One of the great things about crochet is that there is constantly new stuff to learn. I’m always completely bowled over when I stumble upon a new technique, pattern, colour combination… all the other things. Actually I think what astonishes me most is that it still has the ability to surprise me!
I learned to crochet six years ago (Nanna tried to teach me when I was little; I didn’t get on with it). After six years I still love crochet and I still love it when it teaches me something new. A lot of it is probably my childish pride but I don’t care, it makes me happy. It makes me squee when I accomplish something that’s new to me. I’ve found a hobby that continually delights me! And that’s the point, these things are new to me but they might not be new to somebody else. They’re discovered by somebody and we’re lucky enough that these crochet tips and tricks get shared for us all to find and gleefully enjoy.
I’ve recently found a few fabulous crochet techniques and I thought it would be a really good idea to collate them all together. It also got me thinking about the ones that blew my mind in the past. So they’re here too. Some are more common knowledge than others but I didn’t know them at one time, maybe you don’t either. Let me know what you think and let me know if there are some crazy crochet secrets that I’ve missed.
- The Standing Start.
Check out Moogly for how to seamlessly start a crochet project without “ch3 (counts as first stitch).”
2. The Chainless Foundation.
I love this. As this tutorial at Steel and Stitch says, there’s more elasticity using this method. And miraculously, you do away with fumbling over a foundation chain.
3. Stop your Chains Twisting!
If you want to chain the old fashioned way, here’s how to stop the twist! You’ll need it for a project like an infinity scarf. I haven’t tried the chainless foundation for something which is joined together (an infinity scarf) so I don’t know if it’d work. Sometimes the old method is a good method.
4. The Invisible Decrease.
Planet June has great amigurumi tutorials for techniques that create wonderfully neat crochet creatures. The invisible decrease is ace; it’s one of my favourite amigurumi secrets.
5. Finishing off your Amigurumi.
This saved me from having lots of stuffed toys with ugly bottoms. Quite literally for this fawn (not that you can see his bottom in the picture below). Have a look here (at the technique, not fawn’s bum).
6. The Perfect Crochet Circle.
This can be done in a couple of different ways. It’s all about mixing up the stitches or as this tutorial demonstrates: you don’t always have to work in a continuous round for amigurumi. Interesting…
7. Work under the Bumps.
This one, I learned near the beginning of my crochet obsession and I still think it’s fab. I used to go into just the one loop of each chain, which felt like cheating. And trying to work in the top of a foundation chain is just asking for trouble, so under the bumps it is (unless, you know, chainless…)
8. Get Tidy Edges.
I only found this one a few days ago so I haven’t tried it yet. It looks great! My edges tend to look messy even when I make an effort to be extra neat. Felted Button has a great tutorial to rid you of unsightly borders.
9. Lose the Granny Twist.
Why are my Granny’s twisty?! Cherry Heart will tell you. So simple yet I never thought of trying any of these at first.
10. The Continuous Join as you go.
Not to be confused with the Join As You Go method, which still results in lots of ends to sew in, The Continuous has only two ends to sew in and it’s really easy! Honestly, if you haven’t done this before, it’s life changing. I’ve tried a couple of different methods and the one over at Patchwork Heart is the best.
11. The Fancy Continuous Join as you go.
I really really want to do this. You can save time and be pretty! It’s the Continuous Flat Braid. Same as above, but fancy!!
12. The Neat Granny Border.
If you’ve gone to the effort of stitching all your granny’s together, the least you can do is make sure they get a beautiful border too. Too many clusters around the edges can cause a bit of a ruffle. Pop over to Bunny Mummy’s guide for how to crochet a flat border.
And that’s it for now. As I’ve been writing this, I’ve spotted more but do you know what? I reckon I’ll have to do a sequel!