Crochet

Taken from the French word `Crochet`, meaning `Hook`, this timeless craft allows the creation of beautiful fabrics, traditionally from thread or yarn. Not to be confused with knitting, Crochet utilizes only one tool to produce intricate and decorative patterns. Crochet is not just
a way to waste time after your retirement. In fact, crochet has undergone a complete makeover in the last decade, becoming a bespoke staple.

Interior design moves in mysterious ways and current fashions are no exception. The modern yet traditional style continues to be promoted as people look more towards quality than quantity. The days of learning crafts at school every week are long gone- replaced by computer skills and examinations. However, self-study is possible for anyone and both you and your family can take time out to learn new skills and find a flair for something you never knew you had. Relaxing and satisfying, crafts at home build relationships and provide time-out from our ever increasing hectic lifestyles.

The origins of Crochet stretch way back to almost the beginning of the the 1800`s. Although there are rumors of Crochet starting out earlier across China and South America, the first documented evidence was found in a Swedish magazine in 1819. Crochet exploded in popularity across Europe at this time, due partly to the availability of cheap, good quality cotton.

The biggest adoption of Crochet in the early years occurred in Ireland during the famine as a way for impoverished families to earn money. As a focus for survival, Irish Lace became an art in its own right and was in great demand until World War I, although many different techniques and styles have since become popular.

Filet Crochet is grid-like in appearance due to the simple use of only two variants of stitch. Often monotone in color, Filet is normally used to make curtains, place mats, tablecloths and other household necessities.

Afghan Crochet is also known as Tunisian Crochet and uses an extra long hook to create thicker pieces, often using techniques similar to those involved in knitting. The technique often causes the material to curl and it needs to be finished by using a steaming process. If you are interested in creating an original, beautiful blanket and wrap quickly- this is the technique for you. Tunisian Crochet is known as the fastest way to create fabrics.

Tapestry Crochet is extremely popular in Guatemala and uses bright colored material to create bags, hats and accessories with a `motif`. Broomstick Lace can also be called Peacock Eye Crochet and is perfect for clothing due to the soft fabric it produces. The name comes from the tools that were originally used- a broomstick!

Hairpin Lace is essentially a lace craft and involves the use of a crochet needle and a loom used to work the cotton into a spine shape- to which further patterns are added. This technique is mainly used to add decorative pieces to clothing. Finally, Co-Hooking involves the use of 2 hooks which both hold an alternate color. In this way patterns can be made more complex through the use of color.

The original crochet designs were made with bold, bright colors and this continued until the Edwardian period, during which a more understated, pale look was desirable. What the new style lacked in color it made up for in complexity, with patterns become more challenging, daring and experimental. As interest in crochet continues to ebb and flow, more and more patterns and ideas are spread. Indeed, in this technological age it is possible to find an original pattern from anywhere in the world, from the comfort of your home.

So what do you need to start with Crochet? The tool, or hook, can be plastic, metal or even wooden. In earlier forms the hooks were made from cork handles, brass and even bone. The yarn or thread can vary in texture, strength and appearance depending entirely on what you are creating. Experimentation is key to beginning your journey with the world of Crochet.

The technique begins with a slipknot on your chosen hook and creating a chain by pulling a loop through the original loop. Patterns and directions are simple to follow and have a basic language and guide to help you, although be aware that there are differences between descriptions between British and American instructions!

If you have always fancied attempting a hands-based craft to create something personalized, Crochet is a good place to start. With patterns and instructions for beginners all the way to the more experienced, there are many different styles and fashions to try so you can surely find your niche. With a rich and interesting history, Crochet is a traditional craft that has evolved to present day interest.

Recently Crochet has been taking over the graffiti community, with several pieces of brightly colored crochet appearing overnight on trees, walls and centers across the USA and UK. Mathematicians have even constructed complicated formula for the crochet patterns which have been used to model and visualize difficult concepts. Crochet is not simply an old art-form or craft- it has many uses in society!

Arts & Crafts for children- Back in Fashion

Arts and Crafts have come back into fashion. Having a hands-on activity to create with your children is now seen as a healthy alternative to the bright screens of the computer and TV. This is a brilliant time to reconnect with your creative side and to help develop future generations` skills with crafts for kids..

History is often said to repeat itself and, as the Punk Movement fought the norms of society and pop music, so now are arts and crafts being used as a revolt against the modern age. We want to connect with each other again. We want to show off our skills, impress ourselves, our friends and families. Buying the same, mass-produced items as everyone else has become a chore. Bespoke is highly sought-after to create the original and define the individual.

The dangers of sitting in front of a digital screen have been expressed for decades, however the real effect of the digital age is only now becoming clear. Children and young people practically live online; they chat, watch movies, listen to music, research and network. The internet cannot be faulted for the wealth of information within reach. You can learn to do just about anything. But when it comes to textbook knowledge versus experience, the balance is tipping.

Children and young people know a lot these days. Indigestible amounts of information are at their very fingertips, however practical skills are suffering. What`s the difference between reading about how to make a cake, and actually making one? The proof is in the pudding, as they say.

People are realising that the amount of time spent on the computer has left no time for any other pursuits. Hobbies were replaced by video-games, meeting with friends became chatting online and learning a new skill became a reading exercise only. There are many problems in society that children are developing due to a lack of activities including obesity, depression and addiction.

Parents across the globe have realised this and slowly but surely, family time is making a comeback. Limits are being set on the amount of time we spend watching TV, communicating on the internet and playing consoles. The internet may be a fantastic place to start to look for craft ideas for you and your children, but once found, turn the computer off and get making.

