Wednesday, May 18, 2011

New item!

I have added a new item to my Etsy Shops. Child size fingerless gloves! What do you think?

Click here for the pattern.

Click here for the actual item.

Friday, May 13, 2011

I have decided to make a tutorial showing how to make this flower (shown on bottom left).
You may recognize it from my very popular Flower Scarf. I'm trying to kill a few birds with one stone. Some of you voted for flower, some of you voted for scarf. Once you learn to make this flower, you should be able to make this scarf. The pattern is HERE.

I will post {Part 1} of the tutorial next Monday. Please comment below if you are planning on following this tutorial. I would like to know how big my audience is going to be. If no one comments, there will be no reason for me to post a tutorial. {Obviously}.

**If you haven't ever crocheted before, you will first need to go through my beginner tutorials {1-4} to learn the basic stitches. I realize #4 isn't posted yet. It will be posted on Monday as well.**

Monday, May 9, 2011

Upcoming Tutorials

Here's the deal-io. Once a week, HOPEFULLY, I am going to post crochet tutorials with step-by-step instructions and photos/videos. If you have been wanting to learn to crochet, here's your chance. This is going to be a continuation of the first four basic crochet tutorials that can easily be found on the left sidebar. (The fourth tutorial will be posted early next week.)

The best way to learn is to do. Therefore, I will teach the basic stitches, crochet tips, and pattern reading WHILE we make an actual item.

I am currently conducting a poll both here (on the right sidebar) and on my Living in Ivory Facebook page to decide what item we should learn to make first. VOTE!

If you are brand spanking new to crocheting, make sure you go through the first four tutorials before starting on this project. If you have any questions, need clarifications, or even need videos to better understand something, comment or email me at livinginivory{at}gmail{dot}com.

Be aware that these tutorials and patterns will only be available on this blog for one month before they will be removed and put into my Etsy Shop: Living in Amethyst.

Keep watching for upcoming tutorials!

Crochet Tutorial #3

Directly continuing from the last tutorial, I am going to move right along to turning.

After you have made a single crochet in each chain across, you will need to turn to make another row. To start, your project should look like this.

To turn, simply make 2 chains.

Note: The reason you made two chains is because we are continuing with a double crochet stitch, which is two chains tall. A single crochet is one chain tall. If you were continuing with single crochets, you would make only one chain.

Turn your work so your hook is on the far right side (if you are right handed), or on the far left side (if you are left handed.)

Now you are able to start your next row.

For this row, I will teach you how to make a double crochet stitch, which is abbreviated: dc. To make a dc, wrap the yarn once over your hook.

Insert hook in the first stitch of the previous row. There should be two pieces of yarn under which you are inserting your hook.

Grab the yarn with your hook, (which from now on will be referred to as “yarn over” or yo).

Pull the yarn through the first two loops on your hook.

Yo again, and pull through the two loops left on the hook.

The double crochet is complete.

Continue to make a double crochet in each stitch across.

Now I will teach you how to change colors.

Once you have made a dc in each stitch across, cut your yarn with a ten inch tail.

Tie your new color yarn to the old piece with a square knot. Make the knot as close to your most recent stitch as possible, and leave a ten inch tail on the new color yarn as well.

Continue to crochet. Chain 1.

Turn. Sc (single crochet) in each stitch across.

Chain 2. Turn. Dc (double crochet) in each stitch across.

You can continue this pattern as many times as you would like.

Next week I will teach you how to finish your project and weave in loose ends.

Crochet Tutorial #2

Now I am going to teach you how to start your crochet project.

To attach the yarn to the hook, you will need to make a slip knot. The slip knot is created by crossing the end of the yarn down on top of the longer side of the yarn.

That loop is then turned down on itself so it looks like a pretzel.

With your crochet hook, you will then grab the 3rd piece from the left and pull on it.

This motion should create the slip knot with your hook attached in a loop.


Almost all crochet projects begin with a base chain. To start, find a comfortable way to hold your hook, stitches, and yarn. This is how I position my hands.

To make a chain, wrap the yarn around your crochet hook like this.

Pull through the beginning slip knot loop.

You have just completed one chain.

Repeat the process. Using your crochet hook, grab the yarn, twist your hook, and pull through the loop.

You will notice that a twisting motion is necessary to pull the yarn through the loop. This may feel awkward, but you’ll get the hang of it.

If this is your first time crocheting, my guess is that your loops will be much looser than mine. That’s ok for now.


When your base row is done, (patterns will specify how many chains you will need), you are ready to start your first row. In this example, I will show you how to make a row of single crochet stitches.

If you are right handed, hold your chain so that your hook is on the far right side. You will crochet moving left across the stitches.

