Crocheting For Dummies with Online Videos book cover

Crocheting For Dummies with Online Videos

By: Karen Manthey and Susan Brittain Published: 11-30-2016

Get hooked on the art of crochet

The crochet craze has taken the craft world by storm. If you've caught the bug and want to take your skills from beginner to beguiling, look no further than the friendly guidance in this bestselling guide. In Crocheting For Dummies, 3rd Edition, you'll find out how to choose the right hooks and yarns to complete your project, switch colors as you go, utilize various crochet stiches for different looks, and so much more. Online companion project videos will help readers master the concepts and techniques covered in the book.

Julia Roberts and countless other celebrities are doing it—and you can, too! Taking the intimidation out of the timeless art of crocheting, this updated edition gives crafters of every skill level the knowledge and know-how to choose the right tools, create basic stitches, and finish off their work to make beautiful pieces of art. From learning to create consistency with gauge swatches to decoding patterns, symbols, and diagrams, this easy-to-follow guide is all you need to create beautiful designs in no time!

  • Includes fresh new patterns, stitches, and techniques
  • Covers common crocheting mistakes and how to correct them
  • Provides guidance on crocheting with eco-awareness, like working with organic yarns, tie-dye yarns, and free trade and sustainably sourced fibers
  • Gets you up to speed on resources and events held within the crochet community
  • Provides free online access to videos to teach you how to tackle various stitches and crochet in the round

Whether you're a first-time crocheter or looking to expand your skillset, Crocheting For Dummies gives you everything you need to get hooked like a pro.

Articles From Crocheting For Dummies with Online Videos

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26 results
26 results
Crocheting For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Cheat Sheet / Updated 03-25-2022

You're never too old or too young to discover crochet. The skills you master, the benefits you receive, and the beautiful heirlooms you create can last a lifetime and be passed on to future generations. To get started with crocheting, you need to decode crochet symbols and abbreviations so you can follow patterns with ease, and you need to find out what gauge is (and why it's so important).

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How to Include Ties and Drawstrings in Your Crocheted Items

Article / Updated 02-16-2017

Ties and drawstrings make fun and easy closures for the front (or back) of a garment. They can be as simple as a single tie attached to each side of a light sweater's front or as elaborate as a threaded drawstring criss-crossing the back of a summer halter top. You usually attach ties to the top-front portion of a garment, close to the neck opening, or at the beginning of the front neck shaping, centered over the chest. However, you can also place ties in a row down the entire front of a sweater. You attach ties to garments with the excess lengths of yarn left from the beginning of the tie to "tie" them to the correct position on the garment. Drawstrings, which you weave through a round with eyelets (a round created with a pattern of spaces) or post stitches crocheted into the body of a sweater or sleeve, often adorn the neckline, waistline, bottom edges, and cuff edges of some sweaters. You can also place drawstrings in the center-back area of a garment, weaving them back and forth between the open edges of, say, a halter top to draw the sides together. The following list gives you a few options for crocheting a tie or drawstring: • Make a simple chain. Chain the required length for the tie or the drawstring. (You may use one or more strands of yarn.) Note that this is how we made the drawstring in the Girl's Versatile Camisole project. • Make a round cord. Chain 5 (or the required number for the thickness of the cord) and slip stitch in the first chain to join. Single crochet in each chain around. Then, working in a spiral, continue to single crochet in each single crochet around until the cord reaches your desired length. • Single crochet or slip stitch a cord. Chain the required length, turn, and slip stitch or single crochet in the back bump loop of each chain across. To spice up your ties and drawstrings, add embellishments such as tassels or just tie each end in a simple knot.

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Outline Your Crocheted Designs with Edging

Article / Updated 02-16-2017

Crocheting a basic edging of one or two rows or rounds on the outer edges of a design can smooth out the rough spots and add a finished, professional look to your crocheted items. You can even add crocheted edgings to other materials. Here are a few options: Crochet a round of single crochet stitches around the bottom edge, neck edge, and cuffs of a sweater, especially one that you worked in a heavier-weight yarn. When making a patchwork afghan or sweater, edge each panel or motif with a row of stitches (typically the slip stitch or single crochet is used to create a smoother edge for joining). Crochet decorative strips of some of the fancier stitches (such as shells, clusters, and chain loops) with cotton thread and sew these edgings on pillowcases, sheets, handkerchiefs, and towels — or down the seam of your jeans! Although knowing how to do a simple edging on your own is helpful, any pattern that includes an edging to finish off the design will tell you in detail how to complete it.

