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I'm Crazy for Crochet!

Updated on August 6, 2013

The ABCs of a Clever Craft

When I was about 11, my grandmother taught me to crochet. While I am a little vague on the details, I can remember creating small (slightly lopsided) squares by the dozens before I grew tired of it and quit. I remember trying to knit for awhile too after that, but somehow knitting just didn't seem to click with me at all. Twenty some-odd years later I thought it might make a nice relaxing hobby in the evenings after work,so I bought an idiot-friendly book and learned to crochet all over again.

It didn't take too many of those beginner projects before I was "hooked" (sorry, it was irresistable :o) I think it is safe to say that my nice, relaxing hobby has transcended those sad little squares to become yet another facet of my creative self; and it is FUN-FUN-FUN!

NOTE: Like where I store my hooks and small pattern books? If the storage container above looks familiar, that's because it's a plastic silverware caddy. Works great, doesn't it?

Oh, and don't worry...

I'm not going all the way to Z

(well, not today anyway :o)

A#1 Perfect Solution

I don't know about you, but I hate sitting still. I have also developed a rather intense loathing for TV commercials (except for the supercool ones aired during the Superbowl; they're excused :o) I keep a tote with my latest crochet project by my seat in the family room and work my way through the evening news (I don't have to watch it, I can just listen). It also gives me something to focus on during the commercials (which seem to go on longer and longer these days).

The "Learn To Crochet" book I picked for the Amazon module below is the same one I used - it's great!

TIP: Sometimes I don't have a spare tote, so I just grab a gift bag to put my project in (I almost never use them for presents anyway :o)

(L) I keep my crochet thread and yarn in totes so I can just stack 'em up. (M) A scarf to keep those winter winds at bay. (R) The table topper gave a nice vintage look to this little table displaying old family photos.

If you're already hooked... - Teach someone else, or learn something new

Blankets are beautiful

These are wonderful longer term projects (literally AND figuratively :o) to keep you busy. I usually do some quick projects in between to keep me from getting too frustrated (some of the blankets can take quite a while to complete when you don't have large quantities of down time to work on it).

My favorite blanket pattern on the fly? The Q-Hook patterns using 2 or 3 strands of yarn at once - they are not only fun, they're FAST!

PHOTO: This blanket (module pic) was a shower gift to coordinate with a "Sammy the Frog" nursery theme; photos below were all gifts for new babies).

P.S. The one in the middle below was made for my nephew using individual squares done with the afghan stitch, then pieced together. As pretty as it is, I will NEVER do that again (I hate to sew :o)

Carry it Anywhere

(and work while you wait)

I'm not a really big fan of waiting, how about you? I'm not too keen on thumbing through all those magazines at the doctor's office either. Mainly because when you consider the majority of the people that have already looked through them were probably sick and chock full of germs...well, you know - ick.

I can just grab one of my little project totes on my way out the door, and work on it while I'm waiting. Depending on where you're waiting, it can also give those around you a much needed distraction (a community service of sorts :o) I say this because I have spent many an hour in my Oncologist's waiting room (for cancer treatment) and hospital waiting rooms (for testing).

Sometimes you CAN take it with you - (You know I do :o)

Doilies are Dynamite!

For some reason, the word doily brings to mind a mental picture of "The Cat Lady". You know the one to whom I'm referring: she's about 200 years old, keeps 156 felines (who all live INside), and has little crocheted doilies on every single table top and decorating the arms of all of her living room furniture. I don't know WHY it evokes that alarming image, but it does.

You know what though? I've figured out that doilies are actually pretty darn cool to make, and they look really nice in the home - who knew? Well, besides the Cat Lady I mean. Make a small one and frame it or use it with a candle for an eye-catching centerpiece; I did!

TIP: Some of the round "table toppers" that you see in people's houses are actually just monster doilies :o)

PHOTOS

My favorite doily - Made an nice addition to a fall centerpiece

Easy Skill to Build On

Once you have the basics down, crochet is pretty easy to take to the next level. I found a number of patterns and projects I wanted to try, but personally had no use for. What did I do? Donated them to the annual fund raising bazaar at a local special needs school. Everybody was happy.

It's also a fairly easy craft to teach to your children. Think what a wonderful project it would be to teach a group of Girl Scouts to crochet and help them make simple scarves to donate to a shelter.

