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What is Crochet

Updated on April 25, 2010

What is Crochet?

Crochet is an art which allows you to create a fabric using yarn or thread and a crochet hook. The word crochet comes from the french word which literally means hook.

The fabric is started with a slip knot or a magic circle. The hook is then used to pull a loop through the first loop, and another loop through the second, and so on, always keeping one active loop on the hook.

Once the foundation stitches are formed, the hook is inserted into the stitches of the previous row, so that the loops are pulled through the fabric as well as the loop on the hook. The yarn may be wrapped around the hook once or several times to create different stitches in the fabric. With crocheting you can insert the hook into the same stitch several times, or you can skip certain stitches to create intricate designs in the fabric.

The fabric is worked either in the rounds or in rows, and the different shapes which you can create are endless. When the fabric is worked in the rounds, the right side is always facing you, as the rounds are either joined together with a slip stitch, or, they are simply worked in a spiral round. When working in a continues spiral round, you will be required to use a stitch marker to mark the end of each round as you complete it.

When working in rows you will be required to turn the work over at the end of each row. This requires you to keep track of the right side of the fabric, as one side will have a slightly different texture than the other. This is very important when you are working on clothing items, or any items where different pieces will be sewn together to make one finished item.

There are several different kinds of crochet such as Broomstick lace, Cro-hooking, Filet Crochet, Hairpin lace, Irish Crochet and Tunisian Crochet.

What Can You Make With Crochet

Crochet allows you to create many useful items for around the house such as curtains, bedspreads, afghans, doilies and much more. You can create all types of clothing including sweaters, tank tops, skirts, hats, scarves, gloves, legwarmers, socks and slippers. You can also crochet amigurumi, and many toys for children, babies, as well as your pets.


Depending on what you crochet you will need a different kind of yarn. For example if you want to make doilies you will need a fine crochet thread, but when making sweaters to keep you warm, you will want to use a thicker yarn.

When crocheting for the baby you will want to use baby yarn as it is softer and thinner than most yarns which will not be too bulky or irritating to the baby.

There are stretchy yarns, cotton yarns which do not stretch, synthetics and many more in different textures, colors and thicknesses. Crochet patterns usually recommend which type of yarn you should use for each pattern.

Crochet Hooks

Crochet hooks are available in many different sizes to use with different kinds of yarn. A larger hook is suitable for thicker yarns and smaller hooks are used for thinner yarns and threads.

The hooks are metalic, aluminum, bamboo, plastic or hand-crafted from wood. The metalic hooks range from sizes 0.4 to 3.5 mm and are used to crochet with threads or thin yarn. The other hooks range from 2.5 to 19 mm and are suitable for thicker yarns.

Most crochet patterns can be worked using a regular crochet hook, but for Tunisian crochet you will need a special hook which resembles a knitting needle, only it has a hook at one end instead of a point.

Padded hooks are available to allow you to better hold your hook, and you can also get those which have a hook at both ends, known as double-ended crochet hooks.

Crochet Patterns

Most patterns are in written instructions, but there are also patterns available in diagrams, as well as in both written and diagram. Written patterns usually use a lot of abbreviations to shorten the length of the instructions, and to the beginning crocheter these can be confusing. But most patterns will provide explanations what the abbreviations stand for. If the pattern does not provide you with the explanations, you can use this crochet abbreviation chart to help you.

There are a variety of crochet patterns available ranging from beginner to advanced. The patterns can be found in pattern books, Internet, as well as leaflets which most yarn stores provide you with.

You can also visit CrochetN'Crafts for some free crochet patterns, or visit Crochet Pattern Central which the largest online crochet pattern directory.


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    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 6 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, Rhelena! Nice to meet you also. And no thanks required for the follow and vote...I meant both from the heart. And I THANKED you via message for FOLLOWING me. That made my day! Keep me posted on what you are doing and how you are doing. Thanks, Kenneth.

    • Rhelena profile image

      Rhelena 6 years ago

      kenneth avery, It is nice to meet you! thank you for the follow and vote.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 6 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Rhelena, GREAT hub. As a man, I have always wondered what crocheting was. You explained it thoroughly and professionally. I vote dup and away. Loved your writing style. I am now a fan and follower if that is okay with you. Sincerely . . .Kenneth Avery, from a rural town, Hamilton, in northwest Alabama that looks like Mayberry, where Andy and Barney lived.

    • Rhelena profile image

      Rhelena 7 years ago

      KoffeeKlatch Gals, Thank you for stopping by and commenting!

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      rhelena, wonderful description on crocheting. Great tips and advice.

    • Rhelena profile image

      Rhelena 7 years ago

      You are welcome! Thanks for stopping by..

    • profile image

      konrel 7 years ago

      Nice Hub. Thanks for the tips on crochet and patterens