Monday, March 23, 2009

Learn to Crochet - Lesson 5 - Single Crochet Stitch

Learn to Crochet - Lesson 5 - Single Crochet Stitch

Well, now you have your long chain. Now what? Let's do a second row and learn to do a Single Crochet.

TIP: Make sure when you hook the yarn strand (yarn over hook = yo) that you are getting the entire strand (4 ply means that there are 4 small strands that are wound together to form the one strand of yarn). If you are doing a stitch in the next row and the stitch into which you are working seems a little thin, look closely and see if you missed one or more of the 4 ply strands. If you did, do not rip out the row and redo it! Simply look closely and gather the rest of the strand into your new stitch. Does this make sense? It will. No matter how good of a Crocheter you are, you will undoubtedly miss a few of the 4 ply strands now and then. No biggie. Catch them up on the next row.

At the end of any finished row of crocheting, add one chain stitch (I nicknamed this the Turn-Around Stitch MANY years ago, so I would never forget it! LOL!). Since you are on your FIRST row, and they are all chain stitches, it is kind of silly to add one chain. But, you need to know to ALWAYS add that chain at the end of any finished row.

For right-handed people like me, (sorry, Lefties) you will now be working back toward the left side of your project. For the chain, you pretty much just let it fall straight down below your hands as you worked. Now, you will begin working right-to-left and building rows.

You now need to decide whether you would like your finished work to have a "flat" look, or a look with raised-looking rows. If you look at each chain stitch, you will see that it produces two strands of yarn in each stitch. If you work your new stitches in the front (near you) side of the chain stitches, you will get a "flat" project. If you decide to use the back (away from you) side of each chain, your rows will be raised and provide more texture to your finished project. The flat way makes the project go faster. The raised way makes the rows more visually interesting, but takes more yarn and goes more slowly. You get to decide. :-)

For my project shown in the pictures, I am working the front side of each stitch; thereby, creating a flatter look to my finished project. I'm in it for the SPEED, Baby!

However, I have now added a fairly equal second half in Single Crochet stitches with them worked into the BACK part of each Chain, so you can see the difference. The "flat" side with stitches worked into the front part of each chain took 8 rows. The side worked into the back side of each chain took 11 rows to get the same length. See below.

Single Crochet

After adding the extra chain at the end of the finished row, take your hook and place it into the SECOND chain stitch. This does not count the additional chain you added at the end of the previous row, which remains as the one on your hook. Plus, you need to remember to skip the first stitch in order for your sides to be nice and straight. We will check this after working at least 6 rows. After poking the hook into the second chain, draw the strand of yarn up through that second chain. You will now have two loops on your hook. Hold your hook horizontally, and wrap the yarn over (yo) your hook and draw it to the right through the two loops that are on your hook. They will go into the project as the Single Crochet and you will be left with one strand remaining ON your hook. TA-DA!! You did your first sc. :-)

Remember NOT to pull the yarn out too much. You are still striving to make each and every stitch the same size. Make them large enough to pull the yarn through with your hook comfortably. You should not have to poke and pull at the stitch to get it to come through the loop. It should slide through without strain or tension. Remember to keep things loosey-goosey ... but not TOO loosey-goosey! If your stitches are too long/loose, your project will be too filled with undesired holes and gaps. Make the stitches just big enough to get the hook through with the yarn on it. Go for uniformity.

Soooooo ... after that first Single Crochet, make sure the loop that remains on your hook is not too close to the row or too far away. Make needed adjustments.

Now, poke your hook into the third chain. Loop the yarn over the hook and draw it back to the right through the chain. You have those two loops on your hook again. Hold the hook horizontally, and pull the yarn through the two loops. Again, you will have one loop remaining on your hook. You have completed TWO Single Crochets!

Continue to make Single Crochet stitches into each Chain stitch until you reach the end of your row. When you have complete sc in each ch, add that one extra "turn-around" chain. Then flip your growing project around, so you are ready to go back to the left again.

Again, skip the first stitch (now you are working sc into sc stitches) and make your Single Crochet into the second stitch. Do this all the way along your row. Add the extra ch at the end of the second row of sc, and you are ready to turn around again.

Keep doing this until your project is finished. Periodically, lay your project down on the table to see when you feel it is long enough. A blanket should always be longer than it is wide. You will be able to judge this.

Below is a series of me crocheting 3 Single Crochet stitches:

Here is me holding the work with my right ring finger and pinkie:

Here is how my project looks after doing 7 rows:

After a while, check how your side edges look. They should be pretty straight if you have made your stitches the same size, pulled the yarn at the same tension, and remembered to add the extra Chain stitch at the end of each row:

Next lesson: Yarn Changes (Changing colors of yarn. Ending a skein. Tying off or weaving in ends?)


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