TIP: The snowflakes make a wonderful handmade touch to a Christmas gift (sprayed with adhesive and sprinkled lightly with iridescent glitter it will really knock their socks off :o)

Filigree is F-U-N :o)

In the midst of creating blankets and doilies, I discovered another kind of crochet: Filigree. It utilizes a chart instead of a pattern, and uses a system of blocks and open spaces to create a word or picture. Of course you know I just HAD to try it...

Although it looks rather complicated, it's actually no harder than traditional crochet; it only uses two stitches throughout (the double crochet and the chain stitch).

I am currently working on another large banner for my Epic Farms Etsy Shop (at my current rate of speed, I should have it finished by 2033 :o)

PHOTOS: The names below were custom orders and given as Christmas gifts; I rotated the pattern for the one in the center to accommodate a narrow wall space.

One of these days I might even get around to doing our name :o)

My favorite filigree: "Leaping Deer" - Is that cool or what? (I totally surprised myself :o)

Great Gifts

Sometimes there are an awful lot more people than there is pocketbook when it comes to gift giving. Handmade crocheted gifts can be just the thing to bridge that gap (not to mention avoiding hurt feelings and/or embarrassment :o) Delicate little snowflakes make lovely small gifts for those "not so close" friends and co-workers.

There are some fabulous pattern books dedicated to gifts and Christmas ornaments (I've put some in the Amazon module below). Enjoy!

NOTE: I made the little magnetic butterflies (bottom left) for the nursing staff after my reconstruction (I was in the hospital for 5 days, so I got to know them pretty well). The butterflies were for the nurses to put on their hospital lockers; they were a huge hit :o)

Hats and Headbands

Are great as gifts too; plus they are fun to make. This little hat was made for the grandmother of one of the kids at school; she has cancer, and he asked me if I would make her a special hat to wear.

Since this was in the spring (with summer on the way), I used cotton yarn. The cheerful little flower has a white pearl button in the middle and can easily be taken off and put back on, depending on her mood.

Buttons are my favorite middles for crocheted flowers; they're inexpensive and pretty darn cute too (like the wooden one on the headband below ;o)

I can: In need and in deed.

Crochet for hope, crochet to help

I made this prayer shawl awhile back for a friend at church; she had a stroke and is now wheelchair bound. There are some wonderful books and lots of free patterns on the internet for prayer shawls. Some even include several suggested prayers listed by denomination for the recipient. There are also a number of churches that have prayer shawl ministry groups - and how cool is that??

When I gave it to her, I included an over-sized lingerie bag for washing and the instructions from the yarn. I used the Caron So Soft in a beautiful shade of rose, as this project is meant for comfort every bit as much as warmth :o)

Just have a ball, y'all!

What to do with that leftover yarn

Yarn has become something truly wonderful! The Plain Jane Skeins of the past have been replaced with marvelous textures and tones that lend some serious pizazz to your projects :o)

Leftover yarn is perfect for a patchwork project of your own; although personally I don't sew (I'd rather eat dirt :o) so I'd much rather use it to make some squares to donate to Warm Up America. They collect 7"x9" knitted and crocheted squares to assemble into blankets for anyone in need. Isn't that awesome??

Keeps me busy - that's for sure :o) - My grandmother gave me her entire yarn collection...Woo!

Here are some wonderful storage solutions

The portable yarn dispenser is wonderful when working with multiple strands of yarn held together - like some of the Q-Hook patterns. I just love mine!

I may try knitting again one day, but for now I'd much rather crochet...How about you?

How about you?

I really do know my ABCs

But I'm going to skip along a bit,

if you please.

P is for... Plarn?

What the heck is plarn??

I came across this strange word in conjunction with a recycled crochet project not too long ago, and decided to check it out ('cause I had absolutely no idea what it was either ;o) Plarn is "yarn" made out of plastic bags - and how awesome is that?? I found a handy little video which I've posted below that shows you how to make it. Talk about your clever ideas on recycling, right?

I don't know about you, but I have about a gazillion plastic bags crammed into one of those bag holders in my kitchen. Since I've just learned how to make it, I don't have any projects of my own to show, but the nice lady in the video will show you hers so you can see exactly what something made with "plarn" looks like. Not as weird looking as you'd expect, actually.

