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Crafty Creative Crochet on Etsy & Elsewhere

Updated on July 23, 2015

Crochet is a Fiber Arts Craft

My crafting world revolves around the fiber art of Crochet. This story will tell you about the handicraft known as crochet, plus show you beautifully handmade examples of various techniques and stitches used in creating both practical and playful hand-crocheted items.

Personally, most of my crochet is done using single & double crochet, with the occasional fancy stitch for a border. Therefore, I really admire the crochet artists who create using intricate and beautiful stitches, as you will see in their gorgeous creations sprinkled throughout this page and featured in their Etsy Shops, and Elsewhere..

*Photo credit: Example of the Moss Stitch in Crochet: Photo shared through Creative Commons by Jilted Ballerina on Flickr

CC-SA by 2.0  "Vintage Crochet Doily"
CC-SA by 2.0 "Vintage Crochet Doily" | Source

Crochet in the Past...

The fiber art of crochet became popular as a craft during the 19th Century. Other needlecrafts were known earlier, but there is no real history of crochet much before that time. At least there do not appear to be any surviving samples of crocheted fabric in any collection much before the Victorian Era in England and Europe.

Crochet basically began in Britain, America and France as a less costly substitute for lace. In the mid 1800s, during the Great Irish Famine, nuns taught local women the art of thread crochet. This beautiful Irish Crochet (as we know it today) became a way for individuals to support communities whose traditional livelihoods were lost to wars and crop failures.

Although there were not many samples of crochet from early times, we have many fine examples today. Let's take a look at the variety available.

Crochet-Round Image Credit: CC 3.0
Crochet-Round Image Credit: CC 3.0 | Source

Basic Crochet

Crochet is begun by placing a slip-knot loop on the hook, pulling another loop through the first loop, and repeating this process to create a chain of the length needed for a specific pattern or project. Work the chain in rows, or in rounds. Stitches are made by pulling one or more loops through each loop of the chain, with only one loop left on the hook at any one time.

There are actually just 6 basic stitches --


*single crochet

*half-double crochet

*double crochet

*triple crochet

*double tripe/treble crochet

Most items use just two stitches, the chain and single crochet. By combining stitches, different patterns can be achieved.

There are many how-to videos for various kinds of crochet stitches available on YouTube and any number of articles with instructions, so individual ones won't be presented here. This is mainly a brief explanation of various crochet stitches ~ with delightful handmade examples showing how a particular stitch looks in a sweater, a scarf, a pair of booties...... etc.

The Various Styles of Crochet

The following are variants of the basic crochet method, with brief explanations and lovely hand-crocheted examples.

Lacy Crochet

Traditional Irish Crochet lace created with fine cotton yarn is renowned throughout the world and has become synonymous with all that is beautiful in handicrafts.

"Irish crochet". Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons -
"Irish crochet". Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - | Source

What began as a Cottage Industry has grown today to include many styles and forms from clothing created with crocheted fabrics to caps for newborn babies and darling plush animals for children. Every kind of yarn imaginable is used in modern creations, including baby yarn, sport yarn, 3- and 4-ply yarns, specialty, bulky and rug yarns. Cotton is still used in bedspread thread yarn and has become very popular today for washcloths and dishcloths because it is durable and strong. Wool yarn continues to be popular, particularly for home decor and winter wear (and many crafters love to 'felt' with wool yarn), and acrylic yarn is used by most crafters for its versatility and washability.

Victorian Rosebud Gift Bag - by Crochetbymsa on Etsy

Victorian Rosebud Gift Bag
Victorian Rosebud Gift Bag

Irish Lace is a type of lace created by crocheting separate motifs, which are later assembled into a mesh background.

This Victorian Rosebud Gift Bag is a lovely example of the pattern of Irish Lace. The delicate thread pattern is reminiscent of the romantic Victorian era.

