Since early 2020, we’ve all been forced to spend a lot of time inside. While it’s been extremely difficult, that extra indoor time has meant that many of us have turned to crafting as a stress reliever. And the resulting crafting boom has brought joy to thousands in their homes and across the internet. Crochet is one of those crafts that exploded during the pandemic. And if you’ve thought about starting this awesome hobby, it’s not too late! Here are 21 common questions you may have that will help decide if it is right for you.
- What’s the Best Way to Learn?
- What’s the Difference Between Crochet and Knitting?
- Is Crocheting Hard?
- What’s the History?
- Is Crochet Easier Than Knitting?
- Who Invented Crochet?
- When Was Crochet Invented?
- What Can You Crochet?
- Is Crocheting Easy?
- Is Crocheting or Knitting Faster?
- How Many Stitches Are There?
- Is Crochet Good for Your Brain?
- Is Crocheting Expensive?
- Is Crocheting Good for Arthritis?
- Can I Teach Myself to Crochet?
- Is Crochet Art?
- What Should I Learn First?
- Is Crocheting Relaxing?
- Is Crochet Fun?
- Is Crochet Making a Comeback?
- What Kind of Yarn Should I Use?
1. What’s the Best Way to Learn Crochet?
You can pick up a book and do your best to learn stitches and patterns. But the best way to learn crochet is to watch someone else do it. The visual component of learning helps you get the motions of crochet internalized to the point that you can do them with your eyes closed.
There are tons of resources on the internet, but perhaps the best way to learn is to take a beginner-friendly class. Crafting professionals present the necessary skills clearly and precisely so that you’ll be crocheting on your own in no time.
2. What’s the Difference Between Crochet and Knitting?
The primary difference between crochet and knitting is the tools. Knitting uses two knitting needles, while crochet uses only a hook. The two crafts also use different kinds of stitches, which create different looks for your final product—knit pieces are stretchier with more drape, while crochet pieces are stiffer and hold their form better.
Despite their differences, you can make all the same types of projects with either knitting or crochet—from cozy blankets to wearables like scarves and sweaters. You can also use any kind of yarn you’d like for both.
3. Is Crocheting Hard?
Crocheting is not hard. As with any craft, there’s going to be a learning curve when you start. You’ll have to get used to holding the hook, manipulating the yarn, and reading a pattern. With practice and patience, these skills will come quickly.
4. What’s the History of Crochet?
Modern crochet came to prominence in 19th century Europe. It initially evolved from ancient Middle Eastern embroidery techniques that became known as “tambouring.” This early craft involved loop stitching over a background fabric. Eventually, the background fabric was removed, but the stitches remained.
French artisan Riego de la Branchardiere, working in the early 1800s, converted lace designs into crochet patterns that were sold in the millions. In addition, during the Irish potato famine, impoverished workers created crochet clothing that helped them survive. After mass Irish immigration to the United States, the craft took hold and became a mainstay.
5. Is Crochet Easier Than Knitting?
It really depends on the individual and the project. Since knitting requires two needles, it often puts your hand dexterity to the test. And, if you happen to drop a stitch while knitting, it can ruin your entire project.
On the other hand, many people think that knitting is initially easier to learn than crochet. Also, knitting is much more conducive to making clothing—the chunkier stitches tend to be stiffer than knitting stitches. In reality, each craft has its pros and cons.
6. Who Invented Crochet?
There is no one person who can be credited as the inventor of crochet. Historians vary on the origins—some say 1500s Italy, others say ancient Persia, others even cite South America. No matter what the source, the truth is that crochet evolved from several different crafts—knitting, embroidery, tapestry—and it continues to evolve to this day.
7. When Was Crochet Invented?
Again, it is difficult to pinpoint an exact date. Modern crochet seems to have come out of the European tradition, where mention doesn’t appear until the 19th century. But earlier crafts that use similar skills greatly contributed to the crochet we know today. Middle Eastern embroidery, Chinese three-dimensional knit dolls, and South American ritual adornments all pre-date modern crochet by centuries and use similar crocheting techniques.
8. What Can You Crochet?
If you can see it, you can crochet it! While the craft is traditionally used for blankets, hats, or scarves, it is versatile enough that you can make anything you want. Sweaters, socks, dish towels, placemats, amigurumi dolls, toilet seat covers—the sky’s the limit. Now, you may not find the perfect pattern for a dog sweater, but with a little persistence, you can make your own.
9. Is Crocheting Easy?
Absolutely. Crochet only requires a few essentials: a crochet hook, yarn, and a pair of scissors. If you master some simple techniques and one or two basic stitches, you can start crocheting something within a few hours.
Also, once you have the basics down, it is very easy to build upon them and create more complex projects. Your crochet skills will increase exponentially with each project you complete.
