Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Hooked on Crochet

a simple heart pattern - two make a lovely little gift bag.  I made this one for an online swap
 There's something about crochet that I absolutely adore.  For me it beats knitting hands-down.  I can do both, but I'd much rather be following a crochet pattern.  I suppose the first thing that comes to mind when you mention crochet is a granny-square blanket - surely everyone can remember there being one in the family at some time or other.  The perfect "use-up-your-yarn" project, that can be made with hardly any concentration whilst sitting watching the television.  Oh - but crochet can be so much more!

You can achieve so much with just the basic stitches, and it's really easy to pick up.  Once you have grasped single, double and treble crochet - you have all the stitches you need to make a wide variety of items.
A basic blanket (I made for the dog basket) - so simple to do
If you've always wanted to try crochet, but been baffled by any books you've looked at - I suggest the best way is to sit beside someone and follow what they're doing.  If you don't know anyone who crochets, then take a look at YouTube as there are lots of "how to" videos to learn from.  Here's one I've found -
Once you've made a basic granny square, and got the tension right - you can attempt just about anything!

For those of us in the UK, one of the trickiest things to remember is that US patterns are different.  Although the stitches are exactly the same, we call them different things.  A double crochet in the UK, or vice-versa! (I can never remember) It often catches me out.  As many of the lovely crochet books available in the UK today are written by US authors, it always pays to check before starting.
a simple wool yarn bowl (before felting on a hot wash in the machine)
There are so many patterns to choose from - hats, mittens, garments, scarves, shawls, soft toys, makes for the home.......  endless possibilities!   Good places to look online are on Ravelry (a wealth of patterns on this marvelous site for yarn fans with many free or at minimal cost to download - you may need to join, but it's free and rather fantastic).  After you've lost yourself in there, another good site is Lion Brand Yarn where all the patterns are free.
Okay.... so I look like Frank Spencer is this hat, but it was lovely and warm!  I used three strands of different colour yarn together for this (one was a fancy one with sequins in), and made the pattern up as I went along.  This for me is a big plus for crochet, it is surprisingly easy to make your own pattern as you go along.
 This cap was made from a pattern (looks complicated but was quite simple to grasp).  Again for this I used 3 strands together, this time from the same variegated wool yarn.  Once finished I had a ball of the yarn left over, so decided to make myself some mittens.  I made up the pattern as I went along, and by some miracle managed to make two the same!  I wish I'd written it down though, as I can't remember what I did.
I think my most successful pattern was for an online challenge that I took part in on Ravelry.  I had an idea in my head of a 3D basket of flowers.  Again, I made up the pattern as I went along.  For the flower basket, I crocheted in coarse string..... absolute hell on the fingers, but nonetheless very basket-like.  After padding it out a little with toy filling, I filled the basket with violets and leaves in soft cotton yarn.
Recently thanks to Pinterest I've rekindled my crochet fire a little.  My fingers are now itching to start hooking again.  I've still got bags of yarn lurking somewhere.  Before I finish, let me share with you a few of the best makes I've found.......
This gorgeous cowl is from an Annie's Attic pattern book.  I've followed one of her patterns before and it was a delightful make.  I definitely feel one of these coming on before winter is out.
These dinky little Mary Janes have to be the cutest crochet pattern for baby shoes I've ever come across.  They're adorable..... would be super quick to do, and the pattern is available as a PDF from Etsy
I'm in love with this scarf - it's so delicate and pretty.  I found it here - by Sophie Digard
I want, want, want one of these!  Would be easy to make, but goodness only knows what size hook you need - or how many strands of yarn together.  May need to take a mortgage out first!  Sadly I can't post a link for this amazing make, as whoever posted it originally to Pinterest didn't include one - grrrrrrr.
What a gorgeous bag.  Isn't it perfect?  Don't be daunted by bobbles, there rather fun to do.  Mind you, there's a lot of work in this bag - and knowing me, I'd snag it on something first trip out!  I shall worship from afar.  From eclectic gypsyland (I think)
This gem of a blanket is simply divine.  I love everything about it.  The pattern and the colours of the yarn are just beautiful.  The pattern for this is simple, and I know I could follow it by looking at the photo.  It's the sewing together of all the little hexies that puts me off!  I loathe that bit.  From MiA Inspiration on Flickr
Finally, a real hum-dinger of a make.  I think it's fantastic.  I do wonder what on earth possessed the maker to choose white yarn as background?  Surely this has been designed to never be sat in?  I would love to have a chair like this in my home, but sadly the cat would make it her life's work to destroy it as soon as possible.  It is a dream of a crochet make - beautiful to look at, and shabby-chic perfection.  From a foreign blog post which I can't begin to decipher.... good luck!


  1. Love this post! I love crochet too!!!

  2. Ahhh....crochet love! I miss it so. I need to save this post somehow for future crochet oozy inspiration!

  3. I sooo want to learn to crochet I managed a foundation row with much swearing. I will be checking out you tube - but I think I need to find a real person to teach me. Loving that cowl :)

  4. you and me both Clare, i cant crochet for toffee. lack the ability to hold the wool right and get a proper tension, would love to make some of those things though

  5. I looked on Ravelry for the crocheted rug, Jan, and I believe it comes from this Etsy seller It's not listed at the moment but I could see it in a picture on the designer's Rav page.

    Also the other chunky rugs on Rav seem to use 8mm hooks.


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