#Crochet #TipsTuesday: Take Your Crochet Skills Up a Notch with These Seven Tutorials

Take Your #Crochet Skills Up a Notch with These 7 Tutorials #TipsTuesdayAs this year’s celebration of (Inter)National Crochet Month starts winding down, I reached out to several other crochet designers to ask what skills and techniques were most helpful to them in building their crochet skills. I got back some great answers that I’m sharing with you today. These tutorials and tips include things you may not have learned along the way. (I know it took me over 20 years of crocheting before I even heard about some of these skills.)



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1) Starting with a magic ring

The magic ring (or magic adjustable ring) is a great way to start projects that are crocheted in the round. It’s particularly helpful for making top down hats without a little “air hole” at the top. It also helps keep the stuffing inside of your amigurumi projects. Kristine Mullen from Ambassador Crochet shares her magic ring tutorial here.

Ambassador Crochet: How to Make a Crochet Magic Ring | Take Your #Crochet Skills Up a Notch with These 7 Tutorials #TipsTuesday
How to Make a Crochet Magic Ring Tutorial. © Ambassador Crochet and used with permission.

If you’re ready to try that magic circle on a project, here are some of my free crochet patterns that start with a magic ring.

2) Using invisible decreases

Most crocheters are not in love with decreases. While they can be necessary for your project, sometimes they just look terrible. Rebekcah Ferger from Rebeckah’s Treasures shares her tips for making invisible decreases in this video tutorial.

If you’re ready to try out your invisible decreases, try my free amigurumi pattern for the Gift Pocket Bear. It uses the single crochet version of an invisible decrease.

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3) Smoothly increasing in the round

If you’ve been crocheting circles in the round, you may have noticed that when you consistently increase in the same spot, you end up with a hexagon rather than a circle. Jess Mason from Screen to Stitch shares her method for crocheting a smooth circle in this video tutorial.

Try out staggered increases in my free amigurumi pattern for the Chubby Sheep.

4) Building your confidence with freeform crochet

Many crocheters work exclusively from patterns because they are worried about “doing it wrong.” Patrice Walker from Yarn Over, Pull Through shares 3 ways freeform crochet boosted her confidence.

3 Ways Freeform Crochet Boosted My Crochet Confidence by Yarn Over, Pull Through | Take Your #Crochet Skills Up a Notch with These 7 Tutorials #TipsTuesday
A freeform crochet project. © Yarn Over, Pull Through and used with permission.

I did my own exploration of freeform crochet back in 2012 and I completely agree with Patrice. I took a wonderful freeform crochet and knitting class with Margaret Hubert. If you’d like to start your own freeform journey, Myra Wood offers both Freeform Crochet and Modern Irish Freeform Crochet classes on Craftsy.

 Take Your #Crochet Skills Up a Notch with These 7 Tutorials #TipsTuesday Take Your #Crochet Skills Up a Notch with These 7 Tutorials #TipsTuesday

 

 

5) End your projects invisibly

Hmmm, invisibility seems to be a theme here! But those finishing details can really make your crochet projects look fabulous. Kristine from Ambassador Crochet shares a tutorial for fastening off your projects invisibly.

Ambassador Crochet: How to Invisibly Fasten Off Your Crochet Project | Take Your #Crochet Skills Up a Notch with These 7 Tutorials #TipsTuesday
How to Invisibly Fasten Off Your Crochet. © Ambassador Crochet and used with permission.

6) Lining your crochet bags

We continue the finishing theme with a tutorial from Maria Bittner at Pattern Paradise for lining a crochet bag with fabric. Another great way to make your crochet bag more sturdy is to felt it. You can find my felting tutorial here, and try lining or felting my free Tunisian crochet pattern for the Basketweave Mini Messenger Bag.

7) Blocking your projects

I’ll admit it, I was as (or more) resistent to blocking as most crocheters. But once I actually tried it, I found that it makes my finished projects look a lot better than they did before. You can learn the blocking basics in this post.

Blocking Basics | Take Your #Crochet Skills Up a Notch with These 7 Tutorials #TipsTuesday
Spray blocking my Pineapples for Everyone Shawl.

If you’d like to try out blocking, here are several free crochet shawl patterns that will just bloom after blocking.

And, a few bonus tips

What crochet skills and techniques have helped you out the most?

#FlashbackFriday Crochet Link Blast 30: Pillows

Roundup: 15 free #crochet patterns for pillows, curated by Underground CrafterOn Fridays, I share a link blast on G+, Twitter and Facebook to get you excited about crocheting all weekend! In keeping with the #FlashbackFriday meme, I’m sharing patterns that were first released at least 12 months ago.

Pillows (or, more accurately, pillow covers) are a great way to liven up your home without the time (and expense) of making a blanket or rug. Today’s roundup includes 15 free crochet patterns for pillows.

All images are copyright the respective designer and are used with permission.



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Roundup: 15 free #crochet patterns for pillows, curated by Underground CrafterMitered Square Pillow (photo 5), free crochet pattern by @ucrafter (that’s me!): This Tunisian crochet pattern, originally published in Love of Crochet magazine, is beginner-friendly and can be made with a regular crochet hook. The pattern now includes a video tutorial of the special stitches.

Crocodile Stitch Pillow, free crochet pattern by Lauren Savidge: This pattern uses a 12″ x 16″ pillow form and is perfect for providing (fashionable) lumbar support.

Tween Pillow, free crochet pattern by @CrochetKim via @Yarnspirations1: This pillow pattern includes a coordinating blanket.

