Crochet is a process of creating textiles by using a crochet hook to interlock loops of yarn, thread, or strands of other materials. The name is derived from the French term crochet, meaning ‘small hook’. Hooks can be made from a variety of materials, such as metal, wood, bamboo, or plastic.
Basic materials required for crochet are a hook and some type of material that will be crocheted, most commonly yarn or thread. Yarn, one of the most commonly used materials for crocheting, has varying weights that need to be taken into consideration when following patterns. Additional tools are convenient for keeping stitches counted, measuring crocheted fabric, or making related accessories. The thickness or weight of the yarn is a significant factor in determining how many stitches and rows are required to cover a given area for a given stitch pattern. This is also termed the gauge.
Crocheted fabric is begun by placing a slip-knot loop on the hook, pulling another loop through the first loop, and repeating this process to create a chain of a suitable length. The chain is either turned and worked in rows, or joined to the beginning of the row with a slip stitch and worked in rounds. Rounds can also be created by working many stitches into a single loop. Stitches are made by pulling one or more loops through each loop of the chain. At any one time at the end of a stitch, there is only one loop left on the hook. Tunisian crochet, however, draws all of the loops for an entire row onto a long hook before working them off one at a time. Like knitting, crochet can be worked either flat or in the round.
Types of Stitches –
There are five main types of basic stitches
a) Chain stitch – the most basic of all stitches and used to begin most projects.
b) Slip stitch – used to join chain stitch to form a ring.
c) Single crochet stitch – easiest stitch to master
d) Half-double crochet stitch – the ‘in-between’ stitch
e) Double crochet stitch – many uses for this unlimited use stitch
It has been very common for people and groups to crochet clothing and other garments and then donates them to soldiers during the war. People have also crocheted clothing and then donated it to hospitals, for sick patients and also for newborn babies. Sometimes groups will crochet for a specific charity purpose, such as crocheting for homeless shelters, nursing homes, etc.
There are a small number of architects currently interested in the subject of crochet as it relates to architecture. The following publications, explorations and thesis projects can be used as a resource to see how to crochet is being used within the capacity of architecture.
Crocheting and other forms of needlecraft or handicraft are proven to have several health benefits including reducing stress and anxiety. Studies show that the constant repetition of hand movement helps keep the mind calm and distracts the brain from the stresses of life. Some elementary school teachers have used crocheting to enhance their students’ literacy skills.