Handy Dandy How-To Crochet Links

Running to google every time I need to figure out how to do something gets to be a real pain, so I put a page in my OneNote combining all the links I use into one place, and I thought I would share them with you.  Let’s start at the very beginning; just click on the highlighted link! (Note:  I have made an effort, wherever possible, to include links without phishing or clickbait – please comment if you find any!  It is practically impossible to include only sites without any affiliate links however, but I tried to find sites where they are minimal.) These links are only for how to crochet links; over the next few posts, I will be talking about designers, yarn companies, etc)

  •  First is learning crochet stitches.  You can find basic to advanced stitch instruction at Annie’s.
  • Reading a pattern is essential; the Yarn Craft Council has a good guide.
  • You don’t have to learn diagrams/charts/graphs but a lot of great patterns use them.  Craftsy shows you how.
  • You can learn about yarn at the Encyclopedia.com.
  • Herrschnerr’s has an article on yarn weights; handy for planning projects.
  • You don’t always have access to the yarn called for in a pattern – Yarn Sub makes substitution easy.
  • One of my favorite designers, Dedri Ulys (Sophie’s Universe), has written a super article on crochet hooks.

Yarn, hooks, pattern, stitches – what’s next?   Really important is planning the color pattern or progression.  It can be super difficult for me, so I am always looking for help. Most sites describe colors palettes with Stylecraft yarns, but I find that once I see the palette, I can find similar colors in the yarn of my choice.

  • Another favorite designer, Emma Goodgion (Pippin Poppycock), is particularly adept at yarn mood boards.
  • Blanka made this tool that will let you look at the colors of Stylecraft and Paintbox yarns yourself.

Looking for a pattern now?  There is only one perfect place to start, and that is Ravelry.  Whether you are looking for a doily pattern out of the finest thread, or a granny afghan, you will find a pattern here.  If you have never used it before, you should click on patterns on the home page.  You can type what you are looking for into the search pattern box or you can browse through the categories.

You can refine your searches to find only patterns with pictures, only free patterns, only crochet patterns, or whatever parameters suit you.

Once you have the basics down, and a pattern picked, there are a few advanced techniques you might want to learn.  For instance, if you are working in the round and don’t want that hole in the center, you might want to try the magic circle.  (Note: I like to wrap the yarn/thread around my fingers twice, for the most secure ring!)

If you are starting with a long chain, the chainless foundation row is amazing. Lion Brand has a video by Maggie Weldon.

In a few days I will be adding things like care of your project and blocking.  Until then, happy hooking!





January Snowflakes


01/01/18 1 Pretty Picot Snowflake https://www.petalstopicots.com/2013/01/pretty-picot-snowflake-pattern/
01/07/18 2 Snowcatcher Aspen Snowflake http://www.snowcatcher.net/2016/08/snowflake-monday_15.html
01/07/18 3 Crochet Crowd Easy Snowflake http://thecrochetcrowd.com/crochet-snowflake/
01/14/18 4 Maggie Weldon Snowflake http://www.bestfreecrochet.com/2010/11/18/snowflake-christmas-ornament-free-crochet-pattern/
01/14/18 5 Snowcatcher Gray’s Peak Snowflake http://www.snowcatcher.net/2012/01/snowflake-monday_16.html
01/21/18 Auvergnasse_small Lion Brand Auvergnasse Snowflake http://www.lionbrand.com/stitchfinder/crochet-snowlafe-auvergnasse/
01/21/18 7 Knitshop Let It Snow Snowflake http://www.knitshop.co.uk/knitshop-pattern/1972-free-pattern-let-it-snow-snowflake.html
01/28/18  Attic 24  http://attic24.typepad.com/weblog/crochet-snowflake.html
01/28/18  Sally V. George  http://botherthebirds.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/snowflakes.pdf

Light Bulb Christmas Ornament


The blue/green ornament is done in Alize Miss Batik (#3713) with a size 5 hook.  The red/green/white is done in Aunt Lydia’s #10, Shaded Christmas, with a size 5 hook.  I find both of these threads to be just a tiny shade thicker than a plain white #10 from Aunt Lydia, but not enough to warrant calling it an 8.

I would like to give a huge thanks to Beth Press Rossobillo who tested this for me and found a bunch of typos and errors!  Any remaining errors are down to me 🙂 (and I’d appreciate hearing about them!)


