Crochet 101 is a free online crochet class that anyone can take. New classes will be added periodically - lesson one is here. I am so excited to share this awesome hobby with you. Crocheting is fun and a great stress reliever (except when it causes stress because you mess up, lol, but it is still more relieving than causing). You will soon be making items for friends, family, and yourself. I am offering these lessons on Gather.com for free with one stipulation: you agree to make one preemie blanket to donate to a local hospital or family with a premature or terminally ill baby. These lessons will teach you how to create a simple preemie blanket, and will give you the skills to read other patterns to make more items as well. You will start off with simple items, but with practice, one day you can make more complicated items such as pictured here. The item you will make will be to donate to your local hospital or mailed to me to donate to my local hospital through Hugs & Kisses Crafters.
Lesson 101-03-01 How to Change Yarns
Everyone should have their dc swatch from the previous lesson. We will learn how to change yarns through techniques called joining with double crochet and joining with single crochet (You can actually join with any type of stitch you need once you get the gist of this). First, we will learn to join with a single crochet. To begin, you must learn to see which is the right side of the piece. On the right side of your work, if you look you can see the v's of the last row, with the bottom part of the v slightly below the upper part of the v. Notice that from the back side you only see part of the upper v.
Watch the following video about which side is the right side:
With the wrong side of the swatch facing you, you are ready to join with a single crochet - notice, the knot and tail will be on the right always when you change yarns. At this point, I want you to ignore your tails. We will work on how to hide them later. With the new yarn, make a slip knot and insert your hook into the loop. Now, insert your hook under the v of the first dc. YO (yarn over) and pull through the v, (you should now have 2 loops on your hook) then YO again and pull through both loops. You have now joined with a single crochet. You can continue crocheting to the end of the row, then rip out (also called frogging in the crocheting world) what you have done and practice joining with a sc until you feel comfortable.
Watch the following video about joining with single crochet:
Now that you have learned joining with a single crochet, you are ready to learn to join with a double crochet. With the new yarn, make a slip knot and insert your hook into the loop. Now, YO, holding the slip knot with your right hand index finger so that you can effectively yarn over without the loop flipping around on the hook. Now, insert your hook under the v of the first dc. YO (yarn over) and pull through the v, (you should now have 3 loops on your hook) then YO again and pull through the first 2 loops, then YO and pull through the second 2 loops. You have now joined with a double crochet. You can continue crocheting to the end of the row, then rip out what you have done and practice joining with a dc until you feel comfortable.
Watch the following video about joining with double crochet:
Hiding your tails can be one of the most annoying parts of crocheting. I will first show you how to hide your tails at the end of your project. Some people always do it this way because they think it is more secure, or they are unable to master hiding the tails as they go. Once again, there is nothing wrong with either method - it is all about what works for you, and if the tails stay hidden well, then it does not matter how you got it that way. To hide your tails at the end of your project you will need to use the tiny D hook I suggested you buy (or any small hook). Some people also leave very long tails and use a yarn needle to hide the tails, then trim the tail after it is well hidden.
Watch the following video to see how to hide the tails at the end of your project using a small crochet hook. Use your swatch to practice hiding the tails with a small hook.
Now, there is also a way to hide your tails as you go. Watch the following videos to learn how to hide as you go:
Next will be the first pattern, which by overwhelming vote is:
If you have questions and want me to see what you are doing, you can post a clickable picture in your comment. To learn how to do this, visit: How to Create Clickable Images in Your Comments - HTML LESSON.