I taught myself how to knit by checking out some library books on the subject then struggling like crazy while I held the yarn all wrong. I eventually got it but it wasn't until recently that I wanted to try my hand at crochet thanks to some cute patterns circulating the net.
I have to say crocheting is much harder than knitting--in knitting there are only two stitches to learn but with crocheting there are tons. Just knowing where to put your hook is a lot more complicated than with knitting and then increasing or decreasing can get you turned around as well.
Though I haven't exactly mastered the art yet I can give you a few tips--enough to get you started too.
Start with a big hook. One that you can really get your hand around and not have to strain to see.
Start with fat yarn. None of the chenille or fuzzy stuff, just straight fat dark worsted four-ply or even better, cut old fabric into 1/2-inch strips with a rotary cutter. The purse below was made from a pink and green camo print that turned out just adorable with a big rose accenting it. If you do this though don't worry about the print itself, just look at the colors because that will be the only thing you'll be able to see once it's done.
Start with a simple pattern. One that doesn't require increasing or decreasing--this purse pattern I'm going to give you is perfect because not only does it have the same single crochet stitch over and over but it's forgiving if you make a mistake and when you're done you actually have something you can use.
Here's a video to show you how to start and finish a little coin purse. These are the same steps for making the larger fabric-strip purse pictured on the left but the fatter materials (i.e. fabric strips) make a larger finished product so you can choose a large or small project depending on how big your materials are.
Once you've got this down it's just a matter of going around and around until your purse is tall enough and you decide how tall you want it to be. Thread the last stitch back through itself and knot it then weave the ends in so they don't drag.
Torn fabric is ragged enough to cover any mistakes you might make so don't worry about accidentally skipping a stitch or inserting one where it doesn't belong. For handles you can buy a set of plastic pink ones you see above and attach them with ribbons or . . .
To make another fun purse from the same idea make it smaller using a smaller hook and some basic, inexpensive cotton yarn. Same pattern, same technique but for a handle you can use a purchased single handle or make your own. I took a piece of copper wire and bent it into a handle like you see here then worked it into the crochet stitches as I went around for the last round.
Not a fancy pattern but a good way to get your feet wet with a useful, inexpensive purse and the crocheted look makes an excellent way to show case some of my great grandmother's vintage pins she gave me.
And if you're already a pro here are some of the crocheted projects I've been saving up that I'd love to be able to make someday:
Red Lace Crocheted Collar by The Ongoing Project
Little Acorn Bucket with Lid by Roman Sock
Large Crocheted Basket by Chickpea Sewing Studio
Aquatic Mammals by Planet June
Passionflower Handbag by Fable Handmade Goods
Goldfish by Kendra
Floral Bobblehate by Fable Handmade Goods
Congratulations to Julie of Keizer, Oregon for winning last week's Peek Giveaway and to Lydia of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania for winning this week's JaC Jewelry Giveaway. I'm really quite jealous of her new bracelet. Don't forget there's more coming on Saturday and then after Thanksgiving I've got a whole week of giveaways with over 12 sponsors . . . that's a lot of stuff!
Sponsored by Rick Rack Attack--Vintage aprons that aren't just vintage reproductions they're vintage pieces.
Technorati tags: crafts, crochet, tutorials