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EQUIPMENT REQUIRED

ESSENTIAL EQUIPMENT

Crochet Hooks

Crochet hooks come in different sizes and styles, and can be made out of metal, wood or plastic.

The size of the hook is the diameter of the hook 'shaft', which determines the size of the crochet stitches. The hook 'lip' grabs the yarn to form the loops.

If you are just getting started, it's best to start with a standard metal 4mm hook.

Once you know how to work the basic stitches, try some other types of hooks to find the one that suits you best.

Anatomy of a crochet hook:

Yarns

Yarns can be made from all sorts of fibre that can be natural, synthetic or a blend of both.

Everything you need to know about a yarn is on its label (also known as a ball band), usually using a system of symbols. The information should include:

  • Recommended crochet hook size
  • Shade/colour number
  • Dye lot number
  • Fibre content
  • Yarn weight and thickness
  • Weight of yarn ball

NATURAL FIBRES

Cotton: A natural fibre very popular for crochet because its smooth texture gives good stitching definition, showing intricate patterns clearly. Cotton is breathable, robust, easy to wash and doesn't shed fibres easily, so it is great for homewares, gadget covers and bags.


Wool: A very warm and hard-wearing natural fibre produced from sheep's fleece, that can be pure or blended with other fibres. It will soften with wear. Wool is ideal for blankets, hats and gloves but bear in mind it can shrink when washing.


Alpaca: One of the warmest natural fibres, with a soft, luxurious fuzzy feel. Will not show precise stitch definition like cotton, but will give a softer look. Perfect for winter items.


Cashmere: An ultra-luxurious velvety-soft natural fibre spun from the hair of the goat. Often blended with other fibres to make it more affordable. Great for scarves, snoods or jumpers.



SYNTHETIC FIBRES AND YARN BLENDS

Nylon: A strong and lightweight synthetic fibre. As its man-made it improves washability of the fibres it is blended with, preventing shrinkage and felting. Its good for items subjected to heavy wear.


Acrylic: This synthetic fibre is cheap to manufacture and often comes in bright shades that are hard to create with natural fibres. It is robust and ideal for toys, novelty items and budget projects.

SPECIALITY YARNS

Ribbon: This yarn may come as a flat shape or be tubular, which becomes flat when wound into a ball. It shows great stitch definition and looks good with openwork stitch patterns.


Spun yarns: These yarns are loosely spun and are less dense than regular yarns. They prevent finished items from feeling heavy and ideal for jumpers and blankets.



OTHER EQUIPMENT

Stitch Markers

These can be hooked onto your work to mark a specific row, stitch or the right side of your work.

Blunt-ended yarn needles

Used for sewing seams and darning in yarn ends. Ensure the eye of the needle is big enough for your chosen yarn.

Row counter

To keep track of where you are in your crochet. Change it each time you complete a new row.

Scissors

For cutting yarn and trimming off yarn ends.

Pins

Useful for seams and blocking.


Pin cushion

To store your pins safely.


Yarn bobbins

For holding short lengths of yarn for colourwork crochet.
















ABBREVIATIONS

STITCH ABBREVIATIONS

The below table shows the most common stitches and their abbreviations used in crochet patterns. Please note, some crochet terms are different in the UK and US so make sure you know whether its written in UK or US terms. This page uses UK terms.

