Posted on

How To: Single Crochet Stitch

Color Me Reckless | Single Crochet Tutorial

One of my goals for this year is to teach people how to crochet.  I’ve taught a few people in the past, and I am constantly attempting to teach Justin how to crochet.  So I thought, what better way to teach a person than by creating online tutorials? So here’s the first one.

The single crochet stitch (I’m using US terms since that’s how I learned) is a basic stitch, and is used to go on a make other stitch patterns. I use it to make my dishcloths.  For this tutorial, I’ll be illustrating with Lily Sugar ‘n Cream cotton yarn and an H8 (5 mm) hook.  The abbreviation for single crochet is SC, so if you see that in patterns you’ll know what it means! I’m starting with a foundation chain of 11 here.  I’ll cover how to create a foundation chain in the next post.

Single Crochet Tutorial (US)

1. Insert hook through the first stitch.  You should insert the hook under the top loop, so you’re going through the stitch in your foundation row.

Step 1

2. Yarn over the hook. With the hook in your right hand, and the yarn in your left, wrap the yarn over the top of the hook, from back to front.

Yarn Over Image

3.  Pull the hook back through the first stitch in your foundation row, giving you two loops on your hook.

4. Yarn over the hook, and pull the loop through both loops on your hook, leaving you with one loop on your hook. Repeat this process across the length of your project.

SC Step 3 and 4

Row 1 complete

5. When you get to the end, chain one, turn your work, and get ready to start again! Insert, yarn over, pull through, yarn over, pull through two loops.

SC step 5

That’s it! Now you can make your own dishcloths and get started on your New Year’s resolution to learn how to crochet, that you didn’t realize you resolved to do until right now. So go. Crochet!

 

 

Posted on

What’s in a Hook?

My First Crochet Hook | Color Me Reckless

This is my very first crochet hook.  It’s old – so old I can’t find anything like it in the stores.  It’s a Susan Bates 3.75mm hook, made from a solid steel (or what feels like a more solid steel than my new hooks). It’s been passed down to me from my grandmother (I would swear to you it was my grandmother. My mother swears it was my great-grandmother. She’s probably right, but my memory is somehow connected with my grandmother).

I love this hook. I love the way it feels in my hand. I love the lightness of it.  I love the sharpness on the point of the hook which makes it easy to do intricate work.

I love that this hook has been passed down from one crocheter to another.  I love that when I use it, I’m adding to its repertoire of amazing projects. Maybe with each project or blanket I use it to complete, I strengthen a tie between me and generations of my family.

What's in a Hook? | Color Me Reckless

It’s not just my grandmother (or great-grandmother) who I feel tied to.  On my mother’s side, there are generations of crocheters too. Every time I pick up this hook, I’m reminded of that fact. My family has always been spread out all over the place, hours away from me.  It’s hard to feel connected to people so far away. But this connects us.  The same need to create with my hands, to pick up a hook and bring something to life, flowed through them too.

But it’s not just about how this all connects us. This hook also reminds me of my first projects.  It’s how I started, making one long chain after another.  I made my first blanket with it back in college.  Not only does this hook hold the memories of my grandmother’s past projects, now it holds mine too.

I love this hook.

Posted on

The End of My First Craft Show Season

The end of my first show Season | Color Me Reckless

Wow. When I started doing shows this year, I had planned to do two shows.  I did a total of five, and I wish I had done just one more. I can’t believe I managed to do something, and even look forward to something, so far outside my comfort zone! By the end of the year, I really enjoyed talking to people and selling them on my products.  I’ve learned a lot! Here are some of the lessons I learned:

1. Don’t Get Discouraged.

It sucks a lot when people keep passing you by, and no one seems to be interested in what you’re selling.  You put your heart and soul into this, why does no one want it?? Cue panic/freak out.

But it’s ok.  My first market I did, no one bought anything until the very end of the show, and then it was just a small item.  I was so discouraged.  I was embarrassed, I was heartbroken.  I couldn’t believe that I had worked that hard just to have the world throw it in my face as another failure.  (So I’m a bit dramatic…) Why didn’t it work?

