Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Crochet Necklace Repair

Q. Hi,
I've never crocheted before and came across your videos. i now have an understanding of how it all works. I want to crochet part of a necklace I'm making/repairing. the only crocheted part is the loop/closure. Since I'm new to this (I've only watch a few videos, that's all I know), I was wondering if you could point me in the right direction. I'm not sure what kind of needles to buy or where to even start. Since the part I'm crocheting is small and uses silk thread I'm not sure what kind of stitch to crochet or where to even begin. Also, the necklace has it's closures intertwined into the silk thread and again, I have no idea how to start or begin to do that. Would it be possible to tell me what kind of stitch I need to use? Any info you can provide will be much appreciated. I'll include the picture as well.

Thanks for providing such a wonderful website. I hope to hear from you soon. Maritsa

A. Hi Maritsa,
So glad to hear you're learning crochet! I apologize for not getting back to you sooner!

It's been SO long since I've crocheted anything with a smaller hook! However, just looking at the charts, I would choose:
* bone, wood, or plastic - size 2 or 3 (C or D)
* steel hook - size 6 or 7

It looks like the necklace closure is made of single crochet stitches. I would chain about 20 stitches, then turn your piece around and single crochet in each chain-stitch. In the last stitch, insert your hook into the opposite end, and chain a stitch through it. You now have a crocheted circle. Pull your loop, that is still on your hook, into a larger loop. Cut a 2-inch tail off the end of your yarn, and send this tail-end through the remaining larger loop. Now your circle is free from your yarn.

It sounds like your necklace is still intact. If the ends of the necklace are still tied-off, and aren't coming apart, I would leave that part alone. I would then use a threaded craft needle (use the same thread as you used to make the above circle), and make a small stitch through the yarn at the end of the necklace. Put the needle around your crocheted-circle, then tie off and snip thread/yarn. You would also attach your circle in the same way onto one of the links in the end of the necklace.

Use the same procedure for the other end of the necklace.

Let me know if this doesn't answer your questions! And if you understand it!
Good luck! Esther

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Update on Shawl Pattern Question

A. Update, 8-14-08: I did sit down and crocheted these instructions. There is one thing that I want you to know, it's NOT your lack of expertise that is giving you problems! I also had trouble deciding what the author was trying to say!

I have decided that when the pattern says "spaces" in the first 2 instructions, it just means the hole that is formed after you do the half-double-stitches.

When the pattern says this in Row 3:

Row 3: Chain 4, hdc in first chain - 2 space, chain 2; hdc in next chain, - 2 space, chain 2; hdc in second space of beginning chain-4, 3 spaces made, turn.

This is what I believe the author is saying:
Row 3: chain 4; hdc in first chain-2-space; chain 2; hdc in next chain-2-space; chain 2; hdc in second space of beginning chain-4; 3 spaces made; turn.

Then Row 4, when it says:
Row 4: Chain 4, (hdc, chain 2) in each chain -2 space across, hdc in 2nd chain of beginning, chain-4 - 4 spaces made, turn. Repeat Row 4 60 times.

I believe Row 4 means this:
Row 4: Chain 4, (hdc, chain 2) in each chain-2-space across; hdc in 2nd chain of the beginning chain-4; 4 spaces (holes on this row) made; turn. Repeat the fourth row 60 times.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Shawl Pattern question

Q. HI! Love your videos! I am having the dardest time (and that is by far the mildest word I've used to describe it so far:) starting what looks like a very simple shawl pattern. I'm new to crochet -- though I can do Tunisian crochet, and I can knit. I'm having problems with my pattern that goes like this:

Row 1: chain 4, half-double crochet in first chain to form ring - I space made, turn

Row 2: Chain 4 (counts as half-double crochet, chain 2), half-double crochet in ring, chain2, half double crochet in ring, 2 spaces made; turn.

Row 3: Chain 4, hdc in first chain - 2 space, chain 2; hdc in next chain, - 2 space, chain 2; hdc in second space of beginning chain-4, 3 spaces made, turn.

Row 4: Chain 4, (hdc, chain 2) in each chain -2 space across, hdc in 2nd chain of beginning, chain-4 - 4 spaces made, turn. Repeat Row 4 60 times.

