There are few hobbies in the world as satisfactory or relaxing as sitting down to Crochet. Crochet is the process of creating fabric from yarn using a crochet hook. The wonderful part of the hobby of crocheting is that not only do you have a relaxing, enjoyable hobby but you also can use your creative juices and produce something that is useful. In addition, crocheting is good exercise for your hands. Furthermore, it is a relatively economically reasonable hobby which you can even profit from!
Crochet hook are made of many different materials. They are produced from aluminum, steel, plastic, bamboo, and bone. The type crochet hook you choose to use depends on your preference and the amount you choose to spend on it. The material the hook is created from has little bearing on the yarn you are using or the project you are going to crochet. The most common hooks are steel, aluminum, and plastic. These two types are the least expensive crochet hooks.
There are many different sizes of crochet hooks and the one you use will depend on the project you are going to do. Crochet hook sizes are identified differently depending on the country you are in when purchasing them. In the United State the sizes are letters or numbers. The sizes for aluminum crochet hooks are as follows, largest to smallest; Q or 15.75 or 16mm, P or 10mm, 15/N or 9mm, 8mm, 7mm, 10 ½ /K or 6.5mm, 10/J or 6mm, 9/I or 5.50mm, 8/H or 5mm, 7 or 4.50mm, G or 4.25mm, 6 or 4mm, F or 3.75mm, 4/E or 3.50mm, D or 3.25mm, 3mm, C or 2.75mm, 2.50mm, 1/B or 2.25mm, and 2mm. The sizes for steel crochet hooks are as follows, largest to smallest; 00 or 3.5mm, 0 or 3.25mm, 1 or 2.75mm, 2 or 2.25mm, 3 or 2.1mm, 4 or 2mm, 5 or 1.9mm, 6 or 1.8mm, 7 or 1.65mm, 8 or 1.5mm, 9 or 1.4mm, 10 or 1.3mm, 11 or 1.1mm, 12 or 1mm, 13 or .85mm, and 14 or .75mm. Ask any pro and they will usually recommend you do not purchase plastic crochet hooks. They do not have the durability to stand the test of time and use. Instead, most crochet hobbyists recommend steel or aluminum crochet hooks.
The most economical way to purchase the hooks is purchase the aluminum or steel hooks (which have the best endurance for use) in a set. This is important to note because when you start crocheting and discover you love it, you will need all the hooks to do the many varied patterns that are available and some of your own creations. The crochet hooks are less expensive if you buy them in the set as compared to buying them individually. If you crochet many items or crochet on an ongoing basis, you will use most or all of the hooks at one time or another.
Patterns of Crochet Stitching
There are many types of crochet stitches and patterns but there are a few basic stitches which are the foundation of all the others. There is first of all the slip knot, chain, and basic stitch, which will be explained in the Process of Crochet; the How to Get Started. There are so many stitches and techniques you can use when crocheting, it would be near impossible to list and explain them all. However, you will find in this article the names of some of the more common stitches and techniques. Some of the most common stitches are single, double, and triple crochet, granny square, hair pin, popcorn, braided crochet, broomstick crochet, lace stitch, free form, patchwork quilting crochet, perlen crochet, pineapple crochet, and many more. You may find after you crochet for some time you will start to create your own stitches and patterns. Most individuals who are seasoned at the hobby of crocheting have created their own patterns of stitches.
Types of Yarns and Sizes of Crochet Hooks Used for Particular Projects
The first rule of thumb is use the size crochet hook which matches the size of thread or yarn you are using. As you get experienced at the hobby of crocheting, you will be able to just know what you need in terms of size, color, amount, and so on. However, for the inexperienced hobbyist the patterns you choose to crochet will usually tell you what size crochet hook you need and what kind and size and amount of yarn or thread you will need to complete the project. If you are still uncertain, go online and put your questions in any such search engines; you can find anything you want to know at your fingertips—there definitely is no shortage in information.
Where to Purchase Supplies to Crochet
The supplies you will need include crochet hooks yarn and crochet thread, patterns, and instructions. All of these tools you need to crochet can be purchase at many department stores and craft stores. You can also purchase them online. Many patterns and instructions for crocheting are free online at such sites as eHow and YouTube. Just enter crochet instructions or patterns in your search engine and dozens of free and discount supplies will be a click away.
Process of Crochet; the How to Get Started
Crocheting is not as difficult as you might think. With a little practice and continuity you can become a pro too and in no time, you’ll feel ready to teach it to others as well! So let us begin to create your masterpiece. Put your extra thumbs away! Just kidding. There is one great advantage to crocheting as compared to sewing or needle point; crocheting is considered by many less painful because you will not be poking yourself with the needle.
