We are experiencing a problem with the video player on our online classes. We are working to fix ASAP! March 20, 3:15pm CST.
Available Now! New Seamless Dog Sweater Video Knitting Class
Learn to follow a dog sweater pattern without worrying about seaming. Acquire tons of intermediate skills while keeping a canine pal of any size snuggly warm.

What is Crochet All About?

It's time to crochet!Crochet is a fiber art done with one hook and one strand of yarn. It is easy, very fun, and full of possibilities.

The main difference between crochet and knitting is that crochet has only one live stitch at all times – the stitch that lives on your hook.

Crochet stitches have different heights, and can be increased, decreased, and combined almost exactly like stitches in knitting.

Basic Crochet SwatchWhile basic crochet is built in stacks like a simple brick wall, the stitches, which differ in height and look, can be added anywhere in your work.

This results in a relatively EASY art form that can allow you to be flexible and creative, and have fun while creating super-cool and 3D textured designs.

Why Learn to Crochet

Crochet allows for many possibilities, easilyThe best reason to learn to crochet is that it’s fun! It tickles your brain and engages your hands in ways that are similar to knitting, but altogether new.

For those of you who are three-dimensional in how you visualize things, crochet is very sculptural and can easily take you in all directions.

Summertime crafters will enjoy crocheting in warm weather, as crochet patterns work well with cotton yarn, which is much cooler to work with than wool.

And for those of you who like to take your crafts with you on the go, crochet is eminently portable, as it uses only one hook and has only one active stitch at all times. No need to worry about losing 100+ stitches off your needles when your project is in your purse!

My favorite reason to crochet is that it’s EASY. For someone who recently has to do all fiber arts with a toddler hanging off me, having just one hook, one strand of yarn, and simple, repetitive movements makes the craft fun and possible.

What Crochet Is Good For

Crocheted Flower Wall HangingCrochet is great for items that look lacy, like mesh market bags, and real lace, like doilies, coasters, embellishments, and lace sweaters.

Crochet fabric can be firmer than knitting, which means crochet is good for solid items like purses where you don’t want anything to fall through the stitches. It can also be more open than knitting, which means it’s great for lacy tops, shawls, and even curtains.

Liat's Crochet is also great for anything you want to create quickly, as crochet creates fabric faster than knitting.

Knitters, you will be astonished at how fast your work grows when you pick up a crochet hook.

Bedspreads, Christmas tree skirts, and baby blankets are done satisfyingly quickly, as opposed to something you’ll do just once in your lifetime.

Tiny crocheted bookmarkCrochet is also great for small, detailed work that can absorb your concentration. You can create incredibly intricate designs with a small hook and crochet thread. You can enjoy creating projects of beauty without knitting large items like sweaters or spending a lot on yarn.

Speaking of savings, crochet is good for the wallet, too. Many crochet projects are ideal for cotton or even acrylic yarn, which will be a nice break for knitters used to breaking the bank on a few skeins of wool.

Why Crochet Can Be Challenging

Inserting crochet hook into turning chain of previous rowWhile the movements of crochet are quite easy, and the hook itself ensures you’ll always be able to grab the yarn, some of the details of crochet can be confusing if you’ve not learned the fundamentals.

As crochet can be likened to bricklaying, where one stitch is created at a time and stacked on top of previous stitches, the questions of where exactly to insert the hook to create the stitch and how to create even sides on your brick wall are definite hangups for first-time crocheters.

In our upcoming crochet class we’ll make this and everything else crystal clear so you can feel confident approaching new patterns.


Lion Brand Heartland 100% AcrylicTomorrow I’ll send you links to some beautiful patterns you’ll be able to start as soon as you finish our upcoming Crochet class. I’ve already ordered the yarn for one awesome sweater project and can’t wait to get started!

Leave a Comment

Do you have any preconceived notions about, or even prejudices against, crochet? Anything you’re wondering about? Let me know in the comments!

15 thoughts on “Introduction to the Art of Crochet”

  1. Have been crocheting for years but haven’t attempted a sweater. Would be interested in knowing what sweater you’re going to crochet. Could you post a picture? Still a novice knitter but found a local yarn shop that is so great about showing me the ropes and fixing my screw ups.

  2. Preconceived notions? When I was a kid in the fifties, most of us enjoyed learning both knitting and crochet –as well as different types of embroidery and hand/machine sewing. A few of us found one or the other more user-friendly, but it wasn’t until decades later that I encountered a kind of snobbery/exclusivity in favor of either knitting or crochet. This puzzles me, because they are different needlecrafts, each beautiful in its own way. I knit sweaters and crochet afghans, but this is pure personal preference. I have more yarn than I care to admit, so I don’t have to worry about running out when I crochet blankets or toys. Depending upon the pattern, knitting can take on a fun, funky quality and crocheting (particularly with thread) can produce an elegant heirloom-quality gift. Neither is superior to the other. What I truly love about the younger generation today is that they choose to refer to themselves not as knitters or crocheters, but as fiber artists, or — my favorite term– makers. Love this new crop of kids with their wonderful imaginations and the ability to “make” it all new and exciting again!

