a cry for help

This is an official cry for help. I have a crafting problem. I bounce back and forth between what I will label "genres" of crafts. One week I am all into knitting, the next I am into embroidery, then I burn myself out and move onto something else... on and on, eventually making it back into knitting. It's like a crop rotation only a lot more yarn and glue, less dirt and nothing like crop rotation.

That's not the problem though. The problem is that I want to learn a new craft - crochet. So I picked up a book on crochet, some crochet hooks and watched a ton of videos and got to work. I would like to say that I got it and I learned to crochet and I am happily working away on something totally adorable. NOT the case.

I can make a chain to start it all out. I can single crochet, double crochet, yo, slip, all that stuff. What I cannot do is put it all together to make it into something. I don't understand where you insert the hook, how many extra chains to make to start a new row, which stitch to stop at. My extremely analytical and mathematical accountant's brain needs to understand the why behind crochet.

First of all, do you understand my problem? Or am I crazy? (Yes.) But do you understand what I mean - when someone says if you want to make 5 double crochets than you need to chain 7 stitches, what does it all mean??

Second, if you know of any great tutorials or easy to follow videos, please share! You don't have to try to explain it to me, but if you know someone who does, direct me their way please.

That is all. I just want to make this:

(On another note, anyone have problems centering embedded Pinterest photos? Obviously I do.)



  1. Crochet didn't work out for me. My MIL tried to teach me and I just couldn't get it.

  2. Oh, Allison, I laughed out loud like 3 different times during this post--I sure enjoyed your crop rotation analogy :-) I'm with you on crochet--I LOVE to crochet but it wasn't until someone sat down next to me and showed me how it was done that it really came together. It all kind of made sense on paper but I didn't understand it completely until I watched someone do it, so if you know anyone who crochets, this is the perfect time to make friends with them :-) This site has some helpful videos: http://crochet-mania.blogspot.com/

    For not understanding where to insert your hook--if you're looking at your chain or at a row of stitches from above, you'll see a row of "v"s, similar to knitting; you want your hook to go under both lines of the "v", if that makes sense. And as far as how many "extra" chains before starting a row--you take however many stitches you want to have in your piece (let's say you want 5 stitches), and you have to add on the extra stitches to give height for when you turn it and start your first row. So if you're going to be doing single crochet in your first row, you need to add one extra chain (so a chain of 6 at the start instead of 5) to allow for the turn--the last chain will end up going upwards instead of out to the side like the others, allowing your single crochet to be high enough for the row. A double crochet is the same height as 2 chains, so if you want to do a row of double crochet, you have to add an extra 2 chains at the end of your 5 (so you'll have a chain of 7) so you can start your row at the right height. Does that make sense? And then when you finish your row of stitches, you chain however many you need for the next row--so if you did 5 single crochets and the next row is also single crochets, you'll chain one and turn your work and keep going; if it's double, you'll chain 2 and turn.

    Anyway, this is turning into a novel and I don't even know if I'm making any sense, but feel free to email me if you have questions :-)

    Rachel @ Maybe Matilda

  3. WOW, that was an extremely long comment. My apologies :-)

  4. Ha i am like you and 'crop rotate' hee hee although i never ever thought of it like this.

  5. This mathematician has had issues with the same things. Just wait until you try a circle or spiral! Most patterns will say something along the lines of "ch 2, counts as first dc" so you treat that ch2 as you would any other stitch, it just doesn't look quite as pretty. Lion brand yarn has good stitch guides, but the best things for me were just trying it out (and realizing after my rectangle kept getting narrower that I was forgetting to treat the ch2 as a real stitch) and also sitting down next to someone. Go ask for hints at your local yarn store- they will either know the answer or can find you someone who does!

    Keep trying, crochet is totally worth it.

  6. Thanks so much for the tips friends!

    Rachel, I do get what you are saying - thanks for telling me about why you chain extra stitches. I think I just watched too many videos trying to find one that I "got" and got lost. I am going to check out that website, and I have a friend who knows how to crochet that I am going to ask for help.

    I will conquer this! I am to stubborn not to :) You guys have to hold me to it, k?

  7. I know exactly how you feel. I had to try really REALLY hard to get crochet down, but once I did, it all became second nature. The thing that helped me was Youtube. Oh yeah And try Ravelry.com-AMAZING place for crocheters and knitters!!

    Good luck!

  8. I decided to lear to crochet. I bought books and supplies. Tried and tried and gave up :( then I got this crazy idea. Youtube. I found a TON of videos! the best and most helpful were 'The art of crochet by Teresa' I want to make an owl hat. I am still getting to hang of it but so far, no giving up :) And I believe I have mastered a simple beanie cap so i am off to a good start! good luck to you. Now all I really want to figure out is exactly what do all those abbreviations mean on a crochet pattern?? can someboy help me out with that?

  9. I know how to crochet just enough to get me in trouble. LOL I've started 2 afghans and finished, wait for it: NONE! LOL They always look funny.

    I LOVE the thing you want to make. I would love to make something like this, so when you learn how, make us a tutorial! LOL

  10. That blanket is made entirely of granny squares. I am in the middle of making one very similar, but each square is just one color versus multiples. YOUTUBE!!!! This is the video that was the very best for me figuring out how to do it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11Wh7IOT9BI She takes it step by step so well. I rewound it about 500 times, but you will get it quickly!

  11. Thanks Monique - I started watching that video, and I will have to keep it saved for later when I get to that point. This weekend I have just been practicing the basics - getting the stitches down.

    Thanks for all your help everyone!


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