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Updated on June 22, 2016

Single Crochet

Here is a swatch sample of simgle crochet I use to gauge stitches.
Here is a swatch sample of simgle crochet I use to gauge stitches.

Crochet: The Beginning

The exact beginning of crochet is arguable. It is, however, well known that early fishermen used flax woven rope and a handmade hooks to craft their fish nets as early as 3000BC.

When times were tough, wives of fishermen began selling crochet items made to put food on the table. Nuns also crocheted to assist the needy with clothing. Artisans enjoyed a vast variety of materials for their wares which enticed the wealthy buyer.

By the 1600’s, crochet had become a popular pastime everyone could enjoy. Crochet patterns as well as products were being shared and crochet products popping up everywhere. Crochet hooks were refined, improved and some were made from ivory materials

By the 1800’s, fancy Irish lace doilies adorn furniture, silk edging were seen on pillows, sheets and blankets. Irish lace necklines, cuffs, and decoration appeared on dresses and suits. Crochet jewelry was being worn. So, crochet was here to stay.

Popcorn stitch

Great pattern for baby clothing and hats
Great pattern for baby clothing and hats

Broomstick Lace

Originally made by pioneer women using their broomstick as the hook. Now made using size 35 or 50 needle with a size J hook
Originally made by pioneer women using their broomstick as the hook. Now made using size 35 or 50 needle with a size J hook

Yarn Type and Purpose

There are any number of things that you can crochet from fish nets to lace dollies. The yarn, thread, or fabric is what makes all the difference in the finished product.

Knit cro-sheen cotton or Glo-tone cotton is a 4 ply firmly twisted yarn to use with a size 5 hook. There are large color selections in this yarn and many shaded tones. This yarn is generally used for bedspreads, blouses, curtains, shawls and trims.

Metallic Knit cro-sheen cotton has cotton and Mylar woven together. It is also 4 ply twisted yarn to use with a size 5 hook. There are less colors available to use but they appear seasonally. This yarn is good for accessories, blouses and sweaters.

Speed cro-sheen cotton is an 8 ply firmly twisted yarn to use with a size 3 hook. There is a large color selection. This yarn is great for bedspreads, fashion accessories, tablecloths, place mats and trim.

Bedspread Cotton is a 4 ply firmly twisted yarn to use with a size 5 hook. Usually found in ecru or white only. Great for bedspreads, place mats, tablecloths, and trim.

Pearl cotton is a 2 ply loosely twisted high sheen cotton to use with a size 5 hook. There is a large selection and lots of colors to choose from. Make a blouse, fashion accessories, a vest, or use for trim.

Tatting crochet cotton is a firmly twisted yarn to use with a size 70 steel hook. There is a large color selection and the yarn is generally used to make lace or trim for pillows, dresses, cuffs, necklines, etc.

Boucle is a novelty loose bulky yarn to use with various hook sizes according to the pattern you are using. Great for accessories, blankets, dresses, and sweaters.

Six cord cotton is a firm twisted yarn available in ecru and white to use with a size 20 or 30 steel hook. Great for dollies, Irish lace trims, and tablecloths.

Three cord cotton is firmly twisted yarn to use with a size 10, 20, or 30 steel hook. Shaded colors usually use the size 30, white and ecru use any color according to your lace, tablecloth, or trim pattern.

"Boutique" yarn has been coming onto the shelves with new crochet patterns."Boutique" yarn like Baby & Luster Sheen yarn is 100% Acrylic yarn, very soft and can be used with any hook size. Used for baby items, and fashion accessories.

Super fine yarns made with 70% Wool, 25% Nylon, and 5% other fibers can be used with various hook sizes. The tweed colors with a soft metallic wrap are great to make fashion accessories and socks.

Heart & Sole yarn made of 70% wool super wash, 30% nylon is also permeated with aloe vera. This yarn was made for making scarves and socks. Use with a size 3.5 hook.

Sport weight yarn is 100% Acrylic yarn with No-Dye-Lot Solid colors is great for apparel and home décor to use with size G hook.

Simply Soft yarn is 100% acrylic worsted weight yarn made for G hook. Great for making afghans, baby accessories, pillows, and throws.

I could go on mentioning the varieties of yarn today, because there is no end to the type of material or fabric one can crochet. You can use strings of leather to crochet vests or lace fabric to make crochet scarves.


