Types of Crochet

 

by Alison Stapleton

Entrelac crochet

Entrelac crochet is a method of working on the side of previously crocheted pieces. The rows go in different directions and not just straight up. It creates an interesting piece and is strong. This method is usually done with color as the defining result.

Fair Isle crochet

Fair isle crochet is similar to Fair Isle knitting. Each row is worked with two colors and they change throughout the row to make designs in color. Each row has two different colors and the colors change every few rows.

For example:

Row 1: Red and blue

Row 2: Red and green

Row 3: Green and blue

But because each row only has two colors that sets the thickness of the finished item. The Fair Isles are in Scotland and women shepherdesses would tend their flocks of sheep with crochet hooks and balls of wool in their pockets. They would walk the highlands on foot working their crochet as they went.

Filet crochet

Filet crochet is a French type of crochet created in squares. The finished piece looks like a grid with open and closed spaces. The combination of open and closed results in flat pictures of roses or swans or whatever.

Filet designs were originally used to make lace curtains to cover cottage windows. These days filet crochet is used for table cloths, place mats and can be hung as art.

Filet crochet can be done in the round and resultss in beautifully intricate designs.

Tapestry crochet

Tapestry crochet is used to make thick baskets and rugs. It is a sturdy technique and the items are very firm.

You use several colored threads at once, working with one color and carrying the rest along the top of the row being worked. This makes each row very thick.

Color is changed on a stitch by stitch basis. Bowls are a good example of tapestry crochet.

Tunisian crochet

Tunisian crochet is also referred to as afghan crochet. For Tunisian crochet you use a special hook (called a Tunisian crochet hook), which typically has a crochet hook at one end and is as long as a knitting needle and has a knitting needle stop end at the other. So really it is like a knitting needle but with a hook and not a point.

Below are my two favourite Tunisian crochet hooks, (in my size 5mm as usual), and these have hooks at both ends opening up the possibilities for advanced Tunisan crochet work.

IMG_2052Tunisian crochet hooks come in all the same sizes as regular crochet hooks. With Tunisian crochet you carry many stitches at once on forward rows and hook them off on the backward rows.

Tunisian crochet makes a very thick fabric and is normally used for blankets, cushions, bags and soft furnishings.

Tunisian crochet is like a combination of crochet and knitting all in one. It is an advanced technique. Tunisian crochet can be combined with entrecôte crochet.





Tension and Gauge Swatches

Make your garment the same size as the pattern intended

c1b3b9b0Gauge swatches are usually made 4” or 10cm square. They are used to check your tension.

The pattern will tell you which hook and yarn to use, but in the real world we often reach for some wool that we have to hand and this may work up either too big or too small than the pattern intended.

What you do is make a gauge swatch or a tension square.

Too small or too big?

  • If the swatch is too small then you should use a larger hook.
  • If the swatch is too big then you should use a smaller hook.

The idea is to use the hook that results in the same measurements as the original pattern.

When to do a gauge swatch

Size and tension matters more in garments that have to fit like clothes rather than blankets or throws which are still ok if they are a little bigger or smaller.

When you start a new pattern always do a test swatch  to make sure you will have the correct size at the end.





Crochet Hooks

 by Alison Stapleton

Crochet Hook Sizes

Crochet hooks are measured in different sizes and the two types of measurement are metric and imperial.

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Metric Size Hooks (UK)

Metric hook sizes are measured in millimeters (mm).

This refers to the diameter of the hook.

Such as:

1.25mm, 2mm, 3.5mm, 4mm, 4.5mm, 5mm, 5.5mm, 6mm, 7mm, 8mm, 9mm, 10mm, 1mm, 15mm and 20mm.

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Imperial Size Hooks (USA)

Imperial sizes are usually feet and inches and in this case crochet hooks are given a letter of the alphabet.

Crochet Hook Size Chart

Old US sizes

Metric

A02.00 mm
B12.25 mm
C22.75 mm
D33.25 mm
E43.50 mm
F53.75 mm
G64.00 mm
74.50 mm
H85.00 mm
I95.5 mm
J106 mm
K10 ½6.5 mm
L118 mm
M139 mm
N / P1510 mm
O12 mm
P / Q15 mm
Q16 mm
R19 mm
S25 mm

Hook materials

Crochet hooks can be made from many materials but the usual ones are:

  • Steel
  • Aluminium
  • Bamboo
  • Hardwood
  • Plastic
  • Glass

Bamboo and plastic crochet hooks bend and this can slow you down. The best hooks are made from steel, aluminum or hard woods like rosewood.

Aluminum crochet hooks come in different colors for each size so you can see immediately the difference between a 4.5mm hook and a 5mm hook.

Collecting hooks

Over time you will collect many crochet hooks in different sizes and also hooks in the same size so you can have one for each project or every place which you crochet.

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For example I have one crochet hook in the kitchen drawer for squares and one in the car also for squares.

I also have a hook next to my chair in front of the TV for the bigger projects and blankets.