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How to crochet for


complete beginners

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Crocheting 101 would never have been created if not
for the help of the friends and family who supported me
throughout its creation. Thank you so much for dealing
with my absent thoughts, ridiculous ideas, and inability to
communicate for the years while I was thinking, writing,
recording, editing and genuinely freaking out. Your space,
support and understanding, helped me more than you will
ever realize.

Special thanks to the Kickstarter backers that had to deal


with my inability to update or respond to messages. I’m
so sorry you had to deal with my absent-mindedness. This
project was much more work than I initially expected,
thank you so much for your support and understanding.
This would, obviously, never have existed without your
support.

Extra special thanks to my parents who encouraged the


creativity and innovation that made me who I am today
and never discouraged the hooker inside.

To my girlfriend who dealt with my ramblings,


miscommunication, and spouts of depression, thank you so
much for supporting me and believing in me when I didn’t
believe in myself.

To my friends who endured through months to years of


absence both literally and figuratively. Thank you for still
being there and keeping me certain that when I turned
around you were still there to encourage my frantic ideas.

This was the most difficult and well-thought-out thing that


I have ever created. Literal blood, sweat and tears went
into it, and I thoroughly hope you enjoy it and it is of
some use to you. All my adult life there has been only one
thing that I have known for certain that I was good at and
that I wanted to be. This is my first true step towards my
ridiculous dream to become a Professional Hooker.

Pasta la Pizza,
-Lou
2
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Get a Grip 5

Holding the Hook 6

Holding the Yarn 8

Chapter 2 Let’s Get Hookin’ 10

The Slip Knot 11

The Yarn Over 14

The Chain Stitch 16

Project 1 Friendship Bracelet 19

Chapter 3 The Single Crochet 23

Project 2 Mini Bow 32

Chapter 4 Taking Shape 42

Working in the Round 43

Working in the Flat 49

Project 3 Coaster 54

Chapter 5 Decreasing 67

Single Crochet 2 Together 69

Sharp Decrease 71

Invisible Decrease 73

When to Decrease 77

Project 4 Sphere / Hacky Sack 79

Chapter 6 The Half - Double Crochet 93

Project 5 Bowtie / Headband 97


Table of Contents
Chapter 7 The Double Crochet 116

Project 6 Granny Square 121

Chapter 8 Changing Colors 132

Chapter 9 Reading Patterns 140

Chapter 10 Advanced Techniques 147

The Slip Stitch 148

Joining in the Round 151

Hiding Ends 157

Sewing Together 162

Sewing Closed 175

The Magic Loop Method 181

The Treble / Triple Stitch 186

Project 7 A Classic / Slouchy Beanie 190

Body 194

Brim 198

Pom-Pom 204

About the Author 212

Happy
Hookin!
1
Chapter : Get a Grip

How to Hold the Yarn and Hook

Watch the video: | crocheting101.com/ch1

Holding your yarn and hook correctly is one of


the most important aspects of crocheting. Bad
habits can make even the most simple stitch
look sloppy. So, before we get started, let’s
cover some basic tips on handling your tools.

5
Holding the Hook

There are two basic ways most people hold crochet


hooks, we’ll be calling them the “Spoon Grip”
and the “Pencil Grip” because you hold them like
a spoon and a pencil!

S p o o n G r i p
The

My personal preference, the spoon grip, is


great for things like amigurumi, aka small stuffed
crocheted creatures. In this position you get the
best range of movement with your wrist and
also get more strength so pulling yarn through
tiny stitches is easier as well. I would suggest
beginners start with this grip.

Great for amigurumi and beanies


6
The Pencil Grip

The pencil grip is a favorite for people making


larger items like blankets. This is because you
can get the same basic movement rapidly
without changing positions. For me, it’s a bit
more complicated of a position and makes
getting the hook into smaller holes more difficult.
Definitely not what I would use for things with
a lot of different stitches or with small stitches
like amigurumi or hats.

Great for blankets and scarves

With that in mind, I’ll be


using the Spoon Grip for
Crocheting 101.
7
Holding the
Yarn

I’ll be honest, learning to hold the yarn is a bit more


difficult than holding the hook. The most important
part is controlling the tension of the yarn, which in
turn controls how tight you make the stitches. A classic
mistake most beginners make is that they crochet
too tight, so try holding it loose if you can. Learning
to control yarn is something that only comes with
practice and time, so be patient.

A lot of people have different ways they hold


their yarn, here’s how I do it:

With your non-dominant hand, hold the yarn


with your bottom three fingers (1), and wrap
the yarn around your index (2). This gives your
index and thumb access to being able to pinch
and hold your work (3), and allows your bottom
three fingers (middle, ring, and pinky) to grip
the yarn, letting you more easily control the
tension of the yarn. 8
1

9
Chapter 2: Let’s Get Hookin’
Making a Slip Knot, Yarn Over and
Chain Stitch

Watch the video: | crocheting101.com/ch2

This chapter will teach you the techniques you need


to get started crocheting. You’ll learn how to make
the starting knot (slip knot), how to hook and pull the
yarn (yarn over), and how to make your first stitch,
the chain stitch (ch)!!
Chain Stitch
Slip Knot

Yarn Over

10
The
Slip
Kn
ot

The slip knot is the first step to begin most crocheted


projects. Think of it as kind of a mini noose; you can
pull one end and it will tighten or close the loop,
but when you pull the other end nothing happens.
They’re very easy to make, here’s how:

Step 1 Lay the yarn flat.

Make a loop with the short end over the


Step 2 long end (the one connected to the ball of
yarn) .

11
Turn the loop over on itself, making it look
Step 3 a bit like a pretzel.

Pull this strand up

Keep a hold on this strand

Pull the inside string (the one closest to the


Step 4 long end) up and pull the knot tight.
12
Now just tighten the slip knot around the
Done! hook, but not too tight.

l l
Pu

This is called the “Tail”

Do or do knot.
There is no try.

13
These guys are the abbreviations
used in crochet patterns.
We’ll go over this more in Ch 9.

e Ya r n O ve r
T h

yo

A yarn over, or ‘yo’, is the term used for how you


get the yarn on the hook. How it’s done is pretty
much in the name itself; you literally put the yarn
around the hook. Make sure to grab the yarn from
the back, rather than from the front.

The next step is going to be pulling that yarn


through the hole, so you want to make sure you
have a good hold on the yarn by keeping it taut
with your left (or non-dominate) hand, specifically
with your bottom three fingers.
14
What a yarn over should look like

Notice how the yarn is over the hook rather than


the hook being over the yarn. The best technique
when starting is to literally put the yarn over the
hook with the left hand.

What a yarn over should not look like

Notice how the hook is on top of the yarn. This will


cause a bunch of problems like awkward stitches
and yarn splitting.

Splitting the yarn means


grabbing only half of the
yarn and splitting it in half.
This can lead to weird stitches
and over-stretched yarn, and
happens more or less often
depending on the type of
yarn you use.
15
T h e C h a i n S t i t c h

ch
While the chain stitch might not be your
most used stitch, it’s definitely the most
important to learn and perfect; this is because it
requires the fundamental techniques for all the
other stitches.

It also is what lays the base of your


piece. Say you want to make a scarf
and have it be 12” wide, well the
chain stitch is going to be the first
thing you make and will dictate all of
the rest of the stitches in your piece. 12”

Basically I’m saying learn how to do chain stitches


really well and it will make the rest of your crocheting
a lot easier.

16
With your hook in the slip knot, and using
your index and thumb to pinch just below
Step 1 the ‘tail’ - yarn over the yarn held with
your left (non-dominate) hand.

Adjust your grip to be pinching on the


Step 2 knot, or close to the circle, then pull the
yarn on that’s hooked through the loop.

17
That’s seriously it! Now keep yarning over
Done! and pulling through to make more chains!

Make sure to adjust your grip to be


pinching closer to the last ch made.

Here’s what chains should look like from the front

Here’s what chains should look like from the back

18
Project 1
How
to Cro e l e t
c het a Friendship Brac

Watch the video: | crocheting101.com/pr1

What is this?

Okay, so for every chapter, there will be a


project to help you practice the technique(s) you
just learned. These project will build upon each
other chapter to chapter.

This project is super easy, mostly just to get you in


the mood for future projects, to get you practicing
the chain stitch (ch), and also to show that you
already can crochet something!
19
The Materials
• Yarn: Worsted Weight Cotton
• Hook: Size G6 / 4.00mm
• Other: Scissors

The Stitches
Slip Knot (Chapter 2)

Chain Stitch (Chapter 2)

I know this is pretty empty now, but this section will


be important later on when we have a lot of different
stiches we can use. Not every project uses every
stitch and some projects will need stitches you’ve
never heard of, which the project will either teach
you or that you need to learn prior to starting.

20
Step 1 Make a slip knot with a decently long tail.

Make chains until your piece is long


Step 2 enough to wrap around your wrist.
I chained 27.

21
Cut the end and pull it all the way through
Step 3 the last loop to make a knot at the end.

u l l
P

Now just tie the ends it together on you or


Done! a friends wrist!

22
3
Chapter : The Single Crochet
sc
Watch the video: | crocheting101.com/ch3

Unlike the chain stitch, the single crochet (sc) is likely


going to be the stitch you use the most. It can be
used to make nearly anything: scarves, blankets,
but mostly my favorite, amigurumi. It’s relatively
easy too, at least once you perfect the chain stitch.

