Saturday, October 17, 2009

Pattern using term "tr"

Q. Dear Aunt Esther.
I am also fairly new to crochet but I have seen a nice pillow cover I would like to do. It didn't seem to be too difficult - until the numbers didn't add up anymore! Can you help?

Round 1 - 3ch, 11tr in ring, pull end to tighten ring, ss in 3rd chain. 12 sts.

Now my translation for that would be to make a ring, then do three chains and then to the 11 trebles into the ring with a slip stitch into the third chain when I come round. I end up with 12 stitches. So far so good.

Round 2 (and every alternative round) - 1chain and 1 double crochet around the stem of each stitch, ending with a slip stitch in the first double crochet. Still all good.

BUT then...Round 3 - chain 3, 1tr in same place as ss [2tr in each dc] to end, ss in 3rd chain. 24 sts.

So I'll go all the way round doing my 2tr into each stitch? - ie the edge of my crochet at this stage or is doing 1 tr into each dc different to my stitches all the way on the outside?

Either way - I'll end up with more than 24 stitches so I'm obviously going wrong somewhere but I just don't know where...

The pattern then increases to 48 stitches and I seem to end up with 72 stitches. Any idea what I am doing wrong? Thank you for your time and keep up the good work! Best wishes Sonja

A. Hi Sonja, sorry it's taken me a few days to answer your question, but I wanted to take the time to read it carefully.

The way I'm reading the instructions, it sounds like you understand the first 2 rows, which ends up making a circle. On the 3rd row, it just sounds like you are making 2 tr in each one of the previous rows of double crochets. I would read that row like this:

Round 3 - chain 3, 1tr in same place as ss, [2tr in each dc] to end, ss in 3rd chain. 24 sts.

So the steps would be like this:
1. chain 3
2. 1tr in same place as ss
3. 2tr in each dc to the end
4. ss in 3rd chain

Since you are making 2 stitches latch onto every 1 stitch from the previous row, this should take you to 24 sts.Does this help any? Let me know! Esther
Q. Thank you so much for teaching me how to crochet Aunt Esther! I've wanted to learn for a long time, and your videos taught me much much better than the books and websites I had already tried. The reason I am trying to learn to crochet is so that I can make scarves as gifts for my family and friends this Christmas. Do you have any helpful tips for a beginner for the best method to make a scarf? What pattern or type of yarn is easy to work with? What should I look out for or pay attention to as I try to make a scarf?

A. Hi Hannelore! Sorry it's taken me a while to get back to you. I think if I were making scarves that I would choose to make them double crocheted. (First row - chain stitches as wide as you want your scarves to be, second row - single crochets, third (and every other row as long as you want your scarf to be) - double crochets.

I would avoid cotton and baby yarns and I would also avoid loosely twisted yarns. The cotton yarn wouldn't be warm, and the baby yarn small to work with and would take forever to complete each scarf. The loosely-twisted yarn catches in your hook and takes time to untangle it. Each untangle wouldn't take that long, but if it happens every few stitches, it gets frustrating quickly.

Oh yes, and also count your stitches at the end of each row for the first few rows, just to make sure you aren't adding or subtracting stitches on each row.

Hope this helps! Esther

Friday, October 9, 2009

Edges coming out slanted

Q. Hello Aunt Esther, I am basically a beginner. I learned a little from my grandmother before we moved away from her when I was 11 and some of it has come back since I started up again (at the age of 38,hehehe) but I am so lost on some things and wanted to thank you for your great instructions. I have not viewed all of your commments but am hoping you can tell me two things.
1. Why do my ends keep coming out slanted on my single crochette blanket? and
2. I really want to do a nice granny square blanket for my daughter and cannot get it right no matter how hard I try.

Is there any way you can demonstrate the first few rounds of this type of blanket? Thank you so so so much. Dawn If you need more info on me or from me please ask :) Again, thank you so much. You make me think of my grandma who is now passed away and of all the times we shared.

