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Disclaimer- I am a JoAnns affiliate, which means if you purchase a product from one of my links, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. You can check out more about this on my Private Polices page. (Disclaimer is for my Amazon program, but it remains the same for this one as well!)

Starting a new hobby can be so exciting! Inspiration galore- so many new things to learn and do! But there can be one problem.

There are so many things to learn and do. Where the heck do you start?!

Well, lucky for you, if your new hobby happens to be crochet, I can tell you exactly where you need to start! Here are the essential things you should have in your beginner crochet kit!

5 Super Important Crochet Tools You Will Need Immediately! Don’t forget to pin me for easy access later! 1) Crochet Hook (Duh!)

​Of course, this one is pretty obvious but what may not be so obvious is what hook should you buy? There are so many options! What size do you need? What do the sizes mean? Should I get just one, or the whole pack?! I go over all this information, and more, in this post HERE (How to choose the perfect crochet hook for beginners!) I even give you a recommendation of my favorite set of hooks to buy!

​2) Yarn (Bigger DUH!) Click here to read the post!

​But, again, while the concept of needing yarn is pretty clear, what type of yarn do you really need? What material feels best, what’s the best brand, weight, and how does that correspond with the hook size you just picked out?! I go over all of this, in detail, in this post HERE! (How to choose the perfect yarn for your crochet projects!)

3) Darning/ Yarn Needle Don’t forget to pin me for easy access later!

While this may not be a tool you will need right away, it is still a good tool to have close by, just in case. When crocheting, some people prefer to sew in the ends with a needle, while others (like me) do just fine with crocheting the ends into our work, or use the hook to hide the ends.

If you would like to use a yarn needle, it’s important to get one with a bigger “Eye” (The hole at the end) to make it easier to weave the yarn through. You can either get a needle in metal or plastic, whatever you prefer! i go over everything you need to know, in depth, in this blog post here: What is a Darning Needle? – A Crochet Beginners Guide

4) Scissors

Nothing fancy is needed here, just something that cuts! You could use regular kitchen scissors, or if you want to keep a smaller pair handy, try these! (*AFF. LINK)

5) Stitch Markers

Again, this is something not really needed in the beginning if you don’t want them, but I wanted to add them in anyway so you’re aware of these really useful tools! I go over everything about stitch markers, such as what they are, how to use them and my recommendation in this post here! (Affiliate link) (Not necessarily needed in the beginning, but really helpful!)

So hopefully this has helped you familiarize yourself with some of the crochet tools I use all the time!

Are there any crochet tools that you can’t live without that I may have missed? Let me know in the comments below and I may include them in a part 2 post!

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CraftingQueen by Craftingqueen03 - 2M ago

Whether you’re working on a project for a client, or you just enjoy torturing yourself by working with black or dark colored yarn it is always a pain to deal with! I can’t blame you though, I find myself wanting to work with dark brown and the occasional black color. Dark brown just makes for a lovely crochet bear!

But, I promise you, there are easier ways to work with these dark colors. End the love-hate relationship and turn it into nothing but love!

Okay, but seriously, these tips I have for you today might make you reach for those dark colors a little more often, and who doesn’t love opening up new crochet possibilities?!

Let’s check out what I have for you today!

Don’t forget to pin me for easy access later! 1. Crochet on top of a white surface

Now I know that sounds crazy, but a lot of people suggest it! Crocheting over a white table cloth or white poster board will actually make the stitches easier to see. Now I know what you’re thinking, what if you want to be comfy on the couch and not have to sit at a table or cart around a board every time you want to crochet?

Crocheting with a white or lightly colored pillowcase or blanket on your lap can work just as well! Now you can crochet in bed all snuggled up! You just might have to change the sheets out for the white ones you never use first…. But it’s a small price to pay!

2. Crochet by bright light

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to crochet late after your bedtime with dark-colored yarn. You really have to sit by a bright light to see all of the dark stitches!

Or…. do you?

3. Use a headlamp

Now I know you may be thinking, what?! Use a headlamp?! I’m serious! There are so many crocheters out there that will legitimately crochet with a headlamp on! Here’s one that I found on a Google search from Home Depot:

I know you may look and feel silly but, hey, if it works, it works! You may honestly be able to use this to crochet past your bedtime and not wake your hubby up! (Depending on how hard of a sleeper he is!)