While this stitch is easy, getting started and making


that first stitch can be a bit difficult. But once you
finish the first one, you’re good to go. So let’s
learn the basics for how to do a single crochet in
a row (meaning just going back and forth).
23
Okay, so to start, you’re going to be making your
single crochet’s by working into the loops in a
chain stitch.

What we’re making


We want to start kinda small; we’re only make a
little square that’s 8 stitches (or single crochets)
in a row, so chain 9 stitches. You will always will
need one more chain than the number of stitches
you plan on putting in the row to make it go up
evenly for single crochet stitches. This will make
sense in a second I swear… just make a chain of
9 stitches.

To start, Chain 9.

24
Once you have 9 nice looking chains,
you’ll skip the first chain from the hook
Step 1 and put your hook into the top loop
of the next chain over.

Insert hook here

Skip this chain

Step 2 Next you yarn over.

25
Step 3 Pull that loop through the hole.

Try to scoop the yarn with the hook. This might


be easier than just pulling it through.

Step 4 Then yarn over again.

26
And pull that loop through the rest of the
Step 5 loops on the hook.

You just finished your first single crochet!

Next single crochet


will go here

Skip this chain

Now to keep going! You just need to repeat steps 1 - 5


above into the next chain to the left.

27
At the end of the row, when you get through all
the chain stitches (8), all you need to do is chain
one and turn the whole thing around.

This is it turned around

28
Now what?
So you want to put your next row of single crochets
into the previous row of single crocheted stitches
that you just made.

This is pretty simple; you’ll be doing the same thing


as you did before, but instead of putting your hook
in the holes of the chains…

You’ll be putting them under these two,


and into this hole here.

29
Make sure to skip that first chain you made though,
the one you made at the end of your first row.

Skip this chain

Make sure you go under both of these loops for


now, but just so you know, this is part furthest from
you is the back loop

Back Loop

Front Loop

and the one closest to you is the front loop.

You can use these for other stitches and techniques


later like invisible decreases, but for now you should
work into both these loops at the same time.

30
You’ll be making these single crochets into each
stitch across. Here’s a picture with markers show-
ing where each stitch is.

7 5 3 1

8 6 4 2

I think I’m working too tight or loose…


There’s a decent chance you’ll be single crocheting
too tight or too loose when you first start out.
You’ll know because you either won’t be able to
get your hook into the stitch in the start (working
too tight) or or the piece will resemble more of
a fishing net then what you were trying to make
(too loose). I think it’s better to work too loose
than too tight because if you’re working too loose
you can at least still get the hook into the stitches,
so try loosening your grip with your hand that’s
grasping the yarn.

This is not really something I can necessarily teach


you how to do better or worse, but it will come
with time and practice.
31
Project 2
How
tH
ooCwrotoc c e l e t
hCertoac hFeriteandM
shinipi B
B r
o w
a

Watch the video: | crocheting101.com/pr2

This is one of the first patterns I ever made. I


used to make tons of these for friends and family
because they’re super simple to make and only
take a few minutes.

Add a bobby pin in the back to make it a hair pin,


or add a safety pin to pin it to a garment!
32
The Materials
• Yarn: Worsted Weight Cotton
• Hook: Size G6 / 4.00mm
• Other: Scissors and a Needle to sew in ends

The Stitches
Chain Stitch (Chapter 2)

Single Crochet (Chapter 3)

33
First we’ll be making a simple flat base.
To start, Chain 9

Skip the first chain.Single crochet in each


Row 1 chain across. (8 times total)

Think of this as “Step 1” (Explained in Project 3)

Stop just before you pull through the last single crochet.
We’ll be doing a new technique to hide in this tail and
save us time in the end.
34
Instead of pulling through the last loop to finish this stitch,
yarn over with the tail end and pull it all the way through.

Now put the crochet hook back into the two loops (you might
need to tweak the loops over the hook with your nail for this).

This is the tail end pulled through

35
Turn and chain 1. Skip the chain,
Row 2 single crochet in each stitch across.
(8 times total)

Be sure to work around that tail end

You only need to go over it for a few stitches

Turn and chain 1. Skip the chain,


Row 3 single crochet in each stitch across.
(8 times total)

36
Here’s that tail poking out, we’ll cut it after Row 4

Turn and chain 1. Skip the chain,


Row 4 single crochet in each stitch across.
(8 times total)

Cut the yarn, chain 1, and pull all the way


through the last loop to make a knot.

37
u ll
P

Thread the tail on a needle and hide the end into


the stitches from Row 4 (3 stitches should do).

38
Finish the base by cutting the tails close to the
stitches to fully hide them in.

Now we’ll be making the center tie for the bow:


Make a slip knot, chain 3, cut the yarn and pull through.

39
Finally to put it all together.
Pinch the main section together tightly to keep its shape.

Place the 3 chains you just made over the main section
and double knot in the back with the two tail ends.

40
Cut the knot close. This is the back so it
doesn’t matter if it isn’t hidden well.

Now you have a miniature bow! Perfect


Done! for a last minute addition to someones hair
or garment.

41
Chapter 4: Taking Shape
inc
How to Increase and
Working in the Round vs Flat

Watch the video: | crocheting101.com/ch4

Now that you know how to single crochet, let’s


start learning how to make things bigger, thus,
give them more shape. Increasing in crochet is
important for making basically any shape other
than a square, and it’s a pretty simple concept. The
end goal is to make the ending count of stitches
bigger than the amount of stitches in the last row.

For example, if you made 12 18


stitches in the last row, your 12
goal now is to end with 18
stitches. 6

42
But before we go into the logistics, let’s go over the
two ways to crochet: in the flat and in the round. We’ll
also go over how they are used, then talk about how
to increase for both techniques.

Working ‘in the round’ means


Working in
you are literally working around
in a circle without ever turning. the Round
I find this a lot easier than Joining
in the Round which we’ll talk about
in Chapter 10, but you also have to keep
better track of where the round begins and end.

Rnd 1

When working in the round, rows turn into rounds.


For example, in pattern instructions you’ll see Round
1 instead of Row 1 (which is used for working in the
flat). When you’re working in the round you typically
work in a spiral and don’t change directions. This
creates a virtually seamless piece, making it really
useful for circular or spherical shapes like beanies
and amigurumi. You can also make 2 dimensional
things like coasters and blankets while working in the
round, though it’s more difficult to get sharp edges
than working in the flat.

43
Increasing in the Round

Increasing in the round is pretty straight forward; it


means simply single crocheting into the same stitch
twice to get more stitches at the end of the round
(Rnd) then you did in the beginning. When you see the
symbol ‘inc’ (for increase) it means do this technique.

Sc

Inc

The hardest part is getting something in the round


started, so let’s look at how that’s done first.
44
Stitches used in this technique:

Ch = Chain Stitch
Sc = Single Crochet
Inc = Increase

While there’s a couple different ways to get started


including the “Magic Loop Method” (see Chapter
10), I’ll be teaching you the most simple way to get
started which is called the “Chain 2 Method”.

Chain 2

Sc 6 times into the 2nd chain from the


Rnd 1 hook. (6 stitches total)

See how it’s kind of making a little circle now?

45
To keep track of where your row begins
and ends, either use a stitch marker or
try sewing in a spare thread between the
last stitch of Rnd 2 and the first stitch of
Rnd 3. Don’t forget to move this marker
up at the beginning of each new round.

Rnd 2 Inc 6 times (12 stitches total)

Okay here’s the tricky part; find the first sc you made
in Rnd 1, and sc 2 times (aka increase) into that stitch.

This stitch here

You should have 2 single crochets in one hole now.


That’s an increase.

Now you have to put an increase into every stitch


around in a circle, 6 increases total, 12 stitches total.

46
[sc in the first stitch, inc in the next stitch]
Rnd 3 repeat 6 times total (18 stitches total)

As a general rule of thumb, especially when starting


out, try to be sure to increase in each Rnd by the
same amount as whatever amount of stitches you
made in Rnd 1.

For example, since we


started with 6 stitches, we
want to increase 6 times
evenly in each round.
When the increase are
evenly spread out, the
piece will make a perfect
circle.

So to do this in Rnd 3, we sc 1 in the first stitch, then


inc in the next, and repeat that process 6 times total.

The full pattern of stitches for Rnd 3 will look like this:
sc 1, inc, sc 1, inc, sc 1, inc, sc 1, inc, sc 1, inc, sc 1, inc

1st
1st
2nd

2nd

= sc

= inc

47
[sc in 2 stitches, inc in the next stitch]
Rnd 4 repeat 6 times total (24 stitches total)

From here on out the pattern gets pretty consistent,


sc in one more stitch than the last Rnd and then
increase in the next one.

Rnd 3 Finished
(1 sc between increases)

=
Beginning and
end of Rnds

Rnd 4 Finished
(1 sc between increases)

We’ll be putting this to the test in our project for


this chapter when we make a coaster.
48
If you made Project 2 - a mini Working in
bow - from the last chapter,
you’ve already worked in the
the Flat
flat. Working flat basically
means turning your work after each row. Also it’s
usually split up into a “Row” for each step, written
something like ‘Row 1:’, rather than a “Rnd” (round)
which we just learned about.

Row 1

It’s called working flat because usually you’re


making a flat project like a scarf or blanket, but can
be used for things like beanies, which are generally
more three dimensional.

49
Increasing in the Flat

There are two ways to increase while working flat.

The first way is by simply working two single crochets


into one stitch (the same way you inc in the round). I
would avoid doing it this way if you intend on making
your piece truly flat for something like a scarf or
blanket because this will tend to make your piece
curve a bit or end up lumpy.

