How to Crochet
Want to learn about a yarn? Look at the skein band or ball band on it! Keep reading this blog to learn how to read a skein band.
Follow along as we read a skein band! We're using Super Saver in our example. To start, position your yarn so the Red Heart logo is facing you.
Outside of Band
The big red heart on the skein band tells you this is Red Heart Yarn! Underneath the Red Heart name the logo tells you that this particular skein is our Super Saver yarn.
Above the logo a line says that the yarn is worsted weight, or a 4 weight in the Craft Yarn Council yarn classification system that we use.
Underneath the heart you can see the small American flag in the left hand corner indicating that the yarn is Made in the USA. On the right-hand corner is the fact that Super Saver does not have dye lots in solid colors. You can see this written in English, French, and Spanish. To meet regulations the copy on the ball band must be in multiple languages.
Turn the skein slightly away from you so you can see the picture of the free pattern. Your picture may be different than the one in our example. One type of yarn may have the same pattern on all of the skein bands or it may have different patterns on different skein bands. Which pattern is on any particular skein of yarn is just due to chance.
At the top of the skein band in this shot you can see a red line where it gives the net weight and the yardage for this skein. In the US yarn is sold by weight, so this skein is 7 ounces or 198 grams. The yardage given is an estimate and is the least amount of yarn you will encounter in the skein; the actual amount may be more. Since yarn is sold by weight and not by yardage no two skeins of yarn will have the exact same yardage.
The picture shows the free pattern available on the inside of the ball band. This particular free pattern is for the Double-Sole Slippers; the picture has the pattern number superimposed on top of it. The white box to the left of the pattern picture has a crochet hook, so you can tell this is a crochet pattern. Other skein bands may have an image of crossed knitting needles to tell you that the free pattern is knit. The numbers printed in the white box indicate the size of the crochet hook (or knitting needles, for other patterns) used in the free pattern. This particular free pattern uses a 5.5mm [US I-9] crochet hook. Below the white box the number of skeins needed for the picture and the color shown in the picture are listed. This pattern uses 1 skein of 319 Cherry Red.
Social media logos are listed below the pattern information. If you go to YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter, you will be able to find Red Heart Yarns accounts.
Below the pattern picture is our website, then you get to the technical information: the manufacturing details of the yarn, our address, manufacturing and recycling information for the paper, and the importing information for our business in Mexico.
If you continue turning the skein you'll see a white sticker holding the ends of the skein band together. The sticker gives the name of the yarn color above the article number and the color number. For this skein the color is Cherry Red, the article number is E300, and the color is 0319. The other numbers show when it was manufactured. Super Saver does not have any dye lots in solid colors, but yarns that do have dye lots have the dye lot information also printed on the skein band. The bar code allows the skein to be identified and for you to buy it at the store.
If you turn it away from you again, underneath the "No Dye Lot" notice are the yarn information, gauge, and washing instructions.Left to right, the boxes are for:
- This yarn has a weight of 4 in the Craft Yarn Council classification system.
- The gauge of this yarn with 5mm/US 8 knitting needles is 17 stitches and 23 rows in 4"x4" (10 cm x 10 cm).
- The gauge of this yarn with a 5.5mm/US I-9 crochet hook is 12 single crochets and 15 rows in 4"x4" (10 cm x 10 cm).
- This yarn can be machine washed.
- This yarn can be tumble dried.
- You should not use an iron on this yarn.
The general laundry instructions and the fiber content of the yarn (100% acrylic) are listed next.
The next set of pictures shows you that this yarn is a skein, and that you can pull it from the center. For more details on this, please see our blog on the difference between balls and skeins of yarn. Now you're back at the beginning!
Inside of Band
To look at the inside of the band, slide the band off of the skein. At the white sticker carefully pull so the band opens flat without ripping. The inside of the band has a written pattern for the image on the outside of the band. The pattern is given in French and English. You can also find the pattern on our website by searching the number that is shown on the picture.
What other questions do you have? Let us know in the comments!