If you are left handed, hold your chain so that your hook is on the far left side. You will crochet moving right across the stitches.

To make a single crochet (or sc, which is how you will see it on patterns), insert hook through the 2nd loop from the hook. You do not count the loop that is currently on the hook.

Grab yarn and pull through.

Once you have pulled through, you will have two loops on your hook.

Grab the yarn again and pull it through both loops on the hook.

Your first Single Crochet is complete.

Continue this process in each chain across.

That’s it! Practice these stitches. They are the most basic crochet stitches there are. Once you’ve mastered the feel of these stitches, you’ll be amazed at all you can create.

Crochet Tutorial #1

First things first. Supplies. You may think that all you need is a hook and some yarn. Well, what size of hook? Do you want the stitches to be tight and close together? Or do you want a loose stitch with a little give? What kind of yarn? Soft? Bulky? Shimmery? Light-weight? Let’s see if I can help.

#1 – Crochet Hooks

There are a lot of brands of crochet hooks. You will find them in all shapes and sizes. You will also find them in all price ranges.

I use Boye hooks. The only specific reason is price. I buy them at Walmart for about $1.50 each. You can buy them in sets also, which is a little better deal if you have the money to spend. Go here for a set.

Crochet hooks also come in very small sizes for crochet thread. Crochet thread will be talked about later in the yarn section. The hooks sizes are numbers, whereas yarn hooks are classified in letters. You can buy a set of both together here.

Now, how do you know which size hook to use? If you are using a pattern, it will tell you. If you are making something without a pattern, your yarn label will give you a good guideline. I will go into more detail about the yarn label further down in this post.

If you are just going to buy one hook to get started, I would suggest buying a size H hook (for yarn projects). I use it more than any other. It seems to be right in the middle in terms of tightness and size.

If you are wanting just one hook for crochet thread projects, my favorite is a size 8.

Now, I don’t mean to confuse you about hook sizes. Each hook size, whether a yarn or thread hook, will have a number. It will tell you the size in millimeters. Patterns will usually say something like, “Crochet hook needed is G/4.25mm”. The number on the small hooks will be something like “8/1.50mm”.

You may also want to purchase a crochet hook organizer. This is mine.

You can find them here.

Or, you can make your own. The pattern is here.

#2 – Yarn

There are so many different kinds of yarn out there. I use acrylic and cotton most of the time. Specifically, I use Vanna’s Choice, Caron Simply Soft, and Red Heart. I buy them at Michaels Craft Store or Hobby Lobby. Here is a link to the direct listings:

Vanna’s Choice.


Red Heart.

Caron Simply Soft yarn is unique. It is very soft and almost shiny. I really like to use it because it doesn’t have the fuzzy look that some yarns have. Here is a photo of a cardigan I’ve made with it.

Here is a photo of a fanny pack made with Red Heart yarn.

And here is an ear warmer made with Vanna’s Choice.

When choosing a yarn, read the yarn label. Every skein you buy will have a label like this.

Here is what you need to know. The box on the left tells the weight of the yarn. A pattern will usually specify a number when talking about weight.

0- Lace

1- Super Fine

2- Fine

3- Light

4- Medium

5- Bulky

6- Super Bulky

If you go to this website, (click here), you can see photos of each size relative to each other.

The number 4 in this label shows how many separate strands of thread were twisted together to make the yarn.

In the 2nd box, you learn about the gauge. A gauge tells you how many stitches and rows should make a certain size sample swatch. In this example, the gauge is actually a knitting gauge. (Shown with the knitting needles.) Check your pattern for your crochet gauge.

The middle box shows which size of crochet hook is recommended for this particular yarn.

The boxes on the right show care instructions.

Crochet Thread

Crochet thread also comes in different sizes. The most commonly used is a size 10. The package will clearly show the size. Thread is used to make doilies and baby blanket edgings. I buy it at Hobby Lobby. Usually I can get it for $2.50 in the store. Click here for listing.

Here is an example of a headband I made with crochet thread.

#3 – Yarn Needle

The last essential supply needed for your first crochet project is a yarn needle. It is also called a tapestry needle. It is used to weave in the loose ends left from the beginning and ending stitches. You can find them here.

And that’s it! Once you’re equipped with a crochet hook, yarn (or thread), and a yarn needle, you are ready to begin! If you have any questions about supplies, make sure to leave them in the comments and I’ll check in to answer them.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Guest Post

Sara from Craft Snob asked me to do a crochet tutorial series on her blog. So far she has posted one out of four. She will post one tutorial a week on Mondays. Check it out and be sure to leave comments and questions!

Click here for the first tutorial.