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Granny Square Cuff Crochet Project

Article / Updated 02-16-2017

This simple cuff is the perfect crochet project to get you started with joining motifs as you go, which means you don't have to do any seaming at the end. This project uses crochet thread that's easy to find in most yarn and craft stores. Crochet thread is available in a variety of colors and fibers, so you can make a cuff for any occasion. Use a metallic thread to add bling for a night on the town or try a natural-colored cotton for a summer outing. Quick to stitch, you'll want to make one of these cuffs for you and all your girlfriends. Materials and vital statistics Yarn: Coats & Clark Aunt Lydia's "Fashion Crochet Thread" size 3 crochet thread (100% mercerized cotton), Article #182 (1.3 oz. [37 g], 150 yds [137 m] each ball): 1 ball of #65 Warm Teal Hook: Steel crochet hook size 1 U.S. (2.75 mm) or size needed to obtain gauge Bowl or plastic baggie Fabric stiffener Paper towels 1-in. plastic shaft button Yarn needle Measurements: 7 in. long x 2 in. wide Gauge: Motif = 1-1/2 in. square Stitches used: Chain stitch (ch), slip stitch (sl st), single crochet (sc), double crochet (dc) Directions In a nutshell, here's how you make the Granny Square Cuff: Crochet one granny square motif completely; then make a second motif and join it to the first motif on the last round. Make and join two more motifs in the same manner to form a row of motifs. Easy as pie! The stitch diagram shows you where to join your motifs. First granny square motif Make 2 rounds of a basic granny square. Fasten off. Remaining granny square motifs Rnd 1: Work the first round like you did for the first granny square motif. Rnd 2: Sl st across to first ch-2 sp, ch 3 (counts as first dc), work (2 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) all in same ch-2 sp, ch 1, work (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in next ch-2 sp, ch 1, work 3 dc in next ch-2 sp, ch 1, holding both pieces with WS together sl st in corresponding corner of completed square, work 3 dc in same ch-2 sp of the current square, sl st in next ch-1 sp of completed square, work 3 dc in next ch-2 sp of current square, sl st in next corresponding corner of completed square, ch 1, work 3 dc in same ch-2 sp of current square, ch 1, sl st in top of turning chain to join. Fasten off. Repeat these steps for a third and fourth motif forming a single row of motifs. Edging With RS facing you, join thread to ch-2 sp at the upper-right corner of 1 short end of the cuff, ch 1, work 3 sc in same ch-2 sp, sc in each dc and ch-1 sp across the short end of the cuff, * work 3 sc in next corner ch-2 sp, working across the long end of the cuff to the next corner ch-2 sp, work 1 sc in each (dc, ch-1 sp, and sl st that joins motifs together) *, work 3 sc in next corner ch-2 sp, sc in next 2 dc, ch 6 for button loop, skip next (dc, ch-1 sp, and dc), sc in next 2 dc; rep from * to * once, sl st in first sc to join. Fasten off. Weave in any loose ends using the yarn needle. Finishing Place the cuff in a bowl or sandwich baggie. Pour equal parts water and fabric stiffener (just enough to cover the cuff completely) into the bowl or baggie. Allow the cuff to become completely saturated before removing it from the mixture and dabbing it with paper towels to remove any excess stiffener. Lay the cuff on a piece of parchment paper, straighten it, open up the lacy stitches, and allow it to dry completely. Assembly Using the button loop as a guide, sew the button to the opposite side of the cuff with the yarn needle.

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Joining Crochet Pieces on the Last Row or Round

