Does the Beginning Chain Count as a Stitch?

I get emails all the time asking for pattern help. One of the questions I hear the most is, “How do I know if the beginning chain is included in the stitch count?” – or similar versions of the same question. I can’t give you a simple “yes, you count it” or “no, do not include it in your stitch count.” However, I can offer you a way to figure it out based on the stitches being used.


Do You Count Beg Chain as a Stitch? - Some simple ways to decipher what the designer is thinking.


When to Count the Beginning Chain


“Do I count the beginning chain of each row in the stitch count?” This question seems like it should have a simple yes or no response, but it doesn’t and here’s why.

First and foremost, every designer writes there patterns differently. If it’s not listed one way or another in the pattern all you can do is use your best educated guess. The second reason it’s hard to make it a simple yes or no is because a lot of times it might be based on the stitch being used and not necessarily the pattern. So how do you know? Below is a basic breakdown of whether or not to count the chain as part of the stitch count.


Beginning Chain Breakdown


The general consensus with patterns is “not unless it tells you to” but I have found that isn’t always the case and there’s more to it than that. For instance, take a square/afghan type project. Looking at the 4 basic crochet stitches I would make these assumptions.

  • Ch 1 – Almost never. I would say this one is the easiest to figure out. For all the tech editing I do for publishers and designers, the only time a ch 1 is ever counted as a stitch is if it actually says to count it.
  • Ch 2 – About 50/50. Ch 2 is primarily used at the beginning of a hdc row/round. From my experience it is counted as a stitch about 50% of the time. If it doesn’t say I would assume it would fall under the “not unless it tells you to” rule.
  • Ch 3 – Yes, it normally counts as dc. Not all designers say it, but I think it’s assumed to count it, especially at the beginning of a row.
  • Ch 4 – Yes, it normally counts as treble. Again, I think it’s assumed to count it unless otherwise noted, especially at the beginning of a row.


Now here’s the catch. This isn’t 100% all the time. It’s a best guess for a pattern that doesn’t say either way. I’m going off “majority rule” for what I have seen in my experience with publishers and indie designers. Just use your best judgement, and maybe even try to contact the designer to verify if you’re still unsure.

If you need stitch tutorials, please visit my Stitch Guide for more help.


Happy Crocheting!

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Make Money Teaching Crochet Book Review

Have you ever wanted use your crochet skills to make money? Teaching crochet is just one of the many ways and Make Money Teaching Crochet is chock full of information on how to get started. (Make sure you read to the bottom for a giveaway!)


Make Money Teaching Crochet - Launch Your Business, Increase Your Side Income, Reach More Students

 *This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you subscribe or purchase something through the links provided. Please note: I will never become an affiliate partner for a product or service that I don’t use and love! Not all links are affiliates.


Make Money Teaching Crochet


Author: Marie Segares is a crochet and knitting teacher, designer, blogger, and podcaster. She hosts the Creative Yarn Entrepreneur Show, the podcast where you can find great ideas for launching, managing, and evolving your yarn-related business, and shares her patterns, tips, and projects on the Underground Crafter blog. Since she began teaching crochet part time in 2008, she has taught hundreds of beginners to crochet and helped even more improve their skills. Marie is a professional member of, and volunteer blogger for, the Crochet Guild of America, a designer/teacher member of The Knitting Guild Association, and an affiliate member of The National NeedleArts Association. Marie is a graduate of Barnard College and earned master’s degrees from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and New York University Stern School of Business. She lives in New York City..


What’s Inside….


The book is 91 pages and is broken down into 5 sections. This makes it easy to find the information you’re looking for, especially if you want to go back to find something at a later date.

  1. Getting Started goes over the 5 W’s (and the H) of teaching crochet so that you can discover what kind of teacher you’d like to be.
  2. The Business Side of Things gets you thinking about whether or not you should be setting your teaching venture up as a business. It covers everything from the legal side of things to pricing and payment options you should offer your students.
  3. Marketing (It’s Not a Dirty Word) – The marketing section covers everything you think about marketing (social media) and beyond.
  4. Prepping for Class covers things you need to mentally prepare for as well as things you should physically bring. (Note: Some of the items she lists are great! I would have never thought of them because they’re not crochet related.)
  5. Resources is a great section! It has everything. Resources for setting up your own links, as well as everything imaginable that you might need for your teaching business. An invaluable section!