I can’t get past Row 2!!! I think part of the problem is that I am making this thing with Lion Suede, which is very chenille-like.
I don't really grasp the concept of the "spaces" that the pattern mentions, or where exactly my needle should be going. If you perchance make another video, do you think you could do the first 3 rows of this -- if I can see someone do it, I might get it :) Thank you!

A. I want to try this myself - I'm such a "hands-on learner" person! I'll get back to you soon!

White Keepsake Hanky Bonnet

Q. Aunt Esther! Thank you so much for your videos! I am determined to learn how to crochet as I really want to make one of those lovely christening caps that turn into a bridal hankie, for my baby daughter's christening next month. I will be watching your videos until I get the techniques down. Do you have a recommendation where to get a pattern for something like this? Do I just need to make a simple square?

Thanks again, these videos and blog are a wonderful idea to share your skills!

A. "White Keepsake Hanky Bonnet"
I have not ever heard of this hanky-bonnet, so went looking on the internet. I have located a site that explains how to fold the hanky, so that it becomes a baby-bonnet. This is the site address:
Bonnet Folding Directions

After checking several leads, I've found a site with free crochet instructions for the edging. The site is e-patternsCentral, and you need to be a member before you are allowed to access their free patterns. I believe it is free to join. Here is the location of the instructions:
Free Crochet Patterns (2 different patterns)

I'm sure there are also other sites that would also have free crochet patterns for the White Keepsake Hanky Bonnet. Hope this helps you out!
Sincerely, Esther

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Brillante Weblog Award Nomination

This blog has been nominated for the Brillante Weblog Award! You can see the nomination at:
Brillante Weblog Award

These are their requirements for receiving this nomination. Quirkywrites:
"Andee (my mate across the pond) who writes The Modern Diary at http://moderndiary.blogspot.com/ nominated me for the Brillante Weblog Award. Thank you Andee. You made me smile very widely. Here's how it works…."

1. The winner can put the logo on his/her blog.
2. Link to the person you received your award from.
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4. Put links to those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs of the people you have nominated.

Esther says, "This couple live in Australia, and I really loved one of their entries about a spider inside of their car. This person knows how to write a great story!"

My Web Page

I have a web page (in progress) that lists several of my interests in life. This is probably where I'll be posting the new crochet and knitting videos for sale. Here's the web page address:

My Web Page

As I'm making the next few videos, what would you be interested in seeing?

The following is my YouTube address:

My YouTube Address

My Knit Afghan-in-progress

The pink and blue strips are both made of the cable stitch. I'll post those at a later date.

This afghan was supposed to be finished by the time my 1st grandchild was born. Well, she's 1 now, and I'm hoping to have it finished for her brother or sister's arrival around Thanksgiving!

New videos to be published soon

Within the next 2 weeks, I will be recording more videos. I plan to make them to sell. Some of the content I will be recording is: granny squares, ripples and shell stitches. I also plan to make videos on how to knit.

Knitting - New Method of Terms

For my fellow knitting friends, I am hearing about a new way to read knitting terms. In an effort to make knitting terms understandable to all languages. I will be checking this out, and will write more on it. Check back!

Thursday, July 24, 2008


I've recently run across this site:


It's a site devoted to becoming a healthier person - with your diet, exercise, etc.

It's a place where I can enter in all the foods that I eat each day, and SparkPeople adds up all your calories for you. It also keeps track of your whole week of calories, carbs, fat, protein, etc. They give you daily meal plans, if you want to use that feature.

But that is just the start! There are so many SparkPeople support groups! From a group that says how much you want to lose, to many other hobby groups that you can join, if you like! Some groups have challenges to sign up for.

