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How do I...?

These are mini-tutorials--questions that are asked a lot, but don’t require a whole page of explanation. Hopefully it’ll clear up some of the more common technical questions for you.

How do I...
...turn my work? (i.e. “ch 1, turn”)
...find my next chain?
...pull the hook through multiple loops?
...work “in same stitch”? (i.e. “3 sc in same stitch”)
...“skip” or “miss” a stitch? (i.e. “skip 1 chain,” “skip next sc”)
...“dc in the top ch of the tch”?
..."work a dc in next space" or “dc in next ch-2 sp”? What do they mean by "space"?
..."make a dc between..." What do they mean by "between"?
...measure a square?

How do I turn my work? (ie: “ch 1, turn”)

Many books don't tell you HOW to turn. They just tell you to do it. So I'm going to tell you HOW to do it. At least I'll try. When I get to the end of a row or round, I chain up to get to the proper height and then I push my square or project away from me and turn it clockwise. The Crochet Stitch Bible says you can turn either clockwise or counter-clockwise as long as you are consistent. My personal preference is clockwise. Just give it a push away from you and catch it up with your left hand.

Special circumstance - If you are working with more than one strand, the turning issue becomes more complicated. You will have to handle this on a case by case basis. Try to keep your strands separated, either in a container that holds several skeins, made for that purpose, or in plastic ziploc bags or empty, clean, 2-liter bottles. Anything to help in moving those skeins around so they don't get tangled. You   may want to turn your work one way on the first row and the other way on the second to keep your skeins from getting tangled.

Here is a video demonstration of turning your work.


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How do I find my next chain?

It’s important not to miss any stitches when you’re working into your foundation chain, or the rest of your pattern may not work out correctly. This video will help you to identify the next chain.


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How do I pull the hook through multiple loops?

This video gives a tip for when you have many loops on your hook and need to yarn over and pull yarn through all those loops. If your loops  are not pulled up enough it can be difficult to wiggle through those loops.


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How do I work “in same stitch”? (i.e. “3 sc in same stitch”)

To work in "same stitch" means exactly that. Wherever you worked the last stitch, work the next stitch or stitches into that very same place. It might be a group of stitches. For example, it might say "dc in next stitch, ch 2, (dc, ch 2, dc) in same stitch". That means you will place a (dc, ch 2, dc, ch 2, dc) all in one stitch. Of course, this could have been worded many ways, but I'm using this as an example of the term "same stitch".

Here is a video showing where to place your hook when working in the same stitch.


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How do I “skip” or “miss” a stitch? (i.e. “skip 1 chain,” “skip next sc”)

Depending on the publisher, this might be worded "miss one chain" or "miss next sc" rather than "skip". What this means is that instead of making your stitch into the next stitch, you pass over that one. You skip it. You don't work anything into it. Your next stitch will go into the stitch following that one. In other words, you work a stitch in one stitch, you do not work a stitch in the next stitch, and you make your next stitch in the stitch following that one.

Often, you will be told to chain a number of stitches, depending on how many you are told to skip. For example, if you are skipping one, then most likely you will have to chain 1. Not always, but often.

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How do I “dc in the top ch of the tch”?

When working in dc, once you get to the end of your row you need to chain up to bring your next row to the correct height. For some people, this means to chain 2, for other it means to chain 3. Even if your pattern says to chain 3, if you know that for you (if you work loosely or for whatever reason) chaining 2 would bring your row to the right height, then YOU should chain 2. That chain, which is your turning chain (tch) becomes the first dc of the next row.

When you get to the end of that next row, your last stitch will be the tch from the previous row. Your pattern is telling you that you need to put your last dc in that turning chain (tch).

Here are some pictures to illustrate. In the first picture I made my first dc in the fourth chain from hook of my foundation chain. So the tch is those first 3 chains. I find I have to sort of turn it to "face front" before I make my last stitch.

Here is a brief video on the turning chain.


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How do I "work a dc in next space" or “dc in next ch-2 sp”? What do they mean by "space"?

It doesn't mean “dc in next chain, and then make 2 spaces.” The “ch” when followed by a hyphen is considered one word. It is not “ch” and “2”, but rather “ch-2”. (Or 1 or 3 or however many.) And a space is, well, a place with nothing in it.

When a pattern wants you to make a chain stitch, it will say “ch 1,” with no hyphen. When the pattern says “ch-1” or “ch-2,” it is usually referring to chains which have already been made, not chains that you are being told to make at that time. It is often accompanied by “sp.” In other words, your pattern might say:

dc in next ch-2 sp
In this case, you are holding your hook and looking at the previous row (the row in which you are making your new stitches). The next thing on your row is 2 chains. The chains make a little space between your previous dc and your next dc. The designer wants you to put the stitches into the space made by the 2 chains. See pic below.

This terminology (a number with a hyphen) might also be used to join with a slip stitch in top of beginning ch-3. This means that when you get to the end of your present row or round, you are back at the ch-3 you made first to start your row or round. You need to join to this ch-3 to complete this round, so you can go up to the next. You look at that ch-3 and the top chain is where you want to place your hook and join with a slip stitch. If you began your work with a ch-2, same thing applies.

To find out what all the other abbreviations mean, go to the section entitled Reading Patterns.

Here is a video showing how to work into a space.


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How do I "make a dc between..." What do they mean by "between"?

Sometimes a pattern will call for you NOT to place your hook under the top two loops, or in the front or back loop of a stitch. The designer, in this case, wants you to place the stitch you're about to make, in the middle of two stitches.   For example, on the previous row you have double crochets. The pattern now calls for you to place a single crochet between stitches across therow. Yikes! Not to panic. You just skip over the first double crochet, but don't go INTO the second one. Before you get to the second one, nudge the first one over and place your hook in the space between the two stitches. Then you skip the next double crochet, and place your hook in the next space between the two stitches. And so on...between. You've got it.


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How do I measure a square?

Many crocheters donate squares to be made into afghans for charity. Often, such charities will ask for a specific size, and it’s important to know the proper way to measure so that everyone is on the same page and everything fits together nicely.

Crocheted squares are to be measured both horizontally and vertically. NOT diagonally. I suggest using a hard ruler rather than a flexible measuring tape.


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Copyright 1997 - 2016 by Sandra Petit. All rights reserved.

Crochet Cabana created October 1997 (domain name purchased March 2001)
Crochet Cabana’s Crafty Corral begun November 7, 2004.
The Crochet Cabana Blog begun May 2010.
Site update November 18, 2012.