The Summer of Crochet

Mmmm… I taste a tutorial series coming on. This will require coffee in my new “You Are Here” mug from Starbucks.

yarn and coffee

We’re not just about knitting here at Lattes and Llamas. Along with our love of science and coffee, we adore crochet too. So, this summer we’re going to share a project bag full of tutorials, walkthroughs, and free patterns. Today we’re going to start with the basics and talk about how to make a slip knot and briefly cover yarn weights.

I was first introduced to crochet as a child. I made a few potholders as gifts for Mother’s Day, but my foray with crochet never went beyond that. It wasn’t until my freshmen year of college that I picked it up again to make a granny square blanket. I had to reteach myself with YouTube videos and photo tutorials just to remember how to do simple things like make  slip knot. It was a frustrating process. I ripped out the beginning of my first granny square so many times that the hearty acrylic yarn I had been using was frayed beyond recognition. I had to throw it in the trash. Eventually, I did get the hang of it though, and if you look at the blanket now, you can see my tension change as I got used to the stitches.

Summer of Crochet banner

I don’t recommend making a full-sized granny square blanket your first time out the gate. In retrospect, I wish I would’ve done a few smaller projects to get used to crochet first. Whether you’re new to crochet or are need a refresher like I did, it’s best to plan on doing lots of practice. If you follow through this series with me, I’ll share a few quick and easy crochet patterns for you to try. So grab yourself a skein of inexpensive medium weight yarn and a size US I/9 (5.5 mm) hook.

If you’re not sure how to read a yarn label to see if it’s the weight of yarn you need, here is a handy dandy infographic for you!

yarn weights

The absolute first thing you need to learn in both crochet and knitting is the slip knot. It’s what secures the yarn to your hook and keeps it from unraveling. There are many different ways to make a slip knot, even Megan-Anne and I do it differently. You can see her method here.

how to make a slip knot

Everyone learns differently. I found it easier to teach myself through photo walkthroughs and how-to videos than to have someone sit down and show me the different techniques.  If you need a more hands on experience to learn, I recommend going to your nearest local yarn store. Many independent yarn stores offer classes and one-one sessions.

Stay tuned next week for my tutorial on how to crochet a chain and the neat things you can do with them.

If I want to accept You Are Here mugs as bribes, then that’s my prerogative. 

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