So I'm no expert on crochet or anything but I thought a really basic step-by-step tutorial on how to crochet a beanie by a beginner might be helpful for some of the other beginners out there. I accidentally inserted the crochet hook into the wrong part of the stitch and made up a new stitch altogether (I think), I'll show you photos at the bottom of the post.
Basically I decided to teach myself to crochet for charity. I'm hoping to go on a medical student elective at the Mae Tao Clinic(MTC) at the end of the year on the Thai/Burma border. Do you ever read something sometimes and become inspired to do more, do something better with your life? I had one of those moments when I read up about the MTC, probably around the time that I decided I really really enjoyed women's health.
I think as a medical student in a developed country where medical assistance is only a phone call away, hospitals will dependably have the medications required for treatment and where home birth is a choice and not an inability to access proper healthcare, it is easy to forget what medicine is really all about and why we chose to study it in the first place.
The MTC is one of those really amazing inspiring places. It was set up over 20 years ago by Dr Cynthia Maung, a displaced Burmese doctor, as an interim solution to the situation in Burma at the time. The MTC treats over 150,000 cases a year of which 45% come direct from Burma for treatment because Burma is ranked 190th out of 191 countries by the WHO for their healthcare provision and its outcomes.
The funding from the MTC comes almost entirely from donations, many of which have fallen short this year. Last year they received 112 million Thai Baht (THB), the equivalent of $3.39 million AUD, the majority of which was from donated by governmental agencies and foundations. The decrease in funding has been attributed by the clinic’s spokeswoman to “a combination of the economic downturn in the West as well as a perception that things on the border should be okay because the media on Burma is all about political changes.” As a result the MTC is currently 10 million THB ($300,000 AUD) short on its budget, despite a voluntary 20% cut to the already low staff salaries, currently 3200 THB (97 AUD) per month.
So I'm hoping to spread the word. For those of you who can and would like to donate to the MTC or read more about them go here, they do a much better job of explaining what they do and how. And for those of you who crochet or knit, the Thai/Burma border can get quite chilly in their colder seasons and their newborns could do with some extra warmth, items can be sent to them or I can take them with me at the end of the year.
And for those of you who would like to learn how to crochet, for the MTC or other charities, or you actually know a baby who would like a beanie the step-by-step is below.
Resources I used
Link to pattern for the double crochet beanie - this website also has lots of good step by step photos (http://www.crochetspot.com/how-to-crochet-a-beanie-using-double-crochet-stitches/)
Good video of the basic stitches (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DlTdOMTDkug&list=FLZrMu7gTUqbfuRFyQwj9-Rg&index=2&feature=plpp_video)
How to hold the yarn:
- gave my hand some cramps by doing this weirdly - as you do
- Pull a length of yarn loose from the ball
- Grab the crochet hook in your right hand and loop it around your 4th and 5th fingers than loop it over your index finger
- To hold the yarn you need to clasp your 3rd, 4th and 5th fingers to your palm, and straighten your index finger.
- click on the picture to enlarge it; I thought I was being clever by showing them all in a row
- Use your thumb to hold the loose end of the yarn from the knot against your 3rd finger
- fold in your 4th and 5th fingers to your palm to hold the yarn taunt
- straighten your index finger
- Loop your yarn over your hook (2nd pic)
- Pull the loop of yarn through the looped knot already on the hook. (3rd pic)
- You should now have 1 loop on your hook. This is the first stitch you count on your chain.
- Insert the hook into the 5th chain from the hook (where the arrow was pointing)- top left pic
- Loop the yarn over the hook - top right pic
- Pull through both loops on your hook - bottom left pic
- You should now have one loop left on your hook - bottom right pic
- That was a slip stitch - pulling through all the loops on your hook so your left with one
Double Crocheting in the Loop:
- Pull the circle down so you have something to grip as you maneuver the hook
- Loop the yarn over the hook (2 loops on the hook now) - 1st pic
- Pop the hook inside the hole in the circle (the loop - where my thumb is pointing to) - this will make '3 loops' on the hook; now loop the yarn over the hook again = 4 loops on the hook - 2nd pic
- Pull the yarn through two stitches on the hook (through the circle and the stitch before it) = 2 loops on the hook
***It can be hard to maneuver the loops so you have enough space - it gets easier as you move outwards, for now use your nails to pull it through
Double Stitching in the Round:
- The needle is looped under the stitch - when it says to dc (double crochet) you need to go under the stitch as the hole to go through - same for when you sc (single crochet)
** I got rather confused and went between - it worked but probably not how it was meant to
- When I count the stitches of a double crochet I like to think of it as:
Start with 1 loop
Loop yarn over = 2 loops
Put through hole = 3 loops
Loop yarn over = 4 loops
Pull through 2 loops = 2 loops
Loop yarn over = 3 loops
Pull through 2 loops = 1 loop left!
BASICALLY - you need to pull through 2 loops always
A few notes on the pattern
- So I go very wary as to whether or not my beanie would turn out anything like what it was meant to, but once you get to round 10 it starts to curve down and look like beanie; before that it looks like a flat spiral
- 17 stitches should measure 3 inches as a rough guide
Crochet Pattern: Beanie
Round 1: ch 5, sl st in 5th ch from hook, 10 dc in loop, place marker
Round 2: 3 dc in each dc around = 30 stitches
Round 3: (2 dc in next dc, dc in next dc) around = 45 stitches (12,3,45,6,78,9...)
Round 4: (2 dc in next dc, dc in next 2 dc) around = 60 stitches (12,3,4,56,7,8,9...)
Round 5: (2 dc in next dc, dc in next 3 dc) around = 75 stitches (12,3,4,5,67....)
Round 6: (2 dc in next dc, dc in next 4 dc) around = 90 stitches (12,3,4,5,6,78...)
Round 7 – 15: dc in each dc around
- Once you get back to your marker after the 15 rows, pull it out
- You should have 1 loop on your hook
- Pop the hook into the next stitch (2 loop)
- Loop the yarn over the hook (3 loops)
- Pull through 1 loop (2 loops)
- Loop yarn over (3 loops)
- Pull through 2 loops (1 loop)
**This is a single crochet
- Repeat this in the next stitch
- Thread the tail onto a yarn needle
- To avoid a massive jump down in the stitches as you have made a spiral, thread the needle through the next few stitches in the last row of the beanie
- Thread the needle towards the centre leaving 1 - 2 cm of the tail free and take off the needle
- Stretch the beanie so the tail can stretch out, cut off the reminder.
You know how I said I popped the hook into the wrong part of the stitch, well the beanie on the bottom was the result. It does look like a beanie so I didn't realise anything was off for a while, and by then I had 3 beanies, anyways I like that crochet is forgiving.
PS. If you have any questions or would like to send me some beanies for the MTC just leave me a comment or send me a message