For those of you who want to lose a few pounds, I recommend this site!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Crochet Hook Charts

Hello fellow crochet-ers! I have found another chart in a book I have, called "All-Time Great Afghans". It shows the hook sizes, and seems to be easier to understand. Here they are:

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Crochet Abbreviations

Question: Great videos, thank you. I'm also watching from the UK (Wales). Could you please run through pattern abbreviations for us. I can understand the stitches you're showing us visually but then when I read the baby beanie pattern I don't know what any of the shorthand means. And there's a mixture of you talking about 'G' sized hooks but pictures with numbered sizes. I'm a complete n00b so don't know what the equivalents are. Thanks again :)

Answer: Thank you - yes, I'll be glad to give a list of the US abbreviations! Here they are:

ch = chain
st = stitch
sc = single crochet
dc = double crochet
hdc = half double crochet

I've got to admit that I need to do some more searching on the hook-size terms! I'll try to do that this week. I've been surprised that the hooks labeled with "letters" are not being listed on the sites I've already checked with. It could be that the "letters" are phasing out. I WILL check into this, though.

P.S. It sounds like you are doing wonderful - so just keep up the good work!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Heather Martin

Baby's Crying (The) by Heather and Cindy Martin
God Bless America

When Are You Coming Home?
You were almost sixteen when I came into the world.
Mom and dad had you first then 3 more boys I'm the baby girl.
I sure have a lot to look up to in you, you're really smart and funny with a big heart too.
After one year of college you knew what you had to do.
It's just like you wanting to help with the war.
So you joined the army when i was only 4.
This time of year we talk of big plans but you're over seas in some distant land.
You can't be here for Christmas, I don't understand.
When are you coming home, Shaun?
When are you coming home?!
We lit up the house like we always do but it doesn't seem bright 'cause we can't have you.
In my prayers I ask God to keep you safe.
And I'm trying to be really brave.
Tell me that the fighting's through.
Come home!
I really miss you.

It's hard to enjoy the holidays without you.
But we're so proud of you and all the red, white and blue.
Remember that Jesus is your best friend,
And someday our families will be together again.
Wow! you know we'll have a great big party then.


I want to show you how tall I've grown and introduce you to my new friends at school.
Maybe we could go and get some ice cream together but I really don't care what we do.


Monday, June 30, 2008

How to get rid of "tails"

Q. What about the left over tail on the other side?

A. When you start and end a color in crocheting, there will always be a "tail". You get rid of this "tail" by using your crochet hook. After you have cut your yarn off, and slipped it through your last loop on your hook, you trim the tail to about 3 inches. Then simply use your hook to thread it back into the same color as the tail is.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Holding the Crochet Hook

The following is how some people describe how to hold your crochet hook, and also your left-hand "tension":

Always keep thumb and forefinger of your left hand near the stitch on which you are working.
Holding The Crochet Hook
There are two methods of holding a crochet hook. Try them both to see which
one feels most comfortable to you.

Place the hook in your right hand, holding it between your index finger and thumb, as you would hold a pencil.

Hold the hook in an "overhand" clutch, similar to the way you might hold a tennis racquet, or a spoon while making cake batter.
(I apologize for not noting this link down when I found it.)
To crochet easily and successfully, you need to hold the yarn and the hook comfortably, with enough tension on the yarn, so that when you draw the hook around the yarn, it stays firmly in the lip of the hook. Most people choose to wrap the yarn around their fingers, and some make an additional wrap around their little finger – choose whichever yarnholding method works best for you.

Position of the hands
Hold the work in the left hand, between the thumb and forefinger, yarn is taken over the forefinger and middle finger, under the third finger and around the little finger. The crochet hook is held in the right hand (as you would hold a pencil) between the thumb and forefinger and pressing on the middle finger.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Beanie Baby Cap Pattern

Beanie Crocheted - you can make with or without flaps.

This Hat can be made with the following:


1 oz. White or color desired.
Plastic crochet hook No. 2.

1st Round. Ch 2, 6 sc in 2 nd st from hook, do not join this or following rounds. Place a marker at beginning of each round.

2nd Round. 2 sc in each sc.

3rd Round. * 1 sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc, repeat from * all around.

4th Round. * 1 sc in each of next 2 sc, 2 sc in next sc, repeat from * all around. Continue working in sc increasing 1 sc at each increasing point until crown measures 4 ½ inches in diameter. Work 2 rounds even.

Next Round. Ch 1, and working in back loop of sts, 1 sc in each sc, join in 1 st sc, ch 2, turn.

