Crochet 101: Lesson Two

Welcome to Crochet 101: Lesson Two! You should already have a slip knot on your hook and be ready now to start a chain. In this lesson we’ll be doing the base chain  and turning the first row for our dishcloth.

around-the-fat

Those of you who are sharp will notice I have switched to a different hook. The blue one got commandeered for another project. They’re the same size though, promise!

Now, much like the great Inigo Montoya, //giphy.com/embed/VjB89LlyT8VH2

via GIPHY

SO: if you ARE left handed, I am sorry. This tutorial will not be much help to you. Please e-mail me or send me a message via Etsy or Facebook and I will either find you a left handed tutorial or I will do my best to help you out myself. If enough people ask, I may even make a left handed version of this tutorial.

To start a crochet chain, hold your hook in your right hand and pick up your yarn with your left hand. Wrap the yarn clockwise around the back of the hook. and grip the tail of your slip knot with your left hand.

getting-startedxcf

You’ll notice in the picture that I have the yarn wrapped twice around my first finger and am gripping the tail with my thumb and first finger. This method helps me to keep tension as I am going, if it doesn’t feel comfortable to you, try wrapping only once or maybe three times. Whatever is comfortable and allows you to keep tension is what is best.

Holding the tail firmly, use the hook part of your crochet hook to gently pull the wrapped yarn through the slip knot loop.

pull-through

Congratulations! You have made one chain!

first-chain

In order to make our dishcloth, we will need to make a total of 41 chains. You’ve already got one down, 40 more to go. Just keep wrapping the yarn around the back side of the hook (clockwise) and sliding the wrapped yarn through the loop on the hook. As you go along, hang on to the chain you’re making just like you did with the tail for the first chain. You will need to slide your hand up the chain as it gets longer in order to keep tension. I find that I can do between 5 and 8 chains before I need to slide. Do you best to keep your chain straight by holding the chain straight as you go and to keep the chains all about the same size.

Seem a little large for a dishcloth? It is a little, but remember, we’re working with our cheap-o yarn, not the cotton the pattern is intended for. This will be a little bit different from the cotton version, but while you’re learning, it is always good to start with a yarn that will let you make mistakes and not break or untwist itself.

Now, in order to turn this work, we’ll have to know how to count chains, so lay your chain out in a line so the tail is closest to you and the hook is in front of you. See the “v” shapes? Each one of those is one chain.

vs

TRIVIA: Why is it called a chain and not a braid? Flip the chain over. Looks rather more like it’s namesake now doesn’t it?

back-of-chain

Ok, you can pick your hook back up, it’s time to count for real. The loop on the hook does NOT count as anything. Count 3 starting at the hook side of your chain and going toward the tail. In the NEXT chain (or the 4th chain from the hook) we’ll start our first row of single crochets.

fourth-chain

What’s a single crochet? That’s for Lesson Three!

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