Welcome to Cup of Crochet

Welcome to my new site ❤

I’m putting everything together in this one site to help you find my patterns, ideas, YouTube videos and everything else from my world of crochet…I hope you enjoy!

Cup of Crochet ❤

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Featured post

Reading Yarn Labels for Crochet

You have a whole bunch of yarn and you see that the label has lots of information; what does it all mean?!

Let me help you understand what’s going on…

1. Which size crochet hook should I use?

This is shown in a little image of the crochet hooks crossing over in the example label to the right. 

As you can see from this example, Patons Fab Big yarn is recommending a 10mm hook. 

​Once you become more comfortable with crochet, you will be fine to use different sized crochet hooks than the ones recommended, depending on the size of the stitches that you’d like! Although, you’ll still need to use a fairly similar sized hook, as a 3mm on this yarn wouldn’t work very well!

2. What are the shade and lot numbers for?

The shade and lot numbers are shown at the top of the label in the example to the left. I’ve also included a close-up photo of the shade and lot number part of the label below. 

The shade number enables you to locate the exact colour yarn that you need, either because you want to follow a pattern’s yarn recommendation, or you were using a ball of yarn and ran out part-way through a project and need a matching ball. When you go shopping for your yarn, be sure to make a note of this and then check the ball of yarn that you’re purchasing. You’ll then have a nice consistent colour on your work. 

Manufacturers will dye their yarn in different lots, meaning that a same-shade ball of yarn could vary in colour slightly. So, to ensure that you have the correct colour, also make a note of the lot number and take this with you when you go shopping. 

3. Tension

Once you work up your yarn using the recommended needles how big will your work be? This is known as Tension on the yarn label. 

Tension is shown as a 10cm by 10cm standard size. 

On the Patons Fab Big yarn, in a 10cm by 10cm piece, using 10mm hooks, you will be able to get 12 stitches across and 8 rows high. 

On a second example shown to the right, using the recommended 10mm hook, the tension will be 9 stitches by 12 rows per 10cm by 10cm square. 

My advice on keeping a track of your tension is to test the size of your work as you go; keep a tape measure to hand. Some people crochet tighter or looser stitches than others. You can then either adjust your crochet stitch size by making it tighter or looser, adjusting your hook size, or by adjusting the pattern to include more/less stitches or rows as required.   

For some crochet pieces such as clothing, the sizing/tension will be very important. For others, such as toys, it will not matter so much. 

4. How to care for your yarn/finished work

You’ve just made something marvellous and then you’ve split your coffee on it; we’ve all been there!

Your yarn label will give you care instructions on what you can and can’t do to clean it if required. 

On the Paton’s Fab Big yarn label example, you can machine wash it on warm. But you cannot: use bleach, tumble dry, iron, or dry clean!

This is really useful information to have depending on what you’re making. If you’re making clothing for your children, it’s best to get something hardy that is fine in a washing machine on warm!

5. What else does the label include?

The label will also show:

  • the name of the brand; in this example Patons
  • the weight; in this example 200g
  • the material it is made from: in this example acrylic
  • the manufacturer’s name and address; in this example, Coats Crafts UK, Green Mill Lane etc.
  • Also, balls of yarns sometimes come with a free pattern suggestion on the label. This Patons yarn shows a knitted loop scarf pattern

Crochet Advent Calendar

I came up with this Christmas Advent Calendar design because I love the idea of having a personalised advent calendar that I can use every year.

At the moment, I have made one for me and one for my partner, but the great thing about homemade advent calendars is that you can make as many as you need, either now or in the future! Remember you can also make advent calendars for your pets and fill with their favourite treats.

Now it’s time to think of some fun treats to put into the pockets! 

The pattern is available for free below.

