My history with crochet

I learnt to crochet from my mum when I was a little girl. I didn’t like to crochet from start so she gave up in teaching me. Then, when she already stopped giving me lessons I started to crochet. I have done with her a lot of crochet toys, that I don’t make anymore, and crochet home decor that I still love to make.

When I was in high school my teacher loved my work, and she decided to organize an exhibition of my crochet work. It was a time that I will always have in my memories, a happy moment. I also felt appreciated and proud that I can actually do something that people like and that I do it well.

I remember a funny story when I was still in high school. We had craft lessons, and we had at some point lessons for crocheting. At that time I already knew how to crochet, and some girl from my class asked me to crochet the doily she were suppose to make for the assignment. I made it for her, but when she showed it to the teacher, she could see that it’s my work and not the other girl’s work.

The last thing that I remember from school was that I had been part of the jury for a craft competition, that was in the last years of school, 9th or 10th grade. I was on cloud nine then. I felt good to see that people think that I am doing a good job with crocheting and other crafts.

When I finished school I had a bit of a rough time. I didn’t have a job, and I decided to sell the doilies that I was making. I sold a few of my doilies through a shop that sells handmade stuff, in the center of Chisinau, the capital city of my country. Also in that time I joined Handycraftsmen’s Union of Moldova and participated in an exhibition with them. I’ve been given a Certificate of participation and a medal as recognition as one of the Union member. They also loved my work. It makes me sad thinking about that, as all this happened a few years just before I left my country.

After that I had a few horrible years, in which I could hardly crochet or do any crafts. I got so desperate at some point about that, that I even tried to crochet with a hair pin,lol. Not sure I succeeded but i remember trying silly things like that.

Then I met my husband, I came to live with him in Singapore, then Malaysia. And we stayed in Malaysia for 10 years, in which I had plenty of time to crochet and do any craft I wanted, and study anything I wanted. If anyone from Malaysia or Singapore is seeing this post I recommend you to go to AmcorpMall, Petaling Jaya, the shop it’s called Adeline, got a lot of crochet and knit stuff, like nice yarn and hooks, and beads for sale if you want, and more. It’s a small shop but it has a lot of surprises, and she is a really nice lady.

Now in Australia I m getting a lot of crochet done by the week. I’m in a few crochet groups on Facebook and going once a week to a Crochet and Knit meeting. With my friend Kerry I got to learn more about written patterns, and with her I got to know a few more other things that I needed.

Have a nice weekend. ūüôā

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Crochet tension

Crochet tension depends on a few factors: the yarn and hook that you using, and how you perform. I might not be able to teach you how to have a perfect tension, but I can point out what you have to be aware of.

 

1

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Use the right yarn with the right hook or vice versa. I would say don’t use a much bigger hook with a thin yarn. What actually happens in this case is, that you can’t always keep it up, at some point in your work you ll make a tighter stitch and at some point looser stitch, you can’t control this combination. This is not bad just for tension, it is also bad in terms of how much your work will stretch. If your idea is to make something temporarily good then, go for it, but if you are thinking of making something that would last a long time, for many many years, you may as well use the right hook for the yarn.

 

 

2.The way you working with the yarn. You don’t let the yarn do what it pleases, somehow you control it. Controlling your yarn doesn’t mean you have to pressure crochet. Let your hand hold it so it doesn’t hold it in between your fingers like it’s stuck in there, or let it too loose.

 

3.

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The way you working with the hook. Don’t use the body of the hook, the part before the head of the hook, determine your tension. When you crochet a chain stitch and you are about to make the next stitch don’t keep the loop that you have on the hook on the body of the hook ,and stop from pulling the yarn and make the next stitch.

 

 

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Once you have the yarn on the hook you have to pull  slightly, so by the time the loop that you got on the hook it reaches the head of the hook it will be as large as the head, and make sure you can pull the yarn easily through it. I think this is more important than any other things for having a better tension.

How you can get to have your tension right. I read somewhere that you’ll have to practice, practice, and practice. While it’s true that practice makes perfect at the end of the day it depends on what you practice on. There are a few things you can crochet that will get you to achieve a good tension or perfect it.

Crochet toys. In order to have a good crocheted toy you need a smaller hook so you’ll not have so many holes through it so the stuffing inside the toy not to be visible. Also you crochet it in a single stitch(double crochet), one of the most stable stitches in crochet. You can’t go wrong with it.

Crochet lace. Crochet lace has a lot of chain stitches that you have to be careful to make them even. It will help you concentrate. Will be a bit hard from the start, but nothing good comes easy.

Sadly it all begins at the start with your very first chain stitch. Like in life, the first few years of your life determines you, so with crochet, the very first years you started to crochet it will give you what you have for a long time. Only by learning how to crochet better, and try to change the way you know how to crochet, can get you to crochet like you want, perfect.

I was just lucky with my mum. She had a book in Russian language with toys to crochet and I had a time when I was just doing that. Also I made a lot of crochet lace later, always was and am careful about how my chain stitches look like.

If anyone else knows more about the crochet tension or know more about how to make it be perfect can just comment under my article. Thank you.

Crochet essentials

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This article is about the tools and other things you need to crochet efficiently.