Everyone talks about yarn weight — what does it mean? When we refer to yarn weight, we're not talking about the weight of the ball or skein. Instead, we're talking about how thick or thin yarn is.
Yarnspirations follows the Craft Yarn Council (CYC) Standard Yarn Weight System. In this system, yarn is divided into weights 0 to 7. The thinner the yarn, the smaller the number. For example, Aunt Lydia's Classic Crochet Thread Size 10 would count as a size 0 (Lace). Red Heart Super Saver, Caron One Pound and Bernat Super Value are all size 4 (Medium), and Red Heart Grande and Bernat Mega Bulky is a size 7 (Jumbo).
Just because yarn is the same weight doesn't mean it is identical: Red Heart Super Saver, Caron One Pound, and Red Heart Soft all have a weight of 4, but they are slightly different sizes and have slightly different gauges. Each weight of yarn has a range of similar gauges.
Each of our yarns has the symbol for their weight on the ball band. You can search our yarn by weight on the website: click on "Yarn" in the top navigation bar, and then select the weight you need under the "Weight" column.
If you want to substitute yarn in a pattern, weight is one component. It is easiest to substitute between yarns of the same weight, such as using Red Heart Super Saver or Caron One Pound in a pattern. You will still need to check the pattern gauge, however, to make sure that the project you are making will turn out the correct size.
Lace weight yarn also known as fingering yarn and 10 count crochet thread is very thin yarn used for lacy projects such as doilies and lace shawls.
Super fine yarn may also work for lace projects since it is great for creating delicate garments. Super fine yarn is commonly used to make socks, shawls and baby items. Shop super fine yarns.
Fine yarn often referred to as Sport Weight yarn is also great for creating lightweight and delicate projects. It works well for making socks, heirloom garments and lightweight blanket.
Light yarn is slightly thicker than a #2 Fine yarn, it is considered a lighter worsted weight yarn that’s great for making heavier, fine garments and baby items. Shop light (DK) yarns.
Medium weight yarns are often referred to as Aran or Worsted Weight yarn. Worsted weight yarn is the most frequently used yarn since it is easy to work with. It’s a great yarn for beginners and for those looking to make a variety of projects. Shop Medium weight or worsted weight yarns.
Bulky yarn or chunky yarn is almost twice as thick as worsted weight yarn and is great for making scarves, hats, sweaters, and blankets. Due to its thickness this yarn works up quickly when using large hooks or needles. Looking to make a project with a bulky yarn? Shop bulky yarns.
Super Bulky yarn or Roving yarn is thicker and works up quick! This kind of yarn is great for making warm and cozy sweaters, hats, and cowls. Shop super bulky yarns.
The thickest of yarns classified in the Yarn Weight Standards by the Craft Yarn Council. This yarn category was created to classify the trending super thick yarns which started to appear in the yarn world. These jumbo yarns are great for quickly making sturdy and large projects. Start stitching with jumbo yarns!
Every pattern either dictates the yarn you need to use to make the project or the yarn weight. This means that you have the option of making a project in the yarn you want by simply switching to a different yarn with the same weight originally called in the pattern. An important thing to note if you choose to switch out one yarn for another when working on a project is to make sure you create a gauge swatch. While most yarns within a yarn weight category are interchangeable not all yarns are identical that’s why it’s helpful to create a gauge swatch, so you can get a sense of the tension you’ll need to maintain in order to achieve the right amount of stitches per inch.
When learning to crochet, it’s always best to start out with a solid understanding of the tools you’ll need to successfully take on this craft. Crochet hooks can come in an array of sizes and materials, while also having plenty of different styles to choose from. Below, we’ve created a guide to help you better understand the world of crochet hooks and help you pick the right one for your first project.