Next Round. 5 dc in next st (5 dc: yarn over hook, insert in st, pull through, yarn over and work off all loops at one time), 1- 5 dc in each st, join, ch 2, turn.

Repeat last round until 5 dc section measures 4 ½ inches from beginning, cut yarn.

POMPON: Wind yarn over a 1 inch cardboard 75 times. Tie through center, and cut both ends. Trim into shape. Sew onto top of hat.

(I found this free pattern at Yarn Lover's Room.)

Crochet term-abbreviations:
ch = chain
st = stitch
sc = single crochet
dc = double crochet
hdc = half double crochet

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Yarn can come in different sizes. When they are constructed at the factory, it is decided how many "ply"s will be in that "skein" of yarn.

The "ply" simply tells/gives you the number of little threads that is wrapped together to make up the final yarn. A lot of yarns come in 2 or 3-ply. (Just as how many threads are wrapped together to make one final rope.)

Skein is the final unit you buy to take home with you.

Saturday, June 7, 2008


Q. Hi I wanted to say thank you for the videos they are a big help and I am working on a baby blanket for my niece that is due in August I just have a couple of questions if you dont mind...First, I can not get the stitches consistent all the way across they are either too tight or way to loose. How can I fix this? then second, when I go to do the yarn over that is ok but when I actually pull it through it frays the yarn and I end up only pulling half of what I am supposed to...Please help???

A. You are very welcome for these crochet videos! Actually, I've got to give my niece a lot of credit, because she's the one who had the idea!

To answer the first part of your question, it sounds like you need to use one hand for your "tension". If you are right-handed, and use your right hand to actually crochet, then the "tension" hand would be your left hand. (Vice-versa if you're left-handed.) I show how I do this on my first crochet video:

Crochet Video 1 - This one shows the "tension" technique 1/4 the way from the beginning.

Crochet Video 2 - This one shows the "tension" technique 3/4 the way through.

The second difficulty you mentioned is also tension-related. When you're making your stitch, if your tension isn't tight enough, then you'll lose some "plys" part of your yarn as you're pulling it through your stitch. Also, remember to turn your hook to face down as you're pulling it through your stitch.

Try these ideas out, and see if they help - - if not, let me know!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

easy pattern for a blanket

Q. is there an easy pattern for a blanket? i am a beginner and want to attempt one....how do u know what thread and size hook to use?

A. There are super easy ways to make a blanket! Since you're a beginner, go with a larger yarn size, and also a larger hook size, somewhere between D - G size (whatever size feels the easiest in your hand.) You'll need to decide what size to make your blanket. Use a tape measure or a ruler/yardstick to lay on a flat surface to help you determine the size.

You'll always start your blanket out with chain stitches. Make them a little loose, so the next row is easy to work in them. This chain-stitch row will be the Width of your blanket (remember your previous measurements.) On the next row, make the entire row single crochets. On the next row, and all of the rest of the rows, double crochet. Continue double-crochet rows until you have made the length of your blanket.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Changing colors, baby beanie cap request

Many thanks to aunt esther... My mom, my sister and myself have learned how to crochet from watching her videos. And with a new baby on the way we are going blanket crazy. Cant wait to see the video on how to change colors (we have just been tieing off) Also can you make a video on how to make a baby beanie (baby cap)? - checkin back everyday, cant wait to learn something new. Thanks again

A. Thanks for your kind words! I'm so excited that all of you have learned how to crochet! It's such a fun passtime, and you're creating something special for someone!

I'm afraid that I do the same thing as you are doing to change colors! I also just tie-off the first color, and then tie-in the new color around the same place. Then weave the "tail" into its own color.

