Learn-along: Triple Crochet Flowers

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If you’re groaning cos I mentioned crochet right now, let me just stop you there. It took me 25 years of time when I could’ve been holding a hook just to pick one up, cos anything beyond a chain usually feels incredibly complicated.
When I picked up my hook to make flowers for cardmaking, I thought I’d be knocking them out a mile-a-minute. The flowers pictured up top took me from 10-10 on Thursday to make, and yesterday I managed 4 more. Because I find it difficult, I wanna explain it in a way that makes more sense to me. So here’s how to crochet, from scratch.
Essential Tools
Having read Samantha Caffee’s tutorial to the point of confusion.
Any yarn that you can’t think of another use for
Any crochet hook
Something that snips thread
Skills Used
Slip knot
Chaining
Slip stitch
Single crochet (Uk double)
Treble crochet (uk double treble)
If you have all of these skills, read the tutorial instead of my blathering. If you need to learn, read on.
We’re gonna start with a slip knot, which cracks me up every time I say it cos I’m usually hopeless with knots. Make a lil twisty loop like a lasso near the end of your yarn, and stick your hook through that loop.
Keeping the loop twisted, wrap the non-end yarn over the front of the hook however and where you like. Pop the loop up and over that wrap and yarn, and try not to panic as you let it fall off the hook. Tighten up a lil on what is now a stitch (try again, if it isn’t), and get on the chain gang.
I have good news for you! Once you’ve mastered that slip knot, you automatically know how to chain. Don’t look at me all skeptical, now; chain stitch is just a repeat of the wrapping and dropping process, with the slip knot providing a strong anchor for it.
So now do as the tutorial says, and make a total of 5 chain stitches after that slip knot. To make that chain into a nice circle, we’re gonna do the slip stitch. You and me together now; stick the pokey bit of the hook through under that first chain top, and you’ve got two loops there. If it’s tricky to wiggle that hook in, that’s normal for me. If it’s looking a lil loose and lazy, we’ll tighten up at the end.
So the slip stitch starts with those two loops, and all you need to do is wrap the yarn like before, and wiggle the hook head back through each of those loops hanging down. It takes a bit of practise, but once I got it down I could just slide through quick as a wink.
Phew this is hard, I’m gonna take a Ravelry break. See you in a few.
Now that we have that middle circle, we’re gonna chain 3 to add just enough height before working around. Next, we’re gonna be a triple threat with our stitches, right after you slap me for bein goofy today. Ouch! Thanks for that.
So, to triple crochet, we’re gonna first wrap the yarn just like we did before twice. Next, pop the hook head into that lovely open loop at the bottom of that tall chain. You’re doin gooood. Wrap the yarn again, then slip through just the first loop on the hook.
The rest of this stitch is just like a long slip stitch, wrapping the yarn before slipping the hook head through the nearest pair of loops on the body. The stitch is over when there’s just one loop hanging down. All stitches taller than US single crochet are worked like this, the only thing that changes is how many times you wrap the hook before insertion. I apologise for the double entendre.
Those tall chain stitches are known as a starter chain, and are typically counted as the first stitch in a row or round, which is what we’ll do here. So we’re going to work a total of 3 triple crochet to start, as we’re counting the chain to make 4.
I’m sorry, I need another break.

So, this

20130427-140114.jpg is what we have now, and you can not only see that there looks like 4 triple crochet, but that I suck at holding something still while taking a photo of it. Anyway, let’s move on to the single crochet.
I think of single crochet as slip stitch with a break in the middle. So we’re gonna start that stitch still in our lovely open loop, and stop before slipping the hook head through the second loop on the body. Wrap the yarn, and then slip through two loops. Easy, n’est-ce pas?
Okay, you pretty much know it all now. Just follow the tutorial, and post a reply here with any questions. I’ll update this to meet your concerns.
What, you want more crappy photos of my progress? Okay then

20130427-143051.jpg that my flower coming up for the close. I finish mine off by slip stitching through the back of the loop that that tops that tall chain cos that keeps both the start and end on the back. Cut the trailing yarn at whatever point you want, then pull the loop on the hook wide (the hook will usually drop out), and pop that yarn tail through.

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Now it’s time to tie the knot. Turn the flower over, and pull end yarn tail down towards the start one. I usually end up with one tail longer than the other, so cross the long tail over the short and tie, then repeat twice. This pulls the flower into more of a natural shape, and avoids using that blasted sewing needle that I hate so much. You can leave those tails flapping for better attaching to stuff, or just snip them off a little above the last knot.
Happy Hooking!

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