Crocheted Flower Pillow, free crochet pattern by @craftyenough: This pillow uses the Flower Square by Rose Hip and includes a tutorial for joining and backing the pillow with fabric.

Rainbow in the Clouds Pillow (photo 6), free crochet pattern by @mooglyblog: This 16″ x 16″ pillow pattern works up quickly in a super bulky yarn.

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Kittens and Puppies for Sale Pillows, free crochet pattern by Michele Wilcox for @RedHeartYarns: This pattern is perfect for your favorite pet lover.

Diamonds Are Forever Pillow, free crochet pattern by @deestraperlo: This geometric pillow pattern is available in English and Spanish.

Dotty Throw Pillow (photo 1), free crochet pattern by @fiberflux: This festive pillow pattern is guaranteed to brighten up any room.

Log Cabin Variations Pillows, free crochet pattern by Katherine Eng for @RedHeartYarns: This pattern includes both a square and rectangular version.

Granny Pillow with Crochet Flowers (photo 3), free crochet pattern by @lisaauch1: This pillow is made with lovely floral motifs.

Knook Expanded Set

Retro Granny Square Pillow, free crochet pattern by @BHookedCrochet: This pattern includes a video tutorial and a charted granny square pattern.

Little Fans Pillow Cover (photo 4), free crochet pattern by  @Jessie_AtHome: This pattern includes a video tutorial for the stitch pattern and the joining technique, as well as detailed assembly instructions.

Tulip Pillow, free crochet pattern by @ProchetByEAS via @MichaelsStores: This floral pillow has great texture.

Round Granny Pillow Pattern (photo 2), free crochet pattern by @petalstopicots: Try this pattern if you’re tired of square pillows!

Cushion Cases, free crochet pattern by @chabepatterns: This pattern includes a photo tutorial and is embellished with buttons.

If you enjoyed this roundup, follow my Crochet for Home board on Pinterest!

#FlashbackFriday Crochet Link Blast 26: Best of the Best

Best of the Best Crochet Link Blast Free Crochet Pattern Roundup by Underground CrafterOn Fridays, I share a link blast on G+, Twitter and Facebook to get you excited about crocheting all weekend! In keeping with the #FlashbackFriday meme, I’m sharing patterns that were first released at least 12 months ago.

For the second week in a row, this link blast is a bit different than usual. I’m sharing a roundup of roundups! This post includes 14 retrospective posts highlighting the most popular posts of 2015 with links to literally hundreds of free crochet patterns, along with my favorite 12 free crochet patterns from these posts. I’ve also added in two knitting roundups for all of you multi-craftual people out there!

All images are copyright the respective designer and are used with permission.



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Best of the Best (Roundup of Roundups) with links to over 300 free #crochet patterns via Underground CrafterTop 15 Free Crochet Patterns of 2015 by @ucrafter (that’s me!): My favorite is the Picnic Basket Shawl (photo 1) in Malabrigo Yarn Sock.

Top 20 Free Crochet Patterns of 2015 by @Myhobbyiscroche: My favorite is the Paris Cowl (photo 2) in Red Heart Boutique Infinity.

21 Free Crochet Patterns from 2015 by @erangi_udeshika: My favorite is the Elevated Honeycomb Crochet (EHC) Cowl (photo 3).

15 Most Popular Crochet Patterns of 2015 by @PoshPoochDesign: My favorite is the Blessings Ombre Shawl (photo 4), a free crochet pattern in Caron Simply Soft.

ILC February 2016 BannersTop 10 Free Cre8tion Crochet Original Designs in 2015 by @Cre8tionCrochet: My favorite is the Unique Lace Wrap (photo 5) in Lion Brand Unique.

Top 10 Free Crochet Patterns of 2015 by @CrochetKim: My favorite is the Emerald Lace Fling Wrap (photo 6) in Deborah Norville’s Cotton Soft Silk.

Top 10 Most Visited Free Crochet Patterns of 2015 by  @stitchin_mommy: My favorite is the Granny Ripple Blanket (photo 7) in Lion Brand Cotton Ease.

Top 10 Free Crochet Patterns of 2015 by @LittleMCrochet: My favorite is the Super Plush Faux Knit Infinity Scarf (photo 8).

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Top 10 Crochet Patterns of 2015 and Top 10 Video Tutorials of 2015 by @fiberflux: My favorite is the French Vanilla Button Cowl (photo 9).

Top 10 Crochet Patterns of 2015 by @petalstopicots: My favorite is the Crochet Rose Heart Wreath (photo 10).

10 Hottest Free Crochet Patterns of 2015 by @mooglyblog: My favorite is the Hello Gnome Mittens (photo 11).

Complete 2015 Roundup of Crochet Patterns and Complete 2015 Roundup of Crochet Tips and Tutorials by @CrochetBlogger: These roundups of roundups include hundreds of patterns and tutorials. My favorite roundup is 84 Beautiful Free Crochet Patterns, including the Quick and Easy Chunky Crochet V-Stitch Afghan (photo 12) by @RepeatCrafterMe.

Shop for Lion Brand Yarns, crochet and knitting patterns, and more on LeisureArts.com.

If you also knit, you’ll love these knitting retrospective posts

15 Most Popular Free Knitting Patterns of 2015 Roundup by Underground CrafterTop 5 Free Knitting Patterns of 2015 by @ucrafter (that’s me!): My favorite is the Easy Cranberry Shawl.

11 Knitting Patterns from 2015 by @KnitEcoChic: My favorite is the stunning Tidal Breeze Skirt, available for sale on Ravelry.