If you like shaggy fabric with lots of loopy texture, you’ll love crocheting the loop stitch! It might look complicated, but it’s not! It’s fun and easy! It’s easier than finding your way out of a time loop, getting your neck out of a loop, or even writing a computer programming loop! And way more fun!
You can use the loop stitch for all kinds of nice things like handbags, rugs, pillows, vests and more. Whatever your imagination can come up with! For this tutorial, the only stitch you need to know is single crochet (sc). If you need help with single crochet, you can find help here.
The letter x may not be very useful during a game of Scrabble, but it’s a great letter to make in crochet. Instead of causing stress like the letter x can in daily life, especially when seen as a symbol of failure, death, or something to solve for; crocheted x’s make a nice x over x pattern! So, don’t let the x stress you out because crocheting the x-stitch is fun and relaxing!
Let’s make your first x!
To begin your first row of x’s, I chained a length of 20 stitches. Then, skip the first 6 stitches. Double crochet (dc) in the next chain, chain (ch) 1. If you need instructions for double crochet, click here.
When you feel like you’re becoming a basket case, do some basket weave! If you’re stressed out and need to find something cheap, easy and relaxing to do, crochet yourself a nice basket weave afghan. The steady reliable rhythm of the pattern will calm you down and keep you from becoming a basket case. You don’t have to make a big afghan if you don’t want to. You can make yourself a nice set of place mats or whatever else you can dream up.
Why basket weave stitch?
The basket weave pattern is the most fun using my favorite stitch, double crochet. It creates a nice cozy solid fabric that’s great for afghans if you live in a cold climate. That’s how I got hooked on basket weave crochet. I needed an afghan that was pretty, fun to make and didn’t have a lot of holes or spaces for heat to escape. My basket weave afghan got so much use that I wore it out. I no longer have it, but I sure got a lot of use out of it!
These how-to instructions are for double crochet basket weave. If you don’t know how to double crochet, you can learn here. If you already know how to double crochet, you’re halfway to basket weaving! It’s that simple!
Squares are fun to work with and make! Really fun! There seems to be infinite variations of squares. You have granny squares, lacy squares, solid squares, tiny squares, huge squares the size of a blanket! We are going to make a corner square. Huey Lewis and the News may say it’s hip to be square, but we know it’s hip to make squares!
What you need to make a square
Also known as a crocheted mitered square, a corner square begins in its corner and works outward from there. So, don’t think you need to know anything about miter saws or math to make a square! Some scrap yarn and a comfortable hook is all you need to learn how to make a corner (mitered) square.
Of course, squares are very versatile too. You can sew small squares together into a fabric to make apparel or home goods or you can make one big square to use, as previously mentioned, a blanket! That’s one big square! In fact, if you search crochet squares on Pinterest, I’m pretty sure the results are almost infinite. Isn’t it great!
Here’s a very basic crochet square using only single crochet although you can make squares using other stitches as well. If you don’t know how to single crochet, you can learn how here. If you already know how to single crochet, grab some yarn and a crochet hook and let’s crochet! Continue reading “How to Crochet a Corner Square”
Buried in a shallow grave for ten years or more, the baby doll head lay alone, crushed by neglect and stacks of firewood. Her baby doll body mysteriously missing, leaving only a tattered polyester onesie as proof that she was once whole and perfect.
Rescued by a lucky laborer, the disembodied baby was washed and reformed. Years of dirt scrubbed from her eyes and nostrils, her flattened head pushed back out as far as years under an oaken woodpile would allow. Aside from a body, she just seemed to need something… something crocheted.
From dirt blanket to crocheted lace
The baby doll head now enjoys the comforts of home and the luxury of lace bonnets and satiny hats.
I love this century! Magic can be used freely with no fear of being burned at the stake! When I first started looking for crochet related posts online after a couple of decades away from the “craft” (stitch craft/witch craft-are they related now?) I noticed mysterious terms for certain things. For example, I was ready to begin a granny square pattern and instantly perplexed when the first round called for a “magic circle.” We’re using magic to make granny squares now! What happened to chain 4 and join to form a loop? Who cares, I want to know what a magic circle is! It sounds so mysterious! Continue reading “Crochet a Magic Circle”
Bobbles add a nice texture to your work, much like the popcorn stitch. Bobbles are made like a cluster stitch where you hold a loop from each of a series of stitches on the hook and pull yarn through all of them at once. Except bobbles are all created within one stitch from the previous row. Clusters are created within several stitches from the previous row. Confusing? No, not at all! Continue reading “How to Crochet the Bobble Stitch”
In daily life we generally try to avoid “clusters” when they refer to chaotic messes that we need to clean up. But in crochet terms, clusters are fun! When you’re working on a pattern that calls for a cluster stitch, check for any special instructions. The designer might have included instructions on how the cluster stitch is to be made for that particular item. Clusters can be made with different stitches (single crochet, double crochet, etc.) and different numbers of stitches. I’m going to show you a few clusters made with different stitches. Also, I’ve noticed that what one designer refers to as a cluster stitch, another designer might call a bobble stitch or something else entirely. Be aware, so your result is what you expect. Or you might really end up with a big “cluster!” Continue reading “Learn How to Crochet the Cluster Stitch”
The popcorn stitch is one way to create a fun texture within your design. It’s easy to do, especially if you’ve already had experience with double crochet (dc). If you don’t know how to double crochet, you can learn it here. There are different variations to the popcorn stitch as well. Whichever way you prefer to make it, the popcorn stitch can make your pattern pop! Sorry, I just had to say that. Let’s get started! Continue reading “Learn to Crochet the Popcorn Stitch!”
Imagine when the only way to order Laura Wheeler thread crochet patterns was through the mail! I bet there were mail order catalogs of crochet patterns back in the 1940s, but I think my great-grandmother ordered them from newspaper ads or magazine ads. I have a few of the Laura Wheeler patterns she received in the mail and the envelopes in which they were mailed. Back then it only cost a penny to mail a pattern!
I was wondering how, without the internet, she found the patterns to mail away for, so I Googled Laura Wheeler patterns. Who knows, I may have asked her but don’t remember because she passed away when I was around ten years old. I do remember her crocheting though! In fact, watching her sparked my desire to learn to thread crochet. As explained on my About page, I didn’t live close enough for her to actually give me lessons.
Back to the present!
I found this blog post showing a Laura Wheeler ad in an Australian newspaper. Apparently, Laura Wheeler was an international pattern company.
I wonder if she had to wait 4-6 weeks for it to arrive like I did when I was a kid ordering some cheap toy from the back of a cereal box in the 6os.
When I did my Google search for the Laura Wheeler patterns, I found that there are lots of them for sale on eBay and other places. In fact, I’ve seen copies of this particular pattern – copy written in 1946- for sale online for $8. I’ve seen other Laura Wheeler patterns on sale for as low as $3. Is that because the supply outpaces the demand? Or is it because there is no demand?
These patterns were quite the bargain!
In addition to the crochet pattern, they explained all about checking your gauge; why it’s important, how to do it and how to correct it. Instructions and tips also came for blocking your piece once it’s finished.
The pattern also included illustrated instructions on how to crochet many different stitches regardless of whether the stitches are used in the pattern or not (I’m sure printing the same set of instructions on each pattern saved on print costs).
It would be interesting to know how many crocheters are still interested in these vintage patterns. I was passionate about them myself until I recently started looking at patterns online. There are so many beautiful and fun new patterns for sale and for free online. I do still love the vintage patterns, but am amazed and delighted with the talent and imagination of the modern designers too!