Did you know a craft like crochet is a proven stress reliever as well as a positive creative outlet? With the recent resurgence of interest in crafting, more and more people are discovering the versatility of crocheting. No longer viewed as your grandma’s hobby, amateur and professional textile artists continue to explore the creative possibilities of crocheting.
Fortunately, getting started is not too difficult for beginners. With so many techniques and stitches to choose from, it is possible to start slowly and gain skills over time. With just a few basic techniques and stitches, you will be well on your way. So what exactly is crochet? This textile art requires the use of a long stick with a hook on the end known as a Crochet hookthat is used to make loops of yarn, thread or cord to make a fabric.
Since crochet hooks come in all sizes, you can use fine threads to thick ropes to make items such as socks, blankets, mittens, shoulder bags, hats, sweaters and much more. Most projects follow a Crochet pattern that will help you achieve the look you want, although some artistic techniques like Crochet freeform are perfect for those who love freestyle. Crocheting is so versatile that you can even skip the crochet hook and simply use your fingers in a technique that is aptly called Crochet fingers!
Scroll down for accessories and the basic stitches to learn crochet.
Important crochet accessories
To start, the main materials you will need are a crochet hook and yarn, thread, or cord to make your fabric.
- Crochet hooks – These utensils made of metal or plastic (we recommend metal) are available in different thicknesses, depending on the thickness of the material to be looped.
- Yarn and crochet threads – That’s the fun part of crocheting – plucking the fibers! Again, it depends on what you are making what type of yarn or thread you need to use.
- scissors – Fiskars makes some of our most popular craft scissors.
- Stitch markers – These little medallion shaped pieces will help you keep track of where you are in your patterns.
There are a wide variety of crochet stitches to choose from, but most projects start with knowing how to make one Slip knot to get your yarn on the hook and a Chain stitch to form a solid row to anchor your entire piece in place.
Easy crochet stitches for beginners
Watching is often the most effective way to do something, which is why YouTube is such a great resource for learning to crochet. Here are popular videos to help you learn to crochet.
Crochet pattern for absolute beginners
Let the knot and chain slide
How to crochet a chain stitch
Make a single crochet stitch
How to crochet the half double crochet stitch
How to crochet a double stitch
Would you like to learn more about the basics of crocheting? Try these online courses.
You might also consider joining Skillshare for full access to a wide variety of tutorials and projects. Their extensive library of crochet materials is suitable for all skill levels.
Crochet vs. knitting
For beginners, that can be difficult Difference between crocheting and knitting At first glance, though both use yarn, there are many differences between these crafts.
The first and most obvious is the tools used. Knitters use two flat knitting needles, while Crocheting requires a hook to hook the yarn. Crochet hooks come in different sizes depending on the material used and are typically made of plastic, wood, bamboo, aluminum or steel.
Crocheting only requires one handwhat some people find easier and usually faster than knitting. The results are often easier and fall better than knitted pieces. While both crafts use yarn, crocheting is a bit more flexible. With different hook sizes it is possible to crochet everything from thread to rope.
The stitch types used also vary. Two stitches are mainly used in knitting, while a variety of intricate stitches can be used in crocheting, which allows you to achieve different effects. The stitch formation is also very different, as knitters have many active stitches on their needles at the same time. When crocheting, there is usually only one active loop at a time. (An exception to this rule is Tunisian crochetwho uses extra long needles to make a knit-like product.)
One similarity is that both crafts use patterns with abbreviations, many of which are the same whether you are knitting or crocheting. This makes it a lot easier to jump back and forth between each craft. And of course, many of the items that can be made are the same, whether they’re mittens, blankets, sweaters or slippers. Good hand-eye coordination and patience are musts so try both and see which one you prefer.
Types of crochet
Similar to embroidery or quilting, there are different ones Types of crochet. These styles, developed in different countries according to local customs, can have different effects. Whether delicate lace or thick braided baskets, these styles show the versatility of crocheting as an art form. Here are just a few of the approaches that you should try depending on the end product you want.
