What Is Crochet?
There are different ways you could define crochet.
Primarily, crochet is a method that can be used for creating useful items, art objects or fabrics.
For some people, crochet is a hobby, or simply a pastime. For others, crochet is a means of earning extra income; for some, crochet is even a career. For many, crochet is a means of relaxing or relieving stress. Some people view crochet as being an art form; others would disagree, insisting that crochet is a craft.
Crochet is low-tech, requiring only human hands, human creativity and a few simple materials. Crochet does not require electricity, batteries, or machines. It’s portable and versatile.
Projects That Can Be Crocheted
Popular crochet projects include blankets, bedspreads, hats, scarves, sweaters, shawls, clothing, baby items, headbands, slippers, mittens, gloves, bags, purses, appliqués, rugs, coasters, placemats, dishcloths, washcloths, potholders, linens, gadget cozies, and stuffed toys.
Crafters often use crochet to create components for other sorts of projects — for example, knitters and quilters often use crocheted edgings to finish off knitted or quilted projects. Home sewers enjoy using crocheted edgings on placemats, napkins, pillowcases, and clothing.
There are many other possibilities for items that can be crocheted. Crochet probably isn’t the first method that comes to mind when you think of jewelry-making techniques, but it’s a viable means for creating exquisite jewelry pieces.
For those who crochet as a means of artistic expression, crocheting results in an interesting range of different project types — not all of which are considered “useful items.”
Most artists agree that sculpture is an art form, and crochet can be used to create interesting sculptures.
Crochet can also be used to create pictorial, abstract or non-representational wall hangings.
There are people who use crochet as a way to create graffiti, also known as “yarn bombing.” Some freeform crocheters create spontaneous, artistic crocheted pieces with no particular purpose in mind.
Crochet can be achieved using a minimum of fiber and human fingers. However, the most efficient way to crochet involves using a hooked tool known as a crochet hook.
Yarn and crochet thread are the most popular materials used for crocheting. Imaginative crocheters also find creative ways to use other materials, including wire, raffia, string, twine, ribbon, roving, plastic shopping bags cut into strips, and fabric cut into strips and then wound into rag balls.
How to Crochet: The Process
There are several different way to begin crocheting. Traditionally, crocheters would often begin by making a slip knot and a series of chain stitches. The chain stitches could be joined to form a ring for crocheting in the round or left straight for crocheting in rows.
Alternatively, crocheters might begin their projects by crocheting directly into fabric, for example when putting the edging around a tablecloth or onto a sheet or pillowcase. They might also begin by embroidering a series of chains or blanket stitches, and then crocheting into the embroidered stitches.
Contemporary crocheters have other possible ways to begin, including the “magic ring” method and the foundation single crochet, foundation double crochet, etc.
After beginning the work, the crocheter then proceeds to work various crochet stitches or stitch patterns, then finishes the work — possibly by adding an edging or border around the outside. At the very end, the crocheter will typically end off and then weave in the ends. (S)he may also choose to block the work. Some projects need to be pieced together using either crochet or hand sewing techniques. Some benefit from the addition of various components such as zippers, buttons, beads, ribbons and appliqués.
The basic crochet stitches are as follows:
- Crochet Chain
- Single Crochet
- Slip Stitch
- Half Double Crochet
- Double Crochet
- Treble Crochet
- Double Treble Crochet
- Triple Treble Crochet
Crochet Stitch Patterns
There are several ways crocheters refer to combinations of the basic crochet stitches. Sometimes, people just call them “crochet stitches,” without making any differentiation. Some crocheters, myself included, like to refer to them as “stitch patterns” or “crochet stitch patterns.” I prefer either of these designations, because they hint at something more complex than just the simpler basic stitches.
One of the most fascinating things about crochet: you can make tiny variations in your hook placement, yarn placement or other details, and these variations result in different looks and different fabric characteristics.
Over the years, crocheters have developed a number of different techniques; each technique is an exploration of a certain aspect of what can be achieved with crochet. Each technique has its own benefits, and reasons you might want to choose it over others for a particular purpose.
