Friday, 11 March 2011

Friday Crochet

It's all about crochet this Friday and I am very excited to have a guest blog by Amy from No More Disco, enjoy!

I love to crochet. Since learning exactly how to do it at a wool shop just over a year and a half ago I have delighted in creating fabrics and other ephemera through the simple act of pulling loops of yarn through other loops.

Although it’s similar to knitting, crochet differs in that you only ever have one stitch active on your hook at any one time. This, for me has made it my preferred yarn activity. Any mistakes (and I make A LOT of these) and you can literally rip your work up to the point you want to continue from. There is no need to painstakingly unpick each stitch one at a time worrying whether you are twisting the yarn the wrong way on the needles like in knitting. This means it’s very portable. You always know where you are.

The bestselling ‘Happy Hooker’ by Debbie Stoller was published in 2006 which fed off the success of the stitch and bitch knitting fever and since then crochet’s experienced a massive resurgence and is more in favour than ever before. It’s moved on from traditional granny square blankets and doilies that your nan had under just about everything in her house. Now we’re starting to see the emergence of more sophisticated, cleverly crafted, contemporary designs in homeware, accessories and fashion. And some are extremely covetable. Here’s just a few of my favourite things I found on the net.

The mega doily. Truly a thing of great beauty, made from rope Jean took her love of vintage doilies to the extreme and hand (!) crochets these rugs;

A stunning centrepiece for the table crocheted from wire:

Linen Pincushion from namolio would make a welcome addition to any sewing kit.

And now crocheted stones? Who’d have thunk it huh? But aren’t these just amazing?

And we can’t have a post on crochet without some contemporary covetable afghans in modern hues. These are relevant designs for modern surroundings.

Crochet is easy enough to pick up. I could not fathom it for the life of me until that fateful class 18 months ago that began my love affair. However I defy anyone to fail to learn after just a small bit of practice (practice is key – like most things!) and not only is it accessible but it’s hugely versatile with the ability to create countless textures and effects. Work ‘grows’ quickly making it instantly gratifying and there is no limit to the inspiration to be found on the internet. It’s fantastic for fashioning trims, making throws, creating jewellery and so much more. You can use a wealth of different materials, rope, wire, yarn, cotton, twine, raffia – people are even crocheting plastic bags!

To get you started I can’t recommend  enough ‘Compendium of crochet techniques’ I have a huge amount of crochet books but this is seriously the ‘go to’ book. For projects give Erika Knight’s ‘Essential Crochet’ a try, and one of my favourites: Linda Permann ‘Crochet adorned'.

I’ve not even mentioned amirugumi  (crocheted toys) and I know there’s nothing on clothing except the strangely seductive first image but there is so much to say about crochet so here ends the crochet fest. I’ve enjoyed it immensely. Thanks for having me Kate and happy hooking people. Enjoy.

Thanks so much Amy! these pictures are inspiring - you can find more from Amy at her blog No More Disco.


  1. Crochet necklace? wowsers! Great post Amy!

  2. Lawks! What an exciting post. Are the first two pictures Amy's own work? Reading this post has reignited my desire to give crochet another try. I went on a 1 day course run by someone who didn't like people, uncertainty or questions....I'm now thinking I may try to find someone nicer to teach me or perhaps buy one of the books mentioned. Thank you Amy & Kate x

  3. Yes florence. Actually that's me in the first post modelling. I am just wearing a wig... ahem...I bloody wish I made the first two - they're off pinterest. I've actually started making a version of the jumper though I love it so much. I really hope it doesn't look like a poor mans version.

    I was taught by a really lovely girl who took the class after someone fell ill. She was so sparkly and friendly it made all the difference. And I reckon for 90% of the class everyone was cack handed, frustrated and basically stuck. Then things started to slot into place but that was seriously the last 10 minutes!!!

  4. And as an addition to that - the crochet compendium is the best to learn from, followed by crochet adorned. Erika Knight book is not so good unless you know how to crochet in my humble opinion.

  5. Yay Amy, great post lovely! I wish I could crochet, I just get in a muddle and totally frustrated with it all. My brain says 'knit it you fool' and then I try and do knitting... oh so wrong! lou xx

  6. I didn't know whether to be more envious of the crochet skills or the legs!

    I love the knickers most...although they may feel a bit 'airy' to wear out. Am sure you jumper will not look like a poor man's version.

    I was taught by someone sent from Rowan to my local fabric store - she was impatient and grumpy. But I've been desperate to try again ever since I saw one of the sales girls at Liberty crocheting a black cardigan in between customers - I love the idea of having something that portable. Thank you for helping to prioritise books - it is now on my wishlist.


  7. Great guest post - love seeing the different things you can do with crochet! Love the wire crochet bowl - amazing!And the necklace!
    Will check out Amys blog for sure!