding down.End of Summer Leg Warmers - Pops de Milk End of Summer Leg Warmers - Pops de Milk

End of Summer Leg Warmers

Materials

-3 balls (50g/1.75oz) cotton yarn such as Bernat Handicrafter Cotton in colour of choice.

-Size 3.75 and 4.50mm crochet hooks.

-Needle and thread for sewing the seams and elastic.

-Strip of elastic, enough to wrap around comfortably (I only stitched the elastic along the back of the knees portion).

Stitches

Ch – Chain

Sc – Single crochet

BLO – back loop only

Dc – double crochet

Starting with hook size 3.75mm

Ch 7, sc in 2nd ch from hook and each ch across.

Ch 1, turn, sc in BLO for approx. 55 rows or until the piece fits around your calf. It should be a little snug but not so tight that you’re cutting off circulation – that’s what the elastic is for ;)

Once the ribbing is done, ch 1 and sc along the side in each row. At the end you’ll have 55 stitches if you made 55 rows.

Now continue the pattern by switching to 4.50mm crochet hook and the Lacy Wave stitch:

Row 1: ch 1, sc into 2nd ch from hook, *ch 2, skip 2 sts, 1dc into each of next 2 ch, ch 2, skip 2 sts, sc into each of next 5 sts; rep from * to end, turn

Row 2: Ch 5 (count as 1dc and 2ch), dc into 1st st, *[ch 1, skip 1 st, 1 dc into next st] twice, ch 1, dc into next 2ch space, skip 2dc**, 5dc into next 2ch space, ch 2, dc into next st; rep from * ending last rep at **, 4 dc into last 2ch space, dc into last sc, skip turning ch, turn.

Row 3: Ch 5 (count as 1dc and 2ch), dc into 1st st, *[1ch, skip 1st, 1dc into next st] twice, ch 1, skip 1 st, dc into next ch, skip [dc, ch 1, dc, ch 1 and dc], 5dc into next 2ch sp**, ch 2, dc into next st; rep from * ending last rep at ** in tch, turn.

Repeat Row 3 until you’ve reached desired length – my leg warmers are about 15 inches (incl. the ribbing) or 24 rows.

End of Summer Leg Warmers - Pops de Milk End of Summer Leg Warmers - Pops de Milk

 

Photo cred: Little Sister Sue :)

Raccoons!

Look! It’s a bunch of curious raccoon mason jar cosies! And I’ll be selling them (including mason jar) at the Etsy:Made in Canada craft show.Raccoons! - Pops de Milk #crochet #etsymadeincanada #raccoon

Instead of finishing each mason jar cosy from start to finish I decided to go the assembly line route. First, I crocheted the bodies for all the animals I’ll be selling at the craft show (foxes, raccoons, and bears). Then, I made the tails and cut out all the face patches. Once I had all the necessary parts, I started with the raccoons (because they have more parts to them :P). I put together the patches, followed by the eyes, and lastly, the tail.Raccoons! - Pops de Milk Raccoons! - Pops de MilkRaccoons! - Pops de MilkNow I can cross one set of items off my list!

Have any of you ever sold handmade crafts at a craft show? Did you prefer to make your crafts assembly line style or one at a time?

Croshades

We’ve been having a few gloriously warm summer days lately, perfect for sun bathing and chillin at the beach. Jay and I were visiting my sister in Ottawa a couple of weeks ago when I read a blog post by Squirrel Picnic where Jennifer Olivarez shares her Croshades pattern. Croshades are awesomely cute and hilarious crochet shades intended for yarn bombing. My intention was to put them on the statues and sculptures around the parliament buildings but with my dad’s birthday, swimming at Meech Lake, lazily eating ice cream at La Cigale while having conversations on human behaviour, I didn’t get a chance to go so instead I wore them while I lounged under the sun.

Croshades by Squirrel Picnic - Pops de Milk

The pattern was very easy to follow and I really liked the way Jennifer designed the arms because even without pipe cleaners they still hold their shape well. Also, I completely forgot to pack white yarn so my Croshades don’t have the reflection spots, boo.

Also, I can see myself adding an elastic band at the back and turning these into a sleeping mask!Croshades by Squirrel Picnic - Pops de Milk

Raccoon Mason Jar Cosy

Slowly, my collection of mason jar cosies is growing. Ultimately I’d love to have a set of 4-6 cosies and as of last night I decided there would be a theme to the set. Seeing as I already have a bear and a fox I thought I would continue with the woodland creatures theme and so I came up with this adorable Raccoon Mason Jar Cosy:

Raccoon Mason Jar Cosy - Pops de Milk

Raccoon Mason Jar Cosy - Pops de Milk Raccoon Mason Jar Cosy - Pops de Milk

So why a raccoon? Honestly, I think they are super cute, even though they scare me some times – especially while walking down a dark street and I realise that one is in a low tree branch right over my head. They’re so fluffy and cute with their keen beady little eyes, able to disarm you with a slight tilt to their head in a, “do you have a snack for me?” stare. I took some inspiration from notable raccoons like, Meeko the bottomless pit from Pocahontas, Rocket Raccoon from Guardians of the Galaxy, and of course The Raccoons (used to love that cartoon as a kid!). Oh and there’s also this fella who kept along with us for a while during a walk in Stanley Park, pausing ahead sometimes to wait for us to catch up.Raccoon Mason Jar Cosy - Pops de Milk

Want to make a Raccoon cosy? Download the PDF here.

Raccoon Mason Jar Cosy - Pops de Milk

Recently…

…I’ve been working on a pattern for leg warmers. I know, too soon, but summer is almost over and at night I sometimes find myself wishing I had a pair of leg warmers. I’ve never made any so that’s another reason for wanting to make cold weather accessories this early. I’m thinking a light and breezy pattern. If you’re like me and you tend to get cold shins at night, check back soon for a leg warmers pattern ;)

Last week I finally made something I should have made a long time ago: Coffee table leg cosies

The cosies definitely lessen the noise/scratch every time we move the table. Plus now the coffee table looks cute! Took no time at all too.

And today I finished an Etsy custom order of Ziggs from League of Legends. It was fun to revisit the pattern but I had completely forgotten how many pieces there were!

Ziggs and his clone - Pops de Milk

And, saving the best for last, I have some very exciting news…Pops de Milk is going to be at the Etsy: Made in Canada craft show! The show is in Ottawa at the end of September so naturally I feel as though it’s in a year, though a small voice keeps reminding me it’s more like, next week. Thank goodness for the small voice or I probably wouldn’t have already started crafting. For the next 4 weeks (yikes!) I’ll be busy crocheting like crazy and timing myself to see how fast I can crochet!

That last bit is more for my amusement…