Tapered hook vs. In-line hook
A crochet hook has a long slender handle with a hook at one end that helps pull yarn through loops and form crochet stitches. The stitches then pass from the throat of the hook onto the shaft. While all hooks have the same basic anatomy, there are subtle differences in shaping that can alter the way that yarn passes along the hook and how the hook navigates the stitches. The head of the hook can be either rounded or pointed; a rounded head can be ideal when working with a plied yarn that might be prone to splitting, whereas a pointed head can work well when you are crocheting a very dense fabric. Some hooks can also have different throats, which isthe part of the crochet hook just below the top of the actual hook. This can be either an in-line throat or a tapered throat. An in-line hook has more of a rigid decrease which tends to have a snug hold on the yarn, a tapered throat is smoother and allows the yarn to slip off more easily. Typically, a tapered hook is easier for a beginner to use as the yarn doesn’t slip off your hook as easily this means a tapered hook is also great to use when working with a finer weight yarn. While tapered hooks are suggested for beginners this doesn’t mean a beginner shouldn’t use an in-line hook, it’s always best to use whichever hook you feel most comfortable with.
Find tapered and in-line crochet hooks here.
Crochet Hook Materials
Wooden Crochet Hooks
Wooden crochet hooks can be more expensive than metal or plastic hooks however, wooden crochet hooks are the smoothest crochet hooks and havea natural warmth to them. A cheaper alternative to traditional wooden crochet hooks is bamboo crochet hooks. These crochet hooks are lightweight and smooth while still having enough texture to prevent the yarn from slipping off your hook too easily. For these reasons bamboo crochet hooks are great for those just starting to crochet.
Find wooden crochet hooks here.
Metal Crochet Hooks
Metal crochet hooks are the smoothest crochet hooks out there, the yarn easily glides on and off the hook making for quick crocheting. With such glide to the yarn when crocheting with a metal crochet hook you will most often see more experienced crocheters use these hooks which much ease and comfort. However, beginners should not be intimidated by these crochet hooks as in some cases a beginner may find the smoothness makes it easier for them to achieve proper tension if they find themselves crocheting too tight. Most crochet hooks are made with aluminum and tend to be lightweight, although not as light as bamboo crochet hooks. In some cases, you will find smaller crochet hooks, reserved for thread crochet, are made of steel.
Find metal crochet hooks here.
Plastic Crochet Hooks
The most inexpensive type of crochet hooks, plastic crochet hooks are great for those just starting to crochet. They are the most lightweight type of crochet hook to start out with and have a slight texture to them, so they are not as smooth as metal crochet hooks. This lightweight crochet hook is great for working on large projects in bulky yarns as the hook barely adds any weight to your growing project and makes it easier to manipulate your stitches.
Find plastic crochet hooks here.
Standard vs. Ergonomic Crochet Hooks
While crocheting can be a therapeutic hobby there is no denying that the same repetitive movements which bring such joy can also introduce hand fatigue. For those experiencing hand fatigue when crocheting or have chronic pain and are prone to repetitive strain injuries, an ergonomic crochet hook might be helpful in alleviating any discomfort or pain you are experiencing. Ergonomic crochet hooks can be bought in all three types of crochet hooks discussed above with either a tapered or in-line throat. Alternatively, you can turn your favorite hook into an ergonomic one. Grips are great for those crocheters out there who can’t bear to part with their favorite crochet hook as you can easily place these grips over existing hooks.
Find ergonomic crochet hooks here.
Different Crochet Hooks for Different Types of Projects
This type of crochet is different enough from traditional crochet as it requires a specific Tunisian crochet hook. Tunisian crochet is often referred to as Afghan crochet, this type of crochet requires an elongated crochet hook with a stopper on the end. Tunisian crochet combines crochet and knitting skills and creates wonderfully textured stitches resulting in dense and plush fabric, often mistaken as knitting.
Find Tunisian crochet hooks here.
This type of crochet work involves the use of a very large crochet hook, a large plastic crochet hook works just fine for broomstick lace crochet. Broomstick lace sometimes referred as jiffy lace or peacock eye crochet is a style of lace crochet from the 19th century. This type of lace crochet makes use of a larger sized crochet hookor dowel to create large eyelet motifs throughout your stitches, resulting in stunning lace crochet work.
Find broomstick crochet hooks here.