A. Hi Dawn - good to meet you! Yes, I think I know why your edges are coming out slanted. It's usually because we "I've done this before, and that's why I think this is the answer!), are not making the final stitch at the end of each row. You shoud be putting a stitch in the last space where you made a chain (or 2 or 3), from the previous row. I'll try to include an example in my next video.

You've helped me decide which stitch to demonstrate next, too! I think I'll do a Granny square - they're really quite simple! Let me know how it goes! Esther

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Question: I am also new to crochet, but I would love to start making blankets and start a collection that can later be passed down.

After many hours of searching I found a pattern that I like very much, and that claims to be for us "newbies", but I cannot figure out what the pattern is telling me to do. I watched your videos and I learned the most from then that I ever have! I was wondering if you could help me understand this pattern.

It says:Row 1: In the 5th chain from hook, work 1 sc, ch 2, and 2 dc, *skip 2 ch, work 1 sc, ch 2, and 2 dc all in the next ch. Repeat from * across to last 3 ch (29 clusters), skip 2 ch, work 1 dc in the last ch.

Row 2: Chain 3, turn. Work 1 sc, ch2, and 2 dc clustered all in the first ch-2 loop. Repeat in all loops across to last loop. Work 1 dc in ch-3 space at the end of row.

Repeat Row 2 until piece measures approximately 36". Do not break off yarn. Continue around the corner and the remaining 3 sides of the blanket, working 1 sc-ch 2-2 dc clusters in each space. Slip st at the end.

I cannot figure out crochet lingo, so I am not entirely sure what I am supposed to do. I would greatly appreciate the help!

Hello to you! Yes, I know what this pattern is saying. I'll explain how to do it, and also highlight the abbreviations for you.

In your Row 1, they are developing a specific pattern. Where it says, "In the 5th chain from hook", you'll be putting all these stitches (sc, ch 2, and 2 dc) into the same chain. Once you have done your sc (single crochet), then you'll just chain 2 times (the chains do NOT go into this stitch you're working in). After you chain 2, then you'll do 2 double crochets in this same stitch.

After you work in this stitch, you simply skip the next 2 chains of your original chain row. Then you just repeat this same pattern (that I described in the previous paragraph), all the rest of the way across the chained row.

On Row 2, you chain 3 times before you turn your work around. This simply builds your crochet height up enough to start a new row.

(Work 1 sc, ch2, and 2 dc clustered all in the first ch-2 loop.) This is simply telling you to go into the first space that you see (which will be a chain-2 space from the previous row), and do your same pattern (1 sc, ch2, and 2 dc) all in that one space. Then you just repeat this same pattern (in each chain-2 space) the rest of the way across the whole row. Then you double crochet in the last loop that is left in that row.

Then you just keep on repeating Row 2 until your blanket measures 36 inches across.

The last step sounds like they want you to make an edging around the remaining 3 sides of your blanket, using the same pattern (1sc, ch2, and 2 dc). After you do this, make the loop on your hook bigger, then carefully take your hook out and lay it aside. Cut your yarn about 1 inch away from this loop. This leaves you a tail that you will slip inside of your loop, and gently pull to tighten. Use your hook to thread this tail into your blanket so that it is now hidden.

Then you're finished!
Good luck and let us know how it goes!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Some sites for crochet patterns

Q. Hello Esther.. m frm Canada.. n m really interested in Crochetin .. bt never ever did it ... since im new to it.. could u please forward sm videos to help in learnin crochet..!! im really lookin forward fr blankets as of now.. Please be my angel n teach me how to make blankets ... please send me an Easter gift of good video of makin crochet blankets..!! Thnks in advance and Happy Easter...!! God bless

A. Hello! I will do my best to get you started crocheting! First of all, you CAN do this fun hobby! I've been doing this since I was 13 years old, and am 51 now....and still crocheting! It's fun, and you can always crochet gifts for your loved ones! I don't know if you've seen my 3 YouTubes about learning to crochet. If you haven't, here they are:
Learn to crochet 1
Learn to crochet 2
Learn to crochet 3

