Crochet is the Craft of creating Fabrics by interlocking strands of Yarn using a Hook. Crochet isn’t just a Craft. It is a legacy – small presents of love that are passed down from one generation to another. Crochet is different from Knitting. The difference is in the tools and the stitches. How I learnt to Crochet is an interesting story in itself.
I always thought that Crocheting was for my Nana and not something I ever thought I would do. In fact I thought I couldn’t do it at all. My Nana tried to teach me once, when I was a little girl. But she either gave up on teaching me or I gave up on learning it because I just didn’t seem to grasp it. So she taught my brother, who managed to Crochet a Bunny. I must have been envious or something as I can still to this day, picture the bunny that he successfully made while I couldn’t. I am pleased to say that now I can Crochet a lot of bunnies (and my brother has forgotten how to – big smile) and I am sure my Nana, if she was here today would be pleased to know that I finally mastered her skill.
I had dropped the whole idea of crocheting for a long time but I have always tried to create something or another. I have dabbled in many crafts. Although not an expert, I have definitely had a go at many Crafts. Crafting and creating are in my blood, passed down for generations on both sides of my family. That makes it really difficult not to be making something.
Once I had children, I started making things for them, mainly toys. I sewed them a bear and Knitted some dolls. The idea of crocheting would pop up from time to time but I never really listened to it until about 7 years ago. I told my Mum, “Surely, if I can manage to knit a little (very little, I might add) I can also learn to Crochet”. My mum tried to teach me but she is more of a Knitter than a Crocheter and so once again I did not understand. However this time the idea to learn Crochet grew even stronger.
Sometimes a little pressure can go a long way in getting you over the hurdle. Not many months after, my sister-in-law asked me if I would like to share a market stall with her. I immediately said Yes! But I had nothing to sell then. I had only 4 weeks to come up with something. That’s right! And that’s when I thought of turning to YouTube and learning to Crochet.
We are truly blessed to have YouTube and as it turns out, it perfectly fits my learning style. So I watched video tutorials. I would pause at each step until I understood it well. Within 4 weeks, I went from not knowing how to Crochet and having nothing to sell at the market, to having some basic little crochet bags and some ill fitting beanies. None the less, I had something! And it was just the beginning. A profound love and passion for Crocheting was born and I have not stopped crocheting, learning, creating and making ever since.
Crochet is known to have many health benefits such as reducing stress while keeping the mind calm. The colours are pleasing to the senses which improve the mood and help fight negative thoughts such as depression, anxiety and insomnia. It has been noticed that people who Crochet can not only concentrate and focus better but also multitask well.
For me, Crocheting taught me a lot about myself. I learnt that I can teach myself with the help of the resources available today, as I am a very visual learner. When you truly love something – you can do it every day for years and it will not be a chore. I like to design and create something new. I love waking up with a new idea and taking the image that is in my head and making it a reality through Crochet.
There are so many beautiful things you can make by crocheting. It is like doing magic with some yarn and a hook. From Fabrics, Household Items, Sandals, Bags, Toys, Cushion Covers, Phone Cases, Baby Outfits, Wearables, Cosies, Headbands and Hair-ties and so much more.
I particularly love making gifts for family and friends, Photo Outfits and Props for Cake Smash Photoshoots (another passion of mine), Bags and Toys. It has always been about making people smile.
Putting a smile on a little someones face is incredibly important to me, I once made ‘Sebastian’- the Wombat based on the Children’s Book for a child with special needs. This was pretty special. It had to be made just so or he wouldn’t have liked it. I had no idea how I was going to make it when I started off but I just started it and seemingly it all came together. I am pleased to say, he loved it!
Selecting your Materials : Go for good quality yarn as it will make a difference to your projects. Cheaper quality will make your job harder. We have a choice among animal based, plant based fibres and synthetic. An important point to note is that the yarn or threads have varying weights (thickness). Keep this in mind while selecting the threads for designs.
Also you might want to go for something machine washable, easily drying, durable and with fast colours. I like using the more natural yarn like 8-ply wool and organic cotton wherever possible. ‘Ply’ means strands twisted together. That means a 5-ply would mean 5 strands twisted to make that single thick bunch.
To begin with you may want to use quality acrylic yarn often referred to as the beginners yarn or the same yarn which the tutor is using. Other than that you would need the hook or Crochet needle to spin magic and a tapestry needle for weaving in loose ends or embroidering the small details.
Just like needle sizes, we get hook sizes. This is determined by the size of the stitches or the type of project you want to create. Choose a hook that allows your yarn to slide and move without hinderance and you are comfortable holding, as it can take long hours to complete a project.
Additional tools may also be needed, like measuring tape and gauge measure. Gauge is referred to as the number of stitches per inch and rows created per inch. This is because even with the same hook and yarn no two people crochet the same and can create different number of stitches in an inch – loose or tight. Once you practically work on a project, these terms will be more clear. Select any project that you feel simple. I do share Crochet patterns on my YouTube Channel. Feel Free to check it out!
To sum it up I can say ; If you have the desire, you can learn anything. It always comes with a set of challenges and frustrations but don’t give up. It’s a life time of learning and totally worth it! The old saying ‘Practice makes Perfect’ is actually true. Do a bit every day and just enjoy the ride! Have a Crafty Week!
Guest Blogger : Ms. Emma Thomas
I love designing, making and creating new things. I am super passionate about Crochet and Photography. I love running and keeping fit. I am a Mum to 3 Boys and a Girl.
Emma is the Maker and Shop Owner at ‘Double Stitch Creations’ based in Melbourne, Australia.
Website – Double Stitch Creations