What is Crochet: An Introduction to Crochet | Win's Books
Built By Us Guest Post

What is Crochet: An Introduction to Crochet

July 24, 2020

Hello Win’s Books readers and welcome to another addition to the series Built By Us. My name is Hannah and I’m a maker/writer/creator from the blog The Making Life.

One of my passions is crocheting. I started crocheting in 2012 when I was pregnant with my second son. I was having preterm labor issues and my Mom suggested I take up a hobby I could do while sitting on the couch. That’s when I learned how to crochet. 

You’ve probably heard of crochet before. Maybe your grandma crochets. Maybe you have a friend who shares his crochet creations on Instagram.  It has you wondering: What is crochet? 

This guide will answer the question “what is crochet” and serve as a basic introduction into the art of crochet. 

What is Crochet?

So what exactly is crochet?

Crochet is the process of creating fabric or textiles using a crochet hook to interlock loops of yarn. In other words, a crocheter uses a crochet hook to stitch yarn together to make something. Crochet may also include other types of strand material like thread, fabric, wire, or twine. The word crochet was derived from the French term meaning “small hook.”

The Difference Between Crochet and Knit

A lot of people confuse the terms “crochet” and “knit” and thinking they’re interchangeable. While similar, there are some key differences. For one thing, if you show your crochet friend something that was knit and ask them to make it, they may not be able to. Crochet and knit patterns are very and you can’t easily turn a knit pattern into a crochet one. Knitting requires two knitting needles and interlocks yarn differently than crochet. When knitting, you transfer the entire project back and forth from one knitting needle to the other. 

Crochet requires one hook and instead of transferring the project from one needle to another one, the finished part of the project remains on the piece itself. Another key difference is the way crochet and knit feel. A finished swatch of knitting will look and feel different than a swatch of crochet. Knit is often softer and more flexible than crochet. Crochet is essentially knots stacked next to and on top of other knots. The finished result is usually less soft, but more sturdy than crochet. 

While there is an ongoing debate about which is better, I would recommend crocheting over knitting for beginners. There’s one major reason for this: when you make a mistake in crochet it’s far easier to unravel to the project and fix the problem. With knitting, it’s a lot harder to fix mistakes. Still, most people agree that they find knitting or crochet easier based on what they learned first. So if you started out knitting it comes more naturally than crochet and vice versa. 

What is Crochet Yarn Made of?

the different types of crochet yarn

Yarn comes in a variety of materials from man-made to natural fibers. Here’s an incomplete list of different types of yarn you can purchase:

Natural yarn: 

  • Bamboo
  • Cotton
  • Wool
  • Mohair 
  • Tencel
  • Silk

Synthetic yarn:

  • Acrylic
  • Nylon 
  • Polyester

Sometimes yarn is made from a mix of synthetic and natural fibers. What may look like wool yarn at the local craft store may only be 10% wool and 90% synthetic. One of the benefits of synthetic yarns is they’re less expensive and easy to work with. The benefits of natural fibers are many, but probably one of the biggest reasons is they’re more environmentally-friendly.

Types of Crochet Hooks

Crochet hooks come in many shapes, sizes, and materials.

Some of the materials crochet hooks are made of are:

  • Steel
  • Aluminum
  • Plastic
  • Bamboo
  • Clay
  • Glass
  • Wood

Hooks also come in a wide range of sizes from very tiny for crocheting with thread to very large for crocheting things like rag rugs. The sizing system can be a bit confusing for beginners because crochet hook sizes can be identified by numbers, letters, or millimeters. 

For example, a 5mm crochet hook is also known as an H-8 sized hook. The good news is, the pattern you’re working with should tell you which hook to use. Unless you’re trying to make up your own designs, the original designer will tell you exactly what you need to use.

Different Weights of Yarn

Something else that may confuse beginner crocheters is the weight of the yarn. Not all yarn is the same thickness or can be used for the same project. Usually, on the side of a skein of yarn that you pick up at the craft store, there’s a number on the side that identifies how thick the yarn is. This number ranges from 0-6.