​Cup of Crochet x

What you will need to get started: 

  • Paton’s Fab DK 100g yarn in Green (shade 02341)
  • Sirdar Supersoft Aran 100g in White (shade 0830)
  • John Lewis Merino Blend Chunky 50g in Red (shade 302)
  • 5mm hook for the advent calendar
  • 4mm hook for the letters to create your name
  • 1 Darning needle to weave in yarn ends
  • 1 thread needle to sew on decorations
  • Decorations
  • John Lewis Wooden Penguin Stickers
  • John Lewis sticky backed felt sheets in red and white
  • ‘Have A Cool Yule’ Paper Toppers from John Lewis
  • Jesse James Jolly Holly Embellishments
  • Jesse James Iced Gingerbread Embellishments
  • Groves Christmas Ribbon in Red, Silver and Green
  • Groves Premium Trim Collection – Reindeer and Snowflakes

Other:

  • Fabric Glue
  • Pencil
  • Scrap paper
  • Scissors 
  • Measuring tape
  • Thread (Coats Metallic 200m in Silver)
  • Crochet locking stitch markers
  • Squared paper 

How to make: 

Instructions for the Advent Calendar base and pockets

Advent Calendar Base:

Take your 5mm crochet hook and your red yarn to begin.

Make a slip knot

Ch 60 plus 1 to turn (61 in total)

Skip 1 and DC in each chain (60)

Measure your work at this point – your work should measure 17 inches across (43cm)

Ch1 at the end of the row before turning your work

Turn and continue to DC in each stitch

Continue with your rows of DC in each stitch and ch1 to turn for each row until your work measures 17 inches tall (43cm).

Cut off your yarn and secure the last crochet stitch, leaving a long enough tail to weave into the back of your work. Use your darning needle to weave your beginning and end loose yarn into the back of your work. Please see my website if you need guidance on how to do this for a nice tidy finish.

You will then have a 17 inch by 17 inch DC square. The DC stitch will give you a nice strong and solid background to then work your advent pockets and decorations on to.

Advent Pockets: 

There are 3 different sized advent pockets to make.

20 Pockets (10 green yarn and 10 white yarn)

To make one of these 20 pockets, use your 5mm yarn. You can start with either your green or white yarn, but remember you need to make 10 in each colour.

Make a slip knot

Ch 8 plus 1 to turn

Skip the first stitch and then DC in each stitch (8 DC in each row)

Ch 1 before turning

Turn your work and DC in each stitch

Continue until you have a total of 8 rows

Cut off your yarn (you only need to leave the tail long enough to weave into the back of the pocket) and then secure your last crochet stitch

3 Pockets (2 White and 1 Green)

Make a slip knot

Ch 12 plus 1 to turn

Skip the first stitch and DC in each stitch (12 DC in each row)

Ch 1 before turning

Turn your work and DC in each stitch

Continue until you have a total of 8 rows

Cut off your yarn (you only need to leave the tail long enough to weave into the back of the pocket) and then secure your last crochet stitch

1 Pocket (Green)

This pocket is for day 24 and the biggest pocket on your advent calendar

Make a slip knot

Ch 12 plus 1 to turn

Skip the first stitch and DC in each stitch (12 DC in each row)

Ch 1 before turning

Turn your work and DC in each stitch

Continue until you have a total of 18 rows

Cut off your yarn (you only need to leave the tail long enough to weave into the back of the pocket) and then secure your last crochet stitch

The DC crochet for the pockets is a nice tight crochet stitch so that your treats will be well hidden so that each day is a surprise!

Now you can open up your decorations and choose one decoration per pocket (23 pockets) and 3 decorations for your large day 24 pocket.

Green pockets:

Sew your decorations onto the bottom right-hand corner of each green pocket. In order to make sure your decorations stand out, it is best not to put any green decorations onto these pockets (save your Holly decorations for the white pockets!).

White Pockets: 

Sew your decorations onto the top left-hand corner of each white pocket. In order to make sure that your decorations stand out, it is best not to put any white decorations onto these pockets (use your snowman and snowflake decorations for the green pockets!)

Number your pockets:

Take a sheet of squared paper to draw out your number templates. You will need to create templates for numbers 0 – 9. Please refer to the diagrams below for guidance.