This book is perfect for anyone who has an interest in making money teaching crochet. Marie walks you through the step-by-step of everything you could possibly think of and even covers some things you won’t think of. She’s done the homework and she’s passing on all the info she’s learned over the years directly to you. When you read through the “who, what, when, where, why” section take notes! You might just learn something about yourself and where you’d like your teaching business to go.




Ok, here’s my overall honest opinion. When I first opened the book and saw that it was 91 pages, I wondered how Marie came up with that many pages of content on becoming a crochet teacher. But as I read it (yes, I read the entire 91 pages) I was honestly amazed. She thought of everything! And it’s not from a repetitive standpoint like so many self-published books are nowadays, just to make the book longer. It’s genuine material cover to cover. If you’ve ever wanted or considered teaching crochet I’m going to highly recommend Make Money Teaching Crochet. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

***Marie is offering to give away a copy of her book to one of my readers. To enter leave a comment telling me if you’ve ever taught someone to crochet (or have considered teaching). Winner will be drawn on July 11th.***

For more information on how to make money in the crochet industry, read my article Choosing Your Crochet Profession.

Happy Crocheting!

 *Disclaimer* – This book was provided to me for a review, but all opinions are strictly my own.
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3 Crochet Terms that You Might be Misusing

There are three crochet terms that are commonly misused….or so I thought. While researching to find out why these 3 words are being used wrong, I realized something – They aren’t….or are they? My theories about them were on the right track but there is, in fact, additional things I found that I hadn’t considered. Keep reading….


3 Crochet Terms you may be misusing - Find out which words are being used incorrectly. Hint: It's not a pompom!


3 Commonly Misused
Crochet Terms


At some point over the years I just noticed things that didn’t line up with older patterns. Of course this drove the editor in me crazy, so I set out to find a rational answer. What I found was interesting…. There are 3 crochet terms that have changed over the years. I don’t know why or when, but now we are saying them differently! 


Do you know these crochet terms?


Triple crochet stitch – It actually did not originate as the triple crochet stitch. It was originally called the treble crochet stitch. Treble means triple, and you yarn over 3 times during the stitch, which is where the triple comes from. (Plus it’s 3x the height of a sc.) There are certain places it just doesn’t sound right. Example: If you have a triple treble you’re now going to call it a triple triple stitch – which just doesn’t sound right to me. In fact, triple crochet is not technically wrong, it’s just not the original terminology used in patterns.


Pompom – This one may shock some of you. It’s not a pompom! It’s actually a pompon. I have no idea when or how I realized this, but I went searching to be sure I was right. Compare these two definitions taken straight from

  • Pompom is “an automatic antiaircraft cannon.”
  • Pompon is “an ornamental tuft or ball of feathers, wool, or the like,used on hats, slippers, etc.”

At the bottom of pompon there is a clause in there that states “pompom” is now used in its place, most likely because we’ve been using it wrong for so many years!


Ravel / Unravel – Because of certain clues I had seen over time, the term ravel was a little confusing to me. Most crocheters use the term unravel in reference to anything that you have to frog (pull out, start over, etc.) or a project that “unravels” and comes apart. I was even more confused when I realized the term ravel is similarly used to mean the same thing. had the first definition of both of these written almost identically.

  • Unravel – to separate or disentangle the threads of (a woven or knitted fabric, rope, etc.).
  • Ravel – to disentangle or unravel the threads or fibers of (a woven or knitted fabric, rope, etc.).

Wait?!?! Why are both “a” definitions ultimately the same? The problem solver in me had to figure it out. This basically turned into a word study for me as I dissected the 2 words. (Yes, sometimes I turn into a grammar geek.) While some dictionaries had almost identical meanings, as shown above, the more research I did the more I realized they were/are opposites. In addition to the definitions above, here are a couple others that were listed.

  • Unravel – to take apart; undo; destroy
  • Ravel – to tangle or entangle.

Why are the first and second definition of ravel opposites? I kept digging (some things drive me crazy!) The best I can figure, based on my research, is that RAVEL is the British term for our American UNRAVEL. (source: In either case I think you’re safe using either of these words, after all, I might be the first one to ever question it!


In conclusion…

To sum it up, I think the only word that we are using incorrectly is pompom. For the most part, any of the other words can can now be used interchangeably. After all, it’s all about the love of crochet.


Happy Crocheting!

