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Old 01-06-2008, 12:59 PM   #1
Knit4Fun
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Having Trouble Learning...
Hi there,

I am a newbie to both knitting and crochet, although I seem to have picked up the basics of knitting and will be graduating from scarves soon.

I don't seem to be able to pick up crochet very easily though. My problems seem to be:

1) I can create the foundation chain without a problem (although sometimes it is a bit tight so I play with needle size as recommended), but instead of being able to pull the yarn back through the loop as in knitting, I have to grab it with my left thumb and index finger and pull it through. On the NexStitch videos, it appears much easier and more fluid the way she does it. The way I am doing it takes a while and is not particularly enjoyable...and I'm hoping that's just my technique because I'd like to become a proficient crocheter - I've got a basic bag pattern I'd like to make and a hat pattern too.

2) My second row and beyond sometimes look like they should and sometimes not and I have no idea why - for example, it's as though for the second row I hook through the correct stitches but when I go to further rows, I am not moving to the correct row.

Is there another resource you'd recommend or do you have some input for me? I have a few books on crocheting but so far they haven't made much sense...

Thanks!
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Old 01-06-2008, 04:12 PM   #2
noratasha
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My crocheting looked (what I thought anyway) odd when I first learned. I learned to knit first, so I had a knitter's mindset when it came to my crocheting. I think you just need some practice. I've been crocheting for 9+ years, and I did notice that the more I practiced, the better it looked to me. Of course, I'm saying that without seeing your work....
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Old 01-06-2008, 08:18 PM   #3
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Thank you
I'll keep plugging away at it and if I can't figure it out, I'll get a photo up here of my work. I think maybe I am overthinking how to do this...then again, I won't tell you how long it took me to figure out the purl stitch!
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Old 01-06-2008, 08:45 PM   #4
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For really great photo tutorials of crochet stitches, I recommend www.crochetcabana.com

If you like video tutorials, my favorite one is www.nexstitch.com

The videos take a little while to load, but they are every bit as good as the knitting videos here at KH.
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Old 01-07-2008, 02:34 AM   #5
aztec_judy
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sounds as if your tension is tooo tight.

http://www.anniesattic.com/ also has some great videos to watch per each stitch you learn an a free pattern to learn the stitch with.

maybe you need to try a larger hook and make up a few swatches for each size hook .. say like coaster sizes first to get the hang of it??
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Old 01-07-2008, 10:43 AM   #6
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Good point
You may be right, Judy...it seems as if after a few rows it gets much harder to put the hook through the next stitch.

I did have a minor crochet 101 epiphany last night in that I realized that when I created the foundation chain, my next row was not always being put onto the same side of the foundation chain.

Is it 'normal' in crochet that when you cast the foundation chain that it curls up a lot when you are done? I'm not sure if that is a yarn thing, a tension thing or a me thing?! By the time I am finished with that first chain row, it is all curly which makes it a big tougher to see where to put the next row.

Also, to make turning chains, I know you put whatever number matches the type of stitch you are doing - is it to create height for the NEXT row you plan to stitch (e.g. so for a single crocheted next row you would make 1 turning chain in the current row or the next one - whichever the pattern specifies)?

It's funny you mention making a few coasters because I had a knitting swatch sitting here for a while and my hubby asked if it was going to be made into something and I said no, so he took to using it as a coaster and was missing it when it got moved - so voila! I can make him some nice coasters for his upcoming birthday!

Thanks mucho!
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Old 01-07-2008, 12:19 PM   #7
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I don't think I've had the foundation chain curl up on me, but I HAVE had the foundation + first row curl up. It usually uncurls as more rows are added. The hardest thing to crochet, IMO, is that first row into a foundation chain. That chain is a wiggly sucker - you don't have much to hold onto to keep it steady, for one thing. Plus, if you've made your chain too tight, you're fighting to get the hook in, and if you've made it too loose, you have a very raggedy looking row.

Yes, foundation chains usually include an extra chain to be the first stitch of your next row. I say usually because if you're doing a piece crocheted in circles, you join your chains in a circle, and THEN do your chains to represent your first stitch in the next row.

Granny squares (and other square/circular motifs) make great coasters.
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Old 01-07-2008, 01:50 PM   #8
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the chain row will sorta twirl on you or as you say curly ..
and yes you do when working squares and retangles chain up for the height of the next row.
for me I chain up 1 and turn .. for the sc and most times for the hdc also.
for the doubles and this is something that you will have to work out on your own. DC stitches .. I chain up 2 and do my row.. most all patterns say to chain up 3; I do NOT like the big hole it leaves for me (my problem)

Starting chain : for tight crocheters : if the pattern calls for a H hook .. use the I or J hook to do the chain foundation then go to the H hook after turning for 1 st row.
For loose crocheters : same example only use the G or F hook for the foundation. then go to the H hook.

I have NO idea why the first couple of rows curls at the corners. No matter what I do I have always gotten that curl, even on the finished item. So I have learned to live with it.

Row 1 : when you have done the chain row. LOOK at your chain row. see the little LUMP ??? I put my hook in the lump and use that as my guide for that row.
Row 2 : I look at this one as if I am looking at the edge of a book; and insert the hook under the top loop, across.
I continue in this method.
When I first learned the book that was I had said to go thru that loop and keep the hook closest to your body .. I didn't like that .. so I learned to do it as above for row 2. Today most will teach this way.

If you are fighting to get that hook into the yarn to make a stitch. THEN YOU ARE DEFINITELY PULLING WAY TOOOO HARD AND MAKING IT WAY TOOOO TIGHT !!!!

When you do this .. if the pattern calls for the H hook then use the J hook and work with it til you can get it to stay tooo loose.
I taught myself when I do this .. what I will do is : notice the flat spot on your Crochet Hook?? when you make a stitch: slide the hook where the yarn will flow over that flat spot OK?????
When you can keep it that loose all the time then go down a hook size.
It does take practice and alot of patience with it .. for sureeeeeee
But you should NEVER have to fight with getting the Hook into the yarn...
The first row will alwaysssss be the hardest to do cause you have nothing to hang on tooo .. infact sometimes the first 3 rows can drive ya crazy .. it gets easier by the 4th row usually ...
when ever you find that it is getting tight .. go back to where it is getting tight and start from there with a size bigger ..
but make some coasters first .. chain up about 15 only then practice the sc .. then when your comfortable with that do a few in hdc, dc and treble ..
I know some will disagree with me on this but thats what I ended up doing so that I could not only get the tension correct but also to get used to the stitch too .. I ended up NOT just jumping right in and making anything but coaster sizes for about a month...
Then make some that is done :
row 1 : sc
row 2 : hdc
row 3 : dc
row 4 : tr
row 5 : tr
row 6 : dc
row 7 : hdc
row 8 : sc ...
this will teach you also to mix stitches .. and if your fast ?? hmmm
you could do 4 coasters of each of the stitches ..
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Old 01-10-2008, 10:48 PM   #9
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Thank you
From the sounds of it, I am DEFINITELY creating a super tight foundation chain, so I will use a larger hook and make up some coasters to get the hang of it all. I really appreciate your thoughtful help - you gals are great!

Thanks again...and my cats thank you in advance because although they really want afghans, they are happy to nap on coasters too!!!

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Old 01-12-2008, 08:45 AM   #10
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knit4fun : you can always use either the slip stitch or sc and put the coasters together to make the cats their own little blanket ... lol Like that you can practice on the joining of pieces tooo .. lol
and your very welcome ..
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