One of the great benefits of crochet is the fact that so little in the way of equipment is required. While many other crafts require specialist machines or equipment, a crochet hook and some yarn is all that it takes to make a wide variety of handmade items. Here are the essentials required to get started with crochet.
Crochet hooks come in a variety of sizes ranging from 2mm to 15mm or more. The very fine hooks create small stitches which are best worked with a thin crochet cotton. Larger hooks are suitable for other types of wool and yarn. As a rough rule, the thicker the yarn the larger the hook size, however the yarn label will give advice as to the size of hook required. Many crochet hook manufacturers sell packs of hooks in different sizes as well as individual hooks and these packs can represent good value for money.
Crochet hooks are manufactured from different materials. Resin or acrylic hooks are attractive because they are low cost and light weight. Over recent years, however, wooden hooks have become more widely available. These hooks are extremely lightweight and are very easy to use. Many wooden hooks are handmade and are more expensive than mass produced hooks, however many crocheters believe this to be a great investment.
The best hooks for crochet are always hooks that are completely smooth. Any rough edges will catch on wools and yarns causing snags. This can spoil the look of a finished project as well as be frustrating to work with.
The other key essential of crochet is yarn. The term ‘yarn’, however, is used in the very widest sense. In addition to traditional crochet cottons and other yarns, it is possible to crochet with wire, string or even strips of recycled plastic bags! This versatility is one of the reasons why crochet is popular with so many different types of people.
There are many different types of yarn and over recent years, highly fashionable yarns, such as fancy eyelash yarns, have become popular. Many crocheters prefer to crochet with plain yarns as this shows off the stitch patterns. Wool is always a good choice for crochet items, however it can be expensive and may also require hand washing. There are many modern man made yarns that are both low cost and attractive to look at and touch.
Yarns are graded by thickness and this makes substituting the yarns used in patterns straight forward. A double knitting yarn, for instance, should always be the same thickness regardless of the brand or manufacturer.
Crochet cotton is used for thread crochet and for making lace items such as doilies. Crochet cotton is available in a wide range of colours and is very hard wearing.
Crochet Patterns and Projects
It has never been easier to find interesting and exciting crochet projects! The Internet has opened up a huge range of opportunities to find crochet patterns and projects . These patterns range from free projects that someone has kindly published on their blog, through to patterns to buy through online stores.
Browsing the different crochet websites can be a great way to find inspiration for a future crochet project. The websites change frequently and the best way to find up to date ideas for crochet projects is to type ‘crochet patterns’ into a search engine.
Tip: It is always a good idea to bookmark any interesting websites as the rapidly changing nature of crochet blogs and websites means that it can sometimes be difficult to find the same one twice.
With just a hook, some yarn and plenty of good ideas, some great crocheted items can be created.