Crochet has finally come into fashion. Go shopping and it will not be long before you find crocheted bags, shoes, clothes and coats and don't be too surprised to stumble across crocheted swimsuits or flip flops.
Crochet has not been this popular for a very long time. But when we use the word crochet, what do we actually mean? The Encarta English Dictionary states that crochet is: ‘a form of needlework used to make clothes or decorative items from wool or thread, by looping it through itself with a special hooked needle crochet hook.’ However this description only briefly scratches the surface.
Crochet work is obviously made up of many forms of stitches all formed as already said with a crochet hook. These stitches come in many different forms we have our basic stitches including chains, double crochet, the treble family and slip stitches, we also have variations on these stitches. We can work in their fronts, backs into both, or even between these stitches, producing different stitch variations and looks each time.
By slightly altering what we do with these basic stitches and where we work into them we can produce different types of patterns in our work, giving our garments different effects. These effects can be textured, looped, lacy, shell like or clustered in appearance.
When crocheting we have a choice either to work in a straight line and produce work that is straight in appearance, with straight edges, or in the round, producing circular garments. Obviously we can also increase and decrease in our garments giving us total control on the finished shapes produced.
Probably one of the most well known items made using crochet is the Granny Square. This is a square motif crocheted up in the round, used for blankets and cushions etc. and highly suited for beginners. There are many patterns for crocheted motifs both square – known as blocks and circular in shape – known as rosettes.
Crochet itself has more than one form. We can crochet as we have described above and make ourselves a vast array of garments for both the home and our family or we can use a variation to this technique.
We could crochet using more than one colour of yarn; also it is possible just as in knitting to produce pictures in our crochet work called jacquards, by following a colour chart.
Tunisian Crochet is another form of crocheting. The hook used is slightly different to a traditional crochet hook as it has a knob on the end and is more uniform in shape, similar to a knitting needle with a hook on the end.
If you have ever seen crochet work that has the appearance of lace then you would probably have been looking at Irish Crochet. Motifs are usually made for decoration for garments rather than as separate garments themselves. The most common motifs consist of flowers and leaves. Irish Crochet is extremely pretty but is probably not a good place to start when learning to crochet as it can be rather fiddly.
One of the least known adaptations of crochet has to be Overlay Meshes. You start by crocheting up a grid similar to the one used in rug making. Then to finish you either crochet up the grid in vertical lines or sew up them instead with a tapestry needle. Each technique provides you with a different appearance.
The mesh grid we were talking about above brings me to the most common of crochet techniques, Filet Crochet. The grid consists of both empty and filled squares set out in a pattern which can produce some very stunning and detailed pictures.
Crochet is a rather versatile craft which produces so many variations in form depending on the techniques and types used. It is also a really rewarding craft, is quick, easy and fun to do.
There should never be any worries about running out of ideas of what to crochet next, the main problem with crochet is what shall I make first?
To read the whole article and learn more about crochet go to: http://www.crochet-made-easy.com/Patterns/choice.htm
About the Author: Author Ruth Talbot owner of www.crochet-made-easy.com and Hooked newsletter has more than 30 years crocheting experience and over 10 years as a lecturer.