    1. Hi Christy,
      Thanks so much for your comment! I couldn’t have said this better myself. Both crafts are so wonderful, and I wanted to give anyone who maybe had doubts about crochet to mention them so that we could address them. “Makers” is a fantastic term, so positive.
      Thanks again!
      Liat

  3. Hello Liat,
    Being an Australian, one of the stumbling blocks I have is the slightly different terms for the crochet stitches between British and American, it tends to confuse me, also the turning chains, changing colours, where to go next at the end of a round.
    The other off putting thought is that crochet often looks/seems old fashioned, particularly in garments.
    Why, you ask, do I want to crochet? Because I just can’t master it, and have some lovely projects I would like to do, eg amigurumi toys for my grandchildren and those in need.
    Thanks Liat and you and your family stay well and safe.

    1. Hi Ingrid,

      Thank you so much for sharing these stumbling blocks! I’m sure you are not the only one to have encountered these issues. The difference between British and American terms is quite unfortunate because the same term means different things depending on whether it’s an American or British pattern. I can put a note in the class about British crochet terms. Thanks for that suggestion!

      In the class, I definitely put a lot of emphasis on turning chains, changing colors, and where to go at the end of the round. There is a specific video for changing colors plus we practice it on two different projects so you can get the hang of changing colors AND doing turning chains every round.

      I know what you mean about that old-fashioned look. Part of it may be due to the inexpensive yarns used. In recent years designers have created a lot more modern-looking patterns, but it is good to keep in mind that some types of garments just work better with knitting. In my next post I’ll share some projects for inspiration, among which are two sweaters that I find very current (I’ve just ordered yarn for one of them).

      I love that amigurumi is an impetus for you to do crochet! That’s such a great motivator. And really, it doesn’t feel good to have projects that are out of your reach, I think. You should be able to do any project out there under the sun!

      Even though our class is a beginner class, I think you’ll feel very confident with crochet after taking it. I hope you let me know!

      Cheers,
      Liat

    1. Hi Pat,
      I’ve had a couple of requests for left-handed videos recently. I think the best solution is to use the videos from our class plus the website MirrorTheVideo.com. See my comment here where I describe how this works. I will add links to mirrored versions of the videos in the crochet class. Do you think that would work for you?
      Let me know and we can try it out.
      Thanks!
      Liat

      1. Liat, I also am a left-handed crocheter. I’ll try the mirrored approach, but anything you can do to include left-handers would be greatly appreciated! I’m an intermediate crocheter, so I can figure some things out on my own.

        1. Hi Jo,
          Nice to meet you! I’ve included links to mirrored versions of all the videos in the crochet class, and will work on expanding all our classes to have those links.
          I really want to help left-handed knitters. What else would you suggest I do? What other support do you need?
          Thanks,
          Liat

          1. Hi Liat, thanks for your response.

            For left-handed crochet, the process is not always much different, just backwards — especially if the pattern is symmetrical like a granny square or a sc, hdc, dc, dc, dc, hdc, sc progression. Your mirror videos will help there, and also with learning the stitches (I learned sitting _across_ from the person who was teaching me, rather than sitting next to her).

            The problems crop up when the pattern isn’t symmetrical. That’s where it would be helpful if you (or a left-handed assistant!) could point out where the left-handed version would diverge from the right-handed version. The other thing that can foul up a left-hander is figuring out where to insert the hook at the beginning of a row or after skipping stitches, when you’re trying to interpret a right-handed pattern.

            I never thought of knitting being right-handed or left-handed, but I wonder if I would be a better (and faster) knitter if I adopted a left-handed approach. I’ve also been told that left-handers do better knitting Continental style. Do you have any opinion on that?

            Jo

            1. This is really good feedback, Jo, thanks so much. The projects in the beginning class are symmetrical, so that’s good. In future classes, I’ll take care to point out when asymmetrical projects would need extra care.

              I have heard that knitting is absolutely right-handed or left-handed. All the left-handed knitters I know have to work their patterns backwards as well.

              I’ll let you try out our Continental class (it’s part of your Knitting Superstar class anyway) because I’ve added left-handed versions to that class already. Would you like to try it and see? https://www.knitfreedom.com/my-classes/continental-knitting.

              It’s accessible from your My Classes page (https://www.knitfreedom.com/my-classes) as well.

              I hope this helps!

  4. Thanks so much for teaching us how to crochet, Liat! I can’t wait to learn bc I know from your knitting lessons that you have the patience of a saint.

    1. Thank you so much, Bobbie! If you are new to crochet I think you will love this class. I think you will quickly come out a confident crocheter.
      And thank you for the sweet words about my patience! I try to cover everything in the videos that you will need to succeed, and I so hope I get it right. I know you’ll always give me honest feedback, so thank you so much!
      Liat

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Get Free Access to the 10-Video Course that Will Change the Way You Knit

Top Ten 10 Mistakes All Self Taught Knitters Make Book Cover