First and foremost, you need your tools which are a crochet hook and yarn and a pattern. Most important of all you have to choose the pattern or project you will crochet. Next you must choose the size of the needle you need for this project. Then, you must choose the type, color, and size of yarn or crochet thread you need.
For the beginner it is recommended that you start with a small project and simple stitch such as a neck scarf. Use a J sized crochet hook and standard size yard you can purchase in places like Kmart and Wal-Mart.
Practice first by making your slip knot. This is done by making a loop in the yarn and crossing it over. Then take the long end of the yarn and loop it through your loop and pull it tight. Put your crochet hook into the loop and pull the yarn snug around the hook. Take the long end of the yarn and weave it around your fingers so that it is over the top of your first finger, under the second and third fingers and over the top of you little finger. Hold it in place snugly. Wrap the yarn between the hook and your fingers, grab the yarn and pull it through the loop that the hook was in to begin with. Repeat this process 40 to 60 times depending on how long you want the neck scarf. Remember, when you make the chain it will seem short but as you add rows to it and when you are finished, it will be twice as long as the original chain. You have now created a chain and your first row.
Keeping hold of the hook and yarn in the same way, but turn so you are now holding the chain in the palm of the same hand you are hold the yarn. Put you hook through the second stitch from the end of your chain and pull the yarn through. In the same chain, stitch pull another loop through. Now you should have two loops of yarn on your crochet hook. Grab the yarn with your crochet hook and pull the yarn through the two loops. Repeat this all the way down the chain and continue doing this until you have completed the width of neck scarf you want. When you are finished, pull a single loop through and do this again and cut it and pull it tight. You have just done double crochet stitches. Congratulations, you have crocheted your first item!
For the next project, and to keep things straightforward, you could try a baby blanket or lap robe or small afghan. You can use the same instructions that are listed above for the neck scarf or when you are pulling your loops through the stitch as you did in the rows on the neck scarf, instead of pulling two loops through the stitch and then a loop through two loops, pull three loops through the stitch and then pull the yarn through the three loops. You are now doing triple crochet. See, it is easier than you thought!
After you are used to crocheting these simple stitches, you can do most any project or pattern you choose. There are many things you can crochet; blankets, afghans, bedspreads, baby blankets, baby cloths, sweaters, neck scarves, hats, purses and other bags, doilies, Christmas tree decorations, wall hangings, jewelry, and the list goes on and on. They make awesome gifts too!
Purposes for Crochet
There are a number of reasons to crochet. You can make decorative items or wearing apparel for yourself. Crochet items make great and personable gifts. When you crochet a gift for someone, it shows them you care enough to have taken the time to give them a very specific gift suited specifically for them.
It is common for individuals or groups to make items such as blankets, clothing, and other items for charitable purposes. Nursing Homes are a good place to donate such items. There are many elderly who are alone and without family. Giving an elderly person something you have made yourself will give them happiness and comfort beyond belief, to know that someone cares about them enough to spend time and effort on them. The gift you make for them may also help keep them warm (lap robe or blanket and the sweater or neck scarf) and give them the clothing they may not have otherwise had. You can also donate them to hospitals or group homes; people in these situations are ill or disadvantaged and having someone take the time to make them something makes them feel cared for and happy. Soldiers appreciate such gifts as well. Many times, they are far from home; some are in strange and dangerous locations, away from their loved ones and need our support and care. This is a way of showing your patriotism, your appreciation to the soldiers, and giving them a little piece of home. Regardless of the political reason they are there, their purpose is to protect us. This is a way of saying thank you for your sacrifices. Crochet hats and give them to chemotherapy centers for those who are receiving chemotherapy. You could also donate hats, gloves, and neck scarves to children at the schools or homeless shelters. There are endless ways you could help others with the simple hobby of crocheting.
Crocheting can also be profitable. Many individuals crochet all sorts of items such as kitchen towel hangers, blankets, throws, and other such items. They sell them in such places as flea markets and online websites for personal profit. Individuals make crochet items and donate them to church bazaars and other such money making activities. Crochet items are a hot sale, especially baby blankets.
Crocheting materials make a wonderful gift as well. The gift is especially welcome for someone who is homebound or in need of a hobby. Even children enjoy the hobby of crocheting and it’s even getting some recognition from men now as well. The possibilities are endless.
Crocheting has become a very popular hobby. There are enough purposes or uses for crocheting to keep a person busy for a life time. The extra advantage is this is a relaxing and economically hobby. Some hobbies become redundant and boring. However, this hobby has so many variations and uses, boredom is never a problem. This article has given you a basic knowledge of the hobby of crocheting. So pick up that crochet hook and let your creative juices flow.