Thursday, January 25, 2007

Ten Insider Crocheting Tips by Belinda Mackenzie

The lovely art of crocheting and knitting is regaining popularity. More and more women are interested in making crochet items with high quality yarns and threads. It is a pleasure for the experienced crocheter to create an item with different yarn textures and colors.
Here are some useful hints and directions to make crocheting easier.
There are two kinds of crochet patterns:
1. Patterns in the form of a diagram with a short explanation of the symbols that represent the stitches to be used. This kind of crochet pattern is often used in Europe.
2. Written crochet patterns that explain which stitches are to be completed as well as the order of the stitches. This are the patterns mainly used in the US.
Reading your pattern:
It is important to understand the abbreviations used in the pattern. Memorizing the abbreviations helps you to become a faster and more efficient crocheter.
Ten crocheting tips:
1. Crochet patterns and instructions are worked in rounds or rows. It will be indicated on the pattern if you are working in rounds, rows or mixture of both.
2. All crochet designs begin with a “foundation chain”. For a straight piece of crochet it is a long chain and for a project that starts with a circle it is a short chain. The small chain is closed with a “slip stitch". Do not make a “slip stitch” into the first stitch.
3. Crochet patterns and instructions are generally ranked according to difficulty level being advanced, intermediate, easy or beginner. Choose a pattern with a difficulty level that suits your abilities. Increase your level of difficulty as your skill advances.
4. Hold the hook and the yarn so that it is comfortable in your hands to allow the yarn to flow without restraint. To ensure the correct size of your work you need to maintain an even pressure when crocheting.
5. Count the stitches that you have made as you go on with your work to monitor the stitches needed on each round or row as required by the pattern.
6. Count the number of chains at the beginning of each row to ensure the correct height and length for the succeeding row. This “turning chain” establishes the first or “initial stitch” of the next row.
7. Make a sample of the pattern to get an indication of the size. When the size of the sample turns out larger than indicated on the pattern use a smaller hook and when the size is smaller use a larger hook.
8. Pick up two loops from the previous row of the stitch at all times except when the pattern indicates to pick up either the back or the front loop.
9. A “space” is described as the interval between stitches.
10. On completion of your work, pull through a “loop on hook” one last time and cut the yarn and pull the end through.
When you actually start a crochet project make sure that you follow the instructions as they are printed. Prepare your devices beforehand to ensure the smooth flow of your crocheting.
For more crocheting resources written by Belinda MacKenzie go to http://www.topcrocheting.com/ or http://www.crochetingquickguide.com

Thank you Belinda for a very informative article about crocheting. If you crochet or knit and would like to sell your finished crafts online, visit HandmadeCatalog.com today!
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