Hookery Class #1
Hi everyone, Welcome to the Hookery Class #1! I hope you’ve all had a good week and are ready to get started on the new Hookery Classes! ??
Grab a seat, quiet at the back please! Today we are going to start with Basic Equipment.
I’d recommend that you have a read here and also watch the videos. I’ve popped a few links to the Tutorial page as well because this week we are covering such a lot before we even pick a hook up. Who would have thought that you could chat for hours about a bit of string & a bent stick, huh??
As always, let me know if there’s any further info you’d like to see in the weekly Hookery Class!
So first of all you need some Crochet hooks. Now, there’s a lot of choice out there and what works for one person might not work for the next, so choosing your hook is a game of trial and error when you start out.
Let’s look at some of what’s on offer.
The tip and the throat of the hook are used to make a stitch. The diameter of the shaft section determines the size of the hook.
The grip and the handle are used to hold the hook.
Standard everyday hooks are either Inline or Tapered. Personally I favour the tapered hook and I find that an inline hook slows me down. For a beginner, an inline hook might be just the job. The shaft of the inline hook is straight all the way down to the end so it helps to keep a consistent tension on your stitches. Tapered ends can cause the tension to tighten up as you slide the hook out, especially if you hold the yarn tight or wrap it around your fingers. With crochet, there’s really no need to wrap the yarn around fingers – you are looking for a gentle guidance of the yarn. You want to keep it slightly tense but NOT taut. Taut yarn can give you a stiff finish on your work – not ideal for a baby blankie, is it.
So if you can get used to holding your yarn with a light tension between your fingers, then a tapered hook is the smoothest way to go.
What Hook will you choose?
Ok, so now what other choices do we have? Well, there’s plastic hooks, metal hooks, hooks with lights, bamboo hooks, straight hooks, fancy handle hooks, oh decisions, decisions!
Take my advice to begin with – go cheap. Try & get yourself a 4mm, 5mm and a 6mm hook preferably the metal ones with a silicon handle. These are perfect for starting out while you find your groove. Look on Ebay for the sets of hooks too. Full sets can be bought for as little as a fiver from China if you can be patient. They’re comfy in your hand and excellent value! There really is no need to pay mega bucks for your hooks, especially in the early days. You’re also looking for comfort. Crochet is meant to be relaxing and fun, right? So be kind to yourself and start with something soft in your hand that won’t dig in and is easy to grasp.
The silicon handled hooks are perfect for beginners and experts. If you insert your hook fully to the handle on each stitch and have a light tension, your stitches will stay consistent while your hands stay comfy and blister free.
Hooks come in all sizes too!
Choose the hook that matches the yarn plus the next hook size up for your starting row.
The US/UK size conversion chart is HERE.
Now let’s get some Yarn to go with those hooks shall we?
Again, when you start out, go cheap! Acrylic is best when you start as it has some elasticity and can be quite forgiving when you frog and start over several times! (And you will!) ?
Some yarns can be quite expensive and also difficult to work with. Don’t be investing huge amounts while you are in the apprentice stage – you have oodles of time to buy fancy yarn later! (And you will!) ??
Grab some cheap acrylic #3 Light Worsted, or #4 Worsted. Together with a 4mm or a 5mm hook, you’re now good to go!
What did she say?
Wait, what? What’s #3, #4, Worsted, Light Worsted?? What am I even on about? ?
Well, yarns are all different thicknesses. There are thin threads, usually for fine lacework, doilies etc, then you have sock yarns, light worsted, worsted, chunky, bulky, super chunky…… oh my.
The main go-to weight in the US is the #4 Worsted weight / Aran. In the UK, it’s the #3 Light Worsted weight / DK. Each weight yarn has a recommended hook size and this will be on the yarn band. The rule of thumb chart can be found HERE with the hook size conversion chart.
Yarn bands give you heaps of information but can be hard to understand.
Let’s translate the
Maybe Aunty Beryl gave you a few balls of yarn with NO labels and you have no idea what size? That’s ok, I’ll show you how to size it too! ?
This section could be called ‘Things you Need and Things you Want’
There’s a difference, although really you’ll end up wanting it ALL!
Things you NEED:
- Yarn Needles
- Sharp Scissors
- Ruler / Tape Measure
- Pad & Pen/Pencil
- Stitch Markers / Scrap Yarn
- Large Headed Long Pins
- Focused Light for Dark Work
- Hand Creams
- Someone to make you brews while you work! ?
So now you have a 4mm/5mm hooks and a DK yarn – or a 5mm/6mm hooks and a Worsted yarn, let’s start! ?
First make a slipknot – easy right? But I’ve seen soooooooo many different ways of doing this!
Make it easy on yourself. Wrap the yarn around your index finger 2 times. Grab the back strand, bring it up and in front of the front strand but NOT off the end of your finger.
Grab the new back strand, bring it up, in front of the new front strand and slip it off the end of your finger. Done!
Pop this loop on your hook, let the tail drop free and hold the working yarn coming from the ball in your other hand so that the yarn goes over your index finger (about 1½”/4cm from the base of the slip knot), then anchor the yarn between your ring finger and your little finger.
Secure the free end that’s hanging down by holding the base of the slip knot between your thumb and middle finger. Now you’re ready to make a chain!
A Simple Project to make
OK, so we’ve already covered a lot here but to be honest, it’s still not enough. I could sit here all day and fill pages and pages telling you all the teeny ins/outs & intricacies. I’ll try & keep some things for future weeks!
I’m going to let the video take over the Hookery Class from here while we learn how to make a chain and an alternative starting chain.
We’ll move on to learn how to single crochet and I will teach you how to keep your stitch count consistent and how to keep your edges straight when working in rows.
We’ll finish up by making a simple mobile phone holder together – ready?
Next week Hookery Class will be covering:
Learn how to work in the round.
Make a simple Coaster Set.
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See you next weekend!!
Daisy xx ???