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Q&A Saturday!!

The Hook Up Fan Jen Rodgers asked, “If you had never read/used a pattern and wanted to start, what kind of project would you recommend?”

This is a great question, because we have a lot of people reading who are beginners on our Crafty Resolution Challenge!! I would suggest starting with Video Tutorials on YouTube, or finding someone who is willing to take some time to sit down and teach you.

If you already know the basics, then you can start simple back and forth projects.

Simple projects include dishcloths, scarves, lap blankets, etc.  Anything that is a basic square or rectangle.  I would NOT suggest you start with hats or other projects that have you working in the round.

Starting with a basic square will allow you to learn what the stitches look and feel like.  This will also allow you to learn how to turn by stitching in to the previous row’s turn stitch.  This trick is vital to keeping your rows even.  Here’s how:

Most beginners get to the end of a row and think they have run out of room.  This is why counting stitches is so important.  Don’t worry, once you get the hang of crocheting, you won’t have to count as much…you’ll start seeing patterns and your inner mathematician will get excited…lol.

To keep the row straight you need to be sure and stitch into the hole that is easy to see, but you also need to stitch into the top of the turning chain.  In this picture, you will see what the end of a row looks like:

Tutorial

Once you stitch there, you do your turning chain to go to the next row and you turn.

Tutorial2-0

At the start of the row, it is important to be sure you place your first stitch correctly.  Instead of crocheting into the first hole, you’re going to stitch into the 2nd hole.

Tutorial3-1

This makes sure your stitches line up and you don’t increase the number of stitches.  The first turning stitch is often counted as a stitch in most patterns.  If it isn’t, the writer of the pattern will usually say so.

Follow this method for every row and you are sure to get nice straight edges all the way up the project.  No more blankets that are skinnier at the top!

Tutorial5

Just because you are a beginner, doesn’t mean your projects can’t look great!  Pay close attention to detail at the start and you’ll be a natural in no time.  I’ve been crocheting since I was 9…I won’t say how long that’s been, because then I feel really old, BUT…I can say, that I still enjoy doing very simple patterns, mainly because they look so clean and precise.  You can even up the WOW factor by using some extra fun yarn, super soft yarn, or even organic cotton yarn for those dishcloths.  Sometimes the pattern is the backdrop to some great yarn!

Here are some easy patterns, that you’re sure to love!!

http://www.craftyrie.com/2012/11/free-pattern-crochet-easy-peasy.html

http://stitch11.com/simple-and-practical-dish-cloth/

http://brookeanndove.blogspot.com/2010/11/infinity-scarf-pattern.html

http://www.examiner.com/article/easy-one-skein-scarf-to-crochet

http://crochet.about.com/od/babypatterns/a/fast-easy-crochet-baby-blanket-for-beginners.htm

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/easy-cat-cage-nubby-blanket

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