The main way to increase while flat is by adding


extra chains at the beginning of the round and single
crocheting into the extra chains which will add stitches
into the final row. By adding just one increase into each
row, you can get a steady increase, or try adding a
lot more into each row to make more obtuse edges.
It’s really simple, here’s a quick how to:

50
To start, make a chain however long you want the
shortest side. For me I’m going to work kind of small.

Chain 5

If you want a simple triangle, try starting with just 2 chains

Skip the first ch


Row 1 Sc in each ch across (4 stitches total)

Notice how this is called a ‘Row’ while the other


ones were a ‘Rnd’ or ‘Round’. That’s the quickest
way to tell if you’re working in the round or flat.

51
Turn, ch 2
Skip the first ch, sc in the next one
Row 2 Sc in each stitch from the last row across
(5 stitches total)

Row 1 turned

Ch 2

Skip the first ch, sc in the next one

Turn, ch 2
Skip the first ch, sc in the next one
Row 3 Sc in each stitch from the last row across
(6 stitches total)
52
Turn, ch 2
Skip the first ch, sc in the next one
Row 4+ Sc in each stitch from the last row across
(7 stitches total)

You can just keep up


this pattern until you like
how wide it is. For the
picture I made 6 Rows.

Cut the yarn Ch 1 and pull through

To finish, you cut the yarn, ch 1, and pull


Finishing the yarn through the last loop. Then sew
the tail into the piece to hide it.

53
Project 3
How
tH
ooCwrotoc c e l e t
hCertoac hFeriteandCso
haips tBe ra

Watch the video: | crocheting101.com/pr3

For our 3rd Project for Crocheting 101, we’ll be


playing around with increases and working in the
Round to make these coasters.

In this project, we’ll also be dipping our toes into how


to read patterns, which are basically the blue prints
to a project. In patterns we often use abbreviations
for stitches to make it easier to write and read.
54
The Materials
• Yarn: Worsted Weight Cotton
• Hook: Size G6 / 4.00mm
• Other: Scissors and a Needle to sew in ends

* Optional: A Stitch Marker


- You can also use a spare thread too

The Stitches
Ch = Chain Stitch (Chapter 2)

St = Stitch

Sc = Single Crochet (Chapter 3)

Inc = Increase (Chapter 4)

Sl.st = Slip Stitch


We’ll also be using this new stitch called a Slip Stitch
(‘Sl.st’ for short), I’ll be going over it when we get
there. We’ll go over the detailed instructions for a
slip stitch in Chapter 10.
55
Ch (Chain) 2

Sc 6 times into the 2nd chain from the


Rnd 1 hook (6)

This (6) is the number


of stitches that you’ll have
by the end of the Rnd.

Because we’re working in the Round for this project,


you will never turn your work. Be sure to use a stitch
marker to keep track of the beginning of each round.

56
Rnd 2 Inc in each st around (12)

Rnd 3 [sc 1, inc 1] repeat 6 times total (18)

Notice how it’s written in brackets, with “repeat 6


times total” after it. This is how I write repetitions. It
means keep doing what’s in the brackets 6 times.

Inc

Sc

57
Rnd 4 [sc 2, inc] repeat 6 times total (24)

Inc
Scs

Let’s look closer at our stitches. The single crochet


you can see is just one V going in that hole. And the
increase is two V’s going into one hole. This pattern
is awesome because all the increases in each Rnd
all the way around for the entire project are going
where that second stitch from the Increase before is.
So it will look like our increases are continuing on in
the same spot all the way up.

Increases highlighted in Green

58
This pattern is awesome for another reason too. Like I
said before, we’re adding one single crochet for each
Rnd in between increases; in Rnd 3 it was just one
single crochet, and now there are two single crochets.
This is how I crochet without using stitch markers at
all. If you add the stitches from one increase to the
next you’ll have 4 stitches (two single crochets, and
one increase which is two single crochets together),
and we’re on Rnd 4. So if you count the number of
single crochet’s between increases and add two (to
account for the increase) you’ll get the number of the
Rnd that you’re on for this pattern.

Rnd 4 in Blue
Rnd 3 in Pink

Look for the


increases and
single crochets.

Rnd 5 [sc 3, inc] repeat 6 times total (30)

I’m not moving the stitch marker so I can show


you how you can tell where the end of a Rnd is,
but you might want to move it up. 59
Our stitch marker is right here marking the end of
our Rnd 5, but let’s pretend that we didn’t have that
stitch marker there and continue on to Rnd 6 without
knowing that it was the end of the Rnd.

As we continue on, if we still thought we were on


Rnd 5, we would make 3 single crochets and then the
increase, but if we did that, our increase wouldn’t go
into the right spot, and look disjointed from the rest
of the pattern. This is where noticing the difference
between increases and single crochets can really come
in handy. Now I know that I must be on Rnd 6 because
there should be 4 single crochets between increases.

Rnd 6 [sc 4, inc] repeat 6 times total (36)

Rnd 6 finished. Look for the scs and incs.


60
Rnd 7 [sc 5, inc] repeat 6 times total (42)

You could stop here and skip to the invisible end, but
I’m going to go back a few stitches to make a simple
handle so we can hang our coaster up on a hook.

Go back 3 stitches.
Pull out our final increase and a single crochet.

Gently Pull

61
Ch 10

Three parts to a chain stitch:


Top loop bottom loop and back loop

Sl.st (Slip stitch) into the back loop of the first ch made.

62
For a slip stitch, once you’re in the stitch, yarn over

And pull through all the loops on the hook

Now re-do the three stitches you pulled out of Rnd 7.


Sc 1, inc 1

63
Finally we’ll make an “Invisible End”
to hide the end of the Rnd

Sl.st into the next st

64
Cut the yarn and pull all the way through

u l l
P

Thread it on a needle, go around back of the next stitch,


and into the center of the slip stitch we made.

65
Hide the ends in, and cut the tails close to
the piece so it’s totally hidden.

And now we have a little coaster, so I don’t want to


hear any excuses for why you didn’t use one!!

66
5
Chapter : Decreasing

Watch the video: | crocheting101.com/ch5

Decreasing is going to be a bit more difficult than


increasing. The first thing to know about decreasing
is that you will end with less stitches than you started
with, rather than more stitches like increasing. For
example, you’ll want to go from 18 stitches, down
to 12, meaning you decrease 6 times throughout the
round.

Increasing Decreasing

The tricky part is that there are a lot of ways to


decrease, all of which offer different pros and cons,
so let’s talk about them…
67
The Three Ways to Decrease

These methods are mostly used for single crochet,


but some of the methods, like sc2tog, can be used for
other stitches (which you’ll learn later on).

Single Crochet 2 Together

Decrease (sharp decrease)

Invisible Decrease

68
In patterns you’ll often see “dec” written as the abbreviation
for a decrease. Usually they are referring to this method.

Single Crochet 2 Together


sc2tog

This the easiest method, but in my opinion not the best


mostly because it can be very noticeable and doesn’t
decrease as sharply as other methods. That being said,
the “Single Crochet 2 Together” is the method you should
use as beginner.

Insert the hook in the next st


Step 1 yo (yarn over) and pull through

69
Now repeat the process, Insert the hook in
Step 2 the next st, yo and pull through again.

There should be 3 loops on the hook now

Finally, yo and pull a loop through all 3


Step 3 loops on the hook to finish the stitch.

70
Decrease (sharp decrease)
dec

I like to call this a decrease, but the correct name would be


the sharp decrease, or a slip stitch 2 together (slst2tog).
This is because it can be used to make a really flat and
sharp end to your piece. It’s great to use at the end of
your amigurumi projects to really close in the hole, but
I wouldn’t use it throughout a project because it can be
very noticeable.

Insert the hook in the next st


Step 1 yo (yarn over) and pull through

The beginning of this stitch is exactly the same as


the sc2tog, but the end is different.
71
Insert the hook in the next st, yo and pull
through again.
Step 2
Then pull this same loop through the two
on the hook.

Notice how this really pulls the


stitch in and makes it close in more
rapidly. Great if you need to make
a flat bottom, but not if you were
trying to make a less noticeable
decrease, like in a beanie.
72
Invisible Decrease
InvDec

A personal favorite; like the name suggests,


the invisible decrease (aka: InvDec) is the least
noticeable decrease. It’s mostly used in amigurumi,
but can really be used for any pattern as long as
you’re working in the round. It’s a great alternative
to the sc2tog.

The two cons are that invisible decreases can be a


bit difficult to do at first, and they don’t decrease as
drastically as the other method (sharp decrease)
will.

But before we learn this awesome stitch, we need


to talk about the front and back loops of your stitch
again…

The Front and Back Loops

This loop furthest from you is the back loop

The loop closest to you is the front loop


73
Okay, so now that you know the difference between
front and back loops, let’s learn the invisible
decrease:

Insert the hook in the front loops of the


Step 1 next 2 stitches

The easiest way to do this is to go one by one

74
Now you just have to make a single
crochet.
Step 2
yo, and pull through the two front loops.

Finish by yo again then pulling through the


last two loops on the hook.

75
I rarely, if ever use the sc2tog for my pieces. This is
because its basically the same thing as the InvDec,
but more noticeable. Think about what you’re trying
to accomplish in your piece before you choose which
method to use.

