• How To's

    How to Half Double Crochet (HDC)

    Step by step photos showing how to do the half double crochet stitch.
    This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

    The half double crochet stitch is a simple, basic and versatile stitch. In terms of height, this stitch is half way between a single crochet and a double crochet stitch. This tutorial will show you how to do the half double crochet stitch with simple, step-by-step photos and instructions.

    When the half double crochet stitch is used in a pattern, it will be abbreviated as HDC.

    Step 1: Make a slip knot and chain your desired number of stitches. Yarn over (YO) and insert your hook into the third chain (CH) from the hook through the center of the V and under the back bar of the chain. (You will never work in the 1st chain from the hook unless it is specified in the pattern).

    how to crochet a chain
    first step of how to crochet half double crochet stitch

    Step 2: Yarn over (YO) your hook and pull the yarn through the chain. You will now have three loops on your hook.

    second step of how to hdc

    Step 3: Yarn over (YO) your hook and pull through all three loops on your hook. You will have one loop remaining on your hook. One half double crochet stitch (HDC) completed.

    how to half double crochet stitch

    Step 4: Yarn over and insert your hook into the next chain (CH) through the center of the V and under the back bar of the chain. Yarn over (YO), pull through the chain. You will now have three loops on your hook. Yarn over (YO) and pull through all three loops on your hook. You will have one loop remaining on your hook. This is your second half double crochet stitch (HDC) completed.

    Repeat Step 4 in each remaining chain.

    To add a second (or more) row(s):
    To add a second row of HDC stitches, chain 2 and turn your work counterclockwise. You’ll now be working across the tops of the stitches you just made.

    How to start second row of half double crochet, how many chains to start half double crochet

    If you would like to support my blog, you can do so by doing your regular shopping on Amazon. As an Amazon affiliate, I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases made through my Amazon link, which in turn helps to support the blog so I can keep bringing you patterns and great content like this for free.

    Step 1: Yarn over and insert your hook into the last stitch of the previous row under top 2 loops (often referred to as the first stitch because it is the first stitch of this row), yarn over (YO) and pull through the stitch. Yarn over (YO) and pull through all three loops on your hook. One HDC Stitch completed.
    Note: The chain 2 does not count as a stitch unless the pattern tells you otherwise

    in progress hdc stitch
    photo tutorial half double crochet
    completed stitch

    Step 2: Yarn over (YO) and insert your hook into the next stitch, yarn over (YO) and pull through the stitch. Yarn over (YO) and pull through all three loops on your hook. One HDC stitch completed.

    in progress hdc stitch
    last step of hdc stitch
    completed half double crochet stitch

    Step 3: Repeat Step 2 in each remaining HDC stitch across.

    Two rows of half double crochet stitch

    To add more rows, you would repeat the instructions for adding your second row until your piece reaches the desired size.

    Completed swatch of half double crochet stitches

    I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial! Please don’t forget to pin and share this post. Like stitch tutorials? Check out my Foundation Half Double Crochet Stitch Tutorial! Want a pattern that uses this stitch? Check out my Sloth Cup Cozy Pattern.

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  • How To's

    How to Single Crochet (SC)

    step by step photos showing how to do the single crochet stitch.
    This post may contain affiliate links.

    The single crochet stitch is a simple, basic and versatile stitch. This stitch is used extensively in amigurumi patterns as it creates a dense, closed fabric. This tutorial will show you how to do the single crochet stitch with simple, step-by-step photos and instructions.

    When the single crochet stitch is used in a pattern, it will be abbreviated as SC.

    Step 1: Make a slip knot and chain your desired number of stitches. Insert your hook into the second chain (CH) from the hook through the center of the V and under the back bar of the chain. (You will never work in the 1st chain from the hook unless it is specified in the pattern).

    Step One of the Single Crochet Stitch
    Step Two of the Single Crochet Stitch

    Step 2: Yarn over (YO) your hook and pull the yarn through the stitch. You will now have two loops on your hook.

    Step Three of the Single Crochet Stitch

    Step 3: Yarn over (YO) your hook and pull through both loops on your hook. You will have one loop remaining on your hook. One SC completed.

    Step 4: Insert your hook into the next chain (CH) through the center of the V and under the back bar of the chain. Yarn over (YO), pull through the stitch. You will now have two loops on your hook. Yarn over (YO) and pull through both loops on your hook. You will have one loop remaining on your hook. This is your second single crochet stitch (SC) completed.