This Japanese crochet style is used to make small, stuffed thread creatures. They are especially popular for their kawaii aesthetic and are usually made with simple crochet stitches. Small gauge crochet hooks are used to create a tight weave.
This incredibly textured style is often used on chunky sweaters and blankets. Also known as Cable hook, it is a Celtic style that uses many crochet cords connected together. Aran is also the name of a medium-weight yarn that is more commonly referred to as worsted in the United States. Don’t get confused, as Aran crochet doesn’t require any specific use of Aran yarn.
Usually work is done in rounds and not in rows, Bavarian crochet is an intermediate technique often used to make blankets and towels. The resulting fabric is thick and allows for subtle gradations of color.
Often confused with a piece of knitting, Bosnian crochet, also known as Shepherd knitting, is created exclusively through the use of the slip stitch. While a regular crochet hook can be used, some find it easier to use specialty Bosnian crochet hooks. The technique can be time consuming, so it’s best used to create smaller items.
This classic 19th century technique is sometimes called quick tip. It involves the use of a hook and a long wooden dowel. According to Red Heart, “the design is made by using a crochet hook to pull high loops of thread onto a dowel (in the past a broomstick, which is where the name comes from).”
This technique, which originated in Africa and Nepal, involves the use of thick rope or cord to create a sturdy, durable fabric that is often used to make bags, baskets, and carpets.
This variant of Tunisian crochet uses a double-sided hook called a Cro-hook. This way you can work in two colors at the same time and create double sided fabrics. Sometimes called Cro-knit, Crochet double hook, or double ended Tunisian, the technique is perfect for creating colorful scarves and blankets.
Also known as Irish lace, This technique uses very thin crochet hooks and cotton or linen threads. It has a long history dating back to the 19th century when it was developed by the Irish to imitate more expensive Venetian lace. The craft was used to revitalize the economy after the Irish potato famine and by the mid-19th century, 12,000 Irish women were doing Irish crochet.
A wonderful technique for creating fabrics full of colors and patterns, Crochet tapestry uses different colored yarns to create something that looks almost woven instead of crocheted. Marquetry, Jacquard, Color work, and Crochet mosaic are all names for similar techniques. The Wayuu indigenous people of Colombia and Venezuela are known for their use of tapestry crochet to make small bags known as. are known bag. The style is also very popular in Guatemala and African countries like Ghana, where it is used to make hats.
Tunisian crochet is a popular technique that uses an extra long crochet hook with a stopper on the end. Also known as Afghan crochet, it is similar to knitting in that several stitches are knitted at the same time. The technique creates a fabric that is significantly thicker than other types of crochet and less pliable, making it a good technique for items like blankets and winter hats, rather than softer wearable items.
A (short) history of crocheting
In terms of modern crochet, we can look to 19th century Europe as a starting point. The word itself comes from the Middle French word for hook –crochet. Originally used as a cheaper replacement for lace, it gained popularity when Queen Victoria bought it Irish tip made in crochet technique. Thanks to the work of Riego de la Branchardiere, who started publishing early books on crochet patterns, the skill spread to many different countries.
Early examples of crochet can be found far and wide, from Asia to South America, but Europe was certainly a hub and when mass immigration to the United States began, many women brought their crochet skills with them. The earliest items made were more decorative and went into the 1920s and 1930s when crocheting began to make whole garments.
During World War II, crocheting was seen as a way women could add to the war effort by saving clothing and decorative items, and increasing morale by making decorative items for the troops inexpensively. In the 1970s, crocheting – along with macrame – became a chic technique for clothing and accessories.
Although crochet became less popular after the 1970s, it never went away entirely. Fashion houses continued to use the technology, and thanks to the recent boom in handcraft, the craft is experiencing a renaissance.
This article has been edited and updated.
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