Sc2Tog InvDec

Skipping Stitches

I should also mention you can also skip stitches to


decrease. It’s really only useful at the very beginning
of a Row when you’re working flat. I left it out of
the list because:

A) It’s really easy and obvious, you just… skip a


stitch..

B) It’s the worst method to use when your working


in the Round because it leaves big holes in your
piece, so, disclaimer: do not use skipping stitches
to decrease in the round.
76
When to Decrease

Now if you want to use a decrease in your piece and


you’re working in the Rnd, what do you do?

Well, you can decrease at anytime you want, but to


make it even and steady we have to decrease evenly
throughout your piece. Remember how when we were
increasing we only increased by what we made in our
first Rnd (6)?

When your starting out crocheting, I highly suggest


you stick to the exact same method, but replace the
increases in the tutorial with decreases.

18 - 6
12 - 6

For example, we have 18 stitches and we want to


go evenly by the same amount we started with (6
stitches in Rnd 1, remember?), so we decrease 6 times
throughout the round. Where we do this is the same
as increases too.
77
Let’s look back at Rnd 3 from Chapter 4 (not Row 3,
but Rnd 3, when we were increasing in the Rnd).

Rnd 3: [sc 1, inc] repeat 6 times total (18)

In that Rnd we:


sc 1 in the first stitch, then increased in the next,
repeating that process 6 times total, and ended up
going from 12 stitches, up to 18.

Now we are going to do the same thing but decrease


instead of increase.

[sc 1, dec 1] repeat 6 times (12)

Now that you know the basics to decreasing, we can


finally make three-demensional projects like amigurumi.
You’ll also have to learn how to stuff and sew a piece
together though, which we’ll go over in our next project
for a sphere / hacky sack and again in Chapter 10.

78
How
Project 4
Htoow
CrtoocC
hero
t cahSep ac c
e l
k e t
t haeFre shaicp
rieonrdH kBy rSa

Watch the video: | crocheting101.com/pr4

Now that we know how to increase and


decrease, we can make spheres! Which we can
turn into heads for amigurumi, or hacky sacks!

To begin this pattern, you can either use the “Ch 2


Method” that we’ve used before, or use a new method
called the “Magic Loop Method”. I’ll briefly explain
you it below, but the full detailed instructions and
explanation will be taught in Chapter 10.
79
The Materials
• Yarn: Worsted Weight Cotton
• Hook: Size G6 / 4.00mm
• Other: Scissors and a Needle to sew in ends
• Stuffing (Use dried beans to make a hacky sack)

* Optional: a Funnel (for pouring in beans)


and a Stitch Marker

The Stitches
Ch = Chain Stitch

St = Stitch

Sc = Single Crochet

Inc = Increase

Dec = Decrease (Sharp Decrease)

InvDec = Invisible Decrease


or
Sc2Tog = Single Crochet 2 Together
80
The Magic Loop Method
(See Chapter 10 (pg _) for full details / instructions)

To make the Magic Loop method, wrap the yarn


around your index finger 3 times, holding the end
attached to the ball in your bottom three fingers, and
the tail end between your middle and ring finger.

Insert the hook under the first two loops and yarn over
using the third loop.

Pull this through the first two loops, yarn over and pull
through again, basically making a chain around the
first two loops.

81
You can now pull it off of your finger and work a
single crochet around the two loops.

Make the rest of the stitches you’ll need for Rnd 1, in


this case 6 scs total, so we need five more.

82
Pull the top loop, which should tighten the bottom
loop. Make it as tight as you think you’ll need.

And pull the tail to tighten the top loop.

Now continue as you normally would by single


crocheting into the first single crochet made, but be
sure to work around this tail end to hide it and make
sure that the magic loop doesn’t come undone.
Ch 2 Method Magic Loop Method

This method for starting in the round works


interchangeably with the Ch 2 Method used in the
previous project. The Magic Loop Method is better
suited for getting a tighter hole in the center, which
comes in handy when making a stuffed project.
83
Now that you have made a few projects and know
the basics of reading patterns, it’s time to slide off the
training wheels. Below is an example of what patterns
really look like. There are usually little to no pictures.
See the video for more detailed instructions.

Ch 2 or use the Magic Loop Method

Work 6 sc in 2nd ch from hook or into


Rnd 1 magic loop (6)

Rnd 2 Inc in each st around (12)

Rnd 3 [sc 1, inc] repeat 6 times total (18)

Rnd 4 sc in each st around (18)

Rnd 5 [sc 2, inc] repeat 6 times total (24)

Rnd 6 - 8 sc in each st around (18 x 3)

This “x 3” is there to simply tell you you’ll be repeating the


same round 3 times in a row.

84
Now we can start decreasing. To do that, we’re going
to use either the InvDec or the sc2tog. I’ll be using
the InvDec. For Rnd 9, we want to do the opposite of
our last increasing Rnd, Rnd 5, to go inwards instead
of outward. To do that we’ll sc 2, then InvDec 1 and
repeat that 6 times total. This will bring us down from
24 stitches to 18 stitches.

Rnd 9 [sc 2, invdec] repeat 6 times total (18)

Rnd 10 sc in each st around (18)

Rnd 11 [sc 1, invdec] repeat 6 times total (12)

We’ll be switching now from a subtle decreasing stitch


(the invdec / sc2tog) to a sharper decrease to really
pull in the stitches for our final Rnd before cutting the
yarn, stuffing and sewing it closed.

Rnd 12 dec in each st around (6)

85
Cut the yarn and pull it all the way
through (do not ch 1)

If you are making amigurumi and you want to add


a face to your project, this is the best time to do so.
It’s very difficult to add features after it’s stuffed and
sewn together.

Stuff your piece with either polyfill stuffing (like


you would find in pillows) or with dried beans
to make a hacky sack

For polyfill, use the eraser end of a pencil to help stuff


it into the piece. For beans, use a funnel.

86
Try not to over stuff it. There should be a bit of a
give when squeezing the sphere so that it’s squishy.

Now sew it closed.

Here are our final 6 stitches. The one with the needle
is the last hole from the Rnd before the final Rnd,
you’ll be using this hole too.
6
5 0
4
1
3 2
We’re going to number them to make it easier. The
final stitches will be 1-6 and the other hole will be 0.

87
Start by going into the top of stitch 3, across, and
back out through 0.

Pull it somewhat tight, but I would avoid pulling the


loops too tight until the end because the stitches are
going get pulled together and it can be confusing on
where to go next.

Now go down into 4, across, and out of 1.

88
Then into 5 and out of 2.

You can pull the whole thing tight now, and finish up
by going into stitch 6.

Poke the end out of the side of the piece you can
either cut it here, or go back through the bottom.

89
This should keep your piece closed. But if you’re
nervous about it opening up, make a knot at the end.
I’m going to knot it since I’ll probably be kicking it
around a lot and it might come loose otherwise.

90
There we go! Now We can go play a bit of hacky
sack or use this same pattern for making the head for
a little amigurumi guy!

I named him Wilber.

Hacky sack helps


me unwind.

91
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6
Chapter : The Half - Double
Crochet
hdc
Watch the video: | crocheting101.com/ch6

Wait… why are we going to half double crochet


before the double crochet? Well for a few reasons:

First, you already know almost all the steps for


this stitch from the sc2tog from the last chapter,
and it’s going to be just a bit easier to go from
the half double crochet to the double crochet.

Why is it called that?


dc
I know, it’s a weird name, but it’s
height

called the “half - double crochet”


hdc
because it’s just a little bigger than
the single crochet and a little smaller
than the double crochet (which is sc
double the size of a single crochet).

93
Beanie B c h e t s
rim made with half-double cro

The half double crochet (aka hdc) looks a bit more


complicated than the single crochet but it’s not that
tough. You can use it to get some variation in your
Rnds or Rows of your piece and add a little bit of height
too. I like to use them for hat brims because it adds a
bit more yarn to the piece for warmth and looks nicer
than just using the same stitch for the whole thing.

Step 1 Start off by yo (yarning over)

94
Step 2 Insert your hook in the next stitch

Step 3 Yo and pull that loop through the stitch

95
Yo again, and pull that loop through all
Step 4 three loops on the hook to finish up the
stitch.

Remember how after turning a Row of scs you had to


ch 1 and skip the ch to continue? Well, with hdcs you
need to make 2 chs and skip them before continuing
to keep it going evenly.

This also means that before measuring how many


chs you’ll need before starting, you have to
account for those 2 chs, so +2 to all beginning chs.

96
How
Project 5
HtowC
troocChreo ac n
e l
d e t
tcaheBtoawFTrienodrshHie
p aBdrba

Watch the video: | crocheting101.com/pr5

This is definitely my favorite pattern here, and a great


way to practice your half-double crochets. Not only
can this pattern make a pretty neat bow neck tie, but
also can make a pretty cute bow headband with just
a few extra stitches!

97
The Materials
• Yarn: Worsted Weight Cotton
• Hook: Size G6 / 4.00mm
• Other: Scissors and a Needle to sew in ends

* Optional: A button and a sewing needle

The Stitches
Ch = Chain Stitch

St = Stitch

Hdc = Half-Double Crochet

BLO = Back Loops Only

98
The pattern is split into 3 parts: The Base

The Strap The Middle Tie

The Base

Ch 22

Row 1 Skip 2 chs, and hdc in each ch across (20)

To hide the tail end (like we did in the mini bow) you
can stop at the last hdc and pull through with the tail.

99
Then re-insert the hook into the loops and finish the
final stitch as normal. Make sure to work around that
tail end as you continue on.