Crochet Hook Sizes
Your crochet hook size is determined by the yarn you are using, the gauge you want to achieve, and the type of stitch pattern you are working. All patterns and yarns will suggest the crochet hook size you will need to make a project or work with a specific yarn. This suggestion from both the pattern and yarn itself is a guide to help you obtain proper gauge. Gauge is the amount of crochet stitches you need to make per inch. This ensures that your tension is correct when making a project so that your finished project looks as intended. You can find yarn gauge and recommended crochet hook size on a yarn page or on a yarn’s label. These can be represented as symbols like the ones down below.
Find crochet hooks in a number of sizes here here.
Different Ways to Hold Your Crochet Hook
If you’re looking to learn to crochet it can be useful to understand the two most common ways of holding your crochet hook. Neither is better than the other, however, it is helpful to know that there are different ways to hold your hook because it can help you feel more comfortable when crocheting.
As the name implies the pencil grip method of holding your hook is like how you would hold a pencil in your dominant hand. With the crochet hook facing you, your index finger and thumb will grip the hook while the rest of your fingers act as a support.
The knife grip is like holding a knife when cutting your food. With the crochet hook facing you, your middle finger and thumb will grip the shaft of the hook while you place your index finger along the top.
The best thing to do when starting to crochet is to try both ways of holding your crochet hook so you can choose the grip that’s most comfortable for you. Often you will also find it easier to work new stitches if you simply adjust or change how you are holding your hook. The same can be done if you are experiencing fatigue or discomfort in your hands while crocheting. Check out our video tutorial below as we show you the two different ways to hold your crochet hook.
Prepare your stitching for success. Explore
There are no hard and fast rules about the best way to hold the hook and yarn. Choose whichever way you find the most comfortable.
Some people prefer the "pencil grip". The hook is held in the right hand as if holdinga pencil.
Some people prefer using the "knife grip". The hook is held in the right hand as if holding a dinner knife ready to cut.
To maintain the slight tension in the yarn necessary for easy, even stitches, you may find it helpful to wrap the yarn around the fingers of the hand opposite the one holding the hook. Try one of these ways or find another way that feels comfortable to you.
In the illustrations above, the left hand holds your crochet work and at the same time controls the tension of the yarn. The left-hand middle finger is used to manipulate the yarn, while the index finger and thumb hold on to the work.
Some people find it more comfortable to manipulate the yarn with the index finger and hold the project with their thumb and middle finger. While you're learning, if one way feels awkward, try another way until you find the one that suits you.
Make a circle with yarn or thread.
Pull a loop through the circle.
Insert the hook in the loop.
Pull gently and evenly to tighten the loop and slide the knot up to the hook. You want the loop to be able to move easily on the hook but be snug around it. Take care that the loop stays on the wider part of the hook and is not on the thumb rest or the narrow part near the head.
Wrap the yarn from back to front over the hook (or hold the yarn still and maneuver the hook). This movement of the yarn over the hook is used over and over again in crochet and is usually called "yarn over", abbreviated as "yoh".
Check out these stitches that use the yarn over hook movement:
Single crochet two together stitch (sc2tog) (also known as a single crochet decrease)
Double crochet back post (dcbp)
Double crochet front post (dcfp)
Almost all crochet begins with a foundation chain, which is a series of chain stitches beginning with a slip knot. You then work the first row of other stitches into the chain to start making crochet fabric. The foundation chain is also called a base chain or starting chain.
To work a foundation chain, start by making a slip knot.
Then chain as many stitches as the pattern calls for.
Next, start working stitches into the chain. You can use single crochets, half double crochets, double crochets, or any combination the pattern tells you to use.
When working into the starting chain, you may work under one or two strands of chain loops as shown in the illustration. Either of these methods forms an even, firm bottom edge.
Some people like to work into the "bump" on the back of the chain. This forms an even, stretchy bottom edge that is ideal for garments. It also produces an edge that looks more similar to the final edge of your project, making it useful for projects where both ends are exposed, such as scarves.
Whichever method of working into the foundation you choose, be consistent. Work all the pieces of a project in the same manner.
