Tips and hints for crochet

Last week I promised to return today with a couple of tips I learned in recent weeks while doing crochet work. They are two simple tips, but once learned and used, I may never go back to the old ways.

Many years ago I was shown how to crochet. I struggled for some time but the yarn was always slipping from my hands. Perhaps having crooked or bent fingers was to blame. Holding the needle in my right hand and the thread in the left one, became an impossible task, so I almost gave up.

Stubborn Annie – read me – took off to a quiet corner with my yarn and a crochet needle, determined to find a way round my problem. I did!

By holding the yarn as I did for knitting, I managed to produce a granny square. Bingo! I went out and bought a packet of wool. I think it had about ten balls of yarn in it. I was off and determined to make a dress. In those days shift dresses were all the rage and I had the figure of a matchstick, so that meant two long rectangles joined at the shoulders and down the side seams. Within the week I had a dress completed. It sat one inch above my knees.  I was thrilled and wore it to a dance. By the end of the evening, I had either danced a few inches off my legs or my dress had grown. It had. My dress had stretched about three inches while I danced! 🙁

Stop laughing and concentrate. So to my tips.

All down the years I began a crochet project with a row of chain stitches and worked back along that line to begin my pattern. The base line was not always even, but I did my best. Now I have found a new way to do the base row.

This base row is a slight variation of treble crochet or for my Americans readers, it is a double crochet.

You begin with three chain.

With the yarn over the hook (YOH), go into the very first chain, YOH again and draw it through (three loops on the needle). This is where you make the variation: YOH and through that first chain only (three loops on the needle), YOH and pull through two loops, YOH and pull through two loops, which leaves one stitch on the needle.

That little variation gives you a a neat heart shaped loop at the top of your work. For the second stitch: YOH, and pick up both sides of that heart shaped stitch and work as before.

Repeat until the last stitch. For the last stitch  YOH, put needle through heart shape and YOH,and pull through, YOH and pull through that stitch again then YOH pull through two loops, YOH and pull through two loops. That gives the row a neat square corner.

This video should give you a better idea. I made it very late last night, so excuse the quality.

I also promised to show you how to join yarn with a fine knot and no tails to be woven into the completed item.

Again I made a video and it is self explanatory.

Any problems, please let me know in the comments.

10 thoughts on “Tips and hints for crochet

      1. bitchontheblog

        May I protest, Grannymar: Books, maths and being good with a needle are NOT mutually exclusive. Says she who has a passion for all three. Though, admittedly, it’s difficult to knit or crochet whilst reading. You will drop a stitch.

        Judging by Barbara’s avatar (young) she may be of a generation where you are barely taught how to sew on a button, never mind attempting anything more ambitious. Though having said that even my son (21) had lessons at school, doing some rather neat stitching.

        Glad you revived your “needling with Grannymar” slot. Waxed lyrical about last week’s (very ambitious) project though deleted it instead of pressing ‘post comment’. My comment being a bit like the dress you describe above. Overlong. And growing. With enthusiasm.


        1. Grannymar

          Ursula, I thought protest was your middle name! 😆

          My niece, Barbara, is a very talented lady with even more skills than I have. As you can read from her reply comment, needlework is not foreign to her. She is well capable of stitching on a button as is her mother and sister.

          Craft posts will appear as and when I have a project to share and that will happen on a Wednesday.

      2. Barbara


        I do some sewing & I love needlepoint-must show you some of my creations, but I’ve always found knitting and crochet instructions a bit like chess moves.. Gibberish unless you know the code!

        1. Grannymar

          I too love needlepoint and find it a soothing restful pass time. I’ll admit to not using it for sometime. I have had a project rattling around in my head for years, one of these days I will get to it! First, I need to finish the two items I am working on. Next up is to recover my work box/footstool and use it for my wool stash and needles. After that….. who knows!

    1. Grannymar

      Brighid, I am right handed, but look clumsy because of the way I hold the work. I have to remember the old saying: There’s more than one way to skin a cat!


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