These are just a few of the crochet techniques that are possible:
Crocheting in Rounds — Use this technique if you want to create fabric that’s shaped like a circle or square, beginning in the center and radiating outward from there. This is the technique used to create granny squares; many (but not all) doilies and hats are also crocheted in this way. Circles and squares aren’t the only shapes you can crochet in rounds; other possibilities include hexagons, triangles, octagons, and pentagons. Crocheters sometimes refer to these shapes as “crochet motifs.”
Filet Crochet — Use this technique if you want to create interesting pictorial or abstract designs in a lacy, yet sturdy mesh-like fabric. This is also a good technique to choose if you like working from charts, or if you like working double crochet stitches and chain stitches.
Tunisian Crochet — Use this technique if you want to create crocheted fabric using a process that’s similar to knitting in some ways. Click here to find free instructions for Tunisian crochet stitches.
Bruges Crochet — Use this technique if you want to crochet projects that mimic handmade Bruges lace.
Tapestry Crochet — Use this technique if you want to create colorful crocheted pieces that incorporate more than one color per row. This technique is useful for making multicolored pictorial, abstract and geometric designs.
Freeform Crochet — Use this technique if you want to work your crochet spontaneously, without referring to a pattern.
Bead Crochet — Use this technique if you want to incorporate beads into your crochet work.
Fabric Crochet — Use this technique if you want to crochet using fabric strips. This technique is a useful way to recycle old clothes, sheets, linens and other fabrics and transform them into new, contemporary items such as rugs, bags and bowls.
Wire Crochet — Use this technique if you want to crochet interesting jewelry, décor items or other projects using wire. You can also incorporate beads with your wire crochet work.
Woven Crochet — Use this technique if you want to make stunning textured pieces that could incorporate plaids if you like, or not.
A crochet pattern is a set of instructions for completing a specific crochet project. Because crochet patterns can get lengthy, they often include abbreviations, which help to make them shorter, easier to print, and less expensive to reproduce.
You can find crochet patterns in several different sorts of places:
- Many websites, including ours, make crochet patterns available — either for free or for sale. If you’re interested in finding crochet patterns online, scroll down to see some of the patterns we offer.
- There are many crochet books and craft books that include crochet patterns.
- Crochet magazines and craft magazines often include crochet patterns.
Crochet Edging Patterns
“Edgings” are one of the terms we use to describe the decorative designs we add around the outer edges of a crochet project, knitting project or sewn item. Other possible terms for this include “borders,” “trims” or “edges.” No matter what you call ’em, they can enhance your craft projects significantly, making them look polished, attractive and beautiful. We offer the following free crochet edging patterns for your consideration:
Pictured From Left to Right:
- Basic scalloped crochet edging – There are versions available with and without corners.
- Easy double crochet arches edging
- Puff lace crochet edging pattern
Crochet Flower Patterns
Crochet is an ideal medium to use for crafting flower motifs. There are many different approaches; you can crochet small flower-shaped pieces to use as appliques, or you can also incorporate flowers into squares, hexagons and other shapes. You can crochet flower images from charts using techniques like filet crochet and tapestry crochet. These aren’t the only possibilities, but they are some of the most popular methods that people are using to crochet flowers.
We offer the following free crochet flower patterns for your consideration:
- Sunflower crochet granny square pattern
- Simple crochet sunflower pattern
- Retro modern crochet sunflower pattern
Want to See More Flower Designs You Can Crochet? Click Here to Access Our Main Directory of Flower Patterns.
Crochet Christmas Patterns
|Easy Crochet Christmas Tree Ornament||Crochet Snowflake Christmas Ornament||Easy Wreath Christmas Ornament|
Hopefully, this overview has given you a better idea of what crochet is all about. Please note that this page is not a comprehensive list of all the crochet patterns and resources we offer on our website; it gives you a glimpse of some of our more popular projects and pages, but if you’re new to crochet, you’ll certainly want to dig in and explore. Here are some additional places to discover new and noteworthy crochet designs:
- Our Newsletter Is the Best Way to Stay Up-To-Date on Our Latest Patterns and Tutorials.
- Our Blog; If You Want to See Just the Crochet Items, Click the Crochet Category.
- What’s New on Our Website?
This page was last updated on 2/9/2018.