UK Abbreviation

UK TermUS AbbreviationUS Term
chChain stitchchChain stitch
ssSlip stitchssSlip stitch
dcDouble crochetscSingle crochet
htrHalf treble crochethdcHalf double crochet
trTreble crochetdcDouble crochet
dtrDouble treble crochettrTreble crochet
trtrTriple treble crochetdtrDouble treble crochet
qtrQuadruple treble crochettrtrTriple treble crochet
quintrQuintuple treble crochetquadtrQuadruple treble crochet
2 dc in same st (can apply to htr, tr, dtr, etc.)1-stitch increase (two stitches in into same stitch)2 sc in same stitch (can apply to hdc, dc, tr, etc.)1-stitch increase (two stitches in into same stitch)
3 dc in same st (can apply to htr, tr, dtr, etc.)2-stitch increase (three stitches into same stitch)2 sc in same stitch(can apply to hdc, dc, tr, etc.)2-stitch increase (three stitches into same stitch)
dc2tog (can apply to htr, tr, dtr, etc.)1-stitch decrease (two stitches together to merge)sc2tog (can apply to hdc, dc, tr, etc.)1-stitch decrease (two stitches together to merge)
dc3tog (can apply to htr, tr, dtr, etc.)2-stitch decrease (three stitches together to merge)sc3tog (can apply to hdc, dc, tr, etc.)2-stitch decrease (three stitches together to merge)
fptrFront post treble crochetfpdcFront post double crochet
bptrBack post treble crochetbpdcBack post double crochet
2-, 3-, 4-, 5-, or 6-tr shellShell, made with 2. 3. 4. 5, or 6 treble crochet stitches worked into same stitch2-, 3-, 4-, 5-, or 6-dc shellShell, made with 2. 3. 4. 5, or 6 double crochet stitches worked into same stitch
2-, 3-. 4-. 5-. or 6-tr clusterCluster, made with 2. 3. 4. 5, or 6 treble crochet stitches that are joined at top2-, 3-, 4-, 5-, or 6-dc clusterCluster, made with 2. 3. 4. 5, or 6 double crochet stitches that are joined at top
3-, 4-, 5-tr bobbleBobble, made with 3, 4, or 5 trebles worked into the same place and joined at top3-, 4-, 5-dc bobbleBobble, made with 3, 4, or 5 doubles worked into the same place and joined at top
3-, 4-. 5-tr popcornPopcorn, a bobble variation made with 3, 4, or 5 trebles3-, 4-, 5-dc popcornPopcorn, a bobble variation made with 3, 4, or 5 doubles
3-, 4-, 5-ch picotPicot, made with 3, 4, or 5 chain stitches3-, 4-, 5-ch picotPicot, made with 3, 4, or 5 chain stitches



OTHER ABBREVIATIONS
AbbreviationTerm
altalternate
begbegin(ning)
contcontinu(e)(ing)
decdecreas(e)(ing)
facingfacing towards you as you are working
fasten offcut the yarn and draw it through the working loop to secure it
follfollow(s)(ing)
foundation chainthe base of chain stitches that the first row is worked into
foundation rowthe first row of crochet (the row worked into the foundation chain)
incincreas(e)(ing)
miss / skip a stitchdo not work into the stitch, but go on to the next stitch
patt(s)pattern(s)
remremain(s)(ing)
reprepeat(s)(ing)
RSright side
spspace(s)
st(s)stitch(es)
TBLthrough back loop
TFLthrough front loop
togtogether
turning chainthe chains worked at the beginning of the row (or round) to bring the hook up to the correct height for working the following stitches in the row
WSwrong side
yrh / yoyarn round hook (yarn over in US)
*repeat instructions after asterisk, or between asterisks, as instructed

YARN WEIGHT CHART

YARN WEIGHT CHART

Yarn 'weight' refers to its thickness. The table below shows which range of hook sizes is recommended for each weight category of yarn.

What do you want to crochet?

Yarn Weight

Hook size to use

Lace

2-ply

Lace

Fingering

1.5mm

1.75mm

2mm

2.25mm

Baby wear

Shawls

3-ply

Superfine

Fingering

Baby

2.75mm

3mm

3.25mm

Baby wear

Lightweight clothing

Accessories

4-ply

Fine

Sportweight

Baby

3.25mm

3.5mm

3.75mm

Clothing

Lightweight scarves

Blankets

Toys

Double-knit (DK)

Light worsted

5-6 ply

3.75mm

4mm

4.5mm

Blankets

Hats

Thick scarves

Mittens

Aran

Medium

Worsted

Afghan

12-ply

5mm

5.5mm

Rugs

Jackets

Blankets

Legwarmers

Winter hats

Accessories

Chunky

Bulky

Craft

Rug

14-ply

6mm

6.5mm

7mm

8mm

Heavy blankets

Rugs

Very thick scarves

Super bulky

Super chunky

Bulky

Roving

16-ply +

9mm

10mm

UNDERSTANDING TENSION

TENSION

Tension describes the stitch size, and affects how large or small your finished crochet piece will be.

Tension depends on yarn thickness, hook size and how tight or loose you crochet.

You should not amend your tension by changing how tightly you crochet. You should amend your tension by changing the size of the hook.

At the beginning of a pattern it will tell you the number of stitches needed in a given area, usually 10cm wide. For example, 17 htr to 10cm.

You should make a sample of the pattern you are following, to ensure you acheive the correct tension. If you have more stitches than recommended you will need a larger hook. If you have fewer stitches than recommended, you will need a smaller hook.








LESSONS

LESSON 1: SLIP KNOT
LESSON 2: CHAIN STITCHES
LESSON 3: DOUBLE CROCHET
LESSON 4: HALF TREBLE CROCHET
LESSON 5: TREBLE CROCHET

PATTERN SHARING

Edna the Elf Doll

Emma the Angel Doll

Mrs Claus the Christmas Doll


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