Look how easy this is

Happily, it seems she's already figured out the learning curve for us - yay!

How about it?

Had you ever heard of plarn before?

See results

Rah-Rah- RAVELRY!

It totally transcends awesomeness

I absolutely LOVE this site! Ravelry is a website designed for knitters and crocheters, and offers a plethora of patterns as well as a place to show off your own labors. Patterns are searchable, level of difficulty rated by other users, and many of them are free (my favorite word!)

In addition to all those free patterns, you can keep up with your WIPs (Works in Progress) and keep track of your yarn and/or thread inventory under the "Stash" tab. Have several of the same skein? No problem! Your stash comes complete with a built-in calculator that automatically totals how many yards you have available (beyond handy when pattern searching - just check your stash to see if you have enough. When starting a project using yarn you already have, click use stash yarn and the yardage is automatically deducted. Phenomenal! You can even do a yarn swap with fellow Ravelers for those "What was I thinking?" yarn purchases.

Already on Ravelry or joining soon? Look me up; I'm under "EpicFarms". See you there!

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Thanks so much for stopping by! - Please take a moment to tell me Hi!

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    • SheilaSchnauzies profile image

      Sheila 3 years ago from Omaha, NE

      Hi it's Sheila, Squidoo's Creative Crocheter Contributor just stopping by to give your awesome lens a boost in rank! Love your enthusiastic crochet lens!

    • Spirality profile image

      Spirality 3 years ago

      I have to get back into the habit of crocheting daily

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 3 years ago from Canada

      I used to crochet constantly. I sure miss it now that I do it so rarely.

    • onyesvic profile image

      onyesvic 5 years ago

      So how do you come up with such amazing lenses!... just can't wait to see your next one.

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 5 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      I love your leaping deer filigree! I've done a lot of crochet (mostly years ago) but never tried filigree. So cool... and now I'm totally excited about the plarn - I watched the video. I've got TONS of plastic bags. This could be a new era in my life. Plarn, here I come!

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 5 years ago

      My grandmother crocheted almost every day of her life. She couldn't sit still, either. I'm glad to have so many beautiful things to remind me of her. Nice job!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      I'd love to be able to make doilies like those on this lens.

    • RedHairedRockHead profile image

      RedHairedRockHead 5 years ago

      You make it look so fun! Makes me wonder if I could really learn it from a book.

      There is a recent John Clayton Sportscenter commercial that made me cry laughing, if you want to watch a funny commercial not on the Superbowl :)

    • Gayle Dowell profile image

      Gayle Dowell 5 years ago from Kansas

      I crochet in the winter. The weather is telling me that it's almost time for me to dig out my yarn and hooks! Blessed~

    • profile image

      MichaelDubrovnik 5 years ago

      Hey lovely lens. I actually did knitting with my granddaughter one Sunday afternoon. It called finger knitting. Of course mine got a bigger hole than hers but it was fun.

    • LisaAuch1 profile image

      Lisa Auch 5 years ago from Scotland

      I just love crocheting too! It sure is an addiction :) and thankyou for introducing me to Epic Farms :)

    • profile image

      MintySea 5 years ago

      My mom tried to teach me crochet as a kid but I was all thumbs I wish was better at it to teach the little ones

    • fathomblueEG profile image

      fathomblueEG 5 years ago

      Love your crochet lens!

    • AnuCosta profile image

      AnuCosta 5 years ago

      I like to crochet too, and yes, I crochet everywhere - at home, at the park, in the garden, while waiting for my children to come out of school...it's so easy to carry it around.

    • BlueObsidian profile image

      Kimberly 5 years ago from Oregon

      Wonderful lens! I'm a knitter and have wanted to learn to crochet. I think you may have inspired me!

    • radhanathswamifan profile image

      radhanathswamifan 5 years ago

      Can make our own gifts and present to our loved ones

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      Gotta love having a fun hobby - not to mention one that has some practical applications, as well! Blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Beautiful work - So crafty! ;)

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 5 years ago from Topeka, KS

      Love the blanket you made for your nephew even if it is the only one you'll ever make. :) Angel blessings!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I think you must be the lead cheerleader for team crochet and I love that your Grandma mentored you in this beautiful creative and functional art....and even gave you her yarn collection. I love the prayer shawl story and I'm guessing you have been a blessing to many with your beautiful gifts....congratulations on your purple star!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Like the idea of putting projects inside bags that you can carry with you when you go out. No more waiting boredom.