Then take out your sheets of sticky backed felt (1 sheet of red and 1 sheet of white).

Numbers are created on the felt by using each number template, turning it the back to front, place it on the paper side of the sticky backed felt and then using your pencil to draw around the template. Please refer to the diagram below for guidance. Your number should look back to front on the reverse side of the felt but this means it will come out the right way round on the front of the felt. Cut out each number, and then remove the paper backing and stick to the pocket. I have included a diagram with a suggestion on the pocket numbering for guidance.

Create numbers 1, 2, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19 and 21 on red felt. The red felt numbers should be placed on the right hand side of the white pockets.

Create numbers 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 16, 20, 22, 23, and 24 on white felt. The white felt numbers should be placed on the left hand side of the green pockets.

Once you have your 24 pockets (12 green, 12 white) in the sizes above, with decorations and numbers on, you are ready to begin temporarily positioning them on your advent calendar base.

This process is to enable you to position your pockets onto the base evenly and to adjust them so that you are happy with your work.

I left a 0.5 inch (1.3cm/13mm) gap at from the bottom of the advent calendar for the first row of pockets. Begin by securing the largest pocket onto the advent calendar base with a 0.5 inch (1.3cm/13mm) gap at the bottom and 6.5 inches (16.5cm) on each side of the pocket. Secure in place with a crochet locking stitch marker. Continue to temporarily secure the rest of the pockets onto the base. Please refer to the diagram below for guidance.

After securing the pockets with your stitch markers, you should have 4 1/4 inches (11cm) of red advent calendar base from your top row of pockets to the top of the work. In this area you will be able to crochet your preferred name and add come Christmas Crochet Appliqués for your final decorations.

Once you are happy with the positioning of your pockets, you can begin securing each pocket on to your calendar base. Begin with the bottom left pocket. Remove from the base. You will then need to add 1 Treble Crochet (TRC) in each gap. You will need to add 3 TRCs in the second from last gap on each side and 2 TRCs in the first and last gap of the bottom of the pocket; this will create nicely shaped corners for your pockets.

This additional side stitch will help to lift your pocket off of the base to enable you to comfortably put your advent treats in. Please follow the diagram pattern below for guidance.

Then cut off a long tail of yarn (this will be used to sew the pocket onto the advent calendar base) and secure off your last crochet stitch.

You can then sew your pocket onto the base using your darning needle. For a neat finish, try not to darn through to the other side of the advent calendar base, so that the back of your work remains red and does not show the green or white yarn from the pockets.

Cup of Crochet x

Name/Letters: 

Crochet your chosen letters; you can then darn these onto the top part of your advent calendar base.

I made my letters with simple chains and then darned them onto the base in the shape of the desired letter. I will post a guide on how to do these as soon as possible 🙂

 

Crochet Terminology

What does it all mean? Do you need help translating UK – US terminology?

UK and US Terminology Translations with Abbreviations:

  • UK                                                   US
  • CH: Chain                                      CH: Chain
  • SS: Slip Stitch                                SS: Slip Stitch
  • DC: Double Crochet                     SC: Single Crochet
  • HTRC: Half Treble Crochet        HDC: Half Double Crochet
  • TRC: Treble Crochet                    DC: Double Crochet
  • DTRC: Double Treble Crochet   TRC: Treble Crochet
  • TTRC: Triple Crochet                   DTRC: Double Treble Crochet
  • YoH: Yarn over Hook                   YoH: Yarn over Hook

Abbreviations for Crocheting Stitches Together:

2tog – crochet two stitches together. This instruction will always be preceded by the type of stitch you need to use, e.g. dc2tog, tr2tog or dtr2tog (UK) or sc2tog, dc2tog, trc2tog (US)

Abbreviations for increases and decreases:

  • Inc: Increase
  • Dec: Decrease

Other terms that you might see: 

  • RS: Right Side
  • WS: Wrong Side
  • CL: Cluster
  • FPTR: Front Post Treble Crochet
  • FPDTR: Front Post Double Treble Crochet
  • BPTR: Back Post Treble Crochet
  • BPDTR: Back Post Double Treble Crochet

Keep up with your crochet!

