Learn to crochet by making a cute pouch!

Many crochet tutorials will teach you to crochet by making some single crocheted rectangle.  That’s all very good, but what exactly are you going to do with the rectangle when you’re done with it?  Maybe you could use it as a dishcloth, but if you’re a kid learning to crochet, a dishcloth isn’t a very exciting project.

Enter the Pouchy Pouch ~ a pattern I first saw on Maize Hutton.  I adapted it to use worsted-weight yarn and made it simpler so a beginner would be able to do it.  It’s the perfect first project, and when you’re done, you’ll have an adorable pouch to put tiny stuff in.  😉

I will warn you ~ this tutorial has a TON of pictures.  (I hope they’re a suitable size.)  I wanted to make it as easy as possible for you.  You will learn to make a slipknot, hold the crochet hook and yarn, chain, single crochet, fasten off, weave in ends, and whipstitch pieces together.  If you have any questions, leave me a comment and I’ll get back to you right away.

One last note before we get started ~ sorry about all the close-ups of my hand, I know my fingers are in pretty bad condition. I tried my best to avoid taking a ton of close-ups.

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Materials

First of all, you need to find some yarn.  A good yarn to start off with would be Red Heart Super Saver or I Love This Yarn.  They’re both worsted-weight acrylic, and they come in a lot of colors.  In this tutorial I’m using I Love This Yarn in the light pink color above, and a different color for the strap.  My original pouch used cotton yarn, but that’s not a good yarn to start with.  I just used it to develop the pattern.

You can make this pouch with any hook size, but I would go with either an H (5 mm), I (5.5 mm) or J (6 mm) hook to keep the stitches looser.  It will be easier that way.

(I used an I hook for the prototype and an H hook for this tutorial.)

You will also need a pair of scissors and a yarn needle.  It’s like a sewing needle, but it has a large eye to fit the yarn through.

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Part 1 ~ The Slipknot

Start by laying your yarn out as shown above.

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Then grab the end of it.

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Bring the yarn tail over the long end of the yarn ~ the end that’s closer to the ball.

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Like so.

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Next, grab the loop and fold it over the LONG END of the yarn.  The photo shows this in progress.

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You’ll notice that there’s a strand of yarn going through the middle of the loop.  Stick your hook under it.

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Like above.

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Grab the hook in one hand and the yarn tails in the other.  Pull the yarn tails away from the crochet hook, making sure the loop stays on the hook.

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A loose, baggy knot will form.  To tighten it, pull the yarn tails away from each other.

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Yay! Your slipknot is done and you’re ready to start crocheting.

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Part 2 ~ Holding the hook and yarn

There are two main ways to hold the hook.  Of course, hold it in your dominant hand.  The picture above shows holding it like a pencil, which is my preferred methodl.

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You can also hold it like a knife.

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What about the yarn?  Here’s one way to hold it ~ draped over your pointer finger which is held slightly away from the hook, with the long end held in your fingers.

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I have a different method of holding it, created when I couldn’t figure out the other methods.  I weave it under my pointer finger and let the longer end dangle.  That’s it!

When holding the yarn, make sure it’s held tight enough that the stitches don’t get loose and floppy.  But if you hold it too tightly, the yarn won’t move at all.  You want a nice balance between the two.  Just keep practicing.  It will feel natural eventually.  There are tons of ways to hold tension, just find what works for you.

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Part 3 ~ Chain Stitch

We’re ready to start our pouch, now that we’ve made a slipknot and figured out how to hold the items.

First of all, wrap the yarn around the hook as shown.  Make sure you go around the BACK first.  It should look like the picture above.  This is called a Yarn Over, also abbreviated as YO or YOH (yarn over hook.)

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This picture shows the INCORRECT way to yarn over.  See how I wrapped the yarn around the front?  Make sure it looks like the first picture instead of this one.

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Next we’re going to pull the loop we just made through the slipknot.  This will form our first chain stitch.  Don’t panic!

Firstly, turn the hook to face downwards, as above.

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Next, begin pulling the yarn over (loop on the left) towards the slipknot.

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Carefully continue pulling the loop through, pinching the bottom of the slipknot if needed.  Twist the hook like this to prevent the new loop from falling off.