BEGINNING:  You can begin with a chain stitch (1 ch for sc, 2 ch for hdc, 3 ch for dc, 4 ch for trc, 5 ch for dtrc) or use a starting stitch if you don’t like the ‘skinniness’ of a chain start.

BODY:  If you find your work being stretched too tightly, you can add a round of sc, hdc or dc.  If it is too loose, you can remove one of rounds of sc, hdc or dc.

ABBREVIATIONS (click on the definition to take you to a tutorial)

sc:  single crochet 
hdc:  half double crochet
dc:  double crochet
dtrc:  double treble crochet
fp:  front post
bp:  back postsc dec:  single crochet decrease
hdc dec:  half double crochet decrease 


  1. In a magic circle, 10dc, join to top of beginning dc
  2. 2dc in each dc, join to top of beginning dc (20 dc)
  3. 2hdc in 1st dc, 1 hdc in next stitch . . . (around), join to top of beginning dc (30 hdc)
  4. bpdc in each hdc . . . (around), join to beginning bpdc (30 bphdc)
  5. sc in each hdc, join to top of beginning hdc (30 sc)
  6. hdc in each sc, join to top of beginning sc (30 hdc)
  7. sc in 1st hdc, fpdc in sc below the next hdc . . . (around), join to top of beginning sc (15 sc, 15 fpdc)
  8. sc in each stitch . . . (around), join to top of beginning sc (30 sc)
  9. dc in each sc . . . (around), join to top of beginning sc (30 dc)
  10. bphdc in each dc . . . (around), join to top of beginning dc (30 bphdc)
  11. dc in each bphdc . . . (around), join to top of beginning bphdc (30 dc)
  12. sc in each dc . . . (around), join to top of beginning dc (30 sc)
  13. 2 hdc in 1st sc, 1 hdc in next 2 sc . . . (around), join to top of beginning hdc(40 hdc)
  14. dc in 1st dc, 4dc popcorn in next, dc in next (mark stitch) , 4 dc popcorn in next. . . (around), join to top of beginning dc (20 dc, 20 4dc popcorn)
  15. hdc in each dc . . . (around), join to top of beginning hdc (40 hdc)
  16. dc in each hdc . . . (around), join to top of beginning dc (40 dc)
  17. sc in each dc . . . (around), join to top of beginning sc (40 sc)
  18. 7 dc in 1st hdc, skip 3 hdc, 7dc in 4th hdc . . . around, join to top of beginning dc (10 groups of 7dc)
  19. (In this round you are putting the fpdtrc into the dc of round 16 between every other popcorn ): sc in each of next 7 dc, fpdtrc in the hdc above the marked popcorn, sc in next 7 dc, fpdtrc in sc above popcorn) . . . (around) , join to top of beginning dc (70 sc, 10 fpdtrc)
  20. sc in 1st fptc, ch 5, sc in next fptc . . . (around) join to top of beginning fptc. (10 sc, 50 ch)
  21. sc in sc, 5 sc in ch5 loop . . . (around) (60 sc)
  22. sc in 1st sc, 5 sc in ch5 loop . . . (around) (60 sc)
  23. dc in each sc . . . (around) join to top of beginning sc (60dc)
  24. bphdc in each dc . . . (around) join to top of beginning bhdc (60 bphdc)
  25. dc in 1st two hdc, 4dc popcorn in next . . . (around) join to top of beginning hdc (20 popcorn, 40 dc)
  26. hdc in 1st two dc, skip popcorn . . . (around) join to top of beginning dc (40 hdc)
  27. dc in each hdc . . . (around) join to top of beginning hdc (40 dc)
  28. hdc in 1st dc . . . (around) join to top of beginning dc (40 dc)
  29. bpdc in 1st hdc . . . (around) join to top of beginning hdc (40 bpdc)
  30. At this point you need to insert the light bulb and crochet around it: hdc in 1st dc, decrease over next 2 hdc . . . (around) join to top of beginning dc (30 hdc)
  31. hdc in 1st dc . . . (around) join to top of beginning dc (30 dc) (Repeat this round if you find your cover is being stretched too tightly)
  32. hdc in 1st dc, decrease over next 2 hdc . . . (around) join to top of beginning hdc (20 hdc)
  33. sc decrease over next 2 hdc . . . (around) join to top of beginning hdc (10 hdc)
  34. sc decrease over next 2 hdc . . . do not join (5 hdc)
  35. Continue to decrease each stitch until the hole is close. Finish off and weave in ends.