Cup of Crochet x

Getting started with crochet – yarn and hooks

Are you wondering where to start with your crochet? What yarn and hooks should you use?

Let me share with you my tips on where to start looking and how to find the right hooks for you and the right yarn for your projects.

Where do I start? 

First of all you need some crochet hooks! For your first projects, a size 4mm hook is great. It’s a comfortable size; not too big and not too small.

Check if you already have one at home, or if you have a friend or family member who has one you can borrow. I’d recommend borrowing to start with just in case you change your mind about crochet for any reason (although I’m pretty sure you’ll love it!).

You can get bamboo or metal crochet hooks. Try out both to see which one feels most comfortable for you. Personally, I prefer the bamboo hooks and I have two sets.

When I was learning, I went to the John Lewis Haberdashery on Bond Street to pick out single hooks of differing styles to find out what worked best for me. These are the ones that I picked out to try:

  1. Prym Bamboo Crochet Hook 4mm
  2. Pony Metal Crochet Hook 4mm

Once I decided on my favourite type (bamboo), I bought two sets from Amazon, and these are the links:

  1. Fusion Set of 12 Carbonized Bamboo Crochet Hooks – these ones are currently on sale for £5.55
  2. 16 Piece Bamboo Crochet Hooks – these ones are currently £4.72

I bought two sets to give myself a nice full range and also it means that I can usually leave my hooks in projects that I’m part-way through as I have two of the most commonly used sizes.

Yarn – do you have any spare yarn at home? If not, I’d recommend a DK weight yarn like Paton’s Fab yarn as a starting point; it’s great for a 4mm hook and is a robust but yet soft yarn. It’s brilliant for beginner  projects. Again, I’d recommend picking up just one ball of yarn and see how you get on! Pick out a fun colour to make your first project as enjoyable as possible.

Check out John Lewis’ stock of DK Yarn, I started out with Patons.

Learning can feel a little slow at times, but I promise, once you learn all the basic stitches, you’ll be much faster! I find learning new things quite therapeutic, as you have to focus purely on what you’re doing, so there’s a little added bonus of taking up crochet as a new hobby ❤

Other accessories to get you started:  you’ll also need a pair of scissors to cut your yarn and a need with a large eye to use to weave in loose ends.

Next blog post: learning stitches…

My YouTube page has lots of ‘how-to’ videos to get you started with a slip knot, foundation chain and stitches, so make sure you head over there once you have your yarn and hook. 

Getting started with crochet stitches

First of all, learn how to make a slip knot.

Once you’ve mastered that, you can begin a foundation chain.

Check out my YouTube channel for videos to get you started. 

Practice slip knot and foundation chain a few times so you’re comfortable with your technique. The more you practice, the more you’ll find a natural position for holding your hook and yarn. You’ll see from my videos and pictures how I hold my yarn, but don’t worry if you’re holding it slightly differently, so long as your end result is the same.

When you’re learning the basics, you might want to reuse your yarn for your practice; this is really easy to do, just take your hook away from your yarn and pull your yarn tail to unravel. This is a good cost-efficient way to learn to crochet, as well as not having to end up with lots of practice pieces everywhere!

Remember that there is both UK and US terminology for crochet. Always double check which terminology your pattern is using! In this guide, I’ll give you both terms, but please also check out my terminology blog post.

The first stitch you’ll want to learn is the US Single Crochet/UK Double Crochet.

The next stitch you’ll want to learn is the US Double Crochet/UK Treble Crochet. This is a slightly looser stitch than the US SC/UK DC and is another very common crochet stitch that you’ll find in many projects.

If you’ve completed all of the above, then you’ve made great progress on the road to becoming a master of crochet!

Cup of Crochet x

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