Article / Updated 02-16-2017

Some crochet pieces are joined together while working the last row or round. Joining pieces as you go saves you from the daunting task of having to sew or crochet lots (and lots!) of pieces together at the end of a project. Because motifs use an endless variety of stitch patterns, not all of them are joined in the same spot, but some general guidelines do exist: Motifs that have side edges, like squares or triangles, are usually joined along one or more sides. Motifs with points (think flowers and stars) are joined at one or more points. Note: The pattern you're working should let you know exactly where to place your joining stitches. If not, just refer to the guidelines here. Work the first granny square completely and fasten off. Work the next square until you reach the point where you want to join the 2 pieces together. This point is usually a corner stitch or chain space. Work the corner stitch or chain for the square you're currently on. Holding the 2 pieces with wrong sides together, insert your hook from the back of the current square into the same corner stitch or space of the square you completed in Step 1. Yarn over and draw your hook through the corner stitch, or space, and the stitch on your hook, as shown here. You now have a slip stitch seam at the corner. Continue working the stitches across the side of the square, joining stitches or spaces as directed. Finish the square you're working on to the end of the round and fasten off; weave in any loose ends using a yarn needle. Continue working any remaining motifs the same way. To see what 2 pieces joined together on the last round look like, see the following figure. If you're working a row of squares, like for a scarf, you have to join squares on only one side. If you're working a blanket or a shawl, however, you need to join the pieces together on more than one side. Blanket and shawl designs often consist of several rows containing a number of motifs that must be joined, which is why you join them on more than one side.

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Join Crochet Pieces with a Row of Stitches

Article / Updated 02-16-2017

Joining two crochet pieces with another row of stitches creates a different look from the other seams. Instead of working through the double thickness of two crocheted pieces, you work back and forth between them, usually on the right side of the piece. The row between the two pieces can be as narrow as a single stitch, or it can be wide and lacy. You can use this joining method to connect motifs when making a shawl, to add interest to the side seams of a garment, or to join panels when crocheting an afghan. To crochet a joining row that's a chain-2 space wide: Lay the pieces side by side on a flat surface, matching stitches across the adjacent edges that you're going to join. Insert your hook under the top 2 loops in the designated stitch on the first piece, chain 1 (ch 1), single crochet (sc) in the same stitch, and then chain 2 stitches for the joining row. Insert your hook under the top 2 loops of the designated corresponding stitch on the second piece, yarn over (yo), and pull the yarn through the stitch. Yarn over, draw the yarn through the 2 loops on your hook, and single crochet the stitch complete. Chain 2, insert your hook under the top 2 loops of the designated stitch on the first piece, yarn over, and pull the yarn through the stitch. Yarn over and draw the yarn through the 2 loops on your hook. Chain 2; then repeat Steps 3 through 6 across the row to the ending point designated in the pattern. Fasten off and weave in the ends with the yarn needle. Check out the following figure to see a completed seam made with a row of stitches.

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How to Crochet a Flat Seam

Article / Updated 02-16-2017

You can slip stitch two pieces together to create a flat seam, which crocheters often use when they want the seam to be invisible (think of a side seam joining the front and back of a sweater). To slip stitch a seam in this fashion: Lay the 2 pieces to be joined side by side on a flat surface, with right sides facing up (for a right side seam) or wrong sides facing up (for a wrong side seam). Check that the stitches across each edge match before moving on. Working in the top loops of the stitches only and using the same size crochet hook you used in the design, insert your hook through the loops of the first 2 stitches, leaving a yarn tail several inches long. The figure shows the correct positioning of the hook in the loops. Yarn over the hook (yo). Pull the yarn through the loops and repeat Steps 2 and 3 in each stitch across. Fasten off and weave in the ends. This figure shows you what a completed flat seam should look like.

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How to Crochet a Ridged Seam

Article / Updated 02-16-2017

If you choose to create a ridge along your seam, you can either hide it (on the wrong side of the fabric) or make it part of the design (on the right side). Ridged seams are sometimes used to create a decorative look, like in an afghan made up of motifs; you can use a contrasting color to add another design element. Here's how to slip stitch a ridged seam: Position the 2 pieces together with right sides facing (for a wrong side seam) or wrong sides together (for a right side seam). Make sure the stitches across each edge match. Working through the double thickness of both pieces and using the same size crochet hook that you used in the design, insert your hook through the back 2 loops of the first 2 stitches, leaving a yarn tail about 6 inches long. The figure shows the correct positioning of the hook in the back loops. Yarn over the hook (yo). Pull the yarn through and repeat Steps 2 and 3 in each stitch across; fasten off and weave in the ends. Take a look at the completed ridged seam here.

