All Tied Up In Knots

The Last Stitch in a Granny Squares Afghan

Photo: The Last Stitch in a Granny Squares Afghan

Crocheting is a fun and easy way to make blankets, garments, scarves, hats, toys, and anything else you can imagine. Whether you are sitting in a waiting room, passing the time on an airplane flight, or watching the kids during after school sports, crocheting is a very portable craft. All you need is yarn and a needle, which are both easily carried in a tote bag.

Crocheted Flower

Photo: Crocheted Floral Design

Whatever your learning preference, crocheting lessons are available in abundance. Formal classes are offered through craft stores, as well as fabric and sewing centers, but most people learn to crochet from family members or friends eager to share their craft. If you prefer a more social, group-learning experience, many churches have knitting and crocheting clubs that meet regularly. Another option is the local high school evening program, and of course the Internet features how-to videos for beginners and experts.

Zigzag Stitch

Photo: Zigzag Crochet Stitch

Shell Stitch

Photo: Shell Crochet Stitch

There are a multitude of stitches to choose from, including the single and double crochet, the zigzag, the shell, and the popcorn stitch. You can easily change the look of a crocheted item by: combining different stitches; changing the needle size or tension; using novelty yarns or multiple colors; the addition of beads and fringe.

Shawl Detail

Photo: Shawl Detail with Fringe and Beads

Yarn selections are amazing– textured, soft or bold colors, ultra soft, bulky versus fine gauge, heather, fiber content (acrylic, wool, cotton, nylon), ombre, and metallic. Manufacturers label their products with recommendations for needle gauge, and uses for each type of yarn. Craft stores have free downloadable project ideas with full instructions on their websites.

Turtle Doorstop

Photo: Adorable Crocheted Turtle Doorstop

Blankets make great housewarming, and baby gifts. For the college and professional sports enthusiast, team colors and logos can be incorporated into the design. Apparel, such as skirts, tops and dresses can be crocheted, but due to the open weave a lining is required, which is often knitted with matching yarn. Some of the more unusual crocheted items are stuffed animals, baby toys, handbags, pillows, and slippers.

Happy Crafting!