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What is crochet

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I learned crocheting about a year after knitting. I was about 10, I remember, and crocheting was mysterious. How could you make woolen fabric with a stick with a hook at the end when 2 needles are needed for knitting?

When I delved into the world of crochet, I was amazed at how quick and easy this craft is. I often switch to crochet when I’m in the middle of a big knitting project, to take a break from endless knitting (which I love but can be slow) or to conjure up something quick when I’m suffering from a knitting block, the terrible feeling , if you just can’t decide what to do next,

For crochet, yarn is wrapped around a crochet hook to create stitches of different heights. Depending on the stitch, the fabric can be very dense or lacy. You have the choice. Crochet hooks are quite short compared to knitting needles and have a small curved hook at one end. Your stitches are shaped in this hook. Hooks come in different sizes, from very fine hooks for working tips to super chunky hooks for carpets and bulky garments.

Where did the crochet come from? Researchers believe that crocheting could have started many centuries ago in Arabia, China, or South America, although it is likely that the stitches were made more like macrame and shaped by hands rather than tools. The first real evidence of crochet was in France in the 19th century. In fact, the word crochet comes from the French word for “hook”, so it seems fairly certain to say that the craft there first showed its effect.

Lace crochet was very popular around the turn of the century and there are still some people who love to crochet lace doilies and placemats with fine cotton threads and small hooks. The modern trends tend towards Afghan carpets, scarves, scarves and clothes, as these articles are quickly completed and show the stitch structures. Nowadays, crocheted garments and housewares are made from a variety of yarns, including bamboo, cotton, wool, and even possum!

Can you imagine how Madonna crochets? Well it’s true! She likes to crochet together with Meryl Streep and Bette Midler. Queen Victoria also crocheted and wore her creations in public. I’m not sure Madonna would like to wear a square granny vest in public!

Learning to crochet is not difficult. Once you get the hang of holding the hook in one hand and anchoring your work in the other, it is not difficult to make stitches. I will not try to describe the technique in writing as I am sure you will pull your hair out! Crocheting, like knitting, is a visual art and must be conveyed by observing and copying the teacher’s movements. There are hundreds of wonderful tutorials on video sites like YouTube. So take a look around and see what you can expect. Better yet, find someone who likes to crochet and is willing to teach you. I guarantee that you will have at least one crocheted shell-sized piece in a few hours!

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