First of all you need crochet hooks. If you are a beginner you can just use a 3 dollar hook or even cheaper, its all up to you and what you can afford. You can have just simple crochet hooks, like the ones on top of the photo, and it will work as good as the ones with grip handles. I use any type of hooks, I got a simple tulip hook ,No 1.90, and is one of my favorite hooks so far.¬† Choose a hook that you’re comfortable to crochet with.

 

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Next you need yarn or crochet thread. In crochet is preferable to use a bit thinner yarn than when you knit. The process of crocheting makes the work to be a bit bulkier. It might not be a problem, but you have to be careful in this case what crochet stitch and pattern you are using.¬† I don’t like my work to have a lot of big holes or holes in general, that’s why I like to crochet with finer yarn.

If you crochet something for yourself you have to be careful about the yarn composition. Cotton, and in general natural fibers are much better than synthetic fibers. I’ve got very sensitive skin so I have to exclude for my personal use acrylic yarn and other of this sort, I can only use polyester yarn for myself if I have to. There are some blends like cotton-acrylic that are still bearable. If someone tries to convince you that acrylic is best because is cheaper and have more variety of colors that’ s not true. It might be cheaper, but its like that saying “you get what you pay for”. And color, nowadays cotton has a lot of colors choices, same with wool.

 

 

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Other things you’ll need are markers, which are used to mark stitches and start of the rows, mostly in round crochet. You don’t need to rush on Ebay or to the shop now¬† to buy the plastic markers, you can use safety pins and will work as good as the plastic markers. If the truth I hardly use the plastic markers. The ones on the left on the photo, the ceramic flowers markers, are from a crochet magazine I bought a while back. I wouldn’t bother to buy fancy markers to use. I watched a video on YouTube a few days back and surprisingly enough the person who was demonstrating something to crochet wasn’t even using any of these things to mark the start of the rows, she was using a small piece of yarn. She was introducing it in the work at the start of the row and was just changing it from a row to the other. I guess the selection of marking tools depends on how big is what you working on, how big is your crochet project.

 

 

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One other thing you ll need to have with your crochet tools is embroidery scissors, a full size fabric cutting scissors will do too but is a bit hard to keep it together with your crochet hooks.

 

 

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You might need these yarn needles from time to time if you don’t use your hook to wave in ends or for joining motifs together. It is not a must but it is good to have them, you never know when you ll need a needle.¬† Like it did happen to me. I was crocheting a baby blanket and I panicked that I got no needles to join the hexagons. Be prepared for things like that.¬† You can use yarn needles, or darning needles, sometimes normal sewing needles can help too, depending on what thickness yarn or thread you using.

 

The last thing I want to talk about in this article is Proper lighting. You need good light to crochet better. Best light is day light of course. Some people might laugh about this but it is important having the adequate light for various reasons:

A. Eye safety. If you crochet  with enough light you will not have problems with your eyes. You can have pain for a bit after a few hours of crocheting in a semi dark place. I m not kidding. I had this silly experience myself.

B. You will not have problems with colors. It happened to me, I was using white cotton for a doily and when I got to get an other ball of it to continue my work I got the wrong color, I got off white, which in some inside the house light can look same as white. It looked alright until I got my doily outside to crochet on. One of the horrible experiences I had in crocheting.

C. Your work quality will not be as good as you think it would, you’ll skip stitches and you’ll will make a fair amount of mistakes, and than you’ll have to frog (undo) a lot.

D. And last in the list is that with poor lighting you ll crochet slower than you usually do, and that’s not always the best thing. How much you might’ve crocheted with the reading light you could’ve done all that maybe in just an hour in proper conditions.

All in all, in order to crochet well you need the right hook for the right yarn, and proper lighting.¬† It’s not rocket science.

This is all from what I learnt in all my years of crocheting. None of this is scientific evidence and if anyone has other ideas or thinks that what I wrote is wrong can just comment under my article. Thank you.

Crochet talk

17191729_353576698376112_4296489408122276924_oCrochet is an old craft that was used for making lace in the 17th century in France and later in the 19th century was used more in Europe.   Crochet is a process of creating fabric by interlocking loops of yarn, thread, or strands of other materials using a crochet hook.  You can find more about crochet on Wikipedia.

For me crochet is magic, literally. You get a ball of yarn and a hook and you’l amaze yourself with what you can do with it and what it will become at the end. It is like a cocoon becoming a butterfly, that if you use it right.¬† One of the things about crochet that I like is that you make your own fabric, unlike sewing for which you have buy the material.

Most people say crochet is easy. Yes, it is easy if considering that you normally don’t need a big space to do it, and you only use a ball of yarn that doesn’t take much space and a hook. Also you can do it anywhere, inside the house, outside in the park or on the beach, in the car( I do it).¬† However, crochet is not suppose to be just easy, it suppose to be interesting and fun as well.¬† With all that it might look easy it is still taking a lot of time to crochet something worth to make, I m not talking about all the little things that only take a few hours to make them.

When I just started to crochet I was around 8-9 years old and believe me it was not easy for me, you need patience to do it and me being a kid I couldn’t spend hours just sitting on the chair and crochet. My mum gave up teaching me after she already showed me the basics of crocheting. But then all of a sudden I picked up the crochet and because I didn’t have any yarn I broke 2 doilies my parents got as a gift from the school they were teachers at ,and I was trying to make a doily from a book that my mum had. She was not impressed at start but I assured her that she will have from me better doilies than the one she has been given.