    Repeat Step 4 in each remaining chain.

    Completed Row of Single Crochet Stitches
    Completed first row of single crochet stitches

    If you would like to support my blog, you can do so by doing your regular shopping on Amazon. As an Amazon affiliate, I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases made through my Amazon link, which in turn helps to support the blog so I can keep bringing you patterns and great content like this for free.

    To add a second (or more) row(s):
    To add a second row of single crochet, chain 1 and turn your work counterclockwise. You’ll now be working across the tops of the stitches you just made.

    Starting the second row of crochet stitches

    Step 1: Insert your hook into the last stitch of the previous row under top 2 loops (often referred to as the first stitch because it is the first stitch of this row), yarn over (YO) and pull through the stitch.
    Note: The chain 1 does not count as a stitch unless the pattern tells you otherwise

    Stitch Tutorial for beginner crocheters

    Step 2: Yarn over (YO) and pull through both loops on your hook. One Single Crochet Stitch completed.

    Completed first stitch

    Step 3: Insert your hook into the next stitch, yarn over (YO) and pull through the stitch. Yarn over (YO) and pull through both loops on your hook. One Single Crochet Stitch completed.

    Step 3: Repeat Step 2 in each remaining single crochet stitch across.

    Second completed row of single crochet stitches

    To add more rows, you would repeat the instructions for adding your second row until your piece reaches the desired size.

    Single Crochet Stitch Swatch

    I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial! Please don’t forget to pin and share this post. Like stitch tutorials? Check out my Foundation Single Crochet Stitch Tutorial! Want a pattern that uses the Single Crochet Stitch? Check out my Carter the Carrot Amigurumi Pattern.

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  • How To's

    How to Get Your Crojo Back: Overcoming Creative Block as a Crocheter

    This post may contain affiliate links.

    We’ve all been there. You want to pick up your crochet hook and get started on your next project but you’re not sure what to make. You try a few things and nothing feels right. Then it hits you: maybe you’ve lost your “crojo” (crochet mojo). I’ve been there on a number of occassions and it can be frustrating. Here are some ideas for helping you overcome your creavtive block and get your crojo back.

    Just Make Something… Anything!

    This one works for me when I suspect that my creative block may actually be just indecision. I check out my Ravelry Queue and I eenie miny moe that shit. Then, I just make it. Full disclosure: sometimes I get my kids to pick it for me so I don’t cheat with this process! Then I just work on the project. Even if I feel like I hate it and I want to frog it, I just push through. The relaxation that comes from crocheting tends to kick in and I get into the project. Once I’m done I’m ready to tackle something new and get creative again.

    Go Through Your Stash

    When just making something doesn’t work, I shop my own stash. I am an incredibly tactile person so I touch different yarns and just go wherever my eye takes me. I have a few skeins of yarn that I keep around just as inspiration (don’t tell my husband this. I keep saying I’ll make something with them someday). These yarns are beautiful and inspire me in different ways. Sometimes all it takes is a good old fashioned yarn cuddle to get the juices flowing. (Check out my tips HERE for organizing your yarn stash.)

    Check Out a Stitch Dictionary

    After checking my yarn stash I tend to break out my stitch dictionaries to see if anything there sparks interest. It typically does. Sometimes I just grab a ball of yarn and a stitch dictionary and do some swatches. This kind of ties back to my first point. Just make something. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had inspiration strike while making swatches. Plus, these swatches could be seamed together later to make another project. Score! (THIS book is a good stitch dictionary to start with.)

    Surf the Net!

    Pinterest is a wonderful thing and inspiration is plentiful. Do a search for crochet and literally a million results comes up. Explore the results. Discover new makers and projects. Be sure to pin anything great you find so you don’t lose it (and you support the maker at the same time!). You can follow me on Pinterest HERE to see the pins that I’m pinning.

    Youtube is great for inpiration too! Search for crochet stitches to learn a new technique, crochet patterns and tips. There are so many incredible makers creating videos on Youtube that you’re sure to find something great to inspire you.

    Try Instagram too! There are so many stunning projects shared by makers on Instagram everyday that it can make your head spin. Try searching using the hashtags #theloopylamb #crochet, #yarnpunk, #crochetersofinstagram, #amigurumi and #crochetgirlgang to get you started. You can follow me on Instagram HERE.

