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by Folksy Support

Inspiring Creativity

A series of fascinating articles exploring crafts and tecniques written by Stained Glass Artist Amy Orangejuice

Vibrant Rainbow Granny Square Crochet has really made a come back over the last few years and lots of the craft fairs I go to now have a wide range of crochet items, from traditional blankets made up of squares to modern statement necklaces; this is reflected in the Folksy community too and a few of the crochet sellers have kindly spoken to me about their craft. Oh, and a small confession from me, I am the worlds worst crocheter, really terrible, so I am always impressed by those who can crochet! (Granny Square image from ‘The Sunroom‘)

You don’t need much to get started crocheting, a hook (like a single knitting needle with a hooked end) and some wool and a pattern would probably help at least to start with and in the simplest of terms you make knotted loops in the wool by wrapping it around the hook, then you make chains of the loops and you can then manipulate these chains into shapes, or rows. Crochet is a much freer technique than knitting and you can quickly start to make flower shapes and 3d shapes (even I managed a hat once). Its a highly portable craft and you can just pop a small ball of wool and hook in your bag and do it on the bus, or where ever!
Crochet Poncho

Nithria Crochet description of her method shows the freedom crochet can give for creativity, “I think I am mainly inspired by the colour and texture of the wool I am using, I am someone who works off my mood and I look at the colour and texture and decide if I just want a basic crochet stitch incorporating another colour or a pattern…I do not use patterns to crochet I work from an image from my head”.
Thecraftybride is also very intuitive and takes a lot of inspiration from the world around her, “I love pretty, delicate things and I try to reflect this in most of what I make, whether this be the pattern or the colour although I do sometimes use bold colours and strong patterns, it depends on my mood and my mood often dictates what I make. I will often get ideas from everyday objects and visualise it in another guise – like a black gift bag with multi-coloured dots on it could well become a tea cosy design”.

The Sunroom explains what you need to make a living from crochet, “I design, write and produce both knitting & crochet patterns, but mainly crochet. I sell samples of my work through Folksy and other online craft communities…In common with many fellow designers and crafters the working week is normally 7 days and the hours at least 12-15 per day. I think the concept of ‘made NOT manufactured’ is finally coming of age which affords lots of us many opportunities. My work is divided between designer and creating crochet patterns, undertaking private commissions and creating crochet items for sale as well as blogging, promoting, photographing and writing articles for UK publications”.

Fancy a go?

There are a wealth of books, magazines and on line tutorials on crochet, you can find them from U tube to your local charity shop, just google crochet tutorials to see what I mean! The Folksy makes section has 4 crochet makes from a bag to a brooch, http://www.folksy.com/makes/534 , http://www.folksy.com/makes/369http://www.folksy.com/makes/246http://www.folksy.com/makes/70
For patterns a quick Folksy search will come up with lots of patterns to buy, or look on Ravelry’s pattern shop, where The Sunroom has a shop! http://www.ravelry.com/designers/the-sunroomuk. Or if you need some human contact local craft groups are thriving, for example, in Exeter we have Make do and Mend, Craft Hub and KNIT In, mostly they meet every month, people share skills and crafty talk, I am sure there will be one near you too.So get the crochet hook out and I hope you have better results than mine!

Oh, and look out for The Sunroom in, the International Freeform Exhibition 2010

More about our columnist

Amy is a stained glass artist from Exeter and has a succesful Folksy shop ‘Amy OrangeJuice’ selling suncatchers, mobiles and decorations with the left over pieces of glass from her larger comissioned pieces as well as reclaimed glass. Read Amy’s blog and visit her Folksy shop to find out more, or buy a piece of work from this talented and award winning glass artist.

Take a look at some of the other fascinating handcrafts that Amy has tackled in her Inspiring Creativity series. If you are a crochet enthusiast you may like to check our our featured Yarn suppliers too – Knitting Crochet and Yarn Supplies.

Thanks for reading, we look forward to hearing your comments.

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Lavinia February 8, 2011 - 9:39 am

Crochet is the way forward. Granny Squares are so versatile. My crochet style is a little odd as I hold the hook as if a knitting needle. It works. I’ve even tried crochet work with fine wire. Must get the hook out again. Love the colours in the blanket

Victoria February 8, 2011 - 2:39 pm

Must say I do have a bit of love for Granny Squares! Nice to see so many different types of project though.

TheCraftyBride February 8, 2011 - 5:59 pm

I love crochet in all its forms and its always nice to try new stitches and revive old styles too like broomstick lace crochet, so called because the yarn used to be be wrapped around a broomstick to create the large loops. These days we use a really big knitting needle or a piece of plastic pipe. My scarf you have featured is made from broomstick lace crochet.

Bedecked Beads February 8, 2011 - 6:16 pm

I love making necklaces and bracelets incorporating crochet and knitting. I use fine wire for this and have been pleased how effective a piece of jewellery they make

annie February 8, 2011 - 7:17 pm

i had always thought about learning how to crochet.my local craft shop Heaths Country Store Notts runs courses so i took the plunge and love it, i may not be the best but i certainly enjoy especially the tunisian crochet.

Thesunroom February 9, 2011 - 9:12 am

Hi Amy,

Great post and I hope you have inspired some crochet virgins to pick up a hook. Thank you for featuring my work.

Best wishes – Aileen

Karen February 9, 2011 - 1:22 pm

I also love using crochet to do jewellery as it’s so quick. I taught myself from a book last year and I have done some small items using crochet but because I am quicker at knitting I tend to use this for big items

pauline February 12, 2011 - 12:06 pm

yes I have recently taken up crochet again and am enjoying making hats and toys mostly. I am not very adventurous but my efforts do get admired and it gives me lots of pleasure too!
I first tried crochet when my daughter was 2 yrs old ( she’s 43 now) and I made two little dresses for her which I was very prouf of. Haven’t made a dress since though!

Leah Hill February 12, 2011 - 10:08 pm

yeah, bring back crochet, its great.

Rynae February 14, 2011 - 1:27 am

Crochet never left, one off the best crafts, I crochet please visit my blog to swap tips.

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