This Rosebud Gift Bag was created by Maryann of Marshalls Creek, PA and can be found in her Etsy Shop Crochetbymsa. Come see all Maryann's beautiful 'Thread Art'.

Filet Crochet

Filet Crochet - Image Credit: CC 3.0
Filet Crochet - Image Credit: CC 3.0 | Source

Filet Crochet is a type of crocheted lace that is 'gridlike' because it uses only two crochet stitches, the chain and double crochet. It forms patterns by filling in parts of a chain stitch mesh. Filet crochet is used for decorative items like window curtains, tablecloths, coasters and placemats. Patterns are worked from a graph and created by combining solid and open meshes.

Filet Crochet Pink Lace Doily
Filet Crochet Pink Lace Doily

Wonderful Example on Etsy

of Creating a Lovely Table Runner or Doily in Filet Crochet

This lovely pink lace doily is a perfect example of filet crochet.

This doily was handmade by Edangra from Lithuania and can be seen in her Etsy Shop Edangra where you will find a wonderful variety of items in filet crochet.

Crochet Thread - Size 10 - Color 12 - RED
Crochet Thread - Size 10 - Color 12 - RED

Most delicate crochet of Irish lace and other lacy items from doilies to tablecloths and bedspreads are done in 100% mercerized cotton 'crochet thread'. It comes in a variety of colors, in addition to the traditional white.


Hairpin Lace Crochet

"Hairpin lace" by E.Zajdel - Own work. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons -
"Hairpin lace" by E.Zajdel - Own work. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons - | Source

Hairpin Crochet

Hairpin Crochet is created by using a tool that looks like a long 'hairpin' or tuning fork. This strip of lace must be removed from the frame before it may be used. Patterns consist of long strips that are joined together to form the finished article.

Hairpin Lace Shawl in purple, lavender and rose
Hairpin Lace Shawl in purple, lavender and rose

A Beautiful Example of Hairpin Lace in this Shawl

by annerstreet on Etsy

Anna, an Etsy Shopkeeper from Europe, designs original hand knitted and crochet fashion accessories, all handmade by her.

Here is a perfect example of the crochet technique known as 'Hairpin Lace' used to create this gorgeous lacy shawl in a mix of white, purple, orchid, and antique rose.

Anna's shop is filled with beautiful items, including more lovely shawls, hats, mittens and scarves. Come see all her lovely items at annerstreet.

Broomstick Lace

Broomstick Lace Stitch
Broomstick Lace Stitch | Source

Broomstick Lace is a Beautiful Crochet Stitch

Broomstick lace is a crochet technique that results in a very lovely pattern when used for clothing and blankets. It dates back to the 19th century and is done using a crochet hook and another long slender item such as a knitting needle. It is sometimes called jiffy lace or peacock eye crochet. The above example shows the lacy scallop design in a baby blanket which can be found below.

Broomstick Lace Baby Blanket
Broomstick Lace Baby Blanket | Source

Broomstick Lace Baby Blanket

by Tessasplace on Etsy

The Broomstick Lace crochet stitch was used to create this lovely Baby Blanket in shades of Blue, Green, Yellow, Grey, Brown, and White. The blanket measures 27 by 33 inches (approx. 2 feet by 3 feet).

It is the creation of Tessa from Louisiana and can be seen in her Etsy Shop Tessas Place.

Tunisian Crochet - or Afghan Crochet

Tunisian Crochet multi-colored baby sweater
Tunisian Crochet multi-colored baby sweater

Tunisian -- or Afghan -- Crochet is a technique that combines both knitting and crochet to form a soft, yet firm fabric. An 'afghan' hook is used for Tunisian Crochet, which is long like a knitting needle, but with a hook on the end. Like knitting, all the 'loops' for the number of stitches required are "cast on", then worked off, for each row. Unlike knitting, the work is never turned.

The Tunisian 'fabric' thus created is less elastic and thicker than normal crochet, making it very suitable for blankets and winter wear, as seen in the close up of this crocheted 'baby sweater' above.

