Crocheters, I’ve discovered, are clever, make-do-with-what-you’ve-got kinda folks. To that end, for today’s post, I’m sharing 10 great tips that crocheters have shared with Leisure Arts over the years for using stuff from around the house to facilitate the art of crochet:
1. Crochet Tip: Washing Musty Yarn
I do a lot of crocheting for charity, and I’ve been given a lot of yarn that has been put away and smells musty. I’ve found that if I take the skein of yarn, slide it down in the leg of a pair of pantyhose, tie the ends off, and launder it using the gentle cycle, the yarn comes out clean, smelling fresh, and ready to use. –Jo Ann from Texas
2. Crochet Tip: Doily Storage
I thought you might like my tip on storing crocheted doilies. I save the cardboard rolls from wax paper, paper towels, etc. They vary in size and can be joined together to lengthen as needed. First, I wrap the tube in an acid-free material, such as an old cotton pillowcase or dishtowel. Then I iron my doilies and roll them on the roll. They’re kept neat, without fold lines and are easy to store on a shelf or in a drawer. More than one can be rolled together, if you wish. It’s easy to find the one you want, and they always lay flat and neat. If given as a gift, they’re easy to wrap. –Melba from Ohio
3. Crochet Tip: Paper Clips
I use small and/or large plastic coated paperclips to mark rows, right side of fabric, last stitch made, etc.. They are easy to move around from stitch to stitch and the plastic coating protects the fabric from getting snagged. The variety of colors in a package of these clips makes it easy to keep track of many things at once.
4. Crochet Tip: Easy Grip Hook
I’ve just learned to crochet and would like to share a tip that I’ve found helpful. I wrap a rubber band around the thumb-rest of my hook, which makes the handle thicker and easier to grip. –Anna from New Mexico
5. Crochet Tip: Green Blocking
Since my young granddaughters (ages 4 and up) have learned to crochet, they’ve also learned how to block their projects. We recycle foam box liners and the rigid pink builders’ insulation to use as our blocking boards. We also use round toothpick halves instead of pins, because they’re safer, and they don’t leave rust spots. We’ve re-used the same supplies for hundreds of doilies, table covers, coasters, snowflake ornaments, etc. –Sylvia from Massachusetts
6. Crochet Tip: Toothbrush Holder Hook Storage
To protect my beloved wooden crochet hooks, I bought a plastic toothbrush holder for less than $1.00. It’s large enough to hold one or two hooks, a small pair of fold-up needlework scissors, and a yarn needle. It keeps everything together and tidy, and it protects my hooks from bending and breaking. –Phyllis from Michigan
7. Crochet Tip: Baby Wipe Yarn Holder
I use a large baby wipe container to hold my yarn while I’m crocheting. By threading the yarn through the opening in the lid, it stays clean and untangled. –Dorothy from Ohio
8. Crochet Tip: Sticky Note Markers
Here is a special tip for all who have to follow a pattern or chart. I place a self-stick note under the line I’m on when crocheting or working on other crafts, that require me to follow a pattern or even a graph. I just move the note down to the next line as I go. I can even write on it to remind myself at which row or round I stopped. This keeps me from having to count so much. –Elaine from Louisiana
9. Crochet Tip: Page Protectors/Dry-Erase Markers
I store my patterns in clear vinyl sheet covers. This really does help keep them neat and clean so that they’ll last longer, but I’ve found something that makes them even more useful. I keep my current project in my crochet bag, so I can take it with me to work on whenever I have a few minutes. Since I have to start and stop a lot, it’s really important for me to be able to know where to pick up again. My solution is a dry-erase marker. You can make all kinds of notes on the sheet, and then with a simple swipe, they’re erased! You can do this as often as you need. –Frances from Arkansas
10. Crochet Tip: The Versatile Bobby Pin
I’ve found that bobby pins are very helpful when crocheting. I use large ones for yarn and small ones for thread. It’s best to use bobby pins with the rubber tips still attached to avoid snags. I use bobby pins for the following:
• To hold the last stitch when putting work away. This avoids having part of your crocheted piece unravel.
• To mark the right side of a crocheted project. Attaching a bobby pin is much quicker than locating another color of yarn to use as a marker, and it’s quicker to remove when your work is complete.
• Bobby pins can be used as bobbins when working color changes with small amounts of yarn.
• Bobby pins can be real time-savers when working pattern changes or marking stitches to be worked into later in a project.
• They’re great for holding pieces together for seam work. They help in matching patterns from piece to piece and are especially helpful when setting in sleeves. 6. When making long chains at the beginning of a project, use bobby pins to mark, for example, every 30 chains. This prevents you from having to start counting all over if you lose your place or are interrupted.
I recommend keeping bobby pins close at hand any time you’re crocheting. –Dale from Arkansas