Honeycomb Stitch

Light and airy make the honeycomb stitching great for soft fashion accessories and throws.
Light and airy make the honeycomb stitching great for soft fashion accessories and throws.

Crochet Stitching

Here are a few of the most popular stitches.

  • Single crochet lends itself to add-on like appliqué and cross stitching.
  • The Afghan or Tunisian crochet stitch is a thick stitch great for warm sweaters and blankets.
  • Double crochet works quick and makes great ponchos, scarf and blankets.
  • The Treble crochet is a tall stitch that makes up quick and is great for a carry home tote.
  • Originally made from left over scraps of yarn, the Granny square has maintained its place as a well loved blanket.
  • A puff stitch, like the popcorn stitch featured picture, is a stitch made up of multiple stitches connected at the top and bottom. Lovely patterns great for soft fluffy throws and baby clothing.
  • The shell stitch takes your mind to the peaceful sea and sea shells. The sea shell pattern is used for accessories, a very nice looking blanket, or tablecloth.

There are many more stitches. Find a nice crochet class at the local craft store {I teach at the local Michael's Craft Store in my community] join a class at the YMCA, a community center, or other instructional arena. Its fun and useful to crochet. Recently I not that our Veterans have been requesting afghans and there is a request for them to be distributed to the wounded and disabled. Perhaps it is a good time for everyone to check out how easy and fun it is to learn this very old yet current craft style.

Crochet Hooks

Note steel hocks on the left and aluminum on the right
Note steel hocks on the left and aluminum on the right

Crochet Hooks

Crochet hooks are made using bamboo, wood, aluminum, steel, and other materials. When you start to crochet find one that best suits your hand. There are hooks that have hand supports, some are made wider and there are both right and left handed hooks.

Crochet hooks shown in the picture on the [R] correspond to the same size knitting needle. Larger number = Larger hook. Steel hooks [L] used for delicate & fine lace projects. Higher numbers = Smaller hooks. 00 is the largest steel hook. There are also specialty hooks made larger for broomstick lace and other projects.

Granny Square

Popular granny square patterns adorn, fashion clothing, beds, and cribs.
Popular granny square patterns adorn, fashion clothing, beds, and cribs. | Source

Granny Square

Pattern makes this sguare
Pattern makes this sguare

Granny Square Pattern

Row 1 – Using white yarn, foundation ch 5 and slst to make circle.

Row 2 – Using Light green yarn, ch 3 which is the 1st of three standing dc stitches. YO put hook through the hole and draw loop onto hook YO draw through 2 of the 3 loops YO draw last 2 loops making the 2nd standing dc, repeat to make the 3rd standing dc. Chain 1 to begin the 2nd set of 3 standing dc. After you make 4 sets of 3dc, slst into the first ch to finish row.

Row 3 - Using darker green yarn, ch 3 which is the 1st of three standing dc stitches in the holes. Repeat row 2 with first 3dc then ch 1 and still in that hole establish a corner by adding another set of 3 dc ch 1 skip to the next hole and repeat making a corner. When 4 corners are made slst to 1st & end row

Row 4 - ch 3 which is the 1st of * three standing dc stitches in the hole. Ch 1 skip to corner and place 3 standing dc ch 1 and 3 more dc ch then *continue until finished with row.

Free Tunisian Lesson

Afghan or Tunisian Crochet Method

The Afghan or Tunisian crochet stitch is a thick stitch. There is no holes for air to push through so you can make warm blankets, strong, firm purses, and thick fabric for coats. Here is a simple pattern. It has been said that while camels roamed their owners would pick camel hairs and use this as fabric to work the Tunisian Crochet Stitch.

Row 1 - ch st a row according to your pattern. Row 2 - Turn and put hook through the front loop *YO then pull the loop onto the hook.* until you reach the end of the row. Row 3 - * YO draw yarn through 2 loops. Row 4 to end - Continue Row 2 & 3 pattern rows until you finish the piece.

