Let's get started then!
Materials Needed: 3-4 skeins yarn that's easy to handle, (a good starter yarn will be Bernat Cotton Tots or Bernat Baby yarn) and a hook size I or J
Assuming you've already mastered the chain lesson I posted earlier, we're going to move on to another step - the Double Crochet or (dc). If you haven't mastered the chain and it's still difficult to do it quickly, keep working at it before you tackle this.
Before you begin a big 'ol blanket, we're just going to stitch a few rows on a small scale so you can see and feel what you're doing without the huge commitment!
FIRST OF ALL: I deeply apologize for the blurry pictures. My lighting was bad on and off today because it's been rainy and dark! And it's hard to re-focus again and again. So sorry if you're feeling queasy looking at any photos!
Take your chain and with your hook under the yarn (or yarn over), wrap the yarn around the neck of the hook, put hook through the 3rd chain from the hook (counts as a dc) - and you'll have 3 loops of yarn on your hook.
We now have three loops on the hook. With yarn over like we've been learning, grab the yarn and pull it through the first loop. (you'll still have 3 loops because of this)
Then bring your hook back up, grab some more yarn, and pull it through the next 2 loops.
You should have 2 loops left - repeat - bring your hook back up and grab some yarn and pull it through the remaining 2 loops. That's a "double" crochet.
So from the beginning, with needle up, you wrap yarn around the hook once, go down into the chain, come up, grab yarn, pull through one loop, go back up, grab yarn, pull through two loops, go back up, grab yarn, pull through last two loops.
Come down into the last chain in that row, right up against the knot and dc there to finish the row.
This is what the a first row finished should look like at the end.
Then you'll need to chain twice - because the height of our stitches is a DOUBLE crochet.
(If you were doing a single crochet blanket, you'd chain once at the end of every row. If you were doing a triple crochet blanket, you'd chain three times - got it?!)
Flip your row around and you're ready for row #2.
(You're doing GREAT, by the way!!!)
So again, grab some yarn, wrap it around once, go down into that 2nd chain from the end of the row. My thumb here is directly under the hole I'm going to stitch in.
When you get to the end of the 2nd row, it might seem like you're done but there's that one last chain you need to get underneath. Can you see the chain where it's starting to curve? That will be the one you want to stitch in. It is the last stitch in the previous row and you have to get that one or your rows will be thrown off.
This is what your finished 2nd row should look like. The bottom corner should be somewhat squared.
Then, like we learned before, chain twice, flip 'er around and you're ready to start row 3! Go ahead and dc all the way down to the end.
(See?! You can do THIS! It's not hard!)
Again, at the end of the row, make sure you pick up that last chain from the previous row.
Now we're going to finish off our sample because you're ready to move on to bigger and better things.
So clip your yarn, giving yourself about 4-5 inches extra.
Tie a knot to secure your yarn. Make sure you get the knot all the way down to the bottom of your piece.
And now you're ready to put a border on. That extra yarn can either be stitched into the piece with a needle, (I'll have pictures & a post on that later) or it can lay there on the edge and you'll stitch over the top of it with your border.
Now that you have the process figured out, you're ready for large scale!
To begin, make a chain approximately 32 inches long. Then stitch your heart out until it's about 36 inches tall.
Tie it off and we're ready for a border. Here's the link to my basic ruffle border.
Some things to remember:
The blanket will stretch the longer it gets.
Keep plenty of yarn unrolled so you've always got slack. It's hard to stitch along without the right tension.
Try not to make your stitches too tight. You should be able to move your hook freely without snagging.
If you're feeling like your stitches are too small, maybe your hook is too small. Go one hook size up and see if that helps. Vice Versa - if your stitches seem too big and loopy, try going down a hook size.
If worse comes to worse, email me your phone number and I can walk you through this!