The definition of crochet, according to Wikipedia, is: “Crochet is a process of creating fabric from yarn or thread using a crochet hook.” And truly that is really what you are doing when you crochet, knit, tat, or spool knit. You can take the simplest crochet stitches and just make a flat piece of yarned fabric and let the imagination go wild. Even if you don’t want to do anything in particular with that flat piece of intersecting yarn loops, you have already created something useful. A child will take that flat piece and use it as a baby blanket for their baby doll; place that crocheted piece on a chair for your cat to curl up on or depending upon the size, someone would surely love to have it placed on their lap for some warmth. Anyways, you get the idea, you don’t have to get elaborate with crocheting if you don’t want to. BUT, those creative juices will want you to explore further and challenge yourself to try to make something a little more intricate. Back to basics though, a simple chain stitch *(ch) combined with a single crochet *(sc) will give you a lovely piece of yarn fabric to do with as your heart desires. You say this doesn’t really appeal to you, well part of my goal here is to keep stitches going forever, so maybe your child or niece/nephew or students might have the interest in trying crochet. You both could learn and practice together or show the younger generation what can be created out of a skein of yarn and one crochet hook. As a beginner, I would recommend using a larger crochet hook, say a size J and a 4 ply worsted weight skein of yarn. There is a lot out there to chose from but stay simple in the beginning to minimize any frustration especially if you are working with a child. Probably be helpful to roll your skein into a ball and then place that ball into a small bin or basket to keep it from rolling away from you. As a side thought, you could probably use a square tissue box, gently open from the bottom, place your ball of yarn inside, then seal closed and have your yarn pull from the top. Viola, you are ready to start crocheting. Begin your project with the chain stitch (ch) making it as long as you want but probably 18″ – 24″ is a very workable width. Here’s a link to a very informative YouTube video for the beginner crocheter to show you exactly how to do the chain stitch and single crochet.
After completing your chain stitches (ch), you will begin to do single crochet (sc) stitches beginning in the second chain stitch from your crochet hook. So, if you chained 50 chain loops, you will be doing 49 single crochet loops. At the end of each row of single crochet (sc) you will do one chain stitch (ch), turn your work and then single crochet (sc) back through each previous single crochet (sc), which means you will always be doing 49 single crochet stitches for each row. When you have your fabric as long as you want it or just used up your entire skein of yarn, you will then fasten off. Very easy to fasten off, you have one loop on your crochet hook, wiggle your hook back and forth to enlarge that loop, take your yarn and cut it off leaving about a 4″ tail. Pull that tail through your enlarged loop, remove your hook and then pull that tail very tight. Basically, you are making a knot, then weave that tail through your stitches to complete your work.
Now you have a wonderful, flat piece of yarn/fabric to do with as you please bringing a smile to your face as well as your child’s face. To me, there is nothing more satisfying than to have made something with your own hands and to pass along this art skill to someone else.
*ABBREVIATIONS used in crochet patterns: (ch) chain stitch (sc) single crochet
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