    • thememorybooksh1 profile image

      thememorybooksh1 5 years ago

      super like, nice lens.

    • cgbroome profile image

      cgbroome 5 years ago

      I've always loved to crochet. It's been a while as life has been very busy but this lens made me go pull out my old books. Now I need to find my hooks!

    • SheilaSchnauzies profile image

      Sheila 5 years ago from Omaha, NE

      Absolutely love your lens, your passion for crochet shines! Congrats on your front page honors, blessed.

    • SheilaMilne profile image

      SheilaMilne 5 years ago from Kent, UK

      I think you've got my crochet mojo going again! :)I've often looked at filigree and thought it too complicated but now, maybe I'll give it a try.

    • BillyPilgrim LM profile image

      BillyPilgrim LM 5 years ago

      Hi!

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 5 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Stopping back by to congratulate you on your Purple Star and Front Page feature. You know I'm also 'Crazy for Crochet'. :-)

    • belle88 profile image

      belle88 5 years ago

      hi. I also learn it myself cause I want croshet bikini few years ago. but now theye are allready in stores.

    • captainj88 profile image

      Leah J. Hileman 5 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      I need to get you involved in our Kidney Afghans for Kids project for when you get down to the nubs. 6"x6" squares, any pattern, any color or variety of acrylic yarn. You look way more organized than I am. My stash is actually about 5 stashes scattered all over the apartment! LOL.

    • profile image

      soaringsis 5 years ago

      Your work is beautiful. I shall be back. Thanks for sharing.

    • CCGAL profile image

      CCGAL 5 years ago

      Really enjoyed this socrafty lens. I especially liked seeing all the totes because I have at any given time at least 3 different totes with a project inside, and I thought I was the only one. :)

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 5 years ago from Land of Aloha

      Yay for crochet! :)

    • PuttinUpWithSuzy profile image

      PuttinUpWithSuzy 5 years ago

      I love to crochet too! It's almost embarrassing to admit how many bins of yarn I have in my craft room. I'm working on a baby afghan now for a friend of mine. Your doilies are beautiful. I especially like the purple one.

    • EpicFarms profile image
      Author

      EpicFarms 5 years ago

      @Linda Pogue: You are so right - gives new life to the old adage "That makes me feel all warm and fuzzy" doesn't it? ;o)

    • Linda Pogue profile image

      Linda Pogue 5 years ago from Missouri

      I love crochet. An added benefit to crocheting blankets in winter is that it keeps you toasty warm while you make it, since it is in your lap. Blessings!

    • knit1tat2 profile image

      knit1tat2 6 years ago

      Oh, I'm ready to add you to my family! A fiber gal that loves horses!!!! Though I usually knit, I do crochet as well. Both ways of playing with yarn can be beautiful and expressive!

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 6 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Returning to this fun story filled with your "crafty crochet' to tell you I added it to the "Related Pages" section of my crafty-creative-crochet story. Isn't crochet such fun?

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 6 years ago from United States

      You work is beautiful! I am impressed that you have so many pictures. I am infamous for giving my work away and then remember to take a picture :)

    • profile image

      marsha32 6 years ago

      I love to crochet! I always have a project going.

    • Lemming13 profile image

      Lemming13 6 years ago

      Terrific lens, blessing it and rolling it. About the afghan squares - I hate sewing too, so when I join mine I use my hook and slipstitch them together. Makes it a lot quicker and you can even make a feature of it with a contrast yarn or picking up a colour from inside a granny square.

    • profile image

      yhabe30 7 years ago

      Very nice lens!

      ______________

      living room furniture

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 7 years ago from Australia

      Wow! You are amazing! What beautiful items you have produced.