*Image of Pastel Multi-Colored Tunisian Crochet Baby sweater taken by For Baby Creations for her Etsy Shop.

Granny Square - Sometimes called an Afghan Square

"Granny Square" sample. Attribution: By Durova (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
"Granny Square" sample. Attribution: By Durova (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons | Source

It tickles me to read the description of a granny square as being a crochet technique that produces square fabric by working in the round. Traditionally, a granny square is made with a series of chains and double-crocheted blocks--a kind of filet crochet in the round, if you will, working from the center outward. Crochet crafters usually create multiple small 'granny squares', called 'motifs', then put them together to form a completed piece.

Granny squares are most popular today for creating purses, shawls, scarves, and afghan-style blankets. In the 1970s there even appeared to be a 'Granny Square Trend' and variations on the theme were seen everywhere! The colors and pattern schemes for granny squares may have changed with time, but this form of crochet is still considered a 'staple' among crocheters. It's an easy technique to learn and these multicolor motifs are a great way to use up small amounts of left over yarn.

*This image of a 'Granny Square is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported and is presented by Durova on Wikipedia

Primary Colors Kindergarten Mat Blanket
Primary Colors Kindergarten Mat Blanket | Source

A 'Granny Square' Kindergarten Mat in Bright Colors

by TuttiFruittiDesigns on Etsy

A perfect example of what you can do with 'Granny Squares' is shown here in this darling kindergarten mat afghan in Bright Colors. It was created by the crafter behind Tutti Fruitti Designs on Etsy, Judie of Florida.

By the picture, you can see how nice the colors blend together to create a lovely afghan.It measures 39 inches by 33 inches.

Check out all the beautiful baby afghans in the Etsy Shop of TuttiFruittiDesigns

A Collection of Crochet Stitches

Shell Stitch or Fan Stitch - Creates a Lovely Decorative Pillow

Shell Stitch Pillow
Shell Stitch Pillow | Source

The Shell Stitch in crochet creates the shape of arcs and semicircles. It's often used as edging for Afghan blankets and sweaters. It can also be used for an entire item, such as seen in this lovely decorative pillow created entirely in shell stitch.

The crochet shell stitch is formed by anchoring several long stitches into the same base, anchoring both ends with short stitches in a manner that spreads out the cluster like a fan.

This crocheted pillow shown here in peach and rainbow yarn was handmade by a creative homeschooling mom to 5 in Colorado. It can be seen, along with a large variety of her other crafts, in her Etsy Shop lovinghandscrochet

Cluster Stitch Crochet - Creates a Lovely Shawl


A cluster crochet stitch creates a triangle shape resembling an upside-down shell stitch. It's worked across an equal number of stitches and joined together (clustered) at the top.

The example shown here is a lovely peach & white shawl created in a Triple Cluster Stitch pattern by Barbara, a crochet crafter in Reno, Nevada, and is featured in her Etsy Shop barbie777 Crochet Boutique

Crazy Stitch, Brick Stitch, Zig-Zag Stitch... - Variations of the Shell Stitch

Brick Stitch Afghan
Brick Stitch Afghan

The crazy stitch (or Brick Stitch... or Zig-Zag stitch) in crochet makes a unique pattern by using double or triple crochets in an offset shell pattern. It's sometimes called a brick stitch because the interlocking sections at an alternating left or right slant make the finished work look like a brick wall.

Kristen of Illinois created this lovely afghan in crochet using the 'Brick Stitch'. It's available in her Etsy Shop she calls The Happy Star.

Puff Stitch - Creates a Cute Cap!

Crochet Puff Stitch Baby Beanie
Crochet Puff Stitch Baby Beanie

The crochet puff stitch is named such because it gently 'puffs up' into an oval shape. Puff stitching adds great texture to crocheted fabric. To crochet a puff stitch, you half-close several stitches worked in the same stitch and then join them together to finish the stitch.