The 0 number indicates lace or a material that’s extremely fine. The 6 number indicates a very thick or “super bulky” yarn. The average size for most patterns is 4, or “medium” weight yarn that you would use for ordinary projects.

Common Crochet Terms

More Terms:

Fasten off – fastening off your project means tying a knot at the end of your project so it doesn’t come unraveled. 

Gauge – Gauge refers to how tight or loose you crochet. It’s the measure of how big or small you make each individual stitch. Some crocheters keep their gauge very tight while others are more relaxed. It’s a somewhat personal preference, but when you need a crochet project to be a certain size, it’s important that your gauge is similar to the person who created the pattern. That’s why the pattern may include their gauge size for you to match. 

Turning chain – A turning chain is the chain you make at the end of a row. A pattern may say “chain 2” before you turn the project over and begin the next row. 

Yarn over – Yarn over means that you wrap the yarn over your hook. It’s often abbreviated as yo.

What Can You Make With Crochet?

crochet white hat and three pieces of red and white crocheted cloth

So what can you make with crochet? There are SO many options. Many people start with things like a dishcloth or a scarf, but there are endless possibilities. 

Here are some other ideas for things you can make with crochet:

And a lot more!

What Are You Going To Crochet?

Now that you have a little introduction to crochet — what project are you most interested in trying? Is there something you have been wanting to try but weren’t sure you would succeed? One of the best things about crochet is it’s very inexpensive to start. All you need is a crochet hook, yarn, and maybe a pattern. It’s a very low investment hobby if you want to try it out!

Ned and Hannah are the creators of The Making Life blog.

Ned and Hannah are the creators of The Making Life, a blog for makers, artists, crafters, creators, homesteaders, DIYers, and the rest of the creative lot. They love to make things, tinker, craft, and attempt to grow a small homestead on the outskirts of a small rural town.

I hope you guys enjoyed this very special Built By Us blog! This is the first BBU guest post blog and I can’t wait to join other DIY/craft artists and bloggers to do more. Don’t forget to enter in the BBU Giveaway. And if you’re interested in doing a guest post on my blog, you can learn more here. Thank you everyone, have a safe Friday and remember:

Live. Love. Laugh.

  • Reply
    August 1, 2020 at 9:24 AM

    This is such a great and informative post! My mum has crochet me so many different things over the years it is something I have always wanted to learn but have never gotten around to it

    • Reply
      August 1, 2020 at 11:00 AM

      Aww me and my mom are crochet 🧶 buddies but haven’t crocheted in a while but it’s so relaxing

  • Reply
    Molly @ Transatlantic Notes
    July 26, 2020 at 7:00 PM

    I would love to be able to crochet, but something weird happens in my brain when I try to do it, haha, and it ends up being a disaster. I can knit and have tried to crochet many times to no avail — I’ve not given up though and this may just help me (finally)! Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply
      July 26, 2020 at 7:20 PM

      You’re welcome and I get the feeling, I’ve been crocheting for years on and off, but I never stop. And glad to hear this may give you a boost in encouragement!

  • Reply
    Deborah Klee
    July 25, 2020 at 10:58 AM

    I was hoping for a tutorial. My mother crotcheted baby blankets. When she was dying I told her that I wished she had made one for my future grandchild – if I had one. She signalled me to her cupboard where there was a half finished blanket. I promosed her that I would complete it so that my grandchild would have a blanked crotcheted by us both. I’ve tried a few times but my work is shoddy compared to my mother’s. No hurry though as my 30 year old daughter has told me that she is not planning on having a family.

    • Reply
      July 25, 2020 at 6:35 PM

      Don’t worry one day I’ll do a part 2 for this DIY since crocheting is something I haven’t done myself in years too. And don’t worry you’ll get that blanket done, I’m rooting for you 💕

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