The Learn to Crochet Project: Week Two!
Welcome to Week Two of The Learn to Crochet Project! This week, Joanne and Kat will be showing you how to make your own mitts!
Hopefully by now you have completed your first piece of wearable crochet – the cowl in our first tutorial. Now let’s increase your skills a little bit more and at the same time, kit you out with a lovely pair of mitts!
Following a pattern
For this project we want you to try and follow a pattern for the first time. Patterns look mystical when you first encounter them; full of weird abbreviations and new terms. The book that accompanies this blog series goes into great detail about what all of these mean but here are our five simple rules to help you follow our crochet patterns. The same is true or similar for many other designer’s patterns including in UK magazines. You will find that some designers use the brackets in a slightly different way but the rules will be similar.
Unless you are told otherwise you can assume you move to the next stitch. So “3 dc” is short hand for 1 dc into each of the next 3 stitches. If we want you to work 3 dc all into the same place we would write “3 dc in next st”.
We use round brackets ( ) to group stitches so “(1 tr, ch 2, 1 tr) in next stitch” means the whole of the instructions inside the bracket are to be worked into the next stitch – without the brackets you couldn’t be sure which of the stitches were to be worked where. We also use them for groups of stitches to be missed to avoid repeating the term miss over and over again. E.g “miss (3 dc, 1 ch-sp, 3 dc)”.
We use square brackets  to include instructions that you will work a set number of times. So “[3 dc, miss 2 st] 3 times” is the same as writing “3 dc, miss 2 sts, 3 dc, miss 2 sts, 3 dc, miss 2 sts”.
We use “*…;” for instructions that continue until you get to the point you are told to stop. So *3 dc, miss 2 sts; rep from * to end” means that you will work it over and over again to the last stitch.
If there is a number after the full stop at the end of the instructions, it is a stitch count. These allow you to check you are on track and are included only when the stitch count changes.
How to Crochet a Cuff Video
Before you start the pattern there are a few new skills to master, so let’s take a look at those in this video:
This video covers:
- Working into the back loop to create a ribbed cuff.
- Turning your work to pick up stitches into row ends.
- Working more than one stitch into the same place.
- Changing colour.
Let’s get making!
Finished length: 20cm/8in
To fit hand circumference: 19cm/7.5in
Note: To make gloves fit nicely it is best that they have to stretch to fit so the finished mitt should be slightly smaller than your hand.
1 x 50g ball of Willow and Lark Ramble in Shade 105 Thunder Grey – Col A
1 x 50g balls of Willow and Lark Ramble in Shade 115 Lichen Green – Col B
3 shells and 11 rows in pattern to 10cm/4in using 4.5mm hook (or size needed to obtain tension)
This pattern uses standard UK terms (US conversions given in brackets).
Ch – chain
BLO – back loop only
Dc – double crochet (US single crochet)
Htr – half treble crochet (US half double crochet)
Shell: 5tr in same st.
Top of shell: the 3rd tr in the shell.
Turning chain does not count as a stitch.
Pattern doesn’t have a right or wrong side.
The mitts use approximately 30g of Col A and 20g of Col B.
Begin with the Cuff:
Using Col A, ch 8
Row 1: Starting in the 3rd ch from the hook, htr across, turn. 6sts
Row 2: Ch2, htr in BLO in each st across.
Work row 2 until you have 31 rows of ribbing.
Row 1: Turn your work so you are working into the ends of the rows. Attach Col B, ch1, [1dc in
row end, miss 2 rows ends, shell in next miss 2 row ends] five times, 1dc, turn. Break Col A. 5
shells and 6 dc sts
Row 2: Attach Col A, ch3, 3tr in dc, [1dc in top of shell, shell in dc] four times, 3tr in dc, turn.
break Col A. 4 shells, 2 half shells, 5 dc sts
Row 3: Attach Col B, ch1, 1dc in tr, [miss 2tr, shell in dc, miss 2tr, miss 2tr, 1dc in tr, turn. Break
Col B. 5 shells and 6 dc sts
Repeat rows 2 and 3 eight times.
Work row 2 once more. You will have 9 rows of each colour.
Weave in ends. Fold the mitts in half so the long edge is aligned. Take a length of yarn onto a yarn needle and sew the edge closed – 5cm/2in down from the top and 8cm/3in from the bottom, leaving 5cm/2in opening for the thumb. Weave in ends.
It’s worth just taking a moment after you’ve finished the first mitt and before you make the second to measure your work and make sure you’ve made it the same size as we did. Doing this is called measuring your tension. It’s an important part of making items to fit.
Why measure your tension?
Tension (also known as gauge) needs to be measured to ensure the size of your finished item matches the pattern specification.
- Ensures the fabric behaves the same way as it was intended.
- Makes sure the yarn amounts specified will be correct.
- Helps check the yarn gives the effect you want .
- Gives you an opportunity to practice the stitch pattern.
How To Measure Your Tension
Checking tension is crucial when you want something to fit you. Even a small change in tension can make a finished item too big or too small.
- To make a tension square a bit over 4in, take the number of stitches given in the tension information and add a few. You will use the stitch used in the pattern and the yarn and hook you plan to use.
- Measure the tension before you block it and keep a note so that you can check your tension while crocheting. Wash the piece as you will wash the finished object and leave to dry.
- Measure and compare to the tension information.
If you have too many stitches/ rows your finished object will be too small. Repeat the tension square with larger hook.
If you have too few stitches/rows your finished object will be too big. Repeat the tension square with smaller hook.
How To Cheat At Tension Squares
Tension squares can seem like a pain to do when you just want to get cracking on a project. While we would never skip them on a big project such as a jumper, when making small accessories sometimes a tension square would take as long as the cuff of a sock or the brim of the hat. In this case you can make the first mitt as its not much bigger than a tension square would be.
We hope you enjoy these mitts – making them and wearing them. Don’t forget to pop into the Facebook group to let us know how you’re getting on, ask any questions you might have, and most importantly, show off your finished mitts!