Crochet is a way of creating fabric from yarn or thread using a crochet hook to pull loops of yarn through other loops. It is similar to knitting, except that usually only one loop is active at one time, and that a crochet hook is used instead of knitting needles. Also, crochet can not be made by machine. Crochet uses more yarn than knitting but is faster to make by hand.
Crochet is used to make clothing, household items like tablecloths, blankets and potholders, and toys. Lace is often made by crocheting, though it can be made by knitting and weaving as well.
Crocheting is also a great craft for younger children. The stitches are easy and their small hands are able to hold the crochet hook. They are also able to see progress very quickly and that motivates them to continue. It is very easy to start again after setting the project down, which will help to keep young people involved in the craft.
- ch: chain stitch
- yoh: yarn over hook
- bl: back loops
- fl: front loops
- rs: right side
- ws: wrong side
- sc: single crochet
- dc: double crochet
- tc: triple crochet
- sk or sk st: skip stitch
- sl st: slip stitch
- rnd: round(s)
- *: repeat instructions following the "*"
- bp: back post
- fp: front post
- bpdc: back post double crochet
- fpdc: front post double crochet
- tog: together
- dc2tog: double crochet 2 stitches together
- hdc: half double crochet
- dec: decrease
Images for kids
A crocheted purse described in 1823 in Penélopé.
Tambour embroidery in the Diderot Encyclopedia
Shepherd's hook, 19th-century tapered hook, modern inline hook
Detail of a Portuguese crochet table-cloth, about 1970
Filet crochet by an internee at Manzanar War Relocation Center, 1943. Photograph by Ansel Adams
Bags and hacky sack tapestry crocheted in Guatemala.
TEJN sculpture dressed in crochet.
The two possible twists of yarn
A close view of a crocheted scarf made with lace-weight mohair yarn.
Some crochet symbols, abbreviations, and US/UK terms
Irish crochet lace, late 19th century. The design of this example is closely based on Flemish needle lace of the 17th century.
A hank of wool yarn (center) is uncoiled into its basic loop. A tie is visible at the left; after untying, the hank may be wound into a ball or balls suitable for crocheting. Crocheting from a normal hank directly is likely to tangle the yarn, producing snarls.
Transformation of a hank of lavender silk yarn (top) into a ball in which the yarn emerges from the center (bottom). Using the latter is better for needlework, since the yarn is much less likely to tangle.
A collection of crocheted hyperbolic planes, in imitation of a coral reef.
Knitting uses two or more straight needles that carry multiple stitches.
Unlike crochet, knitting requires specialized needles to create circular rounds.