Being able to give someone a gift that you were able to craft for them is something special. Handmade items take time and thought. Often, they end up costing more in money than going to buy something on sale, but the love that goes behind a handcrafted gift cannot be assigned a monetary value.
Crocheting is a great way to create handmade gifts. Learning how to do a few of the basic stitches and how to read a pattern opens up a whole world of possibilities for you. Baby blankets, booties, scarves, slippers, hats, the list just keeps on going. Listed below are seven of the most basic stitches and how they are used. Included with each stitch is a tutorial so you can become a pro at making crocheted gifts.
1. The slip knot.
The anchor for every piece you crochet is the slip knot. It is the very first stitch you will make before the chain. Thankfully, it is also one of the simplest stitches to do.
2. The chain stitch.
Once you have the slip knot done, the next step is to create a chain. Again, every pattern for crochet has these two basic stitches included. You always begin with a slip knot followed by a chain.
3. The slip stitch.
The slip stitch, according to Crochet Guru, is “more of a technique than a stitch.” In some respects, it is like doing a chain onto existing work. You most commonly use a slip stitch to create “rounds” or circles for crochet patterns or to move from one end of your work to the other without adding any height.
4. The single crochet stitch.
The single crochet is considered a beginner stitch. It is used in simple patterns and in patterns where you don’t want a lot of height in each row. The stitch may also be used if you’re making a piece that is small in size or something in which you desire tight stitches.
5. The half double crochet stitch.
The half double crochet is not extremely difficult but doesn’t seem to be used as frequently as the single, double and treble crochets. Craftsy points out that one of the beauties of the half double is that it creates an extra loop. When that loop is put to use in varying up the stitch patterns, you can get a wide variety of textures for your end product. You may choose to use this stitch in afghans, hats, baby booties and even scarves.
6. The double crochet stitch.
Besides chain stitches and slip knots, the double crochet is probably the next most common stitch. It is very easy to do and is extremely versatile, being used in blankets, hats, scarves and even sweaters, as Crochet Guru points out. One of its benefits is that it quickly adds height to your piece.
7. The triple/treble crochet stitch.
The treble crochet is longer than the double and isn’t used as often in projects. Because it is longer, the stitches are looser and more air can get through the spaces. Crochet Spot shares that treble crochets are great for creating “airy pieces.” One advantage to this stitch is that it does allow you to get a large amount completed much more quickly.
8. The Tunisian stitch.
The Tunisian stitch is a little more advanced and requires a special hook called an afghan hook. According to All Free Crochet, this stitch is used for clutches, ties and cowls.
9. The Popcorn stitch.
The Popcorn stitch creates little bubbles of yarn on your piece. It takes more yarn to create than your single, double and treble crochets, but the advantage to it is that it gives texture to your piece. New Stitch a Day shares how you can use this stitch to create flowers and other designs in your crochet work.
Armed with the basic stitches and some bonus ones, you have everything you need to get started except for a pattern. The good news is that those can be found online or in any crafting store. Have fun stitching away.