CAL (Crochet Along) – What and Where is That?!


Picture is from ‘Frida’s Flowers’ by Jane Crow

There was a time, if you had a town of 500 women, about 490 of those women would be stay-at-home mothers, and about 450 of those women would practice a craft, like sewing, quilting, knitting or crocheting.  They would get together in ‘bees’ or ‘circles’ to share coffee, gossip and patterns.  Today, the inverse is more likely true.  With so many people holding full time jobs, and dealing with hectic family schedules, the few who still crochet have a hard time finding others who share their craft, and the time with which to meet them.  With the advent of the internet, those problems are solved.

Across the internet, you can find email groups, facebook groups, and websites devoted to bringing crafters together.  You can find links to some of these in my blog roll.  To further still the camaraderie, we now have Crochet Alongs (CALs), where thousands of people across the world all use the same pattern to create something beautiful.  Often these are mystery CALs, with just a bit of the pattern revealed at intervals.  This is a list of some of the CALS from April and May.  They are in no particular order, except I am participating in the 1st 4.

  • Frida’s Flowers by Jane Crow “The new project is called Frida’s Flowers Blanket is inspired by Mexican Folk Art and the colourful dresses worn by the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.”
  • Mandala Madness by Helen Shrimpton “When Kimberly Slifer of the Official CCC Social Group on face book asked me to design a blanket/afghan for a CAL (crochet a-long) project for next year, I was, honoured, excited, chuffed to bits…. you get the idea! The ideas that went spinning through my head were crazy.  But I knew it had to be something very special, and so the idea of a HUGE Mandala started to form in my mind. As I started to work on the design I kept saying to myself “this is madness”… and so the name… Mandala Madness”
  • The Hekel Mandala by Annamarie Joubert-Esterhuizen  You need to request to join the facebook group, and the patterns are all available (in many languages) in the files of that group.
  • A Designers Potpourri by Sheri from The Country Willow, Cylinda from Crochet Memories, Cheryl from Homemade Hats by Cheryl, Donna from Articles of a Domestic Goddess and Rebeckah from Rebeckah’s Treasures.  Of these, thus far I am only doing the doily by Cylinda, Spring Pineapple Floral Lace.
  • Everything is Cool and Groovyghan by Heather Gibbs of KCACO-UK (Keep Calm and Crochet Along) “This is a mystery crochet-along for a rectangular mixed motif blanket where either blocks or rows will be introduced every two weeks. Lots of different shapes and stitches will be incorporated so it won’t get boring and there will be plenty of opportunity to play with colour!”
  • 2016 BAM CAL “Starting in January and ending in December we will have 3 squares each month, a main square , a filler square for those who want to do an extra 12” square each month  and a 6” square.”
  • Fran the Manghan Mystery CAL “The FRAN Mystery CAL will make what I hope you’ll agree is a manly/unisex blanket or throw. There are no flowers, circles or curves at all in the patterns – just straight lines and texture.”
  • Ali Crafts CAL “Mystery crochet along to make a granny square based blanket.”
  • DROPS Mystery Cal “The blanket will consist of a centre of granny squares surrounded by several types of edges with different patterns and stitches”
  • Garden Party Jacket   “If you’ve never made a garment before, this pattern is a great one to start with! You’ll no doubt be the sweetest flower in the bunch wearing this pretty.”
  • My Under the Sea Crochet Playbook  “3 x pages or 6 single pages (your choice) Appliques & crochet pieces to create 6 fun under the sea themed pages 1 x an adorable mermaid doll & accessories”
  • Mix and Match Crochet Along   (Note: The site for this blanket is in dutch, but there are translations for the pattern in English.)
  • Crochet Along to the Garden State by Julie Yeager  The pattern will be free and released over a period of about eight weeks here on the blog and also on Ravelry. (Note :  this becomes a paid pattern after the CAL)
  • Crochet Along 2016  “So I thought after less than a year of crochet under my belt whilst I love all these patterns other fabulous designers do I’d like to do my own and see whether I have learnt enough to design a simple crochet along.” (Note: blanket is a simple circle within a block)
  • 2016 Afghan Sampler   “What’s the best part about this blanket? It’s TOTALLY up to you how to crochet it! Crochet every block for a blanket that is perfect to snuggle under while watching your favorite television programs, crochet a few and make a blanket for your pets or kids, or crochet *two a week for the entire 52 weeks of the year* and create a beauty to adorn your king sized bed!”
  • Blanket of Secrets  (Note:  Variations on the granny block)  
  • Last Dance On the Beach  “As many of you know, this CAL was designed by the late Marinke Slump ( aka : Wink) from http://www.acreativebeing.com and was the final design she was working on at the time of her passing. In accordance with the wishes of Marinke’s family, 12 of her online friends and bloggers have completed her unfinished design to present this beautiful and sensitive CAL in Marinke’s memory and as a tribute to her work.”

