Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Our First CAL (crochet-a-long): Crochet Awareness Ribbon, Part 1

Awareness Ribbon CAL

By Claire

Goal to complete: 1 week (Aug 27 - Sept 3, 2013)
Learning Goals: Reading Patterns, Basic stitches and technique, create a cool awareness item we can build on!

  • medium, worsted weight yarn (if you are a beginner, get some Red Heart of Bernat Super Saver Yarn, it's cheap and easy to work with)
  • Size 5mm, 5.5mm, or 6mm hook
  • This pattern uses the chain (ch), slip stitch (ss), and single crochet (sc)
  • Tapestry needle to sew yarn and secure ribbon

For our first crochet a long, we are going to create an awareness ribbon in our favorite "cause" color!

How a CAL works: Usually groups break up parts of a pattern into chunks, then all work on them within a certain time frame. This is a really fast, simple pattern though, so I'll post the link to the full pattern for more experienced folks, and then we can cover certain topics and how to read the pattern everyday for everyone to follow along. Go at your own pace, ask questions, and post pics!

I'll post a set of "instructions" from the pattern in the document at the very bottom every day or two, and we can all crochet that portion together. Then if anyone has problems, they can ask directly and we can help each other in the comments. Again - if you are more experienced or just want to zip through, feel free :)

Please ask questions in the comments of this document, so we can be sure to see them.

If you are on Pinterest, join our group board! Post pics, helpful tutorials, and find patterns there. Message or tag Claire to send you an invite. http://pinterest.com/eklayre/gimpy-hookers-group-crochet-a-longs-cals/

Find links to cause colors here: http://www.firemountaingems.com/encyclobeadia/beading_resources.asp?docid=AWARENESSRIBBONS
For new hookers:
Please head to this Pinterest board (you don't need a Pinterest account to view the videos) and check out the following tutorials to get familiar with the techniques and stitches we are doing. Watch a few about chaining, holding your hook, and single crochet:


My favorite series is here, and starts with "Chaining and How to Hold Your Yarn": http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLlfN1EjIXcK9KJF0SVnTjaX-A0Xl6cL7a
The free pattern is found here:


Abbreviations from the pattern are in parenthesis in my notes. Half of reading a pattern is learning the "lingo" and abbreviations. We will focus on that here.

Also - this is a very casually written pattern, not separated the usual (more professional) way. Many free patterns are like this, they are abbreviated assuming you know how to read them quickly. And they are free - so no complaints from me! I will break down everything as best I can.

Day 1 - Aug 27th

  • Review this document, select a color yarn and hook. 
  • There is a picture breakdown at the end of this post. 
  • If you are ready, the first part of the pattern is:

Chain 31
Row 1: sc in first 12 ch st. 2 sc in each of next 6 ch st. sc in last 12 ch st.

1. So, first you will make a slip stitch(ss), which never counts as your first chain.

2. Then, you will chain 31. This is called your "foundation chain" - because you build your whole pattern around it. It does not count as Row 1.

3. After you have chained 31, "sc in first 12 ch st." So - you are going to turn your hook, skip the chain (ch) right next to/on your hook (always do this for a single crochet) and single crochet (sc) in the next 12 stitches (st).  If I were to write this out, it would look like this:

***It sometimes helps to print out a pattern, and make pencil marks directly on it to keep track of where you are. You could check off as you go, or go back and recount your sc's after you reach 12. It's much easier to double check your stitch counts that figure out they are off 5 rows later :) 

4. Then you will "2 sc in each of next 6 ch st." - this means you will do two single crochet (sc) stitches in EACH OF the next 6 stitches in your foundation chain. That will give you another 12 stitches. If you check your stitch count now, you should have 24 total.

If I were to write this portion out, it would look like this:
sc-sc, sc-sc, sc-sc, sc-sc, sc-sc, sc-sc

In patterns, whatever you are doing in the SAME STITCH is separated by a dash. Instructions for the NEXT STITCH are separated by commas.

5. Do you have 12 stitches left? Did you double check your counts? If not, it's ok - and this happens quite a bit! But you will now have to "frog" - otherwise known as "rip out" or "rippit" like a frog - get it?

Anyway- if you do not have exactly 12 stitches left, you'll need to find your mistake and re-do the row from that part. Don't quit! It can get annoying or frustrating to have to do this, but the more you practice, the less it will happen. I stink at counting in my head, because my mind wanders or I just plain blank out sometimes (***Doh!***) so I usually make tick marks if a pattern is long or complicated.
SO - lastly, "sc in last 12 ch st." This means you will do one single crochet (sc) in the remaining 12 stitches (st). That's it! Row 1 complete. You should have 36 stitches total.

That is why you chained 31 - the 30 stitches were for the work you just did, and the extra "1" was for the very first single crochet (sc) when you skipped (sk) a stitch (st). Count that you have 36. Either place a stitch marker (I use metal hair clips with pointy ends) or leave your hook there to make sure stitches don't pull out.

So, in summary, the pattern for Row 1 spelled out, broken into sections and pictures:


sc-sc, sc-sc, sc-sc, sc-sc, sc-sc, sc-sc


That's it! Leave questions in the comments. <3

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