10. Is Crocheting or Knitting Faster?
In general, crochet is faster, but this also depends on the individual and the project. Knitting can take a long time—if you’re making something complex like a sweater, the process will require tons of patience. Additionally, knitting stitches tend to be smaller than crochet stitches, so it just takes a longer time to build them up.
However, crochet projects tend to use more yarn than knitting projects. So, expert-level projects that need a lot of yarn could take longer than a comparable knitting project.
11. How Many Crochet Stitches Are There?
There are over 100 different crochet stitches. However, most are variations of four basic stitches: the slip stitch, the single, the half double, and the double.
Every pattern is guaranteed to have at least one of these stitches in them. And, when combined in different ways, they create a whole host of different looks. From popcorns to picots to puffs—every stitch will involve one of the core four.
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12. Is Crochet Good for Your Brain?
There are many mental benefits you can get from crochet. Studies have shown that consistent, repetitive motions are a great boost to your serotonin. It has also been linked to a decreased likelihood of dementia.
Learning a new skill has proven to create new synapses in your brain, making it easier to learn in the future. And, nothing beats the pride and joy that comes from holding your completed crochet project in your hands!
13. Is Crocheting Expensive?
Crochet is very affordable. You only need one tool and a ball of yarn. With just these two, you can make a hat or a scarf for approximately $5.
Of course, the larger your project, the more yarn you’ll need. But quality yarn is so abundant at your local craft store that you’ll never have an issue finding inexpensive options. The only way it becomes expensive is if you catch the “Yarn Bug”— an addiction to getting as many yarns as there are colors in the rainbow!
14. Is Crocheting Good for Arthritis?
Studies have shown that, if done properly, it can help with the symptoms of arthritis. Crochet and other needling crafts can be used as exercise for the hands, increasing strength and dexterity.
With any repetitive activity, it’s helpful to stretch and take breaks. There are also ergonomic hooks with handles that help ease hand strain. Above all else, if you’re concerned about your arthritis, consult your doctor to get a professional opinion.
15. Can I Teach Myself to Crochet?
Sure! The internet is a wealth of information, and there are dozens of resources out there that can teach you how to crochet. However, most people find that the best way to learn is visually. Written instructions are often very dry and may be hard to conceptualize. Watching a professional and crocheting along with them is the quickest way to success.
16. Is Crochet Art?
There is an age-old debate between art and craft. While both take tremendous amounts of skill, art often differentiates itself because it’s seen as a form of self-expression—the artist is “saying” something with their work. Traditionally, this delineation would put it into the craft column.
However, as crochet evolves, it is infinitely more possible for the crocheter to express themselves in their work. There are techniques that allow you to create large, emotive images with yarn. You can find three-dimensional landscapes that are as beautiful as any van Gogh painting and more tactile. There’s even thread crochet, which allows the user to create exquisite details that are finer than a painter’s brush.
If you find you have things you want to express and this is your medium, then congratulations! You are an artist.
17. What Should I Learn First When Learning to Crochet?
If you are a beginner, the best place to start is to learn about the tools of the trade. Your hook will be your best friend, so learning about the different kinds and how to hold it is an essential step.
Next, you should learn how to create a chain and how to do a single crochet—the most basic stitch. If that’s the only stitch you learn, you’ll still be able to make a blanket big enough for a California King size bed.
18. Is Crocheting Relaxing?
It can be extremely relaxing. Many studies have shown how repetitive movements like crocheting can lower your heart rate, boost your serotonin, and provide as much relaxation as meditation or yoga. Combine it with a cup of tea and your favorite show to binge—Great British Bake-Off is highly recommended—and you’ll enter full crafting bliss.
19. Is Crochet Fun?
it is extremely fun. It allows you to be creative with both color and design and provides you with the satisfaction of making something with your hands. There’s also something extremely joyous about giving a friend or loved one a one-of-a-kind gift that you spent hours creating with love and attention. This is the craft that keeps on giving.
20. Is Crochet Making a Comeback?
Definitely! The craft world is seeing another huge boom that rivals the one of the 1960s and 1970s. Influencers on TikTok are sharing beautiful, creative designs that have a modern yet classic feel. Even Target is getting in on the game—you can find crochet sweaters on their racks starting in 2022. Now more than ever is a great time to pick up a hook.
21. What Kind of Yarn Should I Use for Crochet?
Yarn comes in a huge array of styles and colors. The two main things you want to consider when choosing yarn are fiber type and weight.
Yarn is made from all kinds of fiber—cotton, wool, silk, nylon, acrylic, and other synthetic blends. Certain fibers are better for certain projects; cotton is great for socks, while synthetic yarns are better for large blankets.
A yarn’s weight refers to its thickness. The thicker the yarn, the bigger your stitches are going to be. Your pattern will suggest a yarn weight that best suits your project.
What Are You Waiting For?
Now you know everything there is to know! Well, not exactly, but you have a pretty good start. Hopefully, you feel encouraged to take the plunge into the world of crochet—and we’ve got just the classes for you.
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