Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Look, Ma! No Holes!


My Beloved Crochet Hook Set

No matter what your favorite method is to use up lots of nice yarn, everyone needs a set of crochet hooks in their bag. If I'm working on a crochet project, I have everything I need right here. The small, silver hooks over on the left are for adding beads to a project. If I'm knitting and want to do a crochet cast-on, or I need to correct a mistake in a st several rows below or if I have a dropped st, then no matter what needle size I am using, I have a crochet hook that will work perfectly with my fabric. The other neat thing about crochet hooks is that once you have a set - unlike with knitting - you really don't need others. You don't need a size D hook in several lengths, or in several different materials to work with different yarns. Personally, I like metal hooks because I feel that hooks should be really slick and slippery in order to make the hand movements of crochet easier. Some people prefer wooden hooks and there are some really gorgeous wooden hooks out there now. Try some out, find what material works best for you, and invest in a whole set - you'll be surprised how often you need them, even if you aren't crocheting.

But I've said it before and I'll say it again, every knitter should know how to crochet. If you already know how to crochet you've got it made! Personally, I think crochet is easier to learn than knitting, and easier to do. You can work in three dimensions, you can attach to fabric anywhere - on an edge, in the middle of the fabric - and embellish till your eyeballs fall out! Crocheted lace edges are one of my favorite touches to finish a garment.

Because our beloved Marianne teaches two wonderful crochet classes at Kiwi for beginners - Crochet 101 and 102 - I'm not planning to attempt to teach crochet in this blog, but I'd like to pass on a couple of techniques you might like.

If you remember the first era of Granny Squares - which are making a comeback - then you started your squares and circles by crocheting a small chain of sts...



Use a slip stitch (sl st) to join them into a ring...



Chain two, and then work 7 dc into the ring.



Work a sl st to join the end of the round with the beginning of the round...



And you've got a hole in the center. This looks fine with Granny squares because the holes work with the way the rest of the fabric looks. But if you want a solid fabric, this is not the best way to go.



Enter the Magic Circle...
Just form a double loop with your yarn (I like a single loop better, experiment and see what works best for you), with the tail to the right and the working yarn to your left...



Get ready to work the first round.



Use your hook to pull up a loop in the center of the circle.



Chain two...



Work 7 dc in your circle and then sl st last st to first st in the round.



Pull the Magic Circle tight



HA! No holes! Isn't that brilliant?

1 comment:

AlisonH said...

Oh, cool! I would never have thought of that!