Simply, it didn’t work out because that was not the right market for me.  That market attracted a lot of lookers, and lookers mostly want pretty things like jewelry.  They are not likely to buy a crochet washcloth on the spur of the moment. And that’s ok. It just means that my market is more people who are there to buy with a purpose in mind. My job is to sell them on the fact that my item meets their purpose.

It takes time to figure out what the best shows and markets for you are. And the only way to figure it out is to try a whole bunch of different ones!

2.  Don’t Be Afraid to Talk to People.

Talk to everyone. To customers, to the people you meet on the way to the bathroom, to your fellow vendors.  My favorite show, I talked to two fellow vendors that I had never met before.  One was a potter, and one was a crocheter as well.  From the potter, I learned amazing things like how to sell to stores and how to keep doing this forever.  From the crocheter, I got so much encouragement.  She was so excited to see another crocheter there, doing something different and being so young. It was awesome.

The people around you want you to do well.  Your fellow vendors want to help you learn to sell. Don’t be afraid of them! Don’t be afraid to ask them questions about how they got started and what they do now.  You never know, maybe there will be a partnership there.

3. Be Confident that What You Do Is Good.

I can’t tell you how many times, I freaked out the night before or the morning of absolutely sure that my stuff was no good and no one would buy it. It is good, and people do buy it.  I still have a lot of things to learn, and skills to refine, but I love my work.  It’s bright, it’s fun, and it’s practical.  And there are people are out there to buy it.  Maybe not at this show, but maybe at the next one. Or maybe people will start to recognize you and tell their friends. If you are confident and talk to people, they will remember you. And that’s huge.

This is so hard for me to remember.  I tend to get very down when my items don’t sell, and then I don’t want to talk to people and then no one wants to buy from the sulky girl on the end.  Be confident.  Or at least fake it.

4. Keep Trying.

Your first few shows might suck, but then maybe you get that awesome show.  And it makes all the hard work and disappointment worthwhile.  Sometimes it takes a while.  My very last show was my absolute best.  I more than doubled my table fee, and it was fun! Now I know that that kind of show is probably my best bet, and I need to do more shows leading up to the holidays.  I only know that because I did all those other shows first!

5. Lessons Learned.

After each show, write down what went well or what didn’t.  What did people seem to like, and what didn’t they like.  This will help hugely in preparing for the next show.  When you have a good feel or sense of what people want, you can sell it better.  And that’s the point, right?

I’ve learned so much this past year.  I’m so excited to look ahead to the next year.  I want to do even better than this year! My goals are to do 7 shows, and to have more pillows and home decor items for show.  This little hobby of mine will keep growing and it will be amazing.  One day.

Posted on

Introducing: The Hip to Be Square Quilt

Hip to be Square Blanket - Color Me Reckless

I’m so pleased to introduce this beautiful blanket!

Hip to be Square Blanket - Color Me Reckless

This is the blanket that inspired this post on frogging, as I had made almost the whole blanket with hexagons, and then decided to rip it out and start over! I love the way it came out – I love the variation on squares, and the colors.

Hip to be Square Blanket - Color Me Reckless

This was made as a wedding blanket for two sweet friends getting married this summer. I’m so excited to see what they think of it! (Slash incredibly nervous…).

Hip to be Square Blanket - Color Me Reckless

 

As always, this blanket will be up in my Blanket Portfolio for you to check out whenever.  You can also order your very own Hip to Be Square Quilt by using the custom order form.

Posted on

My First Pillow!

IMG_3424

This pillow took me about one week longer than I thought it would, because I kept getting bored with the monotonous rows of hdc for the back! But I think the simplicity of the backing really makes the front that much more fun and bright. I love the way they work together.

Waves Pillow - Color Me Reckless

It’s made from leftover Caron Simply Soft yarn from any number of projects over the years – some is from my very first blanket (fitting, don’t you think?), some if from a baby blanket for a friend, and some is from the multiple wedding blankets I’ve made for dear friends.

Waves Pillow - Color Me Reckless

I’m determined to clean out this basket of old yarn – It’s meant to be my project basket, but as been sitting as yarn storage for over a year now. I really want my basket back!

I’m thrilled that this pillow came out the way I had envisioned it.  I’ve already started on my next pillow (using some squares that were going to be a blanket and will now be a pillow!) and am excited by the possibility of adding these to my repertoire. For now, this one will be up in my shop.