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Crochet Sturdy Seams with the Backstitch

Article / Updated 02-16-2017

The backstitch produces a strong, bulky seam that doesn't have a lot of stretch. Use it whenever you need to join two pieces together with a sturdy seam, like for bags or baskets. You work the backstitch on the wrong side of the project because it's visible (and not exactly pretty). The key to understanding the backstitch is to think of it as two steps forward and one step back. This is because you bring the needle to the front of your fabric two spaces forward and then push it to the back of the fabric one space back. You can use the backstitch to join pieces along the tops or sides of the parts that need joining. If you're working along the top edges, simply stitch the seam under the top loops of a stitch. If you're working along the side edges, insert your needle under the two threads found along the side of the stitch's post. To join two pieces along the top edge by using the backstitch: Pin the 2 pieces together with their right sides facing each other and their edges aligned. If you're seaming the sides of the pieces, make sure the rows are lined up; if you're seaming the top edges of the pieces, make sure their stitches are lined up. With an 18-inch length of yarn (or the long tail end) threaded onto your yarn needle, insert the needle from front to back under the top loops of the first stitch, pushing the needle through both layers. Part a of this figure illustrates this step, which starts at the upper-right corner and gets worked from right to left if you're right-handed. Lefties do the reverse. Bring the needle back to the front about 1/4 inch farther along the seam, as shown in part b of the preceding image. You're always working through both layers. Bring the needle back to the first spot and insert it from front to back. Repeat Steps 3 and 4 twice. You've now secured the yarn to the beginning of the seam, so you're ready to start backstitching. Bring the needle back to the front 1/2 inch farther along the seam. This is about 1/4 inch farther than where you brought it to the front the last time, as you can see in part a of this figure— hence the "2 spaces forward" concept. Insert the needle from front to back 1/4 inch back along the seam. (Refer to part b of the preceding image.) This is the same spot where you brought the yarn to the front on the last stitch, hence the "1 space back" idea. Repeat Steps 6 and 7 as you work along the seam edge to the end designated by your pattern. To secure the yarn, work the last stitch 2 or 3 times in the same spots and then cut the yarn, leaving a 6-inch tail for weaving in later. This figure shows a finished backstitch seam.

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Crochet Invisible Seams with the Mattress Stitch

Article / Updated 02-16-2017

The mattress stitch, also known as the invisible seam or invisible weaving, is a very flexible seam that works best for sewing garment pieces together because it makes for a flat, invisible seam. You always work this stitch with the right sides facing up so you can make sure the seam is invisible on its best side. The key to this stitch is to make small stitches, weaving your needle back and forth between the two pieces while working up the inside of the edges to be joined. Here's how to use the mattress stitch to sew the row ends of two pieces worked in double crochet: Place the pieces to be joined on a flat table with the right sides facing you. The pieces should be side by side. Make sure the stitches themselves are aligned and that any stripes or patterns are aligned, too. (If you're having trouble keeping everything aligned, you can always use safety pins or sewing pins to keep the 2 pieces together.) With an 18-inch length of yarn (or the long tail end) threaded onto a yarn needle, insert the needle up through the bottom-most stitch of 1 piece and out the middle of the post, or turning chain, of the same stitch, as shown in part a. If you're not using a tail end, leave a 6-inch tail with your first stitch so you can weave it in later. Insert your needle up through the corresponding stitch of the second piece and out the middle of the post, or turning chain, of the stitch, like in part b of the preceding image. If you aren't using a secured tail end, weave the needle through the same stitches referenced in Steps 2 and 3 to secure the yarn. Insert your needle in the same spot where the last stitch came out on the opposite piece and bring it up and out the top of the double crochet stitch (dc), as in part a of this image. Insert your needle in the same spot of the corresponding double crochet on the second piece and draw it out of the top of the double crochet. (Refer to part b of the preceding figure.) Pull the yarn to draw the 2 pieces together, but not so tight that the fabric puckers. Continue weaving your needle back and forth as you move up the inside edges, making 2 stitches along the post of each double crochet on each piece to be joined. To fasten off, weave the yarn back and forth 1 more time through the last 2 stitches worked and cut the yarn, leaving a 6-inch tail for weaving in. The following figure presents you with two finished pieces joined with the mattress stitch. Part a shows the opened mattress stitch; Part b shows the complete, closed mattress stitch. You can work the mattress stitch to join pieces of any stitch height. Just make sure you weave the yarn back and forth using evenly spaced stitches. For single crochet stitches, simply insert the needle through the bottom-most stitch and out the top of the same stitch; then do the same for the corresponding stitch on the second piece. For the next row, move up to the next stitch. For the triple crochet, weave the needle back and forth three times for each post before moving on to the next row. If you're using the mattress stitch along the top loops of a row, simply follow the preceding steps for sewing the row ends; just be sure to keep your stitches short.

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