4. Use a neck lamp

Not into the whole “Headband” trend? Try this neck lamp! I saw this while browsing around on another blog, and I thought it was the funniest idea! It’s “technically” used as a reading light, but who says these things can’t be multi-purpose!

I used to have a reading lamp back in the day, and while it wasn’t this fancy, it totally worked!

5. Lighted hooks

Yet another crochet tool I have yet to invest in! I’ve heard good and bad things about these hooks, but of course, it all depends on the brand you buy and your personal taste.

These hooks can be a great way to see better when working with dark yarn!

As you can see here, lighted hooks are pretty much the exact same as normal hooks. The only difference is the tip lights up to help you see!

Pretty convenient, right?

6. Simplify your work

There are going to be some patterns that will be too complicated to use black yarn with. The simpler the stitches, the better. It’s already hard to see with dark yarn, why make it more complicated with a complex pattern?

7. Use stitch markers

Another great way to help you along in your project is by using stitch markers or counting your stitches often. That way you can ensure you’re doing the project correctly!

8. Take breaks!

This is honestly just a good tip for any activity that you do for long periods of time. Take a break! Watch some T.V, grab something to eat- something that isn’t going to strain your eyes further! Once you feel ready, come back to your project with fresh eyes. You’ll feel better and you may notice mistakes that you didn’t notice before!

9. Wear glasses/ magnifying glass

Some of you may hate this suggestion (which, personally I don’t understand. What’s so wrong with glasses? I’ve been wearing glasses for something like 10 years, and I’ve never hated them!) I choose seeing over not wearing glasses because it isn’t “cool” enough!

Wearing glasses (Or, if you don’t need them, grabbing a portable magnifying glass) could really help you see those difficult stitches!

10. Prepare to tear your hair out- and your stitches!

Prepare to frog your stitches a lot. It’s just something that’s going to happen when working with dark yarn! It will be frustrating, but that’s just the price you have to be willing to pay! Just remember, once the project is done, you’re going to love it!

And that warps up our list of 10 tips when working with black yarn!

Have you ever crocheted with dark yarn before? If so, what tips and tricks do you have and most importantly, what did you make? Let me know in the comments section below!

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Granny squares are honestly my favorite things to crochet! It was the only thing I knew how to crochet for a long time, and I’ve made tons of blankets with the pattern!

A while back, I showed you how to make my beloved granny square in a tutorial. (Which you can watch HERE) I also showed you how to switch colors over on my YouTube channel, but I never posted it on my blog! I think it’s time to change that, and update my blog!

It’s honestly super simple to do but you can create some amazing designs with granny squares!

So, if you’d like to see the video tutorial, check it out down below! But if you’d like to see the written/ picture version of my tutorial, keep on reading!

How to Change Yarn Colors- Crochet Basics - YouTube

Don’t forget to pin me for easy access later! Changing colors by row:
  1. Tie the yarn in a corner. I usually start where I left off, but you can choose any corner

2. Pull yarn through the corner to create a loop for your hook

3. Ch 3 and crochet as normal!

Now that’s the super simple (and traditional way) to change color in a granny square. But did you know you can also change colors in the middle of a row?! You can create some pretty cool creations this way like my granny square heart pattern from Valentines Day!

I have two methods for how to do this.

Changing colors in the middle of a row

Method 1- Attaching after the chains

  1. Don’t cut the last color you were using. Instead, after you complete your chains, pull the second color through the loop and tie off

2. Insert the hook back into the loop and pull the yarn tight around your hook (You may need to hold the blue string out of the way)

3. Now hold the 1st color (pink) out of the way and pick up your 2nd color string (blue). Pull the 2nd color through the loop and pull your 1st color tightly around the 2nd color.

4. Now begin crocheting your granny square as normal! You should have dropped the 1st color (pink) off of your hook and began crocheting with the 2nd color (blue).

5. Now you can cut the 1st color free and hide the ends in your work!

Method 2- Attaching before the chains

  1. Once you have finished your cluster of 3 DC, pull your 2nd color through your loop and tie it.
  2. Insert your hook back into the loop and pull the 2nd color through (making sure to keep the first color tight and out of the way) Just as before.