    • EpicFarms profile image
      Author

      EpicFarms 7 years ago

      @Wednesday-Elf: Thank you so much for your kind words Wednesday :o)

    • EpicFarms profile image
      Author

      EpicFarms 7 years ago

      @norma-holt: Oh, thank you; I'm off to take a peek...Woo! :o)

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 7 years ago

      Lovely lens you have woven here LOL. *-*Blessed*-* and featured on Sprinkled with Stardust - Crafts

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 7 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Delightful story about your crochet journey. Your filigree designs are lovely. I stick with plush stuffed animals in crochet. Easier for a left-handed crocheter, eliminating the need for 'reversing' patterns :o-

      Am lensrolling this page to my "Let me spin you a Yarn" lens, my story about how I arrived at crochet for a hobby over other fiber arts!

    • MomwithAHook LM profile image

      Sara Duggan 7 years ago from California

      All your projects are great. Really liking that deer filigree.

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 7 years ago

      I love to crochet but I'm still a newbee at it. Most of my projects are fairly simple. I don't think I'll try a doilie for awhile yet.

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 8 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      love this lens! Great job!

    • EpicFarms profile image
      Author

      EpicFarms 8 years ago

      [in reply to Wysiwigs] Note to self: PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR TYPING (good grief! :oP

    • EpicFarms profile image
      Author

      EpicFarms 8 years ago

      [in reply to mimikmh@comcast.net] Actually it's a name, but since it's folded in half it is a bit hard to tell). There are a number of afghan patters that are worked in strips, so that would be my best guess. I'm not too familiar with those types of patters because they involve sewing the strips together (and I'd rather eat dirt than sew :o) A blanket of some sort would be my best guess - hope that helps!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      ??? On this main page; carry it anywhere doctors office: In the middle bag is filigree work. It looks like a cabbage rose. I was at the hospital last week and there was a lady working on this project, but she was putting it together in strips. Do any of you have an ideal how to do this project???? Or what it might be?? It was done with peaches and cream.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      ??? On this main page; carry it anywhere doctors office: In the middle bag is filigree work. It looks like a cabbage rose. I was at the hospital last week and there was a lady working on this project, but she was putting it together in strips. Do any of you have an ideal how to do this project???? Or what it might be?? It was done with peaches and cream.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I would never have the patience for the projects you take in but I do make crocheted string bags when I'm in airports and on airplanes. I made a lens with my pattern. Thanks for this lens!

    • profile image

      boutiqueshops 8 years ago

      Crochet was my first passion, learning at 15. Still love it. Afghans are my favorites. Congrats on a fine lens! Favorited!

    • LizMac60 profile image

      Liz Mackay 8 years ago from United Kingdom

      I used to do lots of crochet. Can't think why I stopped. Perhaps I will get going again. Thanks for your input. 5 stars

    • ClassyGals profile image

      Cynthia Davis 8 years ago from Pittsburgh

      Crocheting is truly a most unique craft today. I especially like blankets and doilys. Wish I had more time, I'd get back to crocheting.

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 8 years ago

      As a child I've learned all these traditional crafts and never really enjoyed them enough to do much afterwords. However, I do admire the final products and appreciate since I know how much work and skill it takes to finish one. You sure make beautiful things and beautiful lenses!! :)

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 8 years ago

      Once my mother arrives I'll be shutting down my computer and pulling out my hooks. I can't wait!

      Thanks for sharing

      Lizzy

    • annetteghallowe1 profile image

      annetteghallowe1 8 years ago

      The only crochet I have done recently is crocheted beaded bracelets which is a WIP lens...Maybe Bonnie will have us do a "How To" lens next time?! ;-)

    • Tiffany3 profile image

      Tiffany3 8 years ago

      LOVE it! I keep meaning to learn to crochet...

    • Tuula Olin profile image

      Tuula Olin 8 years ago

      As you said, it is awesometastic!

      I used to do lot of knitting and some crochet. Now I feel like I want to get into crocheting, right now! You know the feeling when your fingers kind of fiddle with wanting to feel the thread in them and the needles too. I really have to go and buy some yarn.

    • LakeMom profile image

      LakeMom 8 years ago

      Jen - you have inspired me! I haven't crocheted since I was in HS! I think I have the bug! Now where are my hooks? Calls for a trip to Hobby Lobby or maybe Michaels or maybe AC Moore - heck I'll just hit all three!

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 8 years ago from USA

      Beautiful!

    • profile image

      bdkz 8 years ago

      Wonderful! I love to crochet too!

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 8 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      Love it, Jen! I love to crochet too. Right now I'm working on a sweater for my granddaughter...