Crocheting is the practice of creating a crochet, which is a form of needlework, made using yarn or thread of cotton or wool and crochet hooks. With the increase in production of cotton threads in America around the mid 19th century, crocheting became prominent among women as a source of income as well as a hobby. Likewise, today, not only are there professionals engaged in the business of crocheted products, there are many enthusiasts as well, who practice crocheting as a hobby.
Crocheting is a fun and interesting hobby and to help you learn more about it, you can browse through online tutorials, books and magazines on crocheting. Many websites feature free crochet patterns along with detailed instructions on how to create them. You can subscribe to some of these magazines to learn about the work of various professionals as well as the venue and date of their exhibitions on crocheting.
Techniques of Crocheting
Before you can learn about the techniques of crocheting, you need to collect the basic tools required for it. You will need crochet hooks, yarn or thread, scissors and a needle. You need to choose crochet hooks based on the type of thread you are using. Now, yarn or thread come in various colours and are made of a number of materials such as cotton, wool, jute and synthetic. You can select steel hooks for fine cotton and wool thread, wood hooks for thick wool and jute, and plastic and aluminium hooks for synthetics. You will sometimes need to cut the edges of the stitches with scissors, while the needle is used for sewing the ends of the crochet, if required, according to the pattern. Before beginning with creating a crochet pattern, carefully go through the stitch gauge accompanying the pattern to know the number of stitches to be made in an inch.
Crocheting, though similar to knitting, differs from the latter in the usage of crochet hooks for creating the needlework and the technique of making only one loop active at a time. You can begin making a crochet by creating a loop at one end of the yarn and then passing the whole yarn through the loop by keeping it in place with the aid of your left hand, thumb or forefinger. After pulling the shorter end of the working thread, tighten it in opposite directions and thus, bring the loop around the hook. You can make loops like this to create a chain of desired length. To create more stitches per inch, you need a larger hook than that used to create fewer stitches per inch. There are various basic stitches such as single crochet, double crochet, treble crochet, slip stitch and joined treble. After you finish practicing the basic stitches, you can proceed with the more complex and fancy stitches such as block, space, filet, cluster stitch, picot and waffle stitch.
To supplement your knowledge of crocheting, search the internet for free online tutorials and e-books to learn more about the details of the method of crocheting. There are many websites, which apart from showcasing free crochet patterns, describe pictorially the formation of specific loops and stitches to create the patterns. Further, search for local hobby clubs practicing creating crochets and learn new patterns, stitches and techniques of crocheting.