10 brilliant crochet tricks that will change the game

Crochet is an easy craft to learn. In fact, children can start learning it as young as 4 or 5 years old. Armed with just a few beginner crochet skills, you can make gadget cozies, scarves, blankets, and more. In fact, you only need to learn how to start a project and how to do a basic single crochet stitch to be able to make those functional items.
Despite the craft's ease, there is a whole world of potential lying in that little hook and yarn. There is almost no end to the possibilities for what you can do with this craft. Each skill builds upon the next so that you can add texture, create three-dimensional shapes, and create drama with color combinations.
Here are 10 advanced crochet tricks that will help take your yarn crafting to the next level.
1. Magic ring
There are several different ways to begin a project in the round. For example, many people will create a short chain and slip stitch to the furthest chain from the hook to creates the first round of the project. Learning the magic ring, however, will take things to the next level.
Unlike other methods of starting a project in the round, the magic ring is a ring you can completely close at the center. Therefore, you don't have a hole in the middle of your project as you would with the other starting techniques. As a result, you get a better fit for crochet hats, which is just one example of how the magic ring makes life easier for a crocheter.
2. Foundation starting chain
When working in rows, crocheters begin with a chain and then they crochet the first row into that starting chain. This is a class technique, and it is how almost everyone begins their work, but there are drawbacks to this technique.
For one thing, the starting chain can be challenging to work into because the chains are small, especially if you're working with a small hook. Another issue is that the starting chain is sometimes tighter than the rest of the work, giving it a slightly off-balanced look. All of that can change if you learn how to do a foundation starting chain.
This technique combines the starting chain and the first row into one row. For example, the single crochet foundation chain gives you a starting row of single crochet stitches. Likewise, a double crochet foundation chain is a single row that incorporates both the chain and the first row of double crochet stitches into one row.
3. Join as you go motifs
Weaving in ends is one of people's biggest crochet complaints. For example, if you make a hundred granny squares, then you join them together into a blanket. The effect is beautiful, but at the end of the project you have the ends of every square to weave in. However, if you learn how to "join as you go" then you won't have this problem. Each motif will connect to the next, with ends woven in as you work so that there is no big session of joining-and-weaving to dread at the end.
4. Double-stranding/multi-stranding
Most projects ask for you to use one single strand of yarn, but you can add a second, third, or even more strands. Simply hold all of the strands together and crochet as normal. This gives you unique abilities to create amazing color combinations with your yarn choices. Furthermore, it lets you quickly create a "bulky knit" look from thinner strands of yarn. This technique requires almost no learning curve and yet has a powerful design impact.
5. Hyperbolic crochet
Crochet is frequently used in math classrooms to give a tangible expression to abstract concepts. The unique nature of building loop upon loop allows for mathematical growth that other crafts, including knitting, just can't create. In particular, crochet has been great for demonstrating hyperbolic growth, which creates organic "coral reef" types of shapes. This technique can be used to create amazing soft sculpture art, but it can also be used in functional ways to make things such as bath scrubbers. It can also be used to add ruffles to the edge of a project.
6. Amigurumi techniques
Amigurumi is a form of sculpture. It is frequently used to create toys and stuffed animals, but you can use it to create any three-dimensional shape filled with stuffing. You typically only need to know single crochet stitches and work in the round to be able to do amigurumi. The more you practice it, however, the more you'll learn techniques that enhance the rest of your crochet work. In particular, learning different stuffing techniques can show different ways of creating 3-D shapes in crochet.
7. Surface crochet
Surface crochet is used to create embroidery-style designs on crocheted fabric. You can use it to add words or graphic images. You can also use it to outline parts of the work, introduce a new element of color, and add subtle texture. If you know the basics of crochet, then you can easily learn this technique, because it's just a simple variation on slip stitch and single crochet.
8. Working in one loop only
Each crochet stitch has two loops, except for half double crochet, which has three. Patterns typically ask you to work through both loops, but learning how to crochet in only one loop opens up a whole new world. You can work in the front loop only, the back loop only or, in the case of half double crochet, in the third loop only. Each choice gives you different stretch, ribbing, and design effects. You don't need to know anything more than the basic stitches; it's all about how you place them that dramatically changes the overall piece.
9. Working around posts
Post stitches are advanced stitches that definitely take a beginner's crochet to the next level. You can work regular stitches around posts instead of through loops. You can work around the front or the back of the post. For example, front post double crochet is worked the same as a regular double crochet stitch, except that it's worked around the front of the posts from the row below instead of into the loops of that stitch.
Post stitches can be used in so many different combinations. Depending how you use them, you can create cables, which are a popular derivative of knitting, basketweave stitches, and many other types of texture. Post stitches can also add weight and density to a crochet project, making them especially suitable to making bulky, cozy cold-weather items.
10. New tools
You can complete almost all crochet techniques using a simple crochet hook and yarn. As you get more advanced, however, you might introduce some new tools into the game. This allows you to do techniques that you can't do with the simple hook.
For example, broomstick lace crochet uses a special dowel for holding loops as you work. Likewise, hairpin lace crochet requires a special loom for holding the yarn. Similarly, Tunisian crochet uses a longer, double-ended crochet hook. In each case, you will need to learn a few special skills, but they build upon what you've already learned in basic crochet.

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