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Slide the loop to the wider part of the hook (i.e., farther away from the end with the hook.)  Congratulations, you finished your first chain stitch!

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Here are the steps again:  Yarn over as above.  Again, make sure it’s going around the back to make it a correct yarn over.  In the photo above you can see another way to hold the yarn.

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Pull it through the previous loop, pinching the bottom of the chain to keep it open if that helps.  Twist the hook a bit to keep the loop on it.

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Slide the loop to the wider part of the hook to keep it loose.

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Keep making chains until the chains are as wide as you want your pouch to be.  In the photo above, I did 9 chains.

Part 4 ~ The Single Crochet

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Don’t count the loop on your hook when counting chains.  This photo numbers the chains from the first one made to the last.  However, you will actually count them from the hook, so number 9 in this picture is really number 1.  Hope that makes sense.

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We will be going into the SECOND chain from the hook.  So, don’t count the loop on your hook, and start counting Vs.  The one closest to the hook is #1, the next one is #2…you get the idea.

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Here, I’ve started to insert my hook.  Go into the left side of the V only.  AKA just one loop.

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Ta da.

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Next, yarn over the hook.

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And pull up a loop, which means to pull the yarn over through JUST THE STITCH.  It’s just like a chain stitch in the pulling through ~ turn the hook to face downwards, and pull the loop right on through.  (Remember we’re only pulling it through one loop.)

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Here’s what it will look like afterwards.  You will have two loops on the hook.

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Next, yarn over yet again.

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Now we’re going to pull the yarn over through BOTH of the loops, which will finish the stitch.  It helps if you pinch the bottom of the loops like I’m doing above.

The next three photos will show you the action of pulling through…

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And you’ve finished your single crochet!  Let’s do another one.

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Go into the next available V.

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Insert the hook under one loop only.

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Yarn over and pull up a loop.  (Pull the yarn over through just 1 loop, aka the chain you just stuck your hook into.)  2 loops on hook.

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Yarn over and pull through both loops.  2 single crochets done!

Now we need to continue single crocheting until the end of the chain.

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Here I have 1 chain left to go into.  Don’t try to stitch into the knot part!

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8 single crochets made.  I’m pointing to the first one.  It’s a good idea to count the number of stitches you’ve made so you don’t miss any.  Count the Vs at the top of the stitches.  And use this method: # of chains you started with – 1 = number of stitches in each row.  I have 8 because I started with 9 chains : 9 – 1 = 8.

Alrighty then!  Let’s proceed to our next row.  All the rest of the rows will be made just like this.

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Chain 1.

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Turn the work around so you’re ready to crochet across it again.

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Insert the hook into the closest stitch.  If you’re having trouble figuring out where to start, count backwards from the last stitch in the row, remembering the number we discussed a minute ago.

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When you insert the hook into the stitch, you should go under 2 loops like so.

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Yarn over…

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…and pull up a loop.  2 loops on the hook.  (Same as a normal single crochet, right?)

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Yarn over as normal.

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And finish the stitch by pulling through 2 loops.  You will have 1 loop left on your hook and the first stitch is done!

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Keep doing this across the row.  Here I’ve inserted my hook to make the 2nd stitch.

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Don’t skip the last one!  It can roll back a bit sometimes, but persevere.

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Keep working in rows like this until you have a long strip of crochet like this.  It will curl up and twirl around, I’m holding it down in the picture above.

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When you fold it in half, it should be as long as you want your pouch to be.

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This pouch is quite a bit smaller than the other!  That’s because I used a different hook size.

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Part 5 ~ Fastening Off

First, cut the yarn, leaving a tail about three times as long as the length of crochet.

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We’re going to make a small knot to secure the yarn.  Do not fret, it’s easy.  First, yarn over.

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Pull through, making a chain stitch.

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Then, keep pulling the loop through, making it longer and longer…

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…until the end pops through.  Pull the yarn tail to tighten it.

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Part 6 ~ Weaving in ends

This is my least favorite part of crocheting.  It’s not hard, but it can get a bit tedious if you have a lot of yarn tails.  You will need your yarn needle for this step ~ as I mentioned, it’s like a sewing needle but has a large eye.