3. Continue making your granny square as normal, chaining 2 (or 3, depending on how you make your granny squares)

You should have dropped the 1st color off your hook and now be working with the 2nd color!

Now you can cut the 1st color free and hide within your work.

Hopefully this was easy to understand! It is a lot harder explaining this through pictures than I can through a video. So, if you’re still confused I really recommend watching the video!

Other than that, have fun making your granny squares!

Do you like making granny squares? What was the first thing you ever learned to crochet, or are you still in the process of learning? Let me know in the comments below!

Related: Want to learn how to crochet? Sign up for my Beginner Crochet Basics Course!

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So, I’m sure there are a lot of you out there who read crochet blogs all the time. I know I do. I’m always looking for a new pattern or technique out there. And the blogs I read are amazing, they look so colorful, neat and have the best photos. And the projects are amazing!

But what actually goes into writing a crochet blog post? It’s a lot more work than you think.

Here’s a behind the scenes of what us bloggers go through!

(It may be different for every blogger, but this is my experience!)

Don’t forget to pin me for easy access later! Coming up with an idea

Duh, right? You may be thinking like, obviously, you have to come up with an idea. How hard can it be? Well, it depends on the day.

Some days you can’t type the words out fast enough with all the ideas you have! And other days you’re sitting around, banging your head on the keyboard hoping the jumbled letters will form a coherent thought. Coming up with a blog post idea can sometimes be the hardest part of the process.

Coming up with the pattern

Once you’ve got the idea for the blog post, the hard part is not done for us! We still have to come up with a pattern for our brand new crochet idea. If you’ve ever tried to come up with your own pattern before, you’ll know how much you’ll rip out your hard work- and your hair.

And don’t forget, whatever idea you’ve come up with there is a 90% chance you won’t have the correct color at home- so you’ll have to go buy it. Which means you’ll likely come home with more ideas- and more yarn than you planned on buying (Which you plan to hide from the husband. Hah!).

Actually writing the pattern out

Now that you’ve got your pattern the way you want it, you have to actually write it in a readable fashion! I refuse to believe I am the only person who writes the pattern out in the messiest way possible, on the nearest napkin or scrap paper I could find or worse- doesn’t even write it out at all! I can’t tell you the number of times I crocheted an entire project out before writing down the pattern- and hoping I’d remember it all!

It can get quite annoying to stop in the middle of your project just to write the pattern down, and with as much frogging as you’ll be doing it makes sense to wait until the end! You just better hope you have a good memory!

Taking Instagram-worthy photos!

On top of actually making the pattern make sense, you have to get good quality photos, for a few different reasons!

-Progress photos to clarify some steps in your pattern. Whenever I create a pattern to sell I include a “beginner-friendly” pattern with tons of pictures and a “printer-friendly version” With minimal to no pictures at all! When you buy one of my patterns, you get both included!

-Pictures to sell your product. When adding a listing to Etsy, you want to stage photos of your work in a way that will make people want to buy them. This also includes photos for your cover image on your blog post and your social medias.

Cue the white/minimalistic background photo shoot! I take tons of photos and it usually takes around 30 minutes for me to finish setting up all my props, get my white board to stand where I want it in the background, get the lighting right and take all the photos! Then, sometimes you still have to edit the photos (unless you’re lucky)

And, the key to getting good photos is using as much natural light as possible so you better hope the day isn’t too overcast or cloudy or you may have to take pictures another day! Bloggers have a limited time to take photos with natural light to make them look the best!

(Are you stressed yet, because I am just writing about it!)

Getting testers for your pattern

Now, this is a can of worms even I have yet to open, (but will be with my next pattern!) So who knows what this step could have in store! But I think I have a pretty good idea of what happens.

Once the pattern is finalized the way you want it, you post on social media asking for testers, weed out the ones you think won’t do and email the pattern to your selected few. Now you have to communicate with the testers, answer any questions, collect their notes and photos (if they’ve included any) and change whatever needs to be changed in the pattern! Which can mean a number of things!

You may have to re-write part of the pattern, which may result in having to re-test your pattern (for the millionth time) and re-take any corresponding photos that might have changed (see the last step for the pain-in-the-butt that can be!)