The 'Puff' stitch creates a beautiful design in this adorable baby beanie created by Isabelle in Greece and can be found in her Etsy Shop Isabelle Knits.

Popcorn Stitch - A very versatile crochet stitch

Popcorn Stitch baby booties
Popcorn Stitch baby booties | Source

The Popcorn Stitch is similar to the Puff Stitch in that it is oval and stands out from the fabric. It is similar to a shell stitch, involving putting multiple stitches in one base stitch, then the stitches are pulled together at the top. This makes the stitches puff out to make a three dimensional bubble in your pattern.

A great example of the Popcorn Stitch can be seen in this adorable pair of baby booties. The pattern for the booties was created by Emily of Minneapolis, and can be seen in her Etsy Shop Puffalump Brand.

Cable Stitch Crochet - Fisherman-Style Sweater

Fisherman Style Cable Stitches in Crochet
Fisherman Style Cable Stitches in Crochet

Most crafters in the field of fiber art relate a 'cable stitch' to Knitting. As seen in this example, cables can also be created in crochet.

To make a crocheted cable you will need 4 stitches. Make a chain in multiples of 4, plus add 3. Four (4) cables would be 16 stitches, plus 3, equals 17. Therefore you'd begin with a chain of 17 stitches.

Pictured above is a a man's fisherman style sweater that will be a treasure for years to come. It has vintage styled designs of cables, baubles, popcorns, diamonds, and ribbing. It has been beautifully handcrocheted in the traditional style with set in sleeves and ribbing around the collar, waistband and cuffs. It is the creation of a crochet crafter from Phoenix and can be found in her Etsy Shop Crochet Gal.

Cable Stitch Tutorial

For an excellent tutorial on the crocheted cable stitch, check out How to Crochet a Cable Stitch from All Free Crochet.

Wave Pattern Stitch - in a lovely afghan

Chevron Zig-Zag Wave Design Afghan
Chevron Zig-Zag Wave Design Afghan | Source

A wave pattern is created by repeating double crochet stitches interspersed with increases and decreases. It looks particularly interesting on crocheted washcloths & blankets like this lovely afghan. The wave pattern is also called a 'Zig Zag Chevron' pattern.

Check out this Zig-Zag Chevron pattern afghan pictured above. It was created by Jackie in New Hampshire and featured in her Etsy Shop JD Crochet Creations.

Crocodile Stitch Crochet - Looks Adorable on the Top of a Pair of Baby Booties!

Crocodile Stitch Crochet Booties
Crocodile Stitch Crochet Booties | Source

The Crocodile Crochet stitch is the perfect 3D technique to imitate feathers or scales. The stitch is worked into a base of several V-stitches on a base of double crochet and separated by single crochet stitches.

Meg, a crochet crafter from Canada, created these adorable Baby Booties using the crocodile stitch. Visit her Etsy Shop The Crazy Cute Shop where she features her handmade Cute and Fun crochet items from dolls to animals to hats and more!


Amigurumi - The Japanese Art of knitted or crocheted small stuffed animals

Many of the crochet techniques and stitches presented here date back to the 18th and 19th centuries. One style of crochet -- Amigurumi -- is quite recent, having it's beginning around 2003. It has no practical use, but is becoming a well-loved creation because of it's overall 'Cuteness'. Typically, amigurumi animals have an over-sized spherical head on a cylindrical body with undersized extremities. Sometimes inanimate objects are crocheted and given features, once again creating something 'cute' and a fun toy. They are a fun item to create and easy to do as most are made 'in the round' with single crochet.

With Amigurumi.... you can make Dolls!

Handmade Amigurumi Doll
Handmade Amigurumi Doll | Source

... Like 'SweetDolls' on Etsy Did

Come meet Dawn, a Florida crochet crafter who has an Etsy Shop called Sweetdolls. Dawn creates a variety of dolls in crochet in the popular Amigurumi style. This one she created with "Short Black Hair"- Adorable!