There are SO many sites that have crochet patterns! Here are some of them I use:
Purple Kitty - this page has a lot of free afghan patterns!
FaveCrafts - I just Googled and found this one! I'll have to get back to this site, definitely!
Annie's Attic (They list patterns for you to buy, but if you sign up for their daily e-mail, they send you a new one each day to look at. And if you check their site each day, there is a tab for a free pattern every day. There are different hobby patterns sometimes, but a lot of times it is crochet patterns.)
e-patterns Central (patterns to buy)

I'd be interested to know how you're doing!
Sincerely, Esther

Where to use chains

Q. Hi my name is Iesha and i am trying really hard to crochet. I have watched all your videos but i keep getting stuck on where i need to make another chain...... can you help me?

A. Sure, I will try to answer your question! At first, the main place you'll need to use chains is to start your project out, then you'll also need to use chains at the end of each row.

At the end of the row:
a. if you'll be crocheting in single crochets, you'll use 2 chains first.

b. If you'll be crocheting in double crochets, you'll use 3 chains first.

Does that make any sense? Let me know.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Getting Started - Crochet Basics

Q. Dear Aunt Esther,
Hello from Canada eh! I've never ever crocheted in my life however I'm willing to learn because of a pattern I came across of a unicorn/horse that I would like to make time and time again.
In your opinion, where should I start and what should I be learning to understand the basics of crocheting and not just the doing but the written instructions as well? Thank-you for your time and all of your great videos!
Sincerely,A Canuck Wanting to Crochet

A. Hello, my Canuck friend! I'm so glad you're wanting to learn to crochet! You will really enjoy it! You ask where to get started in learning how to crochet. First, you'll need to buy a hook. Some of my favorite sizes are the F and G hooks. Hooks can be labeled differently, so I've made a chart up showing how the different labels match up. It's shown on this site:

This same page also shows the different terms that are commonly used in crochet patterns. The basic 2 that you'll need to learn first are the chain (ch) stitch and the single crochet stitch (sc). It looks like the pattern that you're wanting to make is made up of single crochets, so that would be good. Before you start your pattern, though, I would recommend that you make a practice swatch (square) just to learn how to do these 2 stitches. Perhaps chain 15 stitches, then turn and single crochet in each of those stitches. I have a YouTube that shows how to do this at:

After you're comfortable with these 2 stitches, I have 2 other YouTubes that show a couple of other stitches, if you're interested. Here they are:

Double crochet, how to hold the yarn for tension, counting stitches, end of row turn

crocheting in back of stitch, half-double crochet
When you've accomplished these few techniques, you'll be able to crochet most patterns! Even if a pattern uses another technique, they will always explain how to do it in the pattern. I plan to do some more videos of different stitches, but need to learn how to do a movie maker editor first.

Again, I know you'll love crocheting - let me know if you have other questions!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Hanky babies in blankets

Q. My aunt used to entertain us little girls by folding her hanky to make it into a baby wrapped in a blanket. Very small of course. I have a granddaughter now and would love to have the directions to create this little gem. My aunt is gone now. Any knowlege of these little hanky babies in blankets?

Esther - The following was sent to me by one of our wonderful readers:

Do you know what a "church baby" is? Of course, you probably have infants and
toddlers in your church nursery, but they are the real-live crying and diaper-wetting kind!
However, in Elsie's time, "church babies" were tiny, old-fashioned dolls that a very
young child would carry to church. Unlike a rattle or some noisy toy, these were
perfectly acceptable for even the strictest parents because they were . . . well, silent!
Made simply from things they had at home, mothers showed their ingenuity by creating
these tiny dolls that would amuse their wriggling children. And so, church babies were
born! And like all handmade items, no two are exactly alike - which is what makes it that
much more fun. If you had been born in Elsie's day, it is likely that you would have had
a "church baby" in your carriage as your parents pushed it to church. Oh, what a sweet
scene! But we have work to do!

