I grew up watching Little House on the Prairie so when I first started crocheting, my first desires were centered on crocheting dollies and table cloths just like those I had seen over the years of watching the show. I am so glad I followed the steps in the book I first learned to crochet from. It started beginners with yarn and gradually worked students into using thread.
What did I learn? First I needed to master my tension and my stitches with yarn before I tried working with thread. Even though I was working the same stitches there were some differences I noticed that I would like to share with you that might help.
Before I begin I would like put this out there. Do not allow the size of the hooks and thread to intimidate you. I have seen many a really good crocheter take one look at the hook and swear they would never try. I believe these people were keeping themselves from an experience they might have enjoyed and been very good at. Remember “you miss 100% of the shots you never take” a wise Wayne Gretzky once said. Second, read through the entire blog before deciding for or against this type of project or going out to buy anything.
When you are crocheting with your basic hooks ranging from B1 through K101/2 the higher the number the larger the hooks. With the steel hooks used for crocheting thread-it is the opposite. The sixteen hooks range from 0 through 14 and the smaller the number the larger the hook. This means that the largest hook is 0 and the smallest hook is 14.
If you have never worked with steel hooks at first they may feel awkward and clumsy. This will pass with time and practice. It is important to remember when you are crocheting to work your stitch off the working or the shank and not the throat of the hook. This will help ensure that your stitches do not become too tight and hard to work.
The thread used to crochet with, comes in three basic sizes, 10, 20 and 30. The thread is like the hooks in size. The larger the number the finer the thread, which means 10 would be the thickest and 30 the finest.
When you are first starting to crochet with thread I would recommend using 10. I would also recommend starting with something small, like a coaster or a small square doily. Some people start with a really beautiful large table cloth or doily and then get overwhelmed and quit.
Some suggestions to remember:
1. Thread does not pull out and rework as easy as yarn when a mistake is made. Keep in mind when you are pulling out your thread, the thread that has been worked will seem to crimp and become hard to work with. It just does not seem to wrap around your hook as easy as at first. Sometimes, if you wet the thread just enough to straighten out the thread, once it dries it becomes easy to work with again.
2. To not buy cheap thread. You are going to put many hours into this project. You do not want to take a chance on the thread not keeping it’s color or shape. Be sure to check and make sure the dye lots are the same.
3. Do not pull on the thread when you are crocheting. You should pull just hard enough to carry the thread through to complete the stitch. It you pull to hard you will find it will be somewhat stretched out permanently.
4. It is very easy to find after you have crocheted a few rows that you have a hole in your pattern. Be sure to go back and check each row before starting a new one.
5. When you are crocheting keep an eye on how tall or high you pull your stitches. Pulling them to high can cause your tension to be too loose. You want to keep an even tension through out your work.
I hope some of these tips will help you and encourage you to move into the world of crocheting with thread. It can be a wonderful experience as you look over at a table in your living room to see a beautiful doily that was made with your hands.
Until next week, keep those hooks flying.