Hmmm, a baby beanie cap.... I'll have to look around and see what I can find.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Single Stitch details

Q. hi your 1st video got me to understand single stitch better then my poor mother ever could..my question is can u explain in really simple terms a few things about it.. i got the very 1st part the going down 3 chain stichs and putting the needle through that then yarning over and pulling through till i have only a individual thread left of the needle but after that some time you had 2 threads and yarned over whati dont get is how u go from the very 1st part of single stitch with one tread left after yarning over and pull through how and when do you gou get the 2 treads before yarning over???????

i'm sorry i know this was long and rambling i hope you understand what im asking thanks

A. Hi,
It sounds like you almost have this stitch! Yes, after you do your chain stitch row, turn around and count 3 chains from your hook, and begin your single crochet, this is how you do it.
1. Insert your hook through the chain stitch.
2. Yarn over, and bring your hook back through the stitch you're working on. (you'll have 2 stitches on your hook)
3. Yarn over, and pull this yarn-over-stitch all the way through both of the stitches on the hook. There you go! You've just completed your single crochet!

Let me know how it goes! Esther

Monday, April 28, 2008

A "Thank You"!


Answer: My niece and I thank you! We have really enjoyed doing it too!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

How to join two different colors together

Q. Can you show me how to join two different colors together? I love your videos helped a lot thanks!

A. Sure, I'll explain it here, and in another video we'll also show it.

Go to the place where you want to add the new color. Simply pull your yarn through the highest crocheted loop on the very edge of your work. Then all you do is start crocheting as you would at the end of a row. (For starting the next row, chain 1 for single crochet row, or chain 3 for double crochet row.)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

What size of hook to use

Q. Dear Aunt Esther, THANKS! Your instructions are great -- slow and repetitive makes it work for me! My mother is a knitter, and I could just never get the hang of knitting. This looks a lot more like my kind of thing...one short hook, instead of two big needles. I have a long train trip coming up, and now I am motivated to give crocheting a go. I have Sugar and Cream yarn, and I would like to make dishcloths -- what size crochet hook do you suggest? Thanks again!

A. I know you can do this! I would use a crochet hook size C, D or E - these are larger sizes. If you're wanting a smaller stitch, you would use hooks F, G or H... You never know, my niece and I might do a learn-how-to-knit video one of these days! It's not too hard, either! Good luck!
The higher the number of the thread, the thinner it is.

A popular thread size for crocheters who are just beginning to crochet with thread, is thread size 10, used with a U.S. size 7 or 8 steel crochet hook.

U.S. Steel Hook Size
Matched To Approximate Thread Size

U.S. Steel Hook Thread Size
14 80 - 100
13 40 - 80
12 30 - 60
11 30 - 40
10 20 - 30
9 20
7, 8 10

Links to this page are welcome. URL of this page is http://crochet.about.com/library/blthreadhook.htm

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Cactus Cuties sing The National Anthem

(Cactus Cuties Natl. Anthem; From: bullhead003; front view)
(Cactus Cuties Natl. Anthem; From: bayleebcutie; singers' names, back view)
Taylor Jordan sings "Annie"! From: deespix
Keely sings "Tomorrow" from the Broadway show, Annie! From: keelyanna
cutie girl singing (11 years old) From: Trofimo
The Cactus Kids, Cactus Kiddos, and Cactus Cuties are mentor programs created and directed by Terri and Cami Caldwell. The idea, born out of the Cactus Theater in Lubbock, Texas, is to develop future “Stars of West Texas.” These young and talented entertainers perform all over the West Texas area for various community events. Their ages range from 4 to 17 years old. The Cactus Kids feature a variety of music, including Nostalgia from the 1940’s through the 90’s, Country, Patriotic, and Holiday songs.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Border All Around

Q. Thank you for teaching me how to crochet! I am making a baby blanket in double crochet but how do I add a border all around in a different color? What stitch do you suggest I use? Thank you!

A. I always liked the shell stitch for a border. I usually start in one corner, and just tie your yarn in a double knot. Chain 3 (for your first of 3 stitches). In this stitch, you just crochet 3 double-crochet stitches in one stitch, then skip 3 stitches. Continue all the way around! When you've gone all the way around, take out your hook and enlarge the circle the hook came out of. You then cut your yarn off about 4 inches from your last stitch, and slip that "tail" through your last loop. Crochet the tail to hide it, and you're done!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Ends of work curving up

Q. Aunty:
I am trying to crochet a blanket, single stitch(only stitch I know. The problem is, why is it starting to curve up at the end? The first time I did this, it turn into a beautiful(for first try) hand bag in which my daughter is using for diapers. How can I make it flat at he end? I shapes off round.