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5 Tools Every Crocheter Needs

There are basic tools every crocheter needs; tools of the trade that you will find in almost any crocheters bag. There are some you need, and some that are just nice to have. For those just starting out on their crochet journey, I’ve compiled a list of 5 told every crocheter needs.


5 Tools Every Crocheter Needs - Plus, find out which brands I use & recommend.


5 Tools Every Crocheter Needs


I’ve come up with a list of 5 things every crocheter should have in their project bag. Most of these are obvious, especially if you’ve been crocheting for any amount of time, but if you’re a just learning to crochet or haven’t started yet but want to learn, this list is a great list to help you get started.

Note: There are so many brands out there,that you may have to try a few out to find what’s right for you. I am just recommending brands I currently use and am happy with.


Crochet HooksTulip Etimo is hands down my favorite hook. I actually bought two entire sets to have just in case one (or more) of them disappears….because my hooks seem to grow legs! If you’re unsure about trying these hooks, or any ergo hooks, read my post Choosing the Right Ergonomic Hook.



Stitch Markers – I’ve tried many over the years and I’ll use a few different brands, but the Clover Lock Ring stitch markers are definitely my first choice. They are sturdy and they lock (if you want them to).



Scissors – I love fold up scissors. There’s nothing worse than poking your yarn with the point of the scissors. I’ve been very happy with my Fiskars. They fold up, they’re sturdy, and they work well on yarn.


Fiskars Travel Folding Scissors


Yarn Needles – There are all different kinds of yarn needles. Everything from plastic to metal, straight to bent tip. About 2 years ago I switched from plastic to metal and I will never go back. No more snaggin on the yarn! I use Chibi needles by Clover and I love them. I prefer the bent tip, but straight works well too.


Clover Chibi - 5 Tools Every Crocheter Needs


Measuring Tape – I love my crochet happy tape measure. I own quite a few from when I was a retail distributor for them and am sad to see my stash dwindling.


Crochet Happy - 5 Tools Every Crocheter Needs




While there are many other tools you could add to your project bag, I don’t consider them necessities. Things like hook cases, row counters, support gloves, and even a gauge checker. (This one will check your gauge, needle size, and hook sizes for you.)

For those who have been crocheting a while, what tools would you recommend?

Happy Crocheting!

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Choosing the Right Ergonomic Hook

Most crocheters look forward to that moment in time when you can just sit down, relax, and crochet. After crocheting for 30 minutes, or 15 minutes, or sometimes only 5 minutes your hand may start to cramp or just get tired. It may be time to invest in an ergonomic hook.


Choosing the Right Ergonomic Hook - Tips to decide if you should invest in an ergo hook and which one might be the right fit for you.


How to Choose the Right
Ergonomic Hook


I remember being pregnant with my 4th child (back in 2004) and all of a sudden, seemingly out of nowhere, my hand would start to ache after about 5 minutes of crocheting. That was before ergonomic hooks were available – or at least none that I was aware of being sold at craft stores. Now we have so many options between craft stores and the internet!

I resisted trying the ergo hooks for a long time after they came out. My excuse was always the price. And I didn’t want to buy one if it wasn’t going to work. If you suffer from similar hand or arm symptoms, I’m going to encourage you to take the plunge. You may have to try a couple to find the one you love, but once you do you’ll never go back.


Why an Ergo Hook?


An ergonomic hook is designed in such a way as to alleviate pain that occurs while crocheting. Most ergonomic hooks have an enlarged handle that is shaped in such a way as to relieve pressure on the hand and joints, and can be more comfortable to hold.

Below are 5 that I have personally tried.


Clover Soft Touch – This was the first ergo hook I invested in. I liked them, but in the end they weren’t my favorite. I can’t really pinpoint why, because they did help. They just weren’t my #1 choice. I keep the ones I purchased as back ups.



Tulip Etimo Crochet Hook Set – They feel weird, almost slippery, at first. But these are by far my favorite hooks! I use them so much that I have invested in a second set to have because my hooks seem to grow legs and disappear.




Clover Amour – I have 2 of these. One was to replace a size that went missing and one was a size I didn’t have. Simply put, I like them. They are very similar to Tulip hooks, but available locally. If I didn’t already love my Tulip hooks I would probably invest in these. I’m going to say these are my 2nd choice.

Addi Swing Hooks – I’ll be honest, I didn’t like these, BUT my daughter loves them! The difference is I hold my hook like a pencil and she uses the overhand grip. Because of that, I’m going to assume this design is better for those who do not hold their hooks like a pencil.