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The yarn tail needs to get through the needle.  You could try just poking it through like this, but most of the time the yarn is too splitty and it will take ages.

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This is the way I use, which was taught to me by my mother.  (We’re both crocheters. 😉 )  Loop the yarn tail over the needle like this.

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Pinch right below the loop very tightly.  Slide it off the needle.  You will have a very small loop.

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Then, poke the very end of the loop through the needle.  It should go easier with this method.

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Pull the end out, and you’re ready to go.

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Start by sticking the needle through a stitch close to where the slipknot is.  You will want to keep your stitches small and tidy so you can’t see them on the finished product.  (We’ll be turning the pouch inside out, so don’t stress about it ~ still, it’s good to get in the habit of small stitching.)

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Weave it through several more pieces of yarn, making sure it’s not visible from the other side.

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Pull the yarn tail through…

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…and cut the tail close to where it comes out.  If you want it to be sturdier, go back and forth a few more times.  That’s a good technique for afghans or wearable items, stuff that gets a lot of pulling.  This is a teeny tiny pouch, so it won’t affect the finished product.

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Part 7 ~ Finishing up (seaming and cord)

Thread the longer end onto your yarn needle.  Fold the pouch in half.  We’ll be starting on the same side you fastened off on, i.e. the side where the yarn tail is coming from.

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We’ll be doing an easy whipstitch.  To do this, insert the needle through both of the layers as shown.

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Pull the needle through.  This will create a loop.  Pull the tail to close it up.

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Repeat this along the edge: insert the needle through both layers…

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and pull the yarn through.

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When you reach the bottom edge, we have to knot it so it won’t come undone. Insert your needle through both layers as normal.

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Pull the yarn through, but don’t pull it all the way.  Leave a small loop.  (I seem to have sewn a hair into my pouch.  Oops!)

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Poke the needle through the loop you left, and pull the yarn through.  Pull to tighten the knot.

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Finished knot.

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Now, you could weave in the end and re-attach it on the other side for seaming, but why would you want to weave in all those ends?  We’re going to do it the faster way.  😉

Weave the yarn through the stitches, make sure you’re going through just one layer!  Do this until you get to the other side.  (It’s like weaving in the ends, except you’re not going to cut the yarn when you’ve finished it.)

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Yay, I’ve reached the other side.  Make sure you haven’t sewn your pouch shut or anything.

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Tie another knot now, to hold the stitching in place.  Then whipstitch up the second edge.  When you get to the end, tie a third knot and weave in the ends.  (Scroll up if you need a reminder.)

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Then, turn your pouchy pouch inside out to hide the stitching and give it a bit more depth.

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Almost there!

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Let’s make the neck cord now.  You can use the same color or a different one like I’m doing.  Make a super long chain that’s long enough to go around your neck.  You’ll probably want it on the longer side so you can put stuff in your pouch more easily.

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Fasten off and thread a yarn tail onto your needle.  We need to sew the cord to the pouch.

So, stick your needle through the open edge as above…

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…and pull the yarn tail through.

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Then poke the needle through a chain like this.  Pull the yarn through.

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Keep sewing through the pouch and through the chain until you think it’s sturdy enough.  (Three times should do it.)  Fasten off by tying a knot…

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…and weave the yarn tail through the inside so you won’t be able to see it.  Cut the yarn.  Repeat with the other end and then…YOU’RE DONE!  Good job!

*big sigh of relief*  That was a lot of work! (Almost 2,500 words and over an hour of photography!)  I really hope it’s helpful.  I tried to break it down as much as possible, but if you have any questions, I will answer them right away.  This really is the perfect project to learn to crochet with, and if you’ve been wanting to learn to crochet, seize the opportunity! : )

Happy Bastille Day!  I shall talk to you later.  Much later.  When I’ve recovered from this ordeal.

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2 thoughts on “Learn to crochet by making a cute pouch!

  1. Mrs. Micawber says:

    Ooh, I love a good detailed phototutorial! Great job. And don’t worry about your hands – I just shot a video tutorial today with a burn mark on one of mine. It just shows that we are multi-talented multi-taskers. 🙂

    Like

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