Tail

Turn and ch 2. Skip the chs,


Row 2 - 7 Hdc in each st across (20 x 5)

Don’t forget, hdcs require 2 chs before each Row


to go up evenly.

Be sure to work around that tail for the first Row

100
You’ll be making the same Row 5 times total.

Once you’ve finished your Rows, cut the yarn,


ch 1, and pull all the way through

Hide the ends in and cut the tails close to the


piece so it’s totally hidden

101
Here’s the base finished

The Middle Tie

Ch 14

Skip two chains, and hdc in each ch across


Row 1 (12)

Cut the yarn, ch 1, and pull through.


Don’t hide the ends.

Here’s the Middle Tie finished

102
The Strap

Finally, we’ll make the strap which the bow ties onto
and wraps around the wearer’s neck or head. The
length is going to be different for everyone depending
on what you’re making and the size of the persons
neck or head. I have 3 different ways to make these.

Sewn Together
(Best for a headband)

Front

Side

Tie Strap
(Best for a Bow Tie)

Front

Side

103
Button-on
(can be used for either)

Front

Side

The start is the same for all the techniques, make a


slip knot and…

Ch 6

Row 1 Skip 2 chs, and hdc in each ch across (4)

Now is where we’ll start to diversify.

But before I continue, all the stitches for the rest of the
strap, regardless of the version, will be worked into
the BLO (back loops only).
104
Sewn Together Version

Turn and ch 2, skip the chains, and hdc in


Row 2 - ? each st across (4)

Remember you’re working in the BLO

Repeat this Row as many times as necessary to fit the


head when sewn together. Make sure to measure it
to be sure it’s long enough.

When you get to the length you want (I end up


around 50 Rows total), cut the yarn, ch 1 and
pull through

105
Thread the end on a needle and put the two ends
together and sew together with a whip stitch

A whip stitch is just going into the stitch across


from the tail and then around the correlating stitch
on the other side.

Then just continuing into the next stitch around


and around to the end.

Knot the yarn by going into the same loop twice,


pull tight and hide it in your piece.

106
Tie Strap Version

Turn, ch 5, skip 3 sts and hdc into the 4th,


Row 2 and final, st (1)

Work a hdc into the 4th, and final st.

Turn, ch 2, skip the chs, and hdc 4 times,


Row 3 starting in the back loops of the first st,
then into the next 3 chs (4)

We’ll call these 2 Rows, Rows 2 and 3 together,


a pair of “Tie Hole” Rows.
107
Turn and ch 2, skip the chs, and hdc in
Row 4 - 5 each st across (4)

Make a pair of “Tie Hole” Rows.


Row 6 - 7 (Repeat Rows 2 - 3)

Turn and ch 2, skip the chs, and hdc in


Row 8 - ? each st across (4)

108
When you get to the length you want (I end up
around 50 Rows total), cut the yarn, ch 1 and
pull through

Hide the ends in, and cut the tails close to the
piece so it’s totally hidden

109
When you want to tie it together, put the one
normal end into the tie holes, basically weaving
through the two holes.

Make sure the tied end is in the back of the shirt


and under the collar to hide it.

110
Button-on Version

Turn and ch 2, skip the chs, hdc 1, ch 1,


Row 2 skip a st, and hdc in the next two sts.

Turn and ch 2, skip the chains, and hdc in


Row 3 each st and ch across (4)

We’ll call these 2 Rows, Rows 2 and 3 together,


a pair of “Button Hole” Rows
111
Make 2 more pairs of “Button Hole” Rows.
Row 4 - 7 (Repeat Rows 2 - 3 twice)

Turn and ch 2, skip the chs, and hdc in


Row 8 - ? each st across (4)

When you get to the length you want (I end up


around 50 Rows total), cut the yarn, ch 1 and
pull through.

112
Hide the ends in and cut the tails close to the
piece so it’s totally hidden

Using a new strand of yarn pulled apart, or a thread on


a sewing needle, sew the button on the end of the band.
Make sure it’s on the end without the button holes.

113
Putting it together
Fold the base part in half, then half again and pinch it
tight in the center so it somewhat holds it’s shape.

Put the middle tie over the front of the base


and around the strap.

Sew it together using both tails into


the hdc sts on the other side
Double knot it and cut.

114
There ya go, now you can look dapper at any
event and say you actually made the bow tie!

Or use it as a headband!

All these stitches


are making me
loopy.

115
7
Chapter : The Double Crochet

dc
Watch the video: | crocheting101.com/ch7

Let’s double it up. The double crochet (dc) is half


a step more than the half-double crochet (hdc) and
about double the size of a single crochet… wait.. is
that why.. they’re named… Hmm..

Double Crochet

Half-Double Crochet

Single Crochet

The double crochet is another great way to get


variation and it gives even more height to the stitch.
It’s also is pretty fast to do, and because it’s so tall,
you’ll feel like you’re getting the project made faster,
making it a favorite for scarves and blankets!
116
The main downside is it will leave some holes in your
piece due to how tall it is. Because of that, I don’t really
use it for things like hats and amigurumi. Although, I
do sometimes use double crochet stitches in a Rnd on
a beanie to give it a kind add some extra design.

Here’s how a double crochet is made, the first three


steps are the exact same as the half-double crochet.

Step 1 Start off by yarning over (yo)

117
Step 2 Insert your hook in the next stitch

Step 3 Yo and pull that loop through the stitch

118
Yo again, and pull that loop through only
Step 4 2 loops (not all three like the hdc)

Finally yarn over again and pull that


Step 5 through the last two loops on the hook

119
For double crochet stitches (dcs), you’ll need to add
3 chs before the beginning of Rows (in the flat) kinda
like with the hdc.

This also means that before measuring how many


chs you’ll need before starting, you have to
account for those 3 chs, so +3 to all beginning chs
and ch 3 after turning when working in the flat.

Easy as that. Now you know how to make the double


crochet! You know the 3 main stitches in crochet! And
mostly all other stitches just use the techniques that
you do in these 3 stitches, so you can learn almost
any crochet stitch with these techniques now too!

120
Project 6
HoHwo
wto tC
o rC
orcohceht eat FariG r
e l
e e t
niyp
enradnsh B
S r
q a
u c
a

Watch the video: | crocheting101.com/pr6

Gonna be honest, not a big fan of the name. Not


all us hookers are grannies, but Granny squares are
kinda fun to make and a great way to practice your
double crochet stitches. We’ll also learn a new form
of working in the Rnd called “Joining in the Rnd”.

Granny Squares are usually used for blankets, either


by sewing them together or by making one giant
granny square.
121
The Materials
• Yarn: Worsted Weight Cotton
• Hook: Size G6 / 4.00mm
• Other: Scissors and a Needle to sew in ends

The Stitches
Ch = Chain Stitch

St = Stitch

Dc = Double Crochet

Inc = Increase (Chapter 4)

Sl.st = Slip Stitch


We’ll go over this stitch in the

project, but see Chapter 10 for

detailed instructions 122


Ch 4

We’ll be working into the 4th ch from the hook.

For this pattern these 3 chs count as a dc.

Working in the 4th ch from the hook dc 2, ch 1.


For this technique, the 3 chains you made before starting
the Rnd count as a double crochet. This, the 2 dcs you
made after, and the ch 1, count as what we’ll call a cluster.
1 Cluster = [dc 3, ch 1]

Make a 2nd cluster [dc 3, ch 1] in the hole (aka


4th ch from the hook).

123
Make a 3rd cluster [dc 3, ch 1] in the hole.

Make a 4th cluster [dc 3, ch 1] in the hole.

To finish Rnd 1, sl.st into the top chain from the first st in
the first cluster you made, to join the Rnd.

If you didn’t know, a slip stitch is simply going


into the next st, yarning over, and pulling through
all the loops on the hook.

124
Here’s what Rnd 1 looks like written out and
finished:

Working into the 4th ch from the hook,


Rnd 1 make 4 clusters total (12 dcs including the
beginning ch 3).

You can cut that tail in the back now.

125
By the way you don’t have to turn at all for this
pattern.

Rnd 2
Ch 3 (counts as a dc), working into the ch 1
space from the previous Rnd, dc 2 and ch 1 to
make our first cluster

Working into this hole

Skip the cluster below and crochet 2 clusters in


the next ch 1 spot to make a corner

126
Continue around making 2 clusters in each corner.
When you get to the last corner, work a cluster
into the space and join with a sl.st in the top ch
you made at the beginning of the Rnd.

Work your connecting sl.st into this ch

127
Rnd 3 +
Start Rnd 3 like you did for Rnd 2:
Ch 3 (counts as a dc), working into the ch 1 space from
the previous Rnd, dc 2 and ch 1 to make our first cluster.

Make a cluster in each empty ch 1 spot below and 2


clusters in each corner all the way around.

128
Join Rnd 3 the same as you did for Rnd 2,
by sl.st into the top ch.

You can continue the pattern over and over again


to make it as big as you’d like, but I’ll stop here.
129
When you get to a size you like, cut the yarn and pull
through after the joining sl.st.

Hide the yarn using a hidden end like we did for the
coaster (see Chapter 10 for full instructions).

130
And that’s all there is to granny squares!

Granny squares are one of the most popular


ways to make large flat patterns like blankets
and pillow cases due to their simplicity.

Most people either make a really big granny


square or sew a bunch of them together to get
a large blanket.

Since they’re just a


bunch of little squares
you can even use
designs like pixel art
to make a blanket!

