Crochet in the Car

Written by Bonnie Gringer

Crocheting involves using a single needle and yarn or thread of varying weights. The word “crochet” comes from a French word that means “hook.” This pastime originated in France, dating back to the 16th century. With a ball of yarn and a crochet hook, crocheters can work at home, or they can take this hobby virtually anywhere. It’s even possible to crochet in the car during road trips. After learning the basic stitches, you can advance your skills to learn how to make clothing, home decor items, and even jewelry.

Crochet Basics

Crochet hooks come in a variety of sizes. Lettered hook sizes range from B to S, with the sizes increasing as the letters advance. Steel hook sizes are numeric, and crocheters use these hooks to create fine lace items. Crochet patterns can utilize yarn in many different weights, from the finest threads to very bulky strands. Generally, the smaller hooks are used to crochet fine yarns, and larger hooks are suitable for use with bulky yarns. Crochet patterns provide instructions to make clothing such as sweaters, hats, scarves, leg warmers, and mittens. People can also make home decor items such as afghans, pillows, doilies, table runners, and wall hangings.

Beginning Crochet

One of the first skills to learn involves making a slip knot to place the yarn onto the hook. After attaching the knot to the hook, the crocheter must crochet a chain that serves as the foundation of the project. Instructions will specify the number of chains needed, and the crocheter will need to count the chains while making them. After finishing the row of chains, the project will then specify the stitches needed for each row. Beginning projects typically include simple stitches such as single and double crochet stitches. To follow the pattern correctly, the crocheter will need to make the specified number of stitches along the entire row. At the end of the row, instructions usually direct turning and making one or more chains to begin the next row.

Intermediate Crochet

After mastering the basics of crochet with chaining, making simple stitches, and following patterns, a crocheter will likely be ready to progress to intermediate patterns. These patterns generally involve more complicated stitches, a combination of stitches to create patterns, and changing yarns for color variations. Following patterns carefully will be of utmost importance to avoid making mistakes, which usually involves counting stitches carefully as you make them. Intermediate crochet stitches include half-double crochet, treble crochet, and clusters such as the popcorn stitch and the double crochet shell. Sometimes instructions will direct the crocheter to skip stitches or to place more than one stitch in a preceding stitch. Skipping a stitch can enable a decrease in size, while placing more than one stitch in a preceding stitch enables an increase.

Advanced Crochet

Advanced crochet can become quite technical and intricate. Generally, these types of projects will involve complicated stitches and combinations of stitches required to make detailed patterns. One advanced technique involves stitching into the posts of previous stitches to create cables. Cables add visual interest as well as texture to a crochet item. Tunisian crochet is another advanced technique that involves using a special, longer hook, called an afghan hook. Tunisian crocheting does not involve turning work after completion of each row. Instead, the crocheter crochets forward and then backward to work each row. The finished result of Tunisian crocheting is both dense and textured, which can be appealing when making afghans and throws.