Behind the Scenes:: a Fall Crochet Project

I've got a new crochet project in the works!

It's a collaboration with my friend Alysia of Magnolia and Oak (@magnoliaandoak on Instagram), who hand dyes yarn in the most beautiful of colors.  She invited me to come up with a simple crochet baby bonnet pattern, one easy enough for beginners,  that she could include in a kit with her hand dyed baby alpaca yarn and a hook, everything you would need to make your very own baby bonnet!

Hand dyed yarn and a crochet project

There will be more details coming soon, like where you can get these kits, the colors it will come in, and what the bonnet looks like.  But for now, all you need to do is think of who you need to crochet a baby bonnet for!  Oh, and if you need to, start brushing up on your basic crochet skills with the Blue Corduroy Crochet Lessons series.

To be the first to know when this crochet kit will be available, and about other upcoming projects and products, sign up for my mailing list!

Looking for a simple crochet project to practice your skills? Grab my Free Crochet Dishcloth Pattern for Beginners!

Blue Corduroy Crochet Lessons :: Chain Stitch

Welcome to your second crochet lesson - the Chain Stitch!

Did you learn how to do a slip knot? If you missed it, or forgot how, or need a reminder on how to pick the right size yarn and hook, take a look at the first Blue Corduroy Crochet Lesson on Slip Knots and Yarn Lables.

How to Crochet for beginners by bluecorduoy.com

Crochet is a very addictive and relaxing skill once you get the hang of it.  When my daughter Ginger first learned this chain stitch she was about six years old and she sat and crocheted a chain stitch that reached clear to the back yard! She wasn't worried about how fast she was working or what she was making, she was simply enjoying the yarn and the hook in her hands.

The chain stitch is a foundational stitch for most crochet projects and is also used in many crochet stitches.  What you're learning here is proper tension of the yarn, using your fingers as guides, and how to twist the hook to guide the yarn.

Have fun getting to know your yarn and hook, and I can't wait to show you the next step!

Don't forget, you can also subscribe to my Blue Corduroy Youtube channel to watch these lessons and/or follow me on Instagram @emily_bluecorduroy for other tips and adventures.

Grab my FREE Crochet Dishcloth Pattern for Beginners!

Beginner Crochet Lessons, How to Chain Stitch by Emily of Blue Corduroy

Blue Corduroy Crochet Lessons :: Slip Knot and Yarn labels

Who wants to learn how to crochet, raise your hand!

I'm so excited to present a series of crochet tutorials starting with the basics and working our way up to more advanced techniques so that you can crochet everything you've always dreamed of!  Dishcloths, scarves, baby blankets, bonnets, granny squares....what are you excited to make? 

Crochet Lessons, how to read a yarn label and how to do a slip knot by bluecorduroy.com

We're going to start at the very beginning with a slip knot. Ruby and Ginger will be helping me make these videos.  I set up a Blue Corduroy channel on YouTube, and if you subscribe, you will have easy access to step by step crochet lessons.

How to Make a Slip Knot

Getting to know your supplies is a must when learning a new skill. Yarn and crochet hooks come in all different sizes.  A thicker yarn will produce a bulkier finished project and will need a larger hook than a more delicate project with thinner yarn.  But how are you supposed to know which yarn goes with which hook?

I'm a big fan of asking the sales clerk for help, they almost always have all the answers you need.  But if you're left to your own devices, the yarn label has an easy to read chart to tell you exactly which hook and/or knitting needles to use.   

How to read a yarn label by Blue Corduroy

HOW TO READ A YARN LABEL

Yarn Thickness

When you flip the label over to the back, you'll see on the left side the yarn thickness, on this particular label in the photo below you'll see that the yarn is a SUPER BULKY #6.  When picking out projects to make, it is very handy to know what size yarn will produce the desired look. 

Recommended Knitting Needle Size

Moving to the right of the yarn size you'll see a square box with knitting needles crossed on the inside.  This image tells you to use a knitting needles size US 13, or 9 mm.  If you were to knit a square swatch of 9 stitches long and 12 stitches high, with the appropriate knitting needles, it should measure 4" x 4" (or 10cm x 10cm)

Recommended Crochet Hook Size

Moving to the right of the knitting needle box, you'll see a crochet hook icon.  This particular yarn label suggests a crochet hook size US M/13 or 9 mm.  Notice how the crochet hook and knitting needles sizes correspond? Very handy!

Laundry Instructions

At the far right of the yarn label are the laundry instructions.  This is something you definitely want to pay attention to if you plan on laundering your finished product. Thankfully, it also tells you in words underneath the drawings on most labels, because I can often forget what each symbol means. This particular yarn wants to be hand washed, lay flat to dry. No iron, no bleach.

A Special Note about Tension

Some people will naturally crochet or knit with a very tight stitch, and others will make their stitches looser.  It's funny to notice in yourself, if your feeling stressed out about something, your stitches can become tighter and tighter, without you even trying!  

Each pattern usually comes with a "gauge" and this is a simple way of working up a small portion of the pattern to check on what size your stitches are compared to the pattern makers.  If you tend to work tight or you've chosen a slightly thinner yarn than the pattern suggests, you may need to experiment with a larger needle/hook or different size yarn.  

Grab my FREE Crochet Dishcloth Pattern for Beginners!

How to Slip Knot and Read Yarn Labels by Blue Corduroy