A. Hi! Hmmm, it sounds like you're doing one of these 2 things:

1. Crocheting in the very FIRST stitch after you turn your work around and chain one (which would cause you to have an extra stitch on each row you make, or

2. Crocheting more than once in any of your stitches going across (maybe even in your very last stitch). Try counting your stitches each row before you turn your work to start a new row.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Starting a New Color

First off, thanks for your wonderful, instructive videos!

My question is: when you reach the end of a row, and you want the next row to be a different color, do you tie off and then start with another slip knot with the new yarn? Or, what's the process? Thanks!


A. You're so welcome! My niece and I have really enjoyed doing these videos!

You ask a great question, and it sounds like you're on the right track. Yes, you do tie off your "finished" color, and then at the same place tie a little knot with the "new" color. Make sure and chain the appropriate number of stitches to start your new row. (1 chain for a single-crochet row, 3 chains for a double-crochet row.)

You will need to "hide" the "tail" from where you have started your new color. Crochet it into your "new color" crochet row when you have enough to work with.

Hope this helps!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Beginning slipknot

Q. Do you use the slipknot you started with to crochet once you've reached that end again?

A. Yes, you do.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Join me Scrapbooking

Earn and save money doing what you love -- scrapbooking!

Join with me

You can make your own free Brag Book

Saturday, March 1, 2008

New Videos on the way

Today I got around to making another set of videos. I tried to answer some of the questions that have already been asked. Let me know if I need to explain it more or if you have any suggestions.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Ending your afghan

Q. how do you end something?

A. When your afghan is long enough, crochet to the end of the row. There will be a loop still on your hook. Carefully make the loop double its size, and slip your hook out. Lay your hook aside.

Measure down 2 or 3 inches (going toward your skein of yarn. With your scissors, cut the yarn string. Lay your scissors aside. Move your unused skein out of your way, too.

Carefully take your open end of yarn (this is still attached to your afghan) and slip it through the loop you made. Tighten the loop, and you're done! All you have to do now is use your crochet hook to slip this tail back and forth out of sight.

The second video shows how to do this. Let me know if you still have questions.

Turning at end of row

Q. when you are turning at the end of the first row, and after you skip 3 holes to turn, after that how many holes do you skip? and do you follow this same routine for the 3rd row?

A. I assume you are talking about the original "chain" row. Yes, after you skip the 3 holes that are close to the crochet hook, go ahead and start your stitches right there. Crochet all the way across. At the end of THIS row, either:

1. chain 2 - if the next row is to be a single-crochet row, or
2. chain 3 - if the next row is to be a double-crochet row

Hands not cooperating?

Hello to my 9-year-old crafter! And to all of you young-at-hearts that are mastering this skill also!

Though you don't say in your question, I have an idea that it's the left-hand that is the problem. (Or the opposite hand that you're crocheting with.) This is the hand that controls your "tension".

I have seen SO many different ways to hold your yarn with this hand! You might just try some different ways on your own. I'll try to look up some pictures of this hand for you, too....

ends coming out slanted

The reason an end is coming up slanted is because your rows do not have the same amount in them.

As you finish your row (or possibly start a new row), make sure you are not working in the chain-stitches (chain 2 or 3) that you make to take you to the new row. If you work in any of these stitches, you will be adding stitches to every row you make. Then, of course, your work starts to look a little like a triangle!

Chains at end of row

Q. when you are turning at the end of the first row, and after you skip 3 holes to turn, after that how many holes do you skip? and do you follow this same routine for the 3rd row?


A. First, you must know (or decide) which kind of a stitch you'll be making in the next row.

If you will be making a single crochet row, then you need to chain 1 (or whatever your patterns says)
If you'll be making a double crochet row, you will need to chain 3.

I have never seen more than 3 chains at the end of a row.

See the next video.

Make another video?

Q. Make another video?

A. My niece and I are planning on making another video. I'll be showing how to do double crochet in it.

The next video is up and running now! See if it has the instructions you want from it.

Ask a question here

Post all questions here, and I'll answer in a separate post.