Stitches: HOW TO
Check out more stitches and tutorials. Explore
Single crochet is the most common basic crochet stitch that will result in fabric. It is abbreviated sc.
Insert the hook into the work (second chain from hook on the foundation chain), * yarn over and draw yarn through the work only.
Yarn over again and pull the yarn through both loops on the hook.
One single crochet made. Insert hook into next stitch; repeat from * in step 1.
Half double crochet is in between the height of single crochet and double crochet, and it is made using aspects of both. It is abbreviated hdc.
Yarn over and insert the hook into the work (third chain from hook on the starting chain).
* Yarn over and draw through pulling up a loop.
Yarn over again and pull yarn through all three loops on the hook.
One half-double crochet made. Yarn over, insert hook into next stitch; repeat from * in step 2.
Double crochet is a very common crochet stitch. It is taller than single crochet and half-double crochet, and is abbreviated dc.
* Yarn over and draw yarn through, pulling up a loop.
Yarn over and pull yarn through only the first two loops on the hook.
Yarn over and pull yarn through the last two loops on the hook.
One double crochet made. Yarn over, insert hook into next stitch; repeat from * in step 2.
Slip stitch is the shortest of all crochet stitches. Unlike other stitches, slip stitches are not often used on their own to produce a large piece fabric. The slip stitch is used for joining, shaping and, where necessary, to move the yarn to another part of the fabric for the next stage.
Insert the hook into the work as directed in the pattern. Yarn over and the pull yarn through the work and the loop on the hook in one movement.
When working into previous rows, yarn over and pull the yarn through both the work and the loop on the hook in one movement.
To join a chain ring with a slip stitch, insert the hook into the first chain, yarn over and pull the yarn through the work and the loop on the hook.
Slip stitches may be used to make stretchy crocheted ribbing.
To make ribbing, start by chaining for the width of the item, not the length. For example, if you are making a hat brim, you would crochet just a few stitches for the width of the brim, not the number of stitches needed to go all the way around your head.
Next, slip stitch into the back loop only of each chain across the row.
Chain one and turn at the end of therow.
Again, work into the back loop only of each stitch across the row, then chain one and turn. Repeat this row as many times as you would like to make the fabric the size you want.
Finishing Your Project
Learn different finishing techniques. Explore
To fasten off the yarn permanently, cut the yarn leaving an 8" end (longer if you need to sew pieces together). Pull the end of the yarn through the loop on the hook and pull gently to tighten.
Weave in ends securely before blocking pieces or sewing seams. Securely woven ends will not come loose with wear or washing. It's best to work in ends as invisibly as possible.
There are multiple options for yarn needles to use to weave in your ends: straight steel, straight plastic, and bent-tip steel. Use whichever one you prefer.
A good method of weaving in ends is to run the end under several stitches, then reverse the direction and weave it back under several more stitches. Trim the end close to the work. Changing the directions keeps the yarn more secure. Leave at least 4" on the end to weave in securely. If you only weave the end under a couple of stitches it will not be secure. If your yarn is quite thick, you may want to leave extra length.
Depending on the pattern, you may be able to start the process of weaving in your ends by laying the end along your fabric and working stitches around it as you go. This method is not a substitute for traditional weaving-in ends, as you will still need to reverse the direction, but it may begin the process. This method may not work as well when you are changing colors, as depending on the stitch pattern the tail of the old color may show through the stitches of the new color.
If you are working with multiple colors, for example in a striped pattern, keep the ends in the same color as you weave them in. Keeping them in their own color makes them more difficult to see.
If you are not sure if the end will be visible on your fabric when you weave it in, use a yarn needle that is a different color from your fabric. Thread the yarn needle through the stitches, but then check the opposite side before you pull the yarn through. If the yarn needle is extremely exposed, your tail will be as well.
If your tail is too short to weave in with a regular needle or too thick to fit into the eye, use a Susan Bates Finishing Needle. Finishing Needles have the eye all the way along the length of the needle, so it's easier to weave in short or extra thick tails.
