Do you want to improve your crochet skills? Whether you can stitch with your eyes closed using oasis needlepoint tools and are looking to add some more complex techniques to your repertoire or you’re a beginner trying to master the basics, there’s always something new to learn. As your love and knowledge of crochet grows, you’ll find yourself becoming more and more confident and adventurous with what you can make.
If you’ve only ever crocheted for yourself, you could start to expand your talents and make items as fair trade Latin American gifts for friends and family. Maybe even you’d like to open an online store or start tabling at local craft fairs with your creations. There’s nothing to be intimidated by when it comes to making your own crocheted items.
With the huge selection of options available through online yarn retailers, you can find the weight and color of yarn you need for anything. What’s more, there’s a whole online community out there that you can turn to for inspiration, tip-sharing, patterns, and more. In this article, we’ll list a few crochet techniques and ways to work your yarn so you can do your best with every project you take on.
A great thing about yarn projects is that they grow softer and softer with every wash. When crocheting, however, there is one special trick for turning a yarn that just isn’t exactly the softness you need into something supple that is nice to work with and nice to wear: soften your yarn before you crochet it.
So how do you do this without taking a workable skein of yarn and transforming it into a hopeless tangle? You do need to wash the unworked yarn, so you’ll first have to remove its labels. Loosen up the skein a little bit by fluffing it up with your fingers. From there, put your yarn in a washable, mesh bag (the kind you’d use for delicate items like lingerie or pantyhose) and wash them with like colours. You’ll also put them through the dryer, medium heat. When you remove the yarn, you’ll have a softer product! It’s that easy!
Avoid Hand Fatigue
You might feel like a true crochet warrior if your hobby leaves your hands tired, but frustrating hand pain can hold you back and keep you from finishing projects. As a rule, if you’re crocheting for long periods of time in one sitting, stop every hour (at least) to contract your fingers a few times.
You should also make a point to stand up and walk around the room every once and a while when crocheting. This keeps your body from becomingstiff and gives your eyes a break from focusing on something at a short distance.
Make a Center Pull Ball of Yarn
The hand dyed yarn that you get from your favourite online retailer will likely come with a center pull end that you can use. If not, it’s easy to make your own center pull ball of yarn by winding a skein around a toilet paper roll. Keep the loose end long and free out of the center of the ball as you wind the rest around.
Keep winding until you’ve got a new ball and then work from the tail sticking out of the middle. It’s easier to work with for your crochet projects this way and you won’t have to think twice about your yarn source as you make your creations.
Image Credits: Crochet Skills from anyaivanova/Shutterstock