Pastel art and bracelet crafting are two of the most popular activities to do with your children at the moment. Pastels are relatively cheap and unlike paint do not tend to make much mess! Both for beginners and the more experienced, the magic of pastel art is that there is always room for improvement. Start by making a simple design and work your way up to using shading, blending and more complicated techniques.

Pastel art is great for children and can be used to make celebratory cards such as birthday cards, christmas and anniversary cards, or presents for friends and family. Your children will love the feeling of accomplishment when they complete their first design and the joy it brings their most treasured relatives.

Bracelet Crafting is ideal for children as the plethora of materials and designs you can make are almost never ending. Learn many simple and intricate lacing patterns, decorate with beads, shells or anything you can find around the house- even dried pasta! Bracelet crafts help to bring out the creative side in your child and encourages them to develop creativity, alongside motor skill improvements and concentration. The Rainbow Loom is a particularly impressive bracelet craft set that is making a name for itself worldwide. Even boys are getting involved with loom knitting. Learning how to loom is quick and easy, so there`s no excuse not to give it a try!

Knitting and Crochet were once confined to your grandmother`s study however modern patterns and styles, alongside the re-introduction of wool-based fashion has given these crafts a new lease of life. Techniques, tutorials and styles can be found by both amateurs and experts on the likes of youtube, blogs and Pinterest. Wool is such a diverse material these days, from making a traditional scarf and glove combination for the winter, you can also try your hand at making hats, jumpers, cardigans and even socks. Some people have even taken to releasing patterns for animals- so you may finally be able to present the dog or cat, with his very own Christmas jumper.

Crochet has become a sought-after gift for the contemporary home. Traditional place mats and cake liners aside, you can create beautiful plaques to celebrate any occasion, to tell someone how you really feel about them, or just to remind guests to put down the toilet seat. For kids, they can personalize their room, their bags, even their dolls clothes or make gifts for their friends and relatives.

One of the best things about all arts and crafts is that there are a multitude of styles, techniques and materials that you can use to make just about anything. Thinking outside of the box allows for your creative juices to really flow and there are mental and physical benefits for all ages, not just the young, of developing and cultivating a new hobby. Materials are still relatively cheap to come buy and in the age of the Eco-warrior, you can find and recycle many items around the house. ( Remember the rocket made from the washing up liquid bottle?…)

The main point about starting a new craft hobby is to get out of it what you want. If you want to bond with your children, find something you all like to do. If you want to relax and unwind after work, try to find a craft that doesn’t frustrate you or require too much concentration. If you are retired and want to keep your brain and hands active, then challenge yourself to something you have never tried before. Pick a craft that suits your needs to provide the ultimate sense of satisfaction.

Happy Looming!

Loom Ebook PDF Please click to download

Tutorials

Making a blanket

Use a worsted weight yarn on your The Gallery London Loom if ALL pegs are in and a bulky weight yarn if every other peg is in.
These additional video’s may further help you
tripple rib
inverted rib
rib stitch to go with inverted rib pdf and video
blanket tips
cozy wool video
10 stitch blanket playlist

Single Chain Bracelet Tutorials

How to Make a Rainbow Loom Single Chain Bracelet Bracelet


This tutorial is a beginner level design of a rainbow loom bracelet. Video credits goes to the Rainbow loom official channel. To make this bracelet you will need 13 color ‘A’ bands (red), 12 color ‘B’ bands (yellow), and a C-clip. You may need to pause the video to keep pace to the instructor.. It is also a good idea to have your supplies ready before you begin. If you need a longer bands for large wrist you may extend the bracelet as instructed in the video. This bracelet can also be thickened by doubling or tripling the bands. Once you have mastered this design you can choose and play with different color combinations and compared the best output.

Hibiscus Bracelet Tutorials

How to Make a Rainbow Loom Hibiscus Bracelet


This tutorial is an advance level design of a rainbow loom bracelet. Video credits goes to the Rainbow loom official channel. To make this bracelet you will need 30 color ‘A’ bands (pink), 15 color ‘B’ bands (orange), 15 color ‘C’ bands (neon orange), 23 color ‘D’ bands (neon green) and 6 C-clips. It’s a good idea to have these supplies ready before you began so pause the video until you are ready to follow along. Throughout the video you may need to pause or rewind to better catch up to their instructions. The instructions consists of looping so pay attention to the diagram in the video carefully. Take the time to follow the instructions and before you know it you have already mastered this hibiscus bracelet tutorials.

Flower Power Bracelet Tutorials

How to Make a Rainbow Loom Flower Power  Bracelet


This tutorial is an advance level design of a rainbow loom bracelet. Video credits goes to the Rainbow loom official channel. To make this bracelet you will need 38 color ‘A’ bands (white), 21 color ‘B’ bands (pink), 21 color ‘C’ bands (purple) and a C-clip. It’s a good idea to have your supplies ready before you began so pause the video until you are ready to follow along. Throughout the video you may need to pause or rewind to better catch up to their instructions.

Carnation Bracelet Tutorials

Rainbow Loom Carnation Bracelet Tutorials

This is an advance level design of a rainbow loom bracelet. Video credits goes to the Rainbow loom official channel. On this tutorial you will need a loom, hook and 3 different color of bands. I think it is best to use your desired color instead of following the personal choice of the person in the video. I suggest to watch the video at least 3 times before starting your own bracelet to help familiarize yourself better.. If you have only one loom you may need to extend your bracelet.