Other Tips And Tricks
Many of the left-handed crafters who learned to crochet decades ago had to learn the craft "backwards" from their natural approach because they learned from a right-handed crocheter. Today, that's no longer necessary. There are teachers, tutorials, patterns and more for the left-handed crocheter.
In this guide, you'll learn the basic stitches in left-handed crochet, tips for learning more, information on finding left-handed pattern sources and guidance for adapting existing patterns to your left-handed crochet style. Are you a right-handed crocheter who wants to teach a leftie how to crochet? There's information on that in this guide, too!
Basic Understanding of Left-Handed Crochet
Left-handed crochet is basically a mirror-image of right-handed crochet. The left-handed crocheter holds the crochet hook in his or her left hand and the yarn in the right hand. Learning how to hold the hook (in either "pencil grip" or "knife grip") and manipulate the yarn is similar to learning as a right-handed crafter; follow your teachers and tutorials but also figure out what works best for you.
The majority of crochet tutorials, and nearly all crochet patterns and symbol charts, are written for right-handed crochet. In left-handed crochet, you follow the exact same instructions, but you work in the opposite direction.
This means that when you are working rows, row one will be worked into the foundation chain starting on the left side and working towards the right. This should feel fairly natural to you as a left-hander. It also means that when youareworking in rounds, you will be crocheting clockwise, rather than the counter-clockwise way that righties are working.
How to Crochet Chain Left-Handed
Instructional photos by Rachel Lane of The Little Room of Rachell
In this guide, we'll learn how to crochet three basic stitches: chain, single crochet and double crochet, using a left-handed technique. If you learn better from crochet videos, check out our Red Heart Basic Left-Handed Crochet Video.
Begin with a slip knot.
Yarn over. Note that every time you "yarn over" in your crochet work, you will be scooping the yarn clockwise with your hook to pick up the yarn.
Draw hook through loop. You'll scoop the yarn clockwise here.
Repeat steps 2-3; each repetition is one chain.
How to Single Crochet Left-Handed
Crochet a foundation chain of any length.
Insert hook into second chain from hook. Your hook will be held in your left hand, the chain will be extending out to the right, and you will insert the hook into the second chainthat is to the right of the hook.
This photo demonstrates how you'll go into the chain with your hook, so you have 2 stands on top of the hook and 1 below.
Draw through loop. You will see two loops on your hook at the end of this step.
Draw through both loops on hook. This is your first sc.
Insert hook into next chain and repeat steps 3-6.
Repeat step 7 across row.
How to Double Crochet Left-Handed
Crochet a foundation chain of any length.
Insert hook into fourth chain from hook. This is the fourth chain towards the right, working from left to right away from your hook.
Draw through loop. You will see three loops on your hook at the end of this step.
Yarn over and draw through the first two of those three loops on the hook.
Yarn over and draw through the two loops now on the hook. You've completed your first double crochet.
Yarn over and insert crochet hook into the next stitch then repeat steps 4-7 for the next stitch.
Repeat step 8 across row.
Turn work. Chain 3 for turning chain.
Yarn over and insert hook into next stitch.
In the photo above, Rachel shows that you are crocheting your next stitch into the 3rd chain of the turning chain from the previous row. She explains, "this ensures stitch count remains correct and shape is not triangular; I made plenty of accidental 'bunting' when I was learning!" Repeat your dc stitches across the entire row.
Important Tips for Left-Handed Crochet
This photo depicts the "wrong side" of double crochet stitch, as described below.
Leave your beginning yarn tail hanging at the start of each project (don't crochet over it); when a pattern mentions the "right side" or "wrong side" of the work, look for that tail as a cue. The "right side" will be when the tail is on the bottom right corner.
Remember that every time you yarn over, you are going to "scoop the yarn clockwise". Rachel says that she repeated this mantra to herself regularly when first learning to crochet.
Left-handed crochet is possible to do with both written patterns and visual ones. With charts and graphs, you can reverse the image (see below in the section on adapting existing patterns) and use the reversed image as your guide.
