So you want to crochet like Olek?

  The past couple of days I have been busy working to unravel the tangle of a long kept family secret that has twists, turns, and many complications.

And while necessary, it has also taken a great deal of time from my crochet as I track down records and try to find relevant parties who are willing to speak.

As such, I have written a lot of emails, gotten a lot of answers, sorted through the responses, and done my best to arrange the information contained in the responses into a coherent form which left me no where near the time I wanted to crochet, and certainly not enough time to get into a crazy quilt embroidery groove for my state fair project.

So as I pondered what to write, I got out a 4.5 mm hook and some worsted weight yarn so that I could assemble a tutorial about how to crochet like Olek.

One of the things that makes Olek’s projects work as they do is that crochet mural is made in modular pieces which are then put together, so it is important to have the pieces made be pretty much the same size.

Additionally, there are specific ways to crochet the first row, turn the work, and make the first stitch of the row that all work together to create easy (relatively speaking) pieces to assemble.

If you want to crochet like Olek, you will need worsted weight yarn and a crochet hook that gets you the correct gauge.

For most people that means a 4.00, 4.25, or 4.5 mm hook.

For me to get the gauge consistently over the whole piece I am crocheting, I have to go back and forth between my 4.0 and 4.5 mm hooks, but for the purposes of this tutorial, I used just a 4.5 mm hook (as well as a crochet tension regulator) so that I could crochet away what was left of the afternoon without the interruption of changing hooks.

Aside from the initial chain, the square is made completely from double crochet stitches.

Every. Single. Stitch.

There are no chain twos or chain threes to stand in for the first stitch of the row, so with that in mind, we can begin our crochet adventure

After getting my crochet gear together, I chained a foundation of 20 stitches:

crochetbug, Olek, Love Across the USA, double crochet, crochet panel, Nina Simone
Chain 20

Next, I pulled up a loop, and without making any additional chains, I made a yarn over:

crochetbug, Olek, Love Across the USA, double crochet, crochet panel, Nina Simone
Pull up loop and yarn over

and inserted the hook into the back loop only of the front of the chain:

crochetbug, Olek, Love Across the USA, double crochet, crochet panel, Nina Simone
without skipping a stitch, insert hook into the back loop of the chain nearest the hook

After which, I finished making the first double crochet of the row:

I then continued on my merry way until I reached the end of the row:

crochetbug, Olek, Love Across the USA, double crochet, crochet panel, Nina Simone
Continue as with the first dc into the remaining 19 chains

I then turned the nascent swatch counterclockwise so that the yarn was in front:

crochetbug, Olek, Love Across the USA, double crochet, crochet panel, Nina Simone
Make a counter clockwise turn so that the yarn is in front of the swatch you are working

Pulled up the loop, made a yarn over, and inserted the hook through both loops of stitch I was working into:

crochetbug, Olek, Love Across the USA, double crochet, crochet panel, Nina Simone
Pull up a loop, yarn over, and insert hook through BOTH loops

Then finished working the first double crochet of the row:

crochetbug, Olek, Love Across the USA, double crochet, crochet panel, Nina Simone
The first double crochet of the row

I continued for another 18 stitches, at which point I paused to make sure that I correctly identified where to work the last stitch of the row:

crochetbug, Olek, Love Across the USA, double crochet, crochet panel, Nina Simone
The last stitch of the row

Which I did, and from there I worked my way back and forth until I had a six inch square:

crochetbug, Olek, Love Across the USA, double crochet, crochet panel, Nina Simone
A 20 stitch 12 row crochet swatch

If I were making this square for one of Olek’s Love Across the USA projects, I would have to unravel it like my family’s secret, and squeeze 13 rows in where I now have 12. But tomorrow is a new day, so until then, I will let both the swatch and the secret rest.

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