I’ve not included CALs which aren’t in English, because I can’t read them sadly (I think I must move to The Netherlands – so much gorgeous Dutch work being done!), and I haven’t included paid patterns because I am not going to pay for something sight unseen.  I’ve started too many CALs and quit in the 3rd week because I just didn’t like them.  (Not that I mind – I just frog and move on to the next one!)

Next time I think I will give you links to some of the magnificent CALs from previous years.

Mandala Madness Part 5

There was no description on part 5 as to what this portion of the mandala signifies, but it sure is beautiful!  You can find the instructions here.

I didn’t need any tweaking on this part for thread, but do remember to keep your sc’s slightly looser, for easier access on those back loops and back posts.

I did decide to add a circle of russets slip stitches around the yellow circles, to define them better, and make them stand out.  One is complete in the picture.


Defining Freeform Crochet by Donna Walker

Blue Felted Flower by Donna Walker – pattern is here:


Donna Walker is an amazingly talented artist; crochet being only one of the many mediums in which she works.  See some of her works of art on her blog, Walker’s Whimsies.  She is the administrator on one of my facebook groups, Freeform Crochet World Group (the brainchild of Marina Hoffstrom ; you can find freeform tutorials on her blog, Snovej Food & Craft Adventures.)  The facebook group is a large one, with new folks joining every day (freeform is the latest ‘hot’ item in crochet, for sure!).  At least once a week, someone asks for a definition of freeform.  We all have our own ideas, but Donna took the time to research and write up the following article for the group.  It definitely bears repeating:

 Defining Freeform Crochet    By Donna Walker

There are many opinions on this, and for many this is a topic for discussion.  Many times it has been said that there are no rules in freeform, but I think perhaps, that is an oversimplification of the complexity that is freeform crochet. So first I am going to set some general guidelines for a few of the other types of crochet.

Traditional crochet

This is usually worked in rounds or rows, even and symmetrical, or geometric. It may be assembled from pieces sewn or crocheted together. Used for generations to make clothes, and household items. Thousands of patterns and ideas fit this classification. There are many thousands of combinations of stitch patterns also. There are many patterns available for traditional projects.  It often utilizes color changes to  create a specific appearance. It can be done with or with out a pattern.

Irish Crochet

This usually refers to projects made from many motifs, matching or similar ones, all connected with a crocheted mesh. It often includes many small circle or button type motifs, and/or Cluny’s knots in the mesh. Many think of this as the original free form.I would consider it as a type of lace crochet. Traditionally this was  done with 2-3 sizes of white thread. Many of the motifs are floral in nature but not all.  The crochet mesh seems to be one of the defining features.

Hairpin Lace

This is crocheted lacy strips made on a hairpin lace tool. The strips are assembled in rows, but are attached in many different ways, to create different patterns in the lace. Originally done with small thread on a Ladies Hairpin.

Bavarian Crochet

This refers to a specific stitch pattern that is used to create a symmetrical pattern of squares, it also often utilizes color changes to accomplish a specific appearance.

Fair Aisle, Intarsia, Tapestry crochet and stranded color work

All refer to projects that use the same stitch through out, with color changes done by changing yarn on a specific stitch. This creates patterns or pictures in the piece, and is usually worked from a chart. The different terms relate to how you accomplish the yarn change and whether or not you carry all the yarns with you as you go.

Embellished Crochet,  freehand, freestyle

These are traditionally created pieces, that have surface embellishments added. for example a crocheted vest, with either slipstitch/embroidery  or appliqued flowers or spirals tacked to the top. These are still traditional crochet. Many of the purses we see here on this page have a traditional side and a freeform side, and some are only embellished. This doesn’t make them less artful, just created differently. Most of these have a pattern or are based on a previously used pattern.