131
8
Chapter : Changing Colors

Watch the video: | crocheting101.com/ch8

So you’re making a hat and your ball of yarn is


just about out, but you still have 4 more rounds to
go! Or maybe you want to add a bit more detail to
your amigurumi; whatever the reason is, eventually
you’ll need to change to a different strand of yarn
in crocheting. Learning how to change yarn in the
middle of a round is a vital skill to know and here’s
how you do it.

132
First off, we need to know how to crochet around a
different strand of yarn and bring it with you.

Start to make a single crochet,


pull through the next stitch.

Before finishing the sc, put a different strand in between


the loops on the hook and the end of the first yarn.

You can keep it pinned down with your dominant index


finger (right for me).

133
Finish the sc over the new strand of yarn.

Sc a few times over the new strand to somewhat lock


in the new yarn.

Halfway make a sc again, without finishing the stitch.

134
Put your index finger of your non-domonant (left) hand in
between the two strands of yarn.

Flip the new color (pink) under the old color (green).

Yarn over and pull through with the new color.

135
Sc a few times with the new color around the old
color to lock it in before cutting it.

When you get better at this, you can change colors


really quickly and you won’t need to do those few
stitches before to lock it in, but for now I would stick
to a few stitches before changing colors to get the
hang of it.
136
Check this out, now that your carrying the two different
colors, we can change colors for just small parts of
the stitches! Like making the top of the stitch one color
and the bottom another

This can add some unique patterns in your stitches, and


you can theoretically carry a bunch of different colors
at once, but I wouldn’t carry more then 3 because it
get’s really confusing and tangled.

Every now and then, if you’re changing colors a lot,


the yarn will get all twisted and you’ll have to untangle
it. You can do this by just making sure you cut the yarn
you’re done using earlier on and pull it out.

137
If you’re using two colors, just let go of the piece and
hold each color in each hand and let the piece spin
around and untangle itself! It’s a fun and easy trick I
found to get the yarn un-spun really quick.

I use color changes a lot in my amigurumi pieces to add


details like hair, clothes, and even tattoos. Mastering
color changes can be really useful in crochet and isn’t
even that difficult.

138
One thing I’d like to note though, when you do color
changes, try to stick to the same kind of yarn. There
should be a little icon on your yarn telling you the
basic type of yarn it is, this can be a good indicator
to knowing if two yarns are compatible for yarn
changing.

For example, you usually wouldn’t want to use a bulky


yarn, with a smaller, worsted weight yarn.

Worsted Weight Bulky Yarn


Yarn

Try it out a few times in your next project by simply


putting one round in a different color then the last!
Or maybe even speckling a beanie with random color
changes in between increases!
139
Chapter 9: Reading Patterns
Watch the video: | crocheting101.com/ch9

In crochet the way that we explain how to make


different projects is through patterns. Think of them
kind of like blue prints to the project.

You’ll likely already know a lot of this by just doing


the projects throughout Crocheting 101, but it can still
be pretty useful to go over.
140
At the top should be the materials, telling you what the
artist used to make the project. Usually they’ll tell you
the yarn type or weight, the hook size they used, and
some miscellaneous materials like a needle, scissors,
stuffing, and often in my case plastic bead eyes.

By the way, this is from my pattern for crocheting


a miniature Frankenstein, just in case you were
wondering. You can get it at ClubCrochet.com!
141
Then there are the abbreviations.

Stitches in patterns are abbreviated to make it quicker


and easier to understand. For example, as you’ve
probably figured out by now, the single crochet is
written as just “sc”. Usually there’s a quick key in the
beginning of the pattern to show you the abbreviations
used and what they stand for.

If you don’t understand one of them there might be


instructions in the pattern. Or searching online for it
will probably help too (See “Bobble Stitch” below).

Here are some commonly used abbreviations and their


counterparts:

142
The steps to a pattern are usually written
as Rnd 1 or Row 1 (remember rounds
and rows from chapter 4?). These are
how you keep track of where you’re at
in the pattern.

Ignore this number, this is for the video


for the pattern. Most patterns you come
accross likely won’t have this.

It’s important to realize that every crocheter has their


preferred methods for how they write their patterns,
and it can kind-of get confusing every now and then.
And different countries have different styles of writing
patterns. These are just the American terms. For example,
in the UK the “double crochet is the treble crochet”.
Sometimes it will take 2 or 3 tries to get a round right,
but the great part of crocheting is that it uses yarn,
which is a very forgiving medium. If you mess up a
Rnd, just pull it out and try again.

Here’s a small conversion chart for the stitches we’ve


learned:

USA UK

Single Crochet Double Crochet

Half - Double Crochet Half - Treble Crochet

Double Crochet Treble Crochet


143
When you’re first starting out, try using stitch markers
like these or using a small amount of a different colored
yarn to keep track of where the rounds begin and
end. This will help a lot later on so you can remember
where you are in the pattern

There’s also this thing called a gauge. A gauge means


the number of stitches per inch and Rows/Rnds per
inch. The gauge is based off of the hook and yarn that
the pattern is made with, which should be marked in
the pattern under the Materials. They help you get
the right amount of tightness in your stitches.

Gauge is also affected


by how tight or loose you
crochet, so it’s a good idea
to check your gauge when
making a garment that has
precise measurements, like
a beanie or even a sweater.
Gauge is not terribly
important in amigurumi.

144
If you feel that your gauge is off and it’s really
important for the pattern, for something you’re going
to wear like a beanie, you can make what’s called
a swatch before your start. It’s basically a sample
square which you can then measure to see if you’re
off, and adjust accordingly by using a larger crochet
hook or physically changing how tightly you crochet.

For things like amigurumi, it’s somewhat less important,


think of it there as more of a guideline of what you
should be aiming for.

145
Keep an eye out for numbers in parentheses at the end
of the Rnd like this. These tell you how many stitches
you should have total by the end of your Rnd/Row.
If you think you might have messed up, a quick count
of your stitches and comparing it to this number can
help you know if you messed up.

People also use brackets like this.

These are usually there to split up a Rnd/Row and tell


you when to repeat, but sometimes people use them
for other things too.

For example, sometimes when there are a lot of


color changes, I put them at the end of the Rnd
like this, which is there to show you what colors
go where.

146
Chapter 10: Advanced
Techniques

Watch the video: | crocheting101.com/ch10

Chapter 1 - 9 includes my most used techniques in


crocheting, but crocheting has a lot more techniques
and tricks to be learned, many of which are pivotal
for different projects. So I chose to lump a bunch of
important techniques into this last Chapter, each of
which can be viewed in their own videos and pages
to make it a bit easier to navigate.

Techniques taught:
A lot of the techniques
in this chapter you’ve Slip Stitch
likely seen or gone over Joining in the Round
briefly in the Projects, Hiding Ends
but here we’ll be going Sewing Together
over them a bit more in Sewing Closed
depth. The Magic Loop Method
Treble Stitch

147
The Slip Stitch
Sl.st
*sometimes “sl st” or “ss”

Watch the video: | crocheting101.com/ch10-2

The slip stitch is the shortest, simplest stitch in


crocheting. Slip Stitches are used to move the yarn
forward while still staying as short as possible. I
use them mostly when finishing a piece to hide the
end, as a border or design, and occasionally for
sewing two pieces together. Slip stitches are also
used within stitches themselves and to connect chain
stitches to make loops. They’re usually abbreviated
as “sl.st” or “sl st”, but sometimes as just “ss”.

Half - Double Crochet Single Crochet

Double Crochet Slip Stitch


148
First put the hook into the next stitch.

Then yarn over and pull that loop through both


the stitch and the loop on the hook.

Done, that’s seriously all you do.

149
For slip stitches (sl.sts)
you’ll only need one
chain and the beginning
of a Row, kind of like a
single crochet.

Like I said before, you can use slip stitches to join


a chain and make a ring. Here I have 10 chs, and
if I just sl.st into the first chain here, then I’ll
have a ring!

You can also use them for joining in the round,


another technique for crocheting in the round (one
I don’t usually use)
150
Joining in the Round

Watch the video: | crocheting101.com/ch10-3

I left this out of Chapter 4 where we learned about


increasing and working in the Round vs Flat because
it’s kind of a meld between the two, and while it’s
definitely a great technique, I surprisingly don’t
actually find myself using it very often (probably
because it’s not really used in amigurumi often).

The one major ‘con’ to


this technique is that it
leaves a pretty visible
seam along where you’re
joining, which is why I
usually just work in the
round rather than join in
the round when making
beanies or amigurumi.

It is a great technique though and is used a lot in


motifs and things like granny squares.

151
Usually you’ll be making these into a ring of
chain stitches, so to start lets Chain 6

Connect the chains with a Slip Stitch (sl.st) to make a ring

Now we’ll be working into the center hole. We’re


going to make a ring of double crochet stitches
instead of single crochets. So, before we start our
Rnd of double crochets, we want to ch 3.

152
Now work our double crochet stitches into the
center of the ring (sometimes they’ll be worked
into the chains depending on the pattern).

Working into the center of the ring,


Rnd 1 dc 12 (12)

Join the Rnd with a sl.st into the last of the 3 chs you
made in the begining of the Rnd

153
Now we just continue on. Depending on the pattern,
you might have to turn here (which is why I say it’s
kind of like a meld between working Round and
in the Flat), though a lot of patterns just have you
continue on without turning.

Rnd 2 Chain 3, inc in each st around (24)

The main difference


between Joining in
the Round and simply
Working in the Round
is that you’ll have to do
that first chain before
continuing like you do
when working in the flat.

