For me, the only reason to crochet is to create an original. I love fashion. I cannot afford the fashion I want. I have never been able to purchase an evening gown I wanted. I even had to make my own wedding dress. Sewing is back breaking. Crocheting wreaks havoc on your fingers, hands and wrists. I do NOT care! I want an original dress no matter what. I have met a woman who crocheted just to see a motif or pattern in 3D with no desire to complete a project. I have heard that others find crocheting relaxing. Crocheting and sewing are very time consuming. Nowadays, I cannot do either without a recorded book to entertain me. It is just too boring to sit in silence working on an intricate original whether it be textile or yarn. Before the advent of the recorded book, I blasted Jethro Tull, Led Zepplin, Jefferson Airplane and Crosby, Stills and Nash just to keep me stimulated.
HOW TO CROCHET
Watch the video below to decide if you want to learn how to crochet. As in all subjects, you must learn the vocabulary. What tools are required and why? Then, practice. Practice some more. Never stop practicing. Why? The most frustrating thing to learn is how to hold the yarn and hook while creating the right tension to ensure you are making even loops and straight rows of stitches. Like dance steps, the beauty of crocheting is the combinations you can make. Also, you can carry the project with you. When waiting for a friend who is running late due to rush hour traffic or for your turn at the dentist chair, crochet! If you want to create your own style, learning to crochet is worth the effort. You just need the right sized hook for the yarn, something that cuts, preferably a small pair of scissors, and your choice of tote bag.
SOPHIA’s SECRECT CROCHET TECHNIQUES
Why are my crochet techniques secret? I do not know of anyone who crochets the way I do. I do not use a pattern. Prior to my move to Europe in 1972, Mrs. Grossaint, my friend’s mother, taught me crochet stitches. She did not teach me how to read a pattern. Upon my arrival to West Germany I remained in shock for 6 months. My GI JOE husband and I lived in a rural farm region. The town was miles away. The military base was an hour away if we drove 80 mph on the autoban. There were no English television channels. We had no telephone. The nearest place to dance was in Frankfurt which was almost a 2 hour drive. I was bored and lonely. But, my husband, fearing I was going to hop on a jet and return to the beaches of Southern California, bought me plenty of fabric and yarn to keep me busy. So, I practiced until I figured out how to increase and decrease stitches. As a result, I was able to crochet shapes that matched my sewing patterns. Not able to sew them together by machine, I figured out how to securely crochet the pieces together and, soon after, created a method to make attractive seams.
A year passed before I met a soldier’s wife willing to teach me how to read a crochet pattern. I learned quickly. However, I crochet tightly and I could never match the pattern gauge of stitches per inch. Also, believing I purchased the correct yarn I was often disappointed. I gave up on instructions and focused on how to assemble motifs and create interesting combinations to make my creations unique compared to the expected crocheted concepts. If I failed to buy enough yarn for a dress I would simply make a sweater or a sleeveless pullover.
I have only made one crocheted bedspread. That was in Germany when I had nothing but time. Still dazzled by fashion, I prefer making tunics that layer well with leggings and exercise tops. Recently, I created a unique vest for jeans. The photos below represent just a few things I’ve made as I continue to search for styles worthy of haute couture prices.
- Practice Combinations
- Make your own motifs
- Steam iron on inside
- Do not iron on outside
- Turn Garment inside out to wash
- Wash delicate cycle in cold water
- Air-dry only to retain shape
- Dress: start at bust-line circumference; work upward decreasing/increasing as needed to shape neckline/armholes and continue with sleeves if you wish.
- Then, work downward to shape waist, hips and skirt flare.
- Be mindful of measurements if you want to create a split or insert another design within the area you left unconnected.
- Sleeves: you must count your stitches, row by row, and write them down to make sure your sleeves turn out the same size.