Every crocheter knows there’s nothing better than cozying up by a fire wrapped in their favorite handmade crochet blanket. One of the beauties of crochet, similar to knitting, is the ability to quickly and reliably make fantastic cold weather gear from head to toe. For more ornate and delicate projects, though, try thread crochet. It uses all the same principles as yarn does, so it’s not too hard of a transition. If you’ve ever thought thread crochet was too difficult, here are some helpful tips to get you started.
What Is Thread Crochet?
Thread crochet utilizes very fine thread, allowing you to create intricate, small details that you couldn’t achieve with yarn crochet. The medium is perfect for creating lace for doilies or tablecloth borders, socks, amigurumi dolls, and other finery.
If you’re just starting out with crochet or have only used yarn, consider using gradually smaller yarn until you feel ready to try thread crochet.
Thread Crochet Patterns
Thread crochet patterns look similar to yarn crochet patterns. They will list your materials, gauge, project size, abbreviation guide, and a step-by-step instruction list.
The gauge section of a thread crochet pattern is very important. A gauge is like a fabric swatch—it’s a small section of crochet that allows you to “gauge” the final size of your project.
The combination of hook and yarn size and the “tension” (how tight or loose your stitches are) will allow you to achieve the appropriate gauge. Since many thread crochet projects rely on precision, it’s vital that you make the gauge before starting.
Thread Crochet Supplies
A supply list for a thread crochet project is the same as a yarn one, though there are some specific differences in each supply that you’ll want to keep an eye out for.
Traditional yarn thickness is measured on a zero to seven scale, where larger numbers are thicker yarns. In crochet thread, the larger the number, the thinner the strand. It generally starts with number three or five—the thickest options—and continues to get smaller with sizes 10, 20, 30, and so on.
Most crochet thread is made of cotton and comes in the same variety of colors that yarn does. At your local craft store, it might be kept separate from the yarn section, so be on the lookout for it.
Similar to crochet thread, crochet hooks follow the same measurement specifications—a hook with a larger number will be smaller and, consequently, make smaller stitches. Hooks will often be labeled with a millimeter measurement—for example, a size 9 hook is 1.25mm and a size 10 hook is 2.25mm.
Thread crochet hooks are made of stainless steel, as opposed to wood or other metals. They also have a handle, which helps ease hand strain.
Blocking Board and Pins
Blocking is a common crochet practice that uses water or spray starch to help set the shape of a piece. While not always necessary with yarn crochet, it is vital when working with thread crochet. You can easily make your own at home with a piece of foam board and some straight pins.
Here are a few other tools you’ll need:
- Measuring tape
- Stitch markers
- Tapestry needle
- A well-lit workspace
How to Make a Thread Crochet Project
Here are the basic steps that you’ll follow for any thread crochet project.
Step 1: Read the Pattern
Before you make your first stitch, review your pattern so you know what’s coming. There may be techniques later in your pattern with which you are unfamiliar, and it will be difficult to stop mid-project to learn them.
Step 2: Attach Your Thread to the Hook
The most common way to attach your thread to your hook is with a slip knot. Take your yarn tail and wrap it twice around your finger. Take the first loop on your finger and put it over the second loop. Then, move the second loop over the first loop and off your finger. This will leave one loop on your finger, as shown in the photo above.
Put your crochet hook into this loop and pull the working end of your yarn. The knot will tighten or “slip” closed around your hook.
Step 3: Create the Chain
The chain is the base level for all crochet projects and will hold your first round of stitches. To make a chain, place your working thread over your hook from back to front. Then, using the hook, pull that loop through the loop on your hook. Repeat this process according to your pattern.
A quick note about tension: You’ll want to keep all your stitches pretty tight throughout a thread crochet project. This will keep your project from distorting and altering the final size.
Step 4: Follow the Pattern
Your pattern will provide full instructions for your stitches, as well as an abbreviation guide.
If you’re working row by row, each row will end with a certain number of chains and turning your work. This creates a front side (FS) and wrong side (WS) of your project. Sometimes, a pattern will indicate which side should be facing you, so it’s helpful to mark the front side of your work with a stitch marker.
If you are working in the round, each round will end with a slip stitch into the first stitch. You’ll then chain a certain number so you can start the next round—no turning of your work required.
Step 5: Fasten Off
After your final stitch, you are ready to snip that thread. A simple way to do this is to chain two, then cut your thread about four to five inches from your hook. Use the hook to pull the yarn through the last chain. Then, pull on the yarn and it will tighten into a knot.
Step 6: Weave In Your Ends
The five-inch tail at the end of your work, along with any other loose ends in the project, have to be hidden. Using either your hook or a tapestry needle, weave the end into the stitches. Going back and forth across the stitches a few times will help lock that yarn in place.
Step 7: Block Your Project
Attach your project to your blocking board in the shape that you want it to hold. Spray it with water or spray starch and let it dry. Once it does, your project should keep its shape forever.
You Did It!
Congratulations! Your project is now complete. Mastering thread crochet will add another level to your skills and really impress your friends and family (placemats and doilies make great gifts!). So if you have all the cozy blankets you need, give it a try.
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