Resources for Learning More Left-Handed Crochet
There are several crochet designers who offer free tutorials online for learning both right-handed and left-handed crochet.
For example, Tamara Kelly of Moogly offers a beginner's guide with videos for learning left-handed crochet; she also offers tutorials for both hands when she shares new stitch patterns on her website.
Donna Wolfe of Naztazia and The Crochet Crowd fo rLeft-Handed Crocheters all have videos available on YouTube
Kim Guzman's video tutorials on the CGOA website
PlanetJune's left-handed amigurumi basics
Additionally, many crochet magazines include both left-handed and right-handed crochet patterns in the learn-to-crochet resource guide that is typically found at the back of the magazine. Check your favorite crochet magazines to see if they include this.
Finally, there are so many great online resources where community members help each other out. There are Ravelry groups and Facebook groups for left-handed crocheters; you can join these to ask questions and share what you learn with others!
Sources for Left-Handed Crochet Patterns
If you do a search online for left-handed crochet patterns, you'll find that there are some great designers and teachers out there who share this information widely. For example, check out Maggie Weldon's YouTube channel. But did you know that you can also find a lot of left-handed crochet pattern instruction right here on Yarnspirations for free? Here are just a few examples of our crochet patterns with left-handed instructional videos:
How to Adapt Patterns to Left-Handed Crochet
A simple straightforward crochet pattern can be followed exactly as it is written, just reversing the direction that you're working. However, some patterns will need to be reversed to work properly. For example, in tapestry crochet and other types of colorwork crochet, you will need to reverse the pattern or you're going to get a reverse image, which can look backwards unless the design is symmetrical. (For example, if you did a filet crochet pattern that had a word on it, the word would read backwards if you didn't first reverse the image to adapt for your left-handed crochet approach.) This means that you will work the odd and even numbered rows in the opposite of their stated form; so, if a right-handed crafter would work the odd rows from right to left, you would work them left to right.
Symbol charts are written for right-handed crocheters. You will do the exact same stitches but in the opposite direction, as a mirror image of the chart. So how do you reverse a crochet pattern? Some people are able to do this in their heads, just reminding themselves that they're working the opposite direction of the stated instructions. However, it's okay if you can't do this. You simply need to create a mirror image of the pattern for yourself, so you can use any pattern that has a chart, graph or symbol instructions and reverse it. Use photo editing tools to simply reverse the image on your computer and use the new image for your instructions. (Holding a mirror up to the visual pattern would also work.) You can also reverse videos by doing a "horizontal flip" on your computer.
On the left, is the original filet crochet chart and, on the right, is a reversed filet crochet chart.
As for written patterns, it can be helpful to go through the pattern and highlight all ofthe cues that indicate the direction of the work. Some examples would be, "join yarn in right corner" or "working into the wrong side of the work". Each of these directions needs to be reversed, which you can do mentally or actually cross out and write into the instructions so they say, "join yarn in left corner" or "working into the right side of the work".
How to Teach Left-Handed Crochet
Many right-handed crochet teachers have left-handed students that they would love to help. The most common way to teach an opposite-handed crafter how to crochet is to sit opposite from one another so that the student can mirror (rather than mimic) the teacher's steps for learning to crochet. If you are a teacher who uses videos or photo tutorials, you can create your tutorials in your right-handed crochet technique and then reverse the instructions using photo or video imaging software.
Just remember to consider and include any special instructions where the student needs to consider the reversal more carefully; such as in the example of making filet crochet word charts as explained above. Finally, either you or your student could opt to learn to use their non-dominant hand; meaning that you could teach yourself left-handed crochet in order to explain it better or work with a student who is willing to learn with the right hand.
The instructional photos for this tutorial are from left-handed crocheter Rachel Lane. She wanted to learn to crochet when she was young but thought that she couldn't because she was left-handed. Now she knows that left-handed crocheters can thrive in the craft and she shares what she knows on her site The Little Room of Rachell.
We can't wait to see your finished projects! Share them using #yarnspo
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