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Learning to Crochet

Crochet, in most people’s eyes, has always been a grandmother type of hobby. The
reality, however, is that crochet is much more than your grandmother and is definitely
much more than “just” a hobby. It is an art that gave you that quilt you received from
your granny last Christmas, the sweater you got from your wife for your last birthday,
and the trendy Dolce and Gabbana scarf you bought for yourself last winter. Yes, crochet
is a vital cog in our lives that we normally take for granted.

If you are looking to acquire this seemingly forgotten art, the first thing you will need to
learn is the lingo. Crochet terms are numerous, from simple abbreviations to technical
terms referring to a variety of crochet techniques and methods. Here are some examples:

Approx – This is an abbreviation for approximately. You will see this used a lot in
crochet books and instructionals.
BO – This stands for Bind Off, which is a technique used to finish the edges of a specific
piece.
DC – This is an abbreviation for double crochet, another common technique.
K – It is short for Knit, a basic stitch.
K1b – It refers to the instruction that you should knit 1 in the row below.
Purl – It refers to purling, a specific type of stitch.

These are just some of the terms you may encounter on your first few patterns. If you
are unfamiliar with them, you will find it hard to follow the instructions for the pattern,
which can be pretty specific. Fortunately, there are a lot of online resources that feature a
wide crochet term dictionary. The one from Lion Brand is pretty comprehensive.

Once you have grasped the various terms, it is time to figure out the many (and I mean
a lot) crochet techniques out there. Thread, Tunisian, broomstick lace, and the wire and
bead crochet are just some of them. All these techniques have their own little twists. For
instance the thread crochet technique is a technique used to create lace doily patterns
used for table runners and bed spreads. It starts with a basic crochet using fine thread
and hooks made of steel with very fine ends. The Tunisian crochet, on the other hand,
is an example of more advanced crochet technique which involves the use of a Tunisian
specific hook (a knitting needle that is long and ends with a hook). These only describe
two specific crochet techniques. Unfortunately, crochet techniques, like its terms, are
numerous.

Knowing these now, you can greatly appreciate how awesome your grandmother was for
learning this art just so that she can knit and crochet you a pair of mittens.