One of the things that keeps crochet interesting: There are bunches of different crochet techniques you can try. Let’s explore a variety of the wonderful crochet techniques that are possible.
Bead crochet is a technique in which the crafter strings beads onto crochet thread, yarn or other fiber, and then proceeds to incorporate those beads into her or his work. The beads can be combined with the thread or fiber to create intricate color patterns or even pictures.
Some popular types of bead crochet projects include beaded bags, purses, Christmas ornaments, snowflake motifs, necklaces, bracelets, earrings and other jewelry.
Pictured here is The Beaded Edge 2, which is my all-time favorite bead crochet pattern book. This book features exquisite bead crochet patterns for making delicate edgings. I think the projects and photography included in the book are absolutely enchanting, and I have enjoyed success with making several of these edgings for my own projects.
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Filet crochet is a vintage technique in which you create a mesh fabric using chain stitches and double crochet stitches or treble crochet stitches. Some filet crochet patterns also incorporate a stitch pattern known as a lacet. These stitches can be arranged to form pictures, geometric patterns or other patterns.
Filet crochet patterns are often represented in chart format. The charts can easily be graphed on graph paper.
Many of my favorite filet crochet resources are vintage women’s magazines and other vintage publications. There are some lovely patterns available in these old books that are just as usable today as they were when they were originally published.
There are also numerous contemporary crochet designers who are using this technique and making filet crochet patterns available. Pictured here is one of my favorite filet crochet pattern books by Susan Lowman. It is called Lovely Decor in Filet Crochet. Leisure Arts is the publisher of this book.
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Tunisian crochet is a technique that dates back more than 100 years. I have Tunisian crochet instructions in my collection that date back as far as the 1890s. The technique also enjoyed a renewal in popularity in the 1970s, and so there are many interesting patterns available from that decade as well (although they are mostly out of print, you can still buy them on the secondary market).
Tunisian crochet requires special equipment, namely, a long hook with no thumb rest and a stopper at one end. The technique requires you to hold large numbers of active loops on your hook, and the longer hook facilitates this. In that regard, Tunisian crochet is quite a bit like knitting, although you don’t need a pair of hooks to do it.
There are so many amazing Tunisian crochet pattern books available that it’s hard to choose a favorite. If you haven’t yet learned the technique, I recommend any of the Tunisian crochet pattern books by Stackpole Books, because those include step-by-step photo tutorials that will teach you the techniques. Pictured here is Fair Isle Tunisian Crochet by Brenda Bourg, which is a ground-breaking book that will teach you how to do the Tunisian knit stitch with lovely colorwork designs. If you don’t examine the fabric too closely, the end results resemble Fair Isle knitting. This book is absolutely genius; I highly recommend it.
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One of the all-time most popular crochet techniques is creating motifs like granny squares, hexagons and triangles and then joining them together to make finished projects such as blankets and bedspreads.
There are so many wonderful books about crochet motifs that I had a hard time settling on that one especially outstanding book to highlight on this page — so I chose 2 titles. My current top pick is pictured here. It’s Crochet Kaleidoscope by Sandra Eng, published by Interweave. My second favorite is another Interweave title; it’s Seamless Crochet by Kristin Omdahl. I highly recommend both of these books if you want to learn more about crocheting motifs.
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- Click Here to See More of Our Picks for the Best Crochet Lace Pattern Books.
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This is not a comprehensive list of crochet techniques, but this list includes some of the most popular techniques that contemporary crochet designers are currently writing about and incorporating into their work. If you’d like to learn even more techniques, here are a couple of additional resources I recommend:
Antique-Crochet.com — At this website, you can find information about vintage crochet techniques that used to be popular, and still are to a certain extent, but perhaps not to the extent they used to be.
One example of this is Irish crochet. Irish crochet is an elaborate and time consuming crochet technique that results in impressive textured pieces. There are still people using this technique, but the truth is, contemporary crafters rarely want to devote the long hours it takes to succeed at this type of work. You’re likely to enjoy looking at pictures of what is possible, even if you don’t have the time or inclination to pursue this type of work yourself.
Crochet and Knitting Techniques — I’ve compiled a more comprehensive list of knitting and crochet techniques at our sister site, KnittingandCrochet.net. I invite you to check it out.
By Amy Solovay
About the Author: Amy Solovay is a freelance writer who holds a degree in textile design and previously enjoyed a career in the textile industry. She has been crocheting and crafting since childhood, and knitting since she was a teenager. Her work also appears at AmySolovay.com, ArtsWithCrafts.com and KnittingandCrochet.net. Amy sends out a free knitting and crochet newsletter so interested crafters can easily keep up with her new patterns, tutorials and book reviews. If you’re already an Instagram user, Amy also invites you to follow her on Instagram.
This page was last updated on 6-25-2019.