Dawn also combines her love for sewing with many of her crocheted creations, where several of her darling dolls are wearing pretty dresses. They all can be found in her Etsy Shop sweetdolls

Amigurumi Makes Fun Playtime Purses for Little Girls

Pinkalicious style cupcake purse
Pinkalicious style cupcake purse | Source

Playtime purses for little girls who love to imitate 'mom'. This mom created this darling cupcake style purse inspired by her daughter's favorite book "Pinkalicious" will charm all children at playtime!

This Etsy Shopkeeper is a stay-at-home mom of 2 who has a passion for cupcakes and crafts. The result is delightful 'Playtime items' for kids to enjoy. Check out her darling shop stayhomecupcake filled not just with crocheted cupcake shaped purses, but all sorts of fun items

Amigurumi Toys are also Popular - Cute for Little Boys...

Amigurumi car and airplane Baby Rattles
Amigurumi car and airplane Baby Rattles

Marika lives in Estonia, a small country in Northern Europe. She stays home with her two little boys and creates the cutest little animals in crochet, many of which she turns into rattles for babies. The items I like best, though, are her darling little cars and airplanes, like this set of toy car and airplane baby rattles!

Come see her whole selection of the cutest Amigurumi crocheted crafts in her Etsy Shop ByMarika

Amigurumi Animals - Roly-Poly Penguins in 'basic Tuxedo' and some 'non-traditional' colors.

Roly Poly Amigurumi Penguin in Red
Roly Poly Amigurumi Penguin in Red

The Amigurumi style of crochet makes the cutest little animals. Roly-poly Amigurumi Penguins created in a variety of colors (like this one in Red), as well as the standard 'Tuxedo' black & white are creations of Coastal Crochet Crafts on Etsy.

Felted Crochet - This Felted Handbag is featured in the Etsy Shop of flowerbasketladybug

Felted Green Apple Handbag
Felted Green Apple Handbag | Source

Felting is the shrinking of the material together using water, heat, and agitation. The fibers will lock together, and what once was a loose crocheted piece of cloth now will look like a solid fabric. Felting is wonderful for knitted or crocheted bags, because it will tighten the fibers into one durable material. The yarn used in a felted project needs to be 100% animal fibers, so wool yarn is usually the felting material of choice.

A creative crafter who crochets, knits and sews all her creations made this lovely and practical felted green apple handbag. It's a lovely example of what can be created by crocheting with wool yarn, then putting the item through the felting process. This New Jersey crafter also creates scarves and pins, along with her handbags, and features them in her Etsy Shop flowerbasketladybug

For Felting your Crochet - Choose 100% Wool Yarn

Premier Yarn 3-Pack Wool Worsted Yarn, Kelly Green
Premier Yarn 3-Pack Wool Worsted Yarn, Kelly Green

For all your felting projects, 100% wool worsted yarn is the yarn of choice.


For Cute Stuffed Animals and Toys - Acrylic Yarn is Best

Red Heart  Super Saver Economy Yarn, Shocking Pink
Red Heart Super Saver Economy Yarn, Shocking Pink

Acrylic yarn is extremely versatile and best for crocheting plush animals & toys because it is machine washable and can be dried in the dryer. Perfect for baby toys that need to be washed regularly.


How-To's for Crochet Stitches?

I have not included instructions for all these stitches, because many 'How-To's' are available online.

Crochet Crafting

Crafting in crochet, or learning various crochet stitches and techniques, can be a very enjoyable and relaxing activity. Did you know that Crochet is considered a form of meditation? :-)

I'd love to read your comments about the crafty world of crochet.

© 2011 Wednesday-Elf

Do you like to Crochet? - Or would you like to learn?

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    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 2 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      I went to Google translate, and astrid said: "The truth is I do not understand anything because everything is in English but I see I love hopefully some patterns came with Spanish translation". Thanks so much for your visit astrid. I'm sure there are crochet patterns available in Spanish for you.

