The Past Impressions blog has now been going for over two years, and in that time we've produced a number of guides and walk-throughs to help you weave your way through cross stitch kits, tapestry sets and more besides. Astonishingly, in all that time we've never paid due attention to one of the most widely practised forms of needlework: crocheting. Well today we're going to take it that extra level by answering the five 'why's' in our own guide on how to crochet!
Like most needlework, one can use a pattern guide or chart to show how to make certain pieces, so long as the crocheter has knowledge of the various abbreviations used. Don't let this intimidate you into thinking crocheting is for the crafting elite; everyone young, old, male, female of all different backgrounds can and do crochet. It's a very affordable hobby, indeed all it requires is a little patience, a bit of basic math now and then and some...
The name 'crochet' is derived from the Old French word meaning 'hook'. This will be your tool of choice; typically made of wood, plastic, casein or aluminium. There are various ways of holding the hooks, and different sizes that correspond to the thickness of the needle. For the first time crocheting, going by the hook size that the label on your yarn recommends is best, and as a general rule of thumb the thicker the hooker, the thicker your yarn will need to be.
The type of material that can be crocheted are your standard fair of yarn or thread. For crochet you will need to buy your yarn in balls, or skeisns, though it may also be found found on spools or cones. For your crochet debut you can't go wrong with simple, soft acrylic yarn, and later on you can experiment with 100% cotton yarn, soft wool, ribbons or even metal wire.
Form your initial slipknot by winding the yarn around your finger, pinching the end with your other fingers. To crochet a simple chain, take the end and push it through to make a loop. Guide the hook through the loop, under the tail and back out again. By pulling the tail, you will tighten the yarn around the hook, creating a slipknot.
Here's a list of some of the other stitches to strive for after you get the initial hang of crocheting:
In many cases, it's best to just inspire yourself! Pick a random object, whether it be a flower, a small animal, dress up item - so long as you have the basic techniques down and an eye for colour, you should be able to conceive of some clever items to work on.
Once you're into the crocheting craze, then it's time to hook others in - figuratively speaking! Start your own group or find an already thriving community, and start yarn bombing some crazy and creative projects with your fellow needleworkers. Past Impressions has some interesting plans for the next coming months involving knitting and crocheting, and we'll definitely want you along when they begin to go under way.
If you have any crochet accomplishments you want to share with us, pop a link to a picture in the comments, or send it to us over at our Facebook page, Twitter and Google+! Just so you don't think we've also forgotten our treasured pastime of embroidery, here's a link to our ever growing cross stitch community.