Drafting The final draft

At this point, you should be able to draft your final cut of the pattern! Now that you’ll have your Etsy versions (Beginner and printer-friendly) you still need your blog post version! I write all of my drafts in GoogleDocs so I have a backup of all my blog posts in case something were to happen to my blog. So, I’ll finalize the google docs version to have the latest changes and then copy and paste into my blogs doc. Now you have to format everything the way it should be in your blog, create your cover photo, add any links you may want to include and schedule out your post!

You’d think that’d be it right? Hah! You’re not done yet!

Video Tutorial

Now, if you’re like me I LOVE recording videos. I like to add videos to some of my tutorials. Which is a lot more work that I add to my ever- full plate. But, it’s fun. And it puts my work on one more platform. The more exposure- the better!

Making videos also requires a clean set up and natural light, as much as possible. (Which means you may have a limited time to make videos as well, depending on the quality of lights you may have at home) After recording you making and explaining your pattern on camera, now you have to edit it. Then you have to export it and upload it to YouTube. Its a huge waiting game with video editing. Waiting for the video to download onto your computer from your phone, then uploading it into the editing software, editing it, exporting it from the editing software and uploading to YouTube (which takes forever)

Editing is one of my least favorite things in the world. It puts me to sleep. I add music, cut out parts I’ve stumbled over my words, add an end screen, and after 100 years and it’s been uploaded to Youtube, I add the cover photo I created and don’t forget to add the description, tags and everything else to ensure your video will be found! Just another one of the many hats I wear as a blogger!

Schedule it out and you’re good to go!

Now you think you MUST be done right? Nah, you’re still not off the hook yet!

Social Media

Remember all of the photos you took a while ago? Now it’s time to put them to good use! Once your blog post is scheduled out, you have to actually get the word out about it!

I know lots of people will post pictures of half-finished items to tease the pattern before its actually out. It’s a good strategy. Gets people excited before the pattern actually releases!

After some teases, I boot up my favorite editing software, Canva, and drop all my finished photos into the templates I have made and save them to my computer! It takes more time than you’d think. I create two for Pinterest (Like the one at the top of this post) and use that picture for Facebook and Twitter as well, then create 2 separate ones for Instagram.

Sometimes, if I’m posting a video I also like to create a 60-second video to post to Instagram as well (more video editing. Fun.)

Now I head to the website where I schedule out all of my social media posts so they will go out automatically throughout the week to promote my post! And Pinterest I have to do manually since I have the free version of the website (It’s called Buffer).

You could also post your testers photos as well, just for more publicity

Etsy

Are you done yet? NOPE. Now you have to post your pattern out on Etsy/ Ravelry. Upload your photos, create a description, come up with a price, add your tags and categories so you can be found… All the things. It takes a while to be honest.

Okay. So now that you’ve done all of that, what ELSE could there possibly be?! Actually… nothing. For this post. Don’t forget I post twice a week! Now that you’re done, it’s time to do it all over again for the next pattern/post!

Enjoy!

Now isn’t that crazy!? Honestly, until I wrote everything out like this I never really realized just HOW MUCH WORK goes into these posts. It’s daunting looking at it like this but honestly, once you’re doing it’s not so bad. You just have to focus on one step at a time and you get to the end eventually. Plus, I love 99% of what I do. So, it’s fun and I don’t mind it!

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed! If you’d like to see more posts like this, I’d be happy to post them! Let me know in the comments below,

Do you think you could be a blogger? Have you ever considered it?

I have tons of tips and tricks I’d love to share if anyone was actually interested in it! Let me know down below!

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Easter is in two weeks! Have you started thinking about everything yet? What candy are you going to give the kids? Where are the best hiding spot for the Easter eggs? And decor, how are you going to decorate the house?!

You have to make sure you don’t buy the candy too early so the Easter bunny *ahem* you *ahem* don’t eat all the candy! Plus, if you’re going to see the family for Easter, you have to figure out what to cook as well! ARGH!

While I’d like to take away all your potential stress that the holiday brings, there’s not much I can do in terms of help in a lot of those places. But there is one thing I can help with- crochet decor!