Crochet Bedspread

The Crochet Tablecloth

This story has been passed along as truth for several years on the internet. I don't know if it is true but it shows how crochet items are generally passed on from year to year person to person, so here it is:

Allegedly a true story - submitted by Pastor Rob Reid who says God does not work in mysterious ways. A brand new pastor and his wife were assigned to their first ministry assignment in suburban Brooklyn.They arrived in early October excited about their opportunities. When they saw their church, they were disinherited as it was very run down and needed much work. But, determined, they set a goal to have everything done in time to have their first service on Christmas Eve. They worked hard, repairing pews, plastering walls, painting, etc, so on December 18 were ahead of schedule and just about finished.

On December 19 a terrible driving rainstorm hit the area and lasted for two days. On the 21st, the pastor went over to the church. His heart sank when he saw that the roof had leaked, causing a large area of plaster about 20 feet by 8 feet to fall off the front wall of the sanctuary just behind the pulpit, beginning about head high. The pastor cleaned up the mess on the floor, and not knowing what else to do but postpone the Christmas Eve service, then headed home. On the way he noticed that a local business was having a flea market type sale for charity so he stopped in. One of the items was a beautiful, handmade ivory colored, crocheted tablecloth with exquisite work, fine colors with a Cross embroidered in the right in the center. It was just the right size to cover up the hole in the front wall. He bought it and headed back to the church. About this time, it had started to snow. An older woman was running from the opposite direction trying to catch a bus but missed it. The pastor invited her to wait in the warm church for the next bus 45 minutes later. She sat in a pew and paid no attention to the pastor while he got a ladder, hangers, etc., to put up the tablecloth as a wall tapestry. The pastor could hardly believe how beautiful it looked and it covered up the entire problem area. Then he noticed the woman walking down the center aisle. Her face was like a sheet. 'Pastor,’ she asked, 'where did you get that tablecloth?' The pastor explained..The woman asked him to check the lower right corner to see if the initials, E.B.G. were crocheted into it there. When he checked, they were. The woman stated that she had made the tablecloth 35 years before, in Austria and could hardly believe it as the pastor told how he had just gotten the Tablecloth. The woman explained that, before the war, she and her husband were well-to-do people in Austria. When the Nazis came, she was forced to leave. Her husband was going to follow her the next week. He was captured, sent to prison and she never saw him or her home again. The pastor wanted to give her the tablecloth; but she made the pastor keep it for the church. The pastor insisted on driving her home; that was the least he could do. She lived on the other side of Staten Island and was only in Brooklyn for the day for a house-cleaning job. What a wonderful service they had on Christmas Eve. The church was almost full. The music and the spirit were great. At the end of the service, the pastor and his wife greeted everyone at the door and many said that they would return. One older man, whom the pastor recognized from the neighborhood continued to sit in one of the pews and stare, and the pastor wondered why he wasn't leaving. The man asked him where he got the tablecloth on the front wall because it was identical to one that his wife had made years ago when they lived in Austria before the war, and how could there be two tablecloths so much alike. He told the pastor how the Nazis came, how he forced his wife to flee for her safety and he was supposed to follow her but he was arrested and put in a prison. He never saw his wife or his home again all the 35 years in between. The pastor asked him if he would allow him to take him for a little ride. They drove to Staten Island and to the same house where the pastor had taken the woman three days earlier. He helped the man climb the three flights of stairs to the woman's apartment, knocked on the door and he saw the greatest Christmas reunion he could ever imagine. Moral of the Story: When there is nothing left but God, you find He is all you need.

Using Edging to fix row errors

Correcting Crochet Errors

How to pickup a dropped crochet stitch is easy: Insert your hook down through the next chain or loop and under the dropped strand. With hook pull dropped yarn gently up towards the place where it should have been. At this point make sure your dropped stitch is facing the right way and add to the work.

Correct multiple dropped stitches by pulling out stitches or picking up several stitches in multiple rows and crocheting up the work instead of pull out all your stitches. However your work may look better if you tear out your mistakes and redo the piece.

Using the wrong yarn – Most patterns call for a specific gauge of yarn and have a color number. Manufactures put gauge suggested hook size and dye lot color on each skein of yarn to help the crafter. Most patterns also call for yarn of a specific texture or material, so make sure you read the instructions and know the implications of deviating from them.

  • If you use a different color number you will not get the same dye lot color and white is not white so your work will look odd. It is best to get all the skeins you need before you start the project.
  • By using a different gauge your work will have a different size. If you use too large of a gauge, your project will turn out larger than expected. If you use too small of a gauge, it will turn out smaller.

