Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lesson 2: Chain Stitch

Welcome to Lesson 2: Chain Stitch. If you missed Lesson 1: Materials, you can find it here.

I hope you were able to get all of your materials and are ready to start crocheting in metal.

For this lesson, I will use a no.8 hook and 30 gauge copper wire. The hook size is not set in stone; if the #8 hook is not working for you, try another size. Everyone handles the wire a little differently.

No. 8 Hook

Holding the Hook
note: all instructions are given for right handers
Gently grasp the crochet hook between your thumb and index finger at the flattened part. The hook will rest against your middle finger.

Holding the Hook
Holding the hook is the same for crocheting in metal as it is for yarn.
Holding the Hook: Detail

The Metal
Putting the wire on the hook is really straightforward and easy. Just hold it in your left hand and fold about an inch tail over. You will hold the metal gently in your left hand throughout.
Fold the wire
For those of you who have crocheted in yarn, this is the biggest difference. You will not wrap the yarn through your left fingers to control the tension. The loops will hold their shape just fine.

Starting the Chain
Place the wire fold over the hook. Hold the two ends in your left hand and twist the hook once.
No need for a slip knot.
Twist the hook
The twist on the hook
Yarn Over (yo)
Now you have the wire on your hook and your ready to start making chain.

Hold the wire that is attached to the spool gently between the thumb and index finger of your left hand. Take the wire behind the hook. Be sure to brace the tail against your middle finger in order to keep the loop from doing a flip. Bring the wire forward, down, and back up behind the hook. You have completed one yarn over.

Behind the hook

Forward and down

Back up and behind

Pull Through
Use the hook to grab the yarn over and pop it through the loop on the hook.

Pop the loop through

Size the Loop
Slide the hook into the yarn over still on the hook. That will make it the correct size. You just made your first chain stitch!

Slide the hook in to size the loop

Now you will repeat the yarn over and pull through. Many times. You are now making a chain!
Try to keep your loops as even as possible. This will take some practice. If your loops are uneven, watch how far you are pushing the hook in after pulling up your loop.

Repeat the yarn over(yo) many times

Now you have a nice, even length of chain. Good work! Now what?

Cut Off
With the hook still in the chain, cut the wire about an inch or so from the hook.

Nip the wire

Just pull the loop until the tail comes through.

Pull the tail through

Now step back and admire your work.

A chain! A chain(ch)!
But, you aren’t done yet! Practice your chain until you can make it nice and even.

Some Useful Abbreviations
ch = chain stitch
yo = yarn over
These are common throughout crochet instructions.

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the comments section below.
This post has gotten way too long; I will post the rest tomorrow in Lesson 2b: Tying Out.

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