One of the ministries that would benefit from these sweet and easy-to-make dolls is your
own church nursery. Perhaps, if you and your friends made enough "church babies," then
they could be given as a special token to each infant that is dedicated or baptized in your
church. You could always make some for the nursery workers to keep on hand for that
little one who just needs a special plaything while at church.

Or maybe you could see to it that there were always several of these dolls in a pretty
basket for guests who visit with small children. Think of it! A new couple attends your
worship services with their very young boy. He is fidgety, he is fussy, and because his
parents are strangers and probably a little nervous, too, they keep him with them in the
pew. What if someone were to hand the baby (or toddler) a "church baby" -- with a blue
ribbon, of course! -- as a welcome gift? His parents would be grateful for the
thoughtfulness and hospitality of your church and the small boy would be . . . well, silent!
It's just the sort of gracious, little gesture that goes a long way toward making strangers
into friends.

There are so many other uses for these soft, sweet dolls. How about the nursery of a local
hospital, or a day care center, or pre-school, or any place that has small children that need
to be reassured and loved. And there is hardly a sweeter baby gift than a handcrafted
"church baby" for a new sister or brother or cousin or other newborn!

As always, use your wonderful creativity, and be generous and sweet in your giving.
"The Lord loves a cheerful giver," the Bible says! So enjoy this next activity and spread
good cheer. You are sure to be rewarded in smiles and thanks beyond what you can

Materials needed: Handkerchiefs (large men's handkerchiefs are good for the boys and
lacy, embroidered or pretty ones are sweet for the girls); cotton balls or polyester batting,
fine point fabric markers or paint pens, rubber bands, satin ribbon (blue, pink, green,
yellow, peach and white), and scissors.

This craft is very, very easy! Why not have a "church baby" get-together and make lots
of these dolls? First, all you do is take the handkerchief and pull it up in the center. Stuff
the "head" with cotton until it feels soft but firm enough to draw a face on. Then wrap a
rubber band to secure the "head" in place. What you should have at this point is a round
ball, a fairly tight neck and a flowing gown. You may need to adjust and play with it
yourself to get it to look just the way you want it.

Next, you'll design and draw a very simple face. Remember these are for young children
and it's often better to let them use their active imaginations than to fill in too much
detail. Besides, these are very tiny dolls and it might be overpowering or look more like
a clown than an angel! A simple dot for each eye, maybe eyebrows, a tiny nose and a
sweet mouth and you are done with the face. If you want you may draw or paint hair, but
it usually looks really fine without it. It's up to you. However, don't add any buttons or
glued on items or yarn hair that a child could swallow!

Now, the final step of the craft is as easy as the rest. Take some ribbon - blue for boys
and pink for girls (use other colors when you don't know the gender of the child and for
variety's sake!) and wrap that around the neck covering the rubber band. Tie it in a firm
knot, then make a pretty bow and let the rest of the ribbon stream down onto the
handkerchief. Important: after you have secured the ribbon, snip the rubber band away
and remove all traces of it. We don't want anybody choking! Babies and young children
love to stroke the satiny edges of blankets and dolls -- for some reason it is a comfort to
them. So, don't scrimp on the ribbon! Be lavish with it. It's part of the old-fashioned
charm and it's the only colorful part of the church baby. In fact, if you choose to, you
may make an all-white "angel church baby" using white ribbon on a pure white hankie.
Then you can add tiny dots for eyes and a smile using a gold or silver paint pen. Simply

So there you have it -- easy as pie. (Well, maybe easy as eating a pie is more like it!)
Have a great time and feel free to experiment with different sizes and face designs and
ribbon colors, but remember -- absolutely nothing that would choke a child, okay? Okay!
God bless you as your hands do the work of the Lord. Be Creative and Have fun!