Freeform Crochet

Freeform Crochet first appeared to my knowledge in the 1970’s and is fairly new on the scene.  It is very organic, and improvisational in nature. It is created from small scrumbles /scumbles, some think of these as motifs, however they are not always motifs that would work in another method that utilizes motifs. The scrumbles/ scumbles are created by using multiple different yarns, stitch patterns and colors, all with in a small area. They can be clashing or coordinating yarns, colors, or patterns.  These pieces are the part where the ‘No rules’ comes into play.  There is no wrong or right in creating these pieces, they are not usually matching in color or design. Part of the idea is to use your own imagination to make something never made before. It can be more sculptural in nature, or lay flat, as the artist prefers.

Although there are some patterns out there, many of them were developed for Lace or Irish crochet and borrowed to use in free form. Freeform is intended to be textural, and should be irregular in shapes and sizes of the pieces.

The scumbles/ scrumbles are attached by sewing, crocheting, or embroidering them. They may be attached in multiple different ways with in the same finished project.  The pieces are “puzzled” together, laying them out, turning this way and that , to create another layer of color, contrast or texture to the piece. Since the shapes should be different in size shape and color, it is often like putting together a puzzle.  James Walters referred to it as an “organic patchwork”.

Prudence Mapstone  said,  ” I think anything can be created freeform. It’s hard to find unambiguous words, but to me the concept would be that anything created in a freeform manner would be non-repetitious and would generally have quite an organic feel, with each element following on from the previous part with no obvious plan in mind.”  Everything should flow together. 🙂

Freeform is not the correct term for everything you make with out a pattern. Many of these would be more appropriately termed freehand or freestyle perhaps, but I think what they are usually, Is brand new patterns in the other categories of crochet. The creators of these that sometimes seem offended that they are not thought of as freeform, have failed to realize they are now the designers of a whole new generation of traditional crochet patterns. They are artists in their own right, just different than the free form artists.

Crossover Pieces

These are quite simply put, pieces that combine more than one of these techniques to create some thing. For example a traditional garment with a free formed collar, or a freeformed garment with a crochet rib collar. They may or may not have a pattern. or an afghan that incorporates traditional blocks with more organic shapes or scrumbles/scumbles that have been joined, or filled in to create a shape that fits the spot.

Mixed Media,and/or  Fibre Art pieces

This is my favorite category.  These can incorporate any and all skills that the artist has or wishes to utilize. Crochet, knitting, weaving , tattiing, lacemaking, felting, sewing, lace making, beading, painting, dyeing, fabric manipulation, surface embellishments, could be or are utilized to create the artists vision. Supplies used can vary as much as the technique.  These can be assembled in many different ways.

They can be pictorial, organic or abstract.


I hope this addresses some of the confusion.  This is not intended to include every possible scenario, or to be a “Rulebook”. It is intended to give some structure to the ongoing discussions. This will be added to Freeform Crochet World Group’s files, and  I don’t mind if any one wants to share it. However, please leave my name in the text of the article.”

9 Petal Flower


These simple little flowers can be used as a brooch, an adornment on a top, part of a bouquet, or as I have done, clipped on a pair of shoes!  Add some beading or sequins for a more elegant look.

Center:  Wrap thread loosely but evenly around a G Hook, one layer on top of the other (not spread out).  Gently ease the ring of thread off the hook, y/o and through the ring to pick up a loop.  18 sc in the ring.


Round 1:  (hdc, ch 3, skip 1 sc) 9 times (9 hdc, 27 ch)

Round 2: Working in the chain 3 space (1 sc, 2 hdc, 1 dc, 2 hdc, 1 sc, ss into hdc of previous round) 9 times (18 sc, 36 hdc, 9 dc, 9 ss)

Round 3:  ch 1, ss to back of hdc of previous round, ch 1, (dc around the back post of the hdc of the previous round, ch 5) 9 times (9 dc, 45 ch)

Round 4: Working in the chain 5 space (2 hdc, 2 dc, 1 trc, 2 dc, 2 hdc, ss into dc of previous round) 9 times (36 hdc, 36 dc, 9 trc, 9 ss)

Round 5: ch 1, ss to back of hdc of previous round, ch 1, (dc around the back post of the hdc of the previous round, ch 7) 9 times (9 dc, 63 ch)

Round 6: Working in the chain 7 space (2 hdc, 2 dc, 2 trc, ch 2, 2 trc, 2 dc, 2 hdc, ss into dc of previous round) 9 times (36 hdc, 36 dc, 36 trc, 18 ch, 9 ss) Finish off