    If you would like to support my blog, you can do so by doing your regular shopping on Amazon. As an Amazon affiliate, I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases made through my Amazon link, which in turn helps to support the blog so I can keep bringing you patterns and great content like this for free.

    Take a Break

    I know, I know. This is a blasphemy to even suggest but let’s be real. Sometimes, you just need to take a break. Go for a walk, exercise, have coffee with friends, meditate, take a nap. Do whatever helps you relieve stress and recharges you. Personally, I love to put on some energetic music and go for a walk.

    I hope that this has given you some ideas on how to get your crojo back. What do you do to try to get your crojo back? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!

    Want to try some fun crochet projects each using some different techniques to get the crojo flowing? Check out my free crochet patterns for The Bobblelicious Bag, Carter the Carrot, The Vendbar Tote, The Mad About Boo Pillow and The Crochet Tartan Cowl.


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  • How To's

    How to Organize Your Yarn Stash

    up close image of yarn


    This post may contain affiliate links.
    This is an unsponsored post. All opinions are my own.

    This week I wanted to talk about some tips to organize your yarn stash. I can appreciate crocheter’s that have it all together. You know the ones I’m talking about. The people sharing pictures on Instagram and Facebook of their yarn stash beautifully organized in a room that has never had a child in it. Everything is perfectly in it’s place. They have their hooks organized in beautiful containers and they’re sorted by size. If you’re one of those people, I bow down to you, yarn organization god/goddess. I will think of your yarn room jealously as I search for the crochet hook that I have forgotten in my mom bun…again.

    I’m guilty of having multiple works in progress which I leave on my side table so they are accessible when I fancy picking them up again. I always vow to do better but I follow my creativity and then forget I vowed to do better… yeah, I kinda suck. After my son recently told me “Mom, your yarn is everywhere” I realized it was time to get my sh** together and organize my yarn stash for good this time.

    Let’s put this out there now: there is no one right way to do this. This is all up to personal preference. So if you start organizing your yarn and then realize that it just isn’t working for you, try something different. Just do what works for you and your space.

    Assess Your Stash

    First things first, take a quick stock of what you have. You’re going to have to do this Marie Kondo style and just make a big old pile of all your yarn. Do you have more than you thought you had? *Eeek* Me too.

    Clean it Up

    Got a bunch of messy hanks/skeins/balls in your stash? Take the time to wind them up and make them look pretty again. It may seem tedious now when you have all this yarn laying about everywhere to put away but you’ll thank yourself later. This will help your yarn look it’s best when you put it away and could save space if you’ve got a bunch of messy skeins laying around.

    If you would like to support my blog, you can do so by doing your regular shopping on Amazon. As an Amazon affiliate, I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases made through my Amazon link, which in turn helps to support the blog so I can keep bringing you patterns and great content like this for free.

    Tame Those Scraps

    Got a bunch of scraps laying around? Maybe you’re saving them for a fun scrappy blanket or you’re like me and you use them as stuffing for amigurumi. If you’re going to keep them, get em organized. Put them in a container or wind them up if you can. I keep mine in a fun container that has opaque sides so they aren’t visible and they’re all contained.

    Decide How You Want to Sort It

    This can be done a few different ways. Here are a few organization method ideas to get you started:

    • Fiber content
    • Yarn Size
    • Yarn Packaging (i.e. yarn cakes together, yarn skeins together, yarn balls together, etc.)
    • Colour
    • Skein Size
    • Brand/Label

    Make sure that you keep yarn of the same dye lot together so you aren’t ripping your newly organized stash apart trying to find them later. My current stash is organized by colour and then by yarn weight within the colours.

    Write It Down

    This is a great opportunity to make a quick inventory of what you have. I like to keep my stash inventoried in an Excel workbook but Ravelry also has a great feature where you can track your yarn stash. It also gives you pattern suggestions for your yarn stash. Thanks Ravelry!

    Let it Go

    I’m totally singing the popular Disney song in my head as I type this and I did so as I sorted my stash too. If you’re not going to use it and/or it doesn’t inspire you – let it go my friend. I know it’s hard but there’s no sense in keeping if if you won’t use it. Gift it to another crafter, sell it or donate it. Oh look! Room for more yarn!