Boye Ergonomic Aluminum Hook Handle – This hook handle can be used with the aluminum hooks you already own. This handle is better for overhand crocheters because of the design of it. If you have a ton of hooks and don’t really want to make the investment this is a great option.


Tips for Buying

  1. See if anyone you know owns any you can try out (or at least test grip).
  2. Buy a single hook before you invest in a whole set.


Did I miss a brand that you love? Share what has worked and what has not worked for you.


Happy Crocheting!


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Currently… during June 2016

I thought it would be fun to share what I’m currently up to during the month of June.

This is my spin off of Lisa’s post over at Marketing Creativity.


Currently working on.... come check out what I'm currently watching, reading, and doing with my summer.


*This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you subscribe or purchase something through the links provided. Please note: I will never become an affiliate partner for a product or service that I don’t use and love! Not all links are affiliates.


June is a crazy month at my house. Five daughters that all take dance….which makes this recital month. I know it’s not the whole month, but sometimes it feels like it. Now that school is done (I homeschool) it’s time for me to come up with a good schedule for next year. I’ve decided I need “working hours” instead of just winging it whenever I can fit it in. A lot of times just winging it will keep me busy, but I don’t get very much accomplished. I’m hoping with dedicated working hours I’ll do less busy work and do more real work that will move some of my projects forward.




Watching: Aran Crochet: Craftsy class (We’re not big TV people, so I don’t even know what’s on that’s good!)

Reading: Living Forward by Michael Hyatt & Daniel Harkavy (Excellent book! It walks you through creating a plan for your life/business/etc.)

Listening:  Kill The Lights

Making: A stunning, drop your jaw afghan….or at least I hope that’s how it looks when I’m done!

Feeling: Grateful for my marriage, my family, and my business.

Planning: A series of posts on how to design crochet patterns.

Loving: Living on the lake with this as my view.




Either leave a comment or leave a link to your own “Currently” blog post! I would love to read your list.


Happy Crocheting!

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10 Reasons Not to be a Crochet Designer

Have you ever wanted to be a crochet designer? I recently took a survey and you (my readers) wanted some more info on the design process. I decided to have some blog posts focused on just that, but before I get into how to be a designer, I thought I would go over some reasons why you might not want to be.


10 reasons not to be a crochet designer - a list of practical reasons why you wouldn't want to be design your own crochet patterns..


10 Reasons
Not to be a Crochet Designer



  1. No desire – Not everyone has an interest and that’s a good thing!
  2. You don’t like math – Sometimes there’s a lot of math involved because of sizing.
  3. Time – It takes a lot of time to make something pattern worthy.
  4. Customer service – If you write a pattern you should be available if anyone has questions or needs help. It’s not required, but this is my personal soap box. I can’t tell you how many emails I get because someone needs help and the designer of the pattern they bought won’t get back to them.
  5. Too many other designs out there you want to make – There are tons of great designs already out there! Some people just want to sit and crochet as a way to relax. They have no desire to make more work for themselves.
  6. Lack of patience – You will need lots of it!
  7. Not enough experience – There is so much to learn about crochet. Take your time and get good at crocheting. Practice! There will come a time when you’re ready to design something.
  8. You don’t feel like you’re creative enough – If you don’t have any ideas, don’t try to force a pattern to come to life.
  9. Fear – You’re afraid no one will like/buy your patterns. I had to overcome this. Some of my greatest patterns were ones that sat here unfinished because I hesitated and wondered if anyone would really like them.
  10. Passion – If a passion for design is missing you will come to resent it and not finish what you start. You need that passion.


Being a designer is more than just publishing a pattern. You have to design it and make it (and keep frogging util you get it just right). Then you write the pattern, have it tested, make corrections, have it edited, etc. It can be a very long process at times. I can’t tell you how many times I have to frog a project because it’s not perfect. And when you’re writing a pattern, it needs to be perfect.

If you think you’re ready to design something, take the next step and read these 2 articles I wrote:
The Truth about Pattern Design
3 Simple Steps to Writing Your Own Pattern


***Word of caution*** If it’s not your passion, don’t do it. You will just end up burned out and not loving what you’re doing. Stick with what fuels you and makes you excited to crochet. There are so many great designers out there. We need to support each other. Plus, we don’t need a million designers!


Happy Crocheting!

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