Crocheting this will not only ease your mind of stress, but it will also knock one of the things off your ever-increasing holiday to-do list!

Easter decor!

In the last post I showed you how to crochet an Easter bunny applique, so this time I am going to show you how to crochet a baby chic to go with it! I’ll have the always-free version down below but if you’d like to buy the Ad-free version, I will have it up soon on my Etsy!

(Comment down below if you’re interested, I will let you know when it is available!)

Don’t forget to pin me for easy access later! Pattern:

Beginners START HERE: Ch 4, sl st into first st, ch 3, 14 dc into center hole, sl st into beginning ch 3 to F/O round

More advanced START HERE: Magic circle, ch 3, 14 dc in center, sl st into beginning ch 3 to F/O round

ALL MOVE HERE:

Ch 3, dc 1 in same st, dc 2 in each, sl st into beginning ch 3 (30 in total)

Ch 1, (same st) hdc, 2 dc

Next st- 2 triple cr

Next st- 2 dc, hdc, sl st

Sl st next 3 sts, Ch 5, sk st, sl st, sc, hdc, dc, sl st into next st, sl st 18

Ch 5, sk st, sl st, sc, hdc, dc, sl st into next st

Sl st in last 2 sts F/O

Feet (Orange Yarn):

Count down 6 stitches from the left wing, attach yarn

(Same St) ch 3, dc, triple cr, sl st in next st, F/O

Sk 3 sts, attach yarn

(Same St) ch 3, dc, triple cr, sl st in next st, F/O

Adding eyes:

Cut 2 pieces of black yarn around 3” long, knot a few times in the center. Sew into place, tie on the back

Sewing on beak (Orange yarn):

Start at the center of the face and create a triangle shape, then fill in with the yarn

Don’t forget I’ll have the AD-free version available for purchase on my Etsy very soon!
(Comment down below if you’re interested!)


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Spring is in full swing here in Michigan! (Currently downing in all the rain!) And that means Easter is fast approaching!

Whether you have little kids that still look for Easter baskets, your little’s have flown the coup and have their own little’s or you’re in that awkward “You’re too old to be looking for Easter baskets and eggs” stage like me (I know…. Shed some tears for our lost childhood years!) Easter is still fun to celebrate!

Chocolate bunnies, candy, Easter egg dyeing, it’s all so much fun!

This year, since the only way I’ll be hunting for eggs is hiding them around my own house, I’ve decided to come up with this cute Easter bunny crochet pattern instead!

It would be perfect to tie onto the kids Easter baskets as an added gift, or make a bunch of them and hang them up as a garland decoration! Whatever you decide to do with it, I can’t get enough of this cute little pattern!

If you’d like the Ad-free, portable PDF version (So that you can take the pattern with you anywhere!) it is available on my Etsy for download!

Happy hooking!

Don’t forgot to pin me for easy access later! Materials: Stitches to know (W/ abbreviations)
  • Magic Circle (Optional)
  • Double crochet – (Dc)
  • Half Double crochet – (HDC)
  • Single Crochet – (Sc)
  • Slip Stitch – (Sl St)
  • Stitch(es) – (St/ sts)
  • Sk – Skip
  • Chain – (Ch)
  • F/O – (Finish off)
Pattern:

Beginners START HERE: ch 2, 12 DC in first st, sl st into first st of round

More advanced START HERE: magic circle, ch 3, DC 11 into center hole, sl st into first st of round

ALL MOVE HERE:

Ch 3, dc 1 (In same st)

dc 2 in each st around (24 in total), Sl st in first ch 3 to complete round

Ch 2, hdc in next 3 sts , ch 2, sl st into last hdc st

sl st in next 11 sts *In same st* *Ch 3, dc 2, hdc 1*,

*ch 5, (Back down ch) Sk 1st st, hdc 1, dc in next 2 sts, hdc 1, sl st back into hdc st*

*Repeat for other ear*

Sl st in next 6 sts

Sl st into next st, *In same st* sc, dc 2, hdc, sl st,

Sl st into last 2 sts, F/O

Remember, if you’re interested in supporting me and buying the AD-Free PDF version of the pattern, you can buy it here on my Etsy! Thank you for anyone who buys it!

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