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11 essential crochet terms it pays to know

When someone talks about a BPdc, does your head spin? Do you know your whipstitch from your chain stitch? How do you finish a project so that it looks as though you bought it from a high end store?
You'll love our guide to all the tricks of the crochet trade.
1. Abbreviations
If you have trouble distinguishing your trebles from your double crochets, you'll find this guide to abbreviations really useful.
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2. Patterns
If you're a beginner, crochet patterns can seem as though they are written in a foreign language. This guide will help you make sense of what's going on.
3. Diagrams
Some crochet patterns show diagrams of the stitches involved along with written instructions. To the uninitiated, these can look like a bunch of sticks with crosses. Some people find these easier to follow than the abbreviated language of the patterns. For a key to the code, try here.
4. Why a tapestry needle?
'I'm not doing tapestry - why do I need a tapestry needle?' Well, it's useful in crochet because it has a big eye, for threading your yarn, and a blunt end, which won't damage your work, and you need it to sew in your ends so your project won't come apart.
5. Stitch counting
You may think you can easily see how many stitches you have made in each row, but in fact your first stitch and your last will both usually be smaller than the rest and are easy to miss out. Going through and counting each time really does save mistakes. If you are working in the round, or often find your scarves become triangles instead of rectangles, you can use a stitch marker to make sure you know exactly where you started.
6. Rounds vs rows?
There is one simple difference between working in the round and working in rows. Crochet in rows has one distinct beginning and one end, whereas crochet in the round flows without you breaking off and turning your work. Crochet in the round is great for bowls, egg cosies and rounded projects, rows work well for straight items like blankets, throws and scarves.
7. Knitting or crochet - which is best?
If you ask a crocheter, you'll get one answer, while a knitter will say something different! There are lots of similarities between the two crafts, while the main difference lies in the fact that two needles are used for knitting, and one hook for crochet. You can make many stitches in crochet which look similar to knitting, and vice versa.
8. What is blocking and why do I have to do it?
I'll let you into a crochet secret - even expert crocheters find blocking a nuisance. But there's no doubt that it can work wonders in squaring off wonky corners and giving projects a professional finish. Blocking involves dampening and reshaping your work, usually by pinning it out. You can often substitute a steam press for blocking, but be sure to check your yarn band to see if your yarn can take water, steam or heat.
9. What are yarn weights?
The type of yarn you use can make all the difference to a project. Yarn weights really refer to the thickness of the individual strands in your ball. Yarns run from lace weight, which is very delicate and fine and can be used for dainty filigree work, all the way up to roving or super-chunky, which is very thick and useful for bulky rugs. Find out more about yarn weights here.
10. How much yarn do I need?
11. Why (and how) do you weave in ends?
There are many schools of thought on this important finishing touch. One thing is for sure, though. If you don't pay attention to this detail, all your hard work could well unravel. For a great guide to weaving in ends, try here.
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Be sure to share this super useful list with your fellow crochet friends!
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