    Wrangle Your WIPs

    If you have a load of WIPs that are needing to be frogged, do it now so it isn’t hanging over your head. Wind the yarn up and add it to the stash. If you’re not going to do that, maybe donate your project to another crocheter that may be interested in completing it or is at least willing to frog it for the yarn. If you have other WIPs that are still in the queue, assign a specific place for them. I like to keep mine in project bags so it looks a little neater.

    Regardless of how you organize your stash, make sure it works for you and inspires you. I like opening my yarn cabinet and knowing that something will likely jump out at me (not literally, I just organized it!) and inspire me.

    I hope you enjoyed this article on how to organize your yarn stash. Which tip helped you the most? Happy organizing!

    Thanks for reading! Follow The Loopy Lamb on Facebook and Instagram! Sign up for my Newsletter to be kept in the loop and never miss a thing.

    Looking for more tips? Check out How to Get Your Crojo Back, How to Read a Yarn Label and The Best Christmas Gifts for Crocheters.

  • How To's

    How to Read a Yarn Label

    tangled yarn

    This post may contain affiliate links.
    This is an unsponsored post. All opinions are my own.

    When you’re a beginner, wanting to pick out yarn for that new project you’re wanting to tackle, it can be easy to get overwhelmed or confused by all the choices available. You pick up a pretty yarn and turn it over to look at the label and you have no idea what any of that means. What does that number on the yarn ball mean? What the heck are those little squares with the needles on them? It may not seem overly important at the time, especially if you’re just buying the yarn based on it’s squish-factor but that label has a lot of important info on it that you’ll need. Here I’ll walk you through how to read a yarn label so next time you go yarn shopping, you can easily determine what that label is trying to tell you and whether it’s the yarn you need.

    Here is a yarn label I have from a skein of Bernat Blanket yarn.

    How to Read a Yarn Label - Make sure you're buying the right yarn for your next project!

#yarnlabel #crochet #beginnercrochet #howto #interpretyarnlabel #howtocrochet
    1. Weight: Whenever you see this symbol, it indicates what the weight of the yarn is. Yarn weight standards are determined by the Craft Yarn Council. You can check out their standards system HERE. This particular yarn is a super bulky weight yarn.
    2. Knitting Gauge: This symbols shows the knitting gauge of the yarn. You should be able to get a 10cm x 10 cm or 4 in by 4 in square by knitting 8 stitches by 14 rows using 8mm needles.
    3. Crochet Gauge: This symbol shows crochet gauge of the yarn. You should be able to get a 10cm x 10 cm or 4 in by 4 in square by crocheting 6 single crochets stitches for 8 rows. The gauge information is helpful if you are considering substituting a yarn for your project. If the gauge on the yarn you want to use matches the gauge of the yarn the project calls for, generally, you should be able to use that yarn for your project.
    4. Washing Information: If you’re spending that time to create something, you’ll want to take care of it. The label includes information about how to care for your finished item made from the yarn. Symbol a) means that items are machine washable in cold water. Symbol b) means do not use bleach. Symbol c) means you can tumble dry this item on low heat (bonus!) Symbol d) means do not iron. Symbol e) means do not dry clean. You can get the list of what all the washing instruction symbols mean here at the Craft Yarn Council Website.
    5. Material(s): This tells you what the yarn is comprised of. In this case, 100% polyester. Some yarns are made of a blend of multiple fibers and how much of each fibre is used to make up the content will be listed here. I.e. 20% merino wool, 60% acrylic, 20% nylon.
    6. Net Weight, Yards/Meters: Here you’ll find how much yarn is in the skein. This information is vital. If your project needs 800 yards of Bernat Blanket yarn, you are going to need to make sure you buy enough yarn for your project. This skein has 220 yards of yarn in it so I would need to by 4 skeins in order to have enough for my project.

    If you would like to support my blog, you can do so by doing your regular shopping on Amazon. As an Amazon affiliate, I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases made through my Amazon link, which in turn helps to support the blog so I can keep bringing you patterns and great content like this for free.

    I hope this helps you decipher your yarn labels! Happy yarn shopping!

    Thanks for reading! Follow The Loopy Lamb on Facebook and Instagram! Sign up for my Newsletter to be kept in the loop and never miss a thing.

    Need to learn how to organize your yarn stash? Check out my tips HERE. Also check out my tips on How to Get Your Crojo Back while you’re here.