154
When you get to the end and have 24 stitches
(not including our first ch 3), you want to skip our
connecting sl.st and instead join the ends by making
a sl.st into the top chain, like we did before.

And that’s how you Join in the Round for crocheting.


Continue using this method, chaining before for
each Rnd, and when you get to a size you want,
simply cut and pull through at the end to make a
final knot, which you can then sew into the piece
to hide, or use to sew pieces together!
155
If you want to continue, here are the next few Rnds:

Rnd 3 Ch 3, [dc, inc] repeat 12 times (36)

Rnd 4 Ch 3, [dc 2, inc] repeat 12 times (48)

Rnd 5 Ch 3, [dc 3, inc] repeat 12 times (60)

156
Hiding Ends

Watch the video: | crocheting101.com/ch10-4

When you’ve finished a project or piece of a project,


you’ll likely need to hide in the ends, meaning these
little tail ends here. The main way to do that is by
simply sewing the end into some stitches that are
close by.

We’ll also be going


over a technique to hide
ends while working in
the round which mimics
the tops of stitches.
157
Sewing in loose tail ends on a flat piece is simple.
Usually in patterns this is written as “hide ends” or
“hide tail ends”.

Thread the tail onto a darning needle and poke it


through the middle of the adjacent stitches.

When you feel like you’ve gone into enough stitches


so that it undo itself (I recommend at least 3 stitches),
you cut the remaining tail really close to the piece
and it should be hidden pretty well.

158
The second technique I call the “Hidden End” and
it is mostly for working in the round and works by
mimicing the tops of stitches before sewing them
into the piece to fully hide them.

Slip Stitch (Sl.st) into the next stitch, cut the yarn and
pull through.

159
Thread the tail onto a needle and go into the back of
the next stitch over.

Then go back down through the center of the slip


stitch you just made.

160
Now sew the tail end into the piece like before by
going into the backs of the adjacent stitches.

This makes a nice simple ending that matches the


rest of the stitches and will help hide the end. It can
also be pretty useful for sewing pieces together.

161
Sewing Together

Watch the video: | crocheting101.com/ch10-5

Sewing pieces together is important for many


reasons like when you need to seam the end of a
beanie brim or connect a bunch of granny squares
for a blanket which is a pretty simple technique.

You can also sew together pieces of an amigurumi


which is a slightly different technique I’ll also be
teaching you.
162
In this section I won’t be teaching you how to sew a
piece closed though, that’s going to be in the next
section titled “Sewing Closed” and is a different
technique.

Sewing Two Flat Pieces Together

For this method you’ll be connecting flat pieces,


such as granny squares, together. First make sure
that the tail end of one of your pieces is pretty
long; if you cut them all too short or already hid
the ends, that’s no big deal, you can just use a new
strand of yarn instead.

If you did cut the tail of one of the ends, anchor


a new strand of yarn down by sewing around the
same two beginning seam stitches multiple times to
hold the yarn in place, or…
163
To actually sew pieces together, I usually use a
simple whipstitch, meaning wrapping the yarn
around and around the stitches. It’s simple and
easy, but not always the prettiest finish, especially
if you’re using different colors.

164
There’s also a method called the invisible seam.

After anchoring your yarn, go right into the center


of the top of the first stitch on side A, and come
out through the second stitch on side A.

165
Then go back and do the same on the first and
second stitch on side B.

Then into the third and fourth stitches on side A.

166
And the third and fourth on side B.

You’ll continue this zipper effect, going back and


forth making somewhat of a ladder, all the way
to the end.

Be sure to tighten the seam every few stitches.

167
Knot the yarn at the end by going around the final
stitch, and then through the loop you just made.

Make sure to hide the tail into the piece to finish.

168
Sewing Together Amigurumi

Okay so this will be slightly different. Here we want


to add this arm onto the body of our character.

Again, having a long tail will make things slightly


easier but not necessary because you can just use
an extra strand of yarn instead.

Find where you’re going to want to have the arm


sewn on and how many stitches you have to work
with. Here I have 6 stitches around and a long tail.

169
Because there are 6 stitches for the last Rnd of the
arm, when we sew it onto the body we want to find
the 6 places the stitches are going to go. Try to
find your 6 stitch spots before you begin sewing it
together. Here’s where I’m choosing.

Thread the tail of the arm with a needle and go into


the first stitch on the body. Then come out where
you’ll want the second stitch.

170
You’ll then go into the stitch on the arm from
the outside and back into the stitch on the body
where you came out.

Then come out from the next spot around on the


body and continue the pattern.

171
The last stitch should come out of the body exactly
where the very first stitch went in.

If it’s not stuffed yet, you can knot it on the inside


to make sure it doesn’t come un-done.

172
Its going to be a lot easier if the body isn’t stuffed
and sewn closed, but not impossible to do.

If you already have sewn the body shut come out


somewhere close to the end so you can knot it down
and stuff the knot back in.

173
If you have to sew two things on just make both
the tails come out from the same stitch, knot them
together, and stuff them back in the body.

That’s how I sew amigurumi pieces together.


Sometimes it can be a little confusing and take a
few tries, so be patient.

Stuffing and sewing something closed is a lot easier


and more straight forward though, which we’ll be
learning next.
174
Sewing Closed

Watch the video: | crocheting101.com/ch10-6

If you’re making amigurumi or any kind of stuffed


project, you’ll need to know how to stuff and sew
a piece closed. You might already know this from
our project when we made a sphere or hacky sack,
but let’s go over it again.

So here we have a sphere that’s ready to be stuffed


and sewn together. We just finished our last Rnd,
which was to decrease in each stitch around and
now there are 6 stitches in the circle. After the final
decrease, we cut the end leaving a decent amount
of a tail to use for sewing closed and pulled it all
the way through with our crochet hook.
175
Start off by stuffing it. You can probably find stuffing
at the closest craft store, or just use the insides of
an old pillow!

I like to use a pencil when I stuff because the rubber


eraser holds the stuffing a bit. Push the stuffing
into the hole somewhat sideways rather than just
jabbing it in, this helps the pencil grip more stuffing.

When our piece is stuffed as much as you’d like it


to be, thread the tail end with a needle.

176
Here are our 6 stitches, and this one is the last hole
from the Rnd before the final Rnd, you’ll be using
this hole too.

6
5 0
4
1
3 2

We’re going to number them to make it easier, the


final stitches will be 1-6 and the other hole will be 0.

Start by going into the top of stitch 3, across, and


back out through 0.

177
Pull it somewhat tight, but I would avoid pulling
the loops too tight until the end because the
stitches are going get pulled together and it can
be confusing on where to go next.

Now go down into 4, across, and out of 1.

Then into 5 and out of 2.

178
You can pull the whole thing tight now and finish
up by going into stitch 6.

Poke the end out of the side of the piece you can
either cut it here or go back through the bottom.

179
This should keep your piece closed. But if you’re
nervous about it opening up, make a knot at the end.

You might have to do this for the hacky sack for


example because you’re kicking it around so much.

And that’s all there is to stuffing and sewing a


piece closed. Make sure to add anything you need
to the piece before sewing it closed, like faces or
eyes, because it’s going to be pretty tough to add
anything else after stuffing and sewing it closed.
180
The Magic Loop Method

Watch the video: | crocheting101.com/ch10-7

The Magic Loop, sometimes “Magic Ring” method


in crocheting is an alternate way to get started
when crocheting In the Round. The method I usually
use is the Ch 2 method, where you simply chain 2
and work your stitches into the 2nd chain from the
hook.
Ch 2 Method Magic Loop Method

While the ch 2 method might be better for beginners


due to it’s simplicity, the Magic Loop method
definitely has some pros. The main being that it
keeps a very tight hole in the center and you don’t
have to worry about an oversized opening in the
beginning of your piece. It is a bit more complicated
to achieve though.
181
To make the Magic Loop method, wrap the yarn
around your index finger 3 times, holding the end
attached to the ball in your bottom three fingers, and
the tail end between your middle and ring finger.

Insert the hook under the first two loops and yarn
over using the third loop

182
Pull this through the first two loops, yarn over
and pull through again, basically making a chain
around the first two loops.

You can now pull it off of your finger, and work


a single crochet around the two loops.

183
Make the rest of the stitches you’ll need for Rnd
1, in this case 6 scs total, so we need five more.

Pull the top loop, which should tighten the bottom


loop. Make it as tight as you think you’ll need.

184
And pull the tail to tighten the top loop.

Now continue as you normally would by single


crocheting into the first single crochet made, but be
sure to work around this tail end to hide it and make
sure that the magic loop doesn’t come undone.

Magic Loops are a great alternative to the Ch 2


method, but they can be tricky to get right. I still find
myself more often using the Ch 2 method because
of it’s simplicity, but I can’t deny the benefits to the
Magic Loop method.
185
The Treble / Triple Stitch
tr

Watch the video: | crocheting101.com/ch10-8

The Treble, or Triple Crochet Stitch is, as you’d


probably guess is essentially the Double Crochet
with one more step. It’s abbreviated as “tr” and is
slightly larger than the double crochet. I don’t use
them often if ever, but they can be a good way
to add more design to a beanie and they’re used
often in “shells” or groups of stitches.

186
Yarn over twice.

Insert the hook into the next stitch, yarn over


and pull through.

187
Yarn over and pull through two loops on the hook.

Yarn over and pull through two loops


on the hook again.

