Learning to Crochet

All things crochet!
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Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2012 7:43 am

Learning to Crochet

Postby yarnbazaar » Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:59 am

Crochet, in most people’s eyes, has always been a grandmother type of hobby. The
reality, however, is that crochet is much more than your grandmother and is definitely
much more than “just” a hobby. It is an art that gave you that quilt you received from
your granny last Christmas, the sweater you got from your wife for your last birthday,
and the trendy Dolce and Gabbana scarf you bought for yourself last winter. Yes, crochet
is a vital cog in our lives that we normally take for granted.

If you are looking to acquire this seemingly forgotten art, the first thing you will need to
learn is the lingo. Crochet terms are numerous, from simple abbreviations to technical
terms referring to a variety of crochet techniques and methods. Here are some examples:

Approx – This is an abbreviation for approximately. You will see this used a lot in
crochet books and instructionals.
BO – This stands for Bind Off, which is a technique used to finish the edges of a specific
DC – This is an abbreviation for double crochet, another common technique.
K – It is short for Knit, a basic stitch.
K1b – It refers to the instruction that you should knit 1 in the row below.
Purl – It refers to purling, a specific type of stitch.

These are just some of the terms you may encounter on your first few patterns. If you
are unfamiliar with them, you will find it hard to follow the instructions for the pattern,
which can be pretty specific. Fortunately, there are a lot of online resources that feature a
wide crochet term dictionary. The one from Lion Brand is pretty comprehensive.

Once you have grasped the various terms, it is time to figure out the many (and I mean
a lot) crochet techniques out there. Thread, Tunisian, broomstick lace, and the wire and
bead crochet are just some of them. All these techniques have their own little twists. For
instance the thread crochet technique is a technique used to create lace doily patterns
used for table runners and bed spreads. It starts with a basic crochet using fine thread
and hooks made of steel with very fine ends. The Tunisian crochet, on the other hand,
is an example of more advanced crochet technique which involves the use of a Tunisian
specific hook (a knitting needle that is long and ends with a hook). These only describe
two specific crochet techniques. Unfortunately, crochet techniques, like its terms, are

Knowing these now, you can greatly appreciate how awesome your grandmother was for
learning this art just so that she can knit and crochet you a pair of mittens.

crafty grandma
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Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 3:49 pm

Re: Learning to Crochet

Postby crafty grandma » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:36 pm

While I understand you are trying to be helpful, there is quite a bit of misinformation in your post that I think needs to be corrected, so that new crocheters will not be confused. Also, if you want to encourage new stitchers, please consider the comments I make at the end of this post.

First, you do not crochet quilts; you crochet afghans. Quilts are made of woven fabric and batting; afghans are made of yarn. Second, bind off (BO), knit (K), knit 1 below (K1b), and purl (P) all refer to knitting. These terms are not used in crochet. Third, broomstick lace is not crocheted; it is knitted. Hairpin lace is crocheted. Fourth, thread and wire crochet are not techniques. A technique is something that requires a change in method. Thread or wire crochet use a different material, but otherwise are exactly the same crocheting with yarn. Fifth, Tunisian crochet is not a more advanced technique; it is a type of stitch. Also, Tunisian crochet can use a Tunisian hook (also known as an afghan hook), which is simply a crochet hook with a long shaft, but for small pieces a regular hook works fine. Knooking uses a knitting needle with a hook on one end. Lastly, a grandmother who crochets, not matter how talented, cannot knit a pair of mittens. Knitters knit and crocheters crochet. The skills are not interchangable and the final products each have their own, unique look.

While it is commendable to want to share information and peak people's interest in a new skill, it is important that the information be accurate. Inaccurate or incorrect information can lead to confusion and frustration, which are frequently cited reasons why fledging learners give up and quit. It is also important take an encouraging tone and not to overwhelm people with too much information. The first thing to learn is not the lingo, but the skill. The terminology will come gradually as the crocheter learns and beginning patterns are very good about explaining what to do. The same is true for stitches and techniques; there is no need to learn about everything at once. A new crocheter should focus on learning the basics and, as with anything new, will discover the wide variety of choices as they progress. I am sure you did not intend it, but your post would not encourage me to learn to crochet. I have been crocheting more than 30 years and I felt overwhlemed and intimidated by the difficult, immense, and burdensome work that would be required to before a newcomer could even think about picking up a hook and creating something.

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Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:25 am

Re: Learning to Crochet

Postby nyzahauser » Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:42 am

i really want to learn crochet. hope I can someday.

Posts: 98
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 2:50 pm

Re: Learning to Crochet

Postby jenny-pooh » Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:10 pm

I learned to crochet from my mom, I wasn't easy to teach I'm afraid :oops: But I did learn and have made some beautiful things!

And I taught myself to knit. My mom was sitting down one time trying to figure out knitting and I thought I would give it a try. She gave me needles and yarn and said go for it! I did, I'm now very good at it, I use every project as a learning experience.

Well that's my little story on crochet and knitting, I enjoy both very much!

Cuties Craft Corner Blog, stop by for a visit.


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