If you have uneven tension your pattern will not look like it should. Maintaining an even tension is important if you want your finished product to look like it should. Beginners often have trouble with this, but it becomes easier once you’ve gained some experience. So pick a looser pattern so that the tension errors can be forgiven or practice until you can get ti correctly.

Counting errors. Making the correct number of stitches is important for every project. Even the most experienced crocheter can make a counting mistake, so don’t be afraid to double check if you’re not sure. You can also use stitch markers to help.

Crochet in the wrong chain or space will cause problems with the pattern. In most cases, it will be easy to see the correct spot where your hook should be inserted. Some folks make the mistake of splitting the yarn, or going through either the front or back of the chain. This throws the whole project off unless the instructions tell you otherwise, it’s important to go through both loops. Going through only the front loop makes the work thinner, and going through only the back loop makes a ridge pattern.

Turning mistakes - If you are doing a single crochet stitch, you should not skip a space after the turning chain unless the pattern tells you to do so. For all other stitches, you should skip a space; 2 for dc after chaining 2 and 3 for tc after chaining 3 and turning. This mistake is quite common for beginners, so don’t get discouraged if you make it. Just go back and fix it and remember what to do next time.

Misunderstanding terms – Crochet terminology for the United States and the United Kingdom is quite different. A single crochet stitch in the U.S. is a double crochet stitch in the United Kingdom, and each progressive stitch is different as well. If you’re not sure about where your pattern originated, be sure to double check. It could save you a lot of headaches once the project is complete!


Crochet Butterflies

Recently I have been working on crocheting butterflies. The butterfly itself makes a motif and you have to decide what to do with it once it's done. You can made multiple items. There is a good video on how to made crochet butterflies on YouTube.

Butterflies have always been loved because of their regeneration. One day, the caterpillar stops eating, hangs upside down from a twig or leaf and spins itself a silky cocoon or molts into a shiny chrysalis. Within its protective casing, the caterpillar radically transforms its body, eventually emerging as a butterfly or moth. No one cares much for the moth but everyone loves the beautiful butterfly.

Try making a butterfly and see how many things you can use the motif on. The list includes hats, gloves, scarves, blankets, rugs, purses, etc. Have fun!

Easy Crochet Butterfly Demo


Submit a Comment

  • mecheshier profile image


    4 years ago

    Thanks for the link Galadriel! It is well appreciated :-)

  • Galadriel Arwen profile imageAUTHOR

    Galadriel Arwen 

    4 years ago from USA

    I have always diversified the way I crochet to match the students needs. Sometimes they just need confidence and sometimes they need a different approach. In the past instruction of people with a variety different ailments including arthritis has also shown me that learning how to crochet requires a different approach and people need a live instructor to learn. I'm glad that this site helped you and congrats for being a teacher!

  • profile image

    Alise- Evon 

    4 years ago

    Being a crocheter myself, also, I often wonder who were the first people to create those interlocking stitches and put something together. Like you, too, I also teach (through community education). Sometimes I get a student who has crocheted just a bit and does something differently than I do- just learned a new way of threading my hand with the yarn this past week. It's so interesting to see things like that, plus, now I can pass the technique on to other students if they don't like the way I do it.

  • mecheshier profile image


    4 years ago

    What a fabulous Hub. Love the detail. Although I do not crochet I found this post fascinating. I always did want to learn how to make doilies. Voted up for useful and awesome

  • Galadriel Arwen profile imageAUTHOR

    Galadriel Arwen 

    4 years ago from USA

    Love the crochet patterns free from Priscilla who wrote in 1900's

    Came across a free/open book library on-line with patterns back in the 1800 and 1900s worth a look and see.

  • Galadriel Arwen profile imageAUTHOR

    Galadriel Arwen 

    5 years ago from USA

    Thanks Wonder wool and Phoebe Pike for the comments. I have been doing crochet since I was age five. It is a great way to give a little special gift to some one you love!

  • Wonder wool profile image

    Priyanka Estambale 

    5 years ago from United States

    This is so interesting..!! Crochet has been a part of my life and this is just so much more to know about how and where it all began.

    Thanks for sharing :) Voted up!!!!

  • profile image

    Phoebe Pike 

    5 years ago

    What a wonderfully informative hub! Two thumbs way up!


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