188
Yarn over and pull through two loops on the hook
one final time to finish the stitch.

Treble Crochets need 4


extra chains to skip in the
beginning of a Row, or
added to the beginning
chains to continue up
evenly.

189
Project 7
HoHwo
wto tC
o rC
orcohceht eat FariCelnadssh i e
e l e t
B
icipBe r
a n
a c

Watch the video: | crocheting101.com/pr7

This is our final project for Crocheting 101, and be


prepared, this is a bit of a doozy. It will likely take you
a few days to finish your first beanie, but when you
get good at it, you can finish one in just a few hours.
In this Project we’ll be putting together everything
we’ve learned from Crocheting 101.

190
This beanie pattern is designed to be multipurpose
and can be worn as a slouchy beanie or a simple skull
cap and I’ll be teaching you how to make it in sizes
Extra Small to Extra Large so that it can fit nearly any
head. I’ll also be teaching you how to make pom-
poms to add to the top.

Anatomy of a Beanie:

Body
Brim

o m
m-p
Po

191
The Materials
• Yarn: Medium Weight Acrylic / Wool
- Around 170 yards
• Hook: Size I9 / 5.50mm
• Other: Scissors and a Needle to sew in ends

The Stitches
Ch = Chain Stitch (Chapter 2)
St = Stitch
Sc = Single Crochet (Chapter 3)
Inc = Increase (Chapter 4)
Sc2tog = Single Crochet 2 Together (Chapter 5)
Hdc = Half - Double Crochet (Chapter 6)
Sl.st = Slip Stitch (Chapter 10)
BLO = Back Loops Only

*Optional Dc = Double Crochet (Chapter 7)


192
Rnds 1 - 13 should be the same regardless of the size.
After Rnd 13 I’ll let you know how to make it different
sizes. The size you’ll need depends on the size of your
head of course. I have a bit of a tiny head, so for me,
a small size fits snug to my head, and a medium size
is just a slightly looser fit, which is also nice. When
in doubt, go larger because an oversized beanie is
more useful than an undersized beanie.

To get the same measurements as me, make sure your


gauge matches. There should be 3 Stitches and 4 Rnds
per 1”.

1
1 2 3 2
3
4

Headsup, these small numbers under the Rnd correlate


to the video for this pattern so you can quickly find
your place.

Rnd 2
11:12

193
11:12 / 1:01:38
The Body

Ch 2 or use the magic loop method

Rnd 1: Work 6 sc in 2nd ch from hook


02:16 or into the magic loop (6)

Rnd 2:
inc (sc 2) in each st (12)
02:57

Rnd 3:
[sc 1, inc] repeat 6 times (18)
03:18

Rnd 4:
[sc 2, inc] repeat 6 times (24)
03:48

Rnd 5:
[sc 3, inc] repeat 6 times (30)
04:15

Rnd 6:
sc in each st (30)
04:45

Rnd 7:
[sc 4, inc] repeat 6 times (36)
05:16

Rnd 8:
[sc 5, inc] repeat 6 times (42)
05:57

Rnd 9:
sc in each st (42)
06:20
194
The Body (Continued)

Rnd 10:
[sc 6, inc] repeat 6 times (48)
06:41

Rnd 11:
[sc 7, inc] repeat 6 times (54)
07:24

Rnd 12:
sc in each st (54)
08:08

Rnd 13: [sc 8, inc] repeat 6 times (60)


08:27 Skip to Rnd N for Extra Small Size

Rnd 14:
sc in each st (60)
09:11

Rnd 15: [sc 9, inc] repeat 6 times (66)


09:27 Skip to Rnd N for Small Size

Rnd 16:
sc in each st (66)
10:11

Rnd 17: [sc 10, inc] repeat 6 times (72)


10:24 Skip to Rnd N for Medium Size

Rnd 18:
sc in each st (72)

Rnd 19: [sc 11, inc] repeat 6 times (78)


Skip to Rnd N for Large Size
195
The Body (Continued)

Rnd 20:
sc in each st (78)

Rnd 21:
[sc 12, inc] repeat 6 times (84)

You can repeat increasing Rnds for even larger sizes.

Rnd N

The number “N” is going to be used for a couple of


things in this pattern and is different depending on
the size beanie you made. Here’s how to find N:
N = (Final Stitch Count) ÷ 6

Here’s a quick cheat sheet to find N for each size:


XS = 10 S = 11 M = 12 L = 13 XL = 14

For the rest of the Body of the beanie:

Rnd N:
sc in each st (?)
11:52

Repeat N Rnds or until you feel it’s long enough.

The Body should be just long enough to just barely


cover your ears.

196
Before Rnd N

For style, during Rnd N, replace 2 Rnds of scs for


1 Rnd of dcs.

After Rnd N

197
The Brim

Ch N + 2
(XS = 12, S = 13, M = 14, L = 15, XL = 16)

Turn, skip 2 chs and hdc in each ch down,


Row 1: but stop 1 ch before the end.

sc2tog by pulling 1 loop through the final


ch and 1 loop through the connecting st on
the beanie’s rim .
13:02
Working into rim sts, sl.st 3 (N + 3 sl.sts)

198
Row 2:
Turn, skip 3 sl.sts, Working in BLO,
hdc in each st up (N)
14:15

199
Turn, ch 2, skip the chs.
Row 3:
Working in BLO, hdc in each st down,
Stop 1 stitch early.

sc2tog by pulling a loop through the


connecting loop and the connecting st on
the beanies rim
14:50
Working into rim sts, sl.st 3 (N + 3 sl.sts)

Connecting Loop

Connecting st

200
Repeat Rows 2 and 3 until you reach the
beginning brim chs you made prior to Row 1.

When you get to the end, there should be no more


stitches on the brim for you to work into.

Cut the yarn leaving a long end for sewing together,


ch 1 and pull the yarn all the way through.

201
Thread the tail on a needle and sew the brim together
with a whip stitch by working into the beginning chs
made before Row 1 and the back loops only (BLO)
from the sts of the last Row you made.

Make sure to pull it tight every now and then.

202
When you get to the bottom and there are no more
sts to work into, hide the tail into a few stitches on the
beanies rim and cut the yarn close to fully hide it.

Your beanie is now finished! Fold up the brim to


wear it as a normal beanie, or leave it down to
wear it as a slouchy beanie.
203
How to make a Pom Pom

Watch the video: | crocheting101.com/pr7-2

Hold the yarn in your palm with your thumb


in between your index and middle fingers.

Begin wrapping the yarn around your


two fingers.

204
Wrap the yarn many times around. The more you
wrap it the more dense your pom pom will be.

Cut the yarn and place the newly cut end into the
gap between your hand and the wrapped yarn.

Place the yarn here, this might be easier


with a crochet hook.

205
Wrap the pulled through yarn around the outside
and through the gap again 2 more times.

Pull tight and remove the yarn from the fingers.

206
Double knot the ends and tie it tight.

Cut the loops.

Make sure all the loops are cut.

207
Trim the pom pom so that the ends are even and
it’s more of a sphere.

Now begin sewing the pom pom onto the top of


the beanie.

208
Double knot the ends on the inside and cut them close.

You can hide these ends in, but it’s not necessary.

209
Kickstarter Backers

Extra special thank you to all the Kickstarter backers


that helped make Crocheting 101 a reality:

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210
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Sean Emmett Thompson Heather Galanty
Alison Kathleen Young Tejeda
Leith Macdonald Hermione Flavia
Rickard Björkman Rebecca
Tarna Warden Jon Cozart
Jessica Trinnick Beth
Eugene Eugenio Rebecca D Sowell
Susan Jackson Cotty
Vanessa Norton Alyssa Medina
Carole Simard Renato Verdugo
Diana Hirsch Julia McQuillan
AuVergne Maynard Andy
Alycia Harris Zack Fernandes
Amanda S White
DeAnna Rossi Kim Hogan
Donna Adams Sara Schaab
Mesiah Bane Bobby (Love you dad)
Tonio Tiffany June Lin
MyCatIke Mary Mensinger (Love you
Liz Root too mom)
Anne Allen Lisa
Kari Miller Kara Bancroft
William McQuillian Eve Underwood
Suberbanrelapse Carla
Jimmy Garrido Kaitlyn
Nicole Wilkinson Ryan McCabe

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About the Author

Louie Mensinger is a self-taught and avid crocheter.


Known for his popular website, Louie’s Loops, Louie
now creates amigurumi patterns and is an active part of
the crocheting and craft community. He’s continuously
finding new creative ways to use crochet by creating
monsters, puppets, and yarnimations (a term he uses to
describe his stop-motion crocheted animation), which
serve to help him interact with his fans, peers, and other
talented hookers.

Louie learned his beginning crochet stitches the old


fashioned way--through YouTube, and quickly began
“inventing” new techniques to make his ideas a reality.
He started small, creating fun and interesting projects for
his friends and family before moving on to create his own
Etsy site. Not long after, when moving onto writing his
patterns, Louie realized many of his “invented“ stitches
already existed, but often were done using different
techniques. This led him to creating his own YouTube
channel, Louie’s Loops, where he could explain his
alternative crochet techniques as well as teach people
how to crochet his creations.

Crocheting 101 is Louie’s debut ebook


and venture into beginning crochet
tutorials, and he looks forward
to revolutionizing the learning
process and make learning
accessible to as many people
as possible. Louie is a man
of many talents, including
animation, swing-dancing,
drawing, and writing. He
is also learning to enjoy
green vegetables,
but don’t quote him
on that.
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