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Crochet Tips--Materials You'll Need and How to Wash and Shape Fancy Work

Updated on August 21, 2016
Athlyn Green profile image

Athlyn Green is an avid crocheter and knitter. She has a yarn shop in her home and designs and sells handcrafted goods.

Fine Crochet Has the Look of Lace


Materials You'll Need for Crocheting Fine and Fancy Items

If you love the look of fine crochet, it's relatively easy to get started. All you need is a hook and crochet cotton and using these, you came make fine crocheted items.

Your choice of crochet materials determines the look of your finished product. If you are interested in making fine crocheted edgings, doilies and tablecloths, crocheted runners, valances or curtains, these are made with crochet cotton and a finer hook.

For this type of fancy work, you don't use yarn but rather crochet cotton, because you want a less dense texture and more of a lacy effect.

Steel hooks, size .75-1.25

Mercerized cotton, size 10-40

What You'll Need to Make Fancy Work

  • Steel Crochet Hooks--Steel crochet hooks generally come in smaller sizes and they work very well for making lacy crochet items.
  • Mercerized Cotton--Mercerized cotton (pearl) is treated to make cotton thread stronger and to give it a lustrous appearance. This treatment also helps the cotton to resist mildew. As well, mercerized cotton is particularly suited for fine crocheting because it has an inherent stiffness which helps finished pieces to hold their shape.

Washing Your Fancy Work

How you treat your fancy work can make a big difference to overall appearance and can add years of life to any piece.

  • Never launder crocheted items in your washing machine
  • Wash by hand and avoid using hot water because the cotton will shrink
  • If you want to tighten your work (if you feel your tension was on the loose side), wash in lukewarm water to shrink work
  • Squeeze gently and place your crocheted pieces on a towel

"Pulling out" Instructions for Your Fine Crocheted Pieces

Spread pieces out with your fingers, pulling gently, working with your hands to shape. Keep spreading and working out toward the edges so that pieces assume the same size as prior to washing. This step is important and will transform the look of any crocheted piece. By spreading and gently pulling, you almost give your work an ironed look. The stiffness of the cotton will help the crocheted items to retain shape.

Some people opt for a doily board. This can be made from a piece of Styrofoam and you follow the same procedure, then pin your work on the board to dry.

Starching Instructions for crocheted items

Some people opt to starch their crocheted items. This can be done after pieces are washed.

Add some Ivory starch to water and stir (following starching instructions), then dip crocheted items in the mixture.

Continue with pulling out and drying instructions.

Drying Instructions for Doilies and Fine Crocheted Items

Never place items in dryer. Always allow crocheted items to air dry. Any heat would cause shrinking and your crochet thread would lose the necessary stiffness needed for the finished appearance.

If desired, you can press your work with a warm (not hot) iron but be careful when doing so to avoid scorching. You might opt to place a cloth over your crocheted work first.

Crocheting Poll

What are your favorite crocheted items?

See results

Lacy Crocheted Wallhanging--I'm proud of this panel I worked in filet crochet

By following the crochet tips in this Hub, you will turn out fine crocheted pieces you can be proud of.

© 2008 Athlyn Green


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    • Athlyn Green profile image

      Athlyn Green 5 months ago from West Kootenays

      Hi Charlotte, this pattern, maybe due to its popularity, has appeared, it seems, in some different publications. Thanks for this info, which should help readers.

    • profile image

      Spikewekpit 19 months ago

      Quality posts is the main to interest the users to go to see the web site, thatÕs what this web page is providing.

    • profile image

      Homer Dastoli 3 years ago

      [quote]8192 characters left.[/quote]

      Really all kinds of great tips!.

      Kudos. Fantastic stuff.

    • profile image

      Charlotte 4 years ago

      Hello, I think that the book that the table runner is BURDA Practical Handicrafts. It was published in Australia (I THINK) One was sold on their trader sight about two years ago. I contacted the seller but have heard nothing yet.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Wonderful well thought out hub. Thanks for sharing.

    • danielaridley profile image

      danielaridley 6 years ago from Texas

      Great Hub! I love to Crochet but haven't found many people in my area that also enjoy this craft. I am self taught and am always looking for great tips. One thing your poll was missing was wearables!

    • Athlyn Green profile image

      Athlyn Green 6 years ago from West Kootenays

      Hi Bedspreads,

      Wow! Thank you and please let me know how your class goes.

    • profile image

      Bedspreads 6 years ago

      great hub. I will use this for my next class called "craftywives"

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