    • profile image

      astrid 2 years ago

      La verdad es que no entiendo nada por que está todo en inglés pero lo que veo me encanta ojalá algunos patrones vinieran con la traducción en español

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 2 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      It's fun trying out new crochet stitches, isn't it, Linda? I'm still trying to master the 'seed' stitch. That 'reverse sc' seems difficult to me. Perhaps it's because I crochet left-handed, which some would say I'm already doing stitches in reverse...LOL. Thanks for dropping by.

    • Linda Pogue profile image

      Linda Pogue 2 years ago from Missouri

      I have crocheted using some of these stitches. I still play to try broomstick lace and hairpin lace someday. I enjoyed the hub and the images.

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 2 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Your crocheted shopping bags sound wonderful, Pam. I bet they are very strong and sturdy made of twine. Do you have a tutorial about them?

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 2 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Delighted you liked these crochet examples, Susan. And thanks for the kind words. I DO love to crochet.

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 2 years ago from Land of Aloha

      I'm currently working with parcel post twine and crocheting shopping bags. Number six is almost done; it IS addictive. :)

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      So many stitches and things I didn't know you could do with crocheting here. You are the crochet queen! Pinning so I can reference you hub again and again. Very very useful info and beautiful work too!

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 2 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Crocheting IS addictive, but it's also very relaxing... and even meditative. One of these days you'll find time for it and then there will be no stopping you. :) Thanks for the visit.

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 2 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Love the work on this page. I sure wish I could crochet like this! I can do basic crocheting and have made a few things, but on my list of things to master (a little later when my time permits) is to crochet a lot better than I do now. Once I start though, I'll never stop, it's so addictive!

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 2 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      I also appreciate the needlework talent of crafters on Etsy and everywhere and also the writing & musical talent of others. We each have our own area of 'talent', OhMe. Thanks for your visit.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 2 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I can't crochet and in fact I can't do much of anything with a needle and thread for some reason but I do appreciate all you who can. This is a beautiful page filled with lots of talent.

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 3 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      @tazzytamar: Getting good at crochet just takes lots of practice...LOL. I've been doing it for over 35 years. :) Thanks for visiting.

    • tazzytamar profile image

      Anna 3 years ago from chichester

      I'm just learning, but you are so talented! I adore the shell stitch cushion and the baby bits :) I hope I fan be that good one day

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 3 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      @rob-hemphill: Thanks for your visit Rob3. Nice to see a 'guy' appreciate the art & craft of crochet. It IS fascinating!

    • rob-hemphill profile image

      Rob Hemphill 3 years ago from Ireland

      Great lens! I remember my grandmother spending a lot of her time crocheting. It was fascinating to watch.

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 3 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      @QuiltFinger: Glad my page inspired you, QuiltFinger. I love to crochet and greatly admire the versatile projects fellow crochet crafters come up with. From afghans to plush animals, crochet offers a wide variety of things to try. Thanks for stopping by.

    • QuiltFinger profile image

      QuiltFinger 3 years ago from Tennessee

      Wow, wow, wow. This lens is SO good. We learned how to crochet is school in 5th grade, but I never really took to it. This page is so inspiring. It's infinitely more versatile than I ever imagined and reminds me of the zigzag and granny square afgans that my grandmother had. I might give it another try, and I will definitely look for a cool handcrafted piece to add to my wardrobe. Thanks so much for sharing your passion and opening my eyes!

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 3 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      @marsha32: A handmade soap saver and handmade soaps would just naturally go together. Very nice. Thanks for stopping by, my fellow crochet crafter! :)

    • profile image

      marsha32 3 years ago

      I love to crochet too.

      I have some of those soap savers you highlight in your intro in my shops online.

      A gal who makes and sells homemade soaps ordered them from me and I ended up making a bunch more to list.

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