Read these 16 Having Fun with Crochet Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Crochet tips and hundreds of other topics.
If you're not familiar with the Crochet Liberation Front, you should be! Laurie Wheeler decided to start a crochet group on Ravelry in 2007 as a joke -- she wanted to take matters into her own hands and liberate crocheters from stereotypes about the craft and those who practice it. As a result, we all have a wonderful and fun new crochet resource and group to join (we're 5,000 strong and growing!).
Recently, CFL handed out the 2nd Annual Crochet Awards, the Flamies, and you can see the results here at http://www.crochetliberationfront.com/2010FlamieAwards.html.
Shauna Richardson is an amazing artist who, about three years ago, began to combine her crochet skills with her love of the animal form to create full-sized crocheted animals, more akin to taxidermy than cute stuffed toys. She has been commissioned by the Arts Council to create a collection for the 2012 Olympics. You can see her work at www.shaunarichardson.com.
Every Sunday night, kick back, relax and listen to FaveCraftsRadio at 7 PM Eastern time to hear the latest tips and tricks in the craft world. Your Crochet Guru was a guest on March 21st and talked about "mind, body, spirit, and crochet!" You can catch up on that episode and others through streaming from the website or from iTunes, all free. Check it out at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/favecrafts/2010/03/21/march-212010
A museum in White River Junction, Vermont, has an amazing curated collection of Crocheted Poodle Cozies. Each one has his or her own name and back story, and you can view all of them at this website: http://www.mainstreetmuseum.org/wiki/index.php?title=Category:Crocheted_Poodle_Cozy_Collection
If you want to see some really talented crocheters at work creating subversive handbags, check out www.counterfeitcrochet.org, where they "debase and defile designer items one step at a time"! You can check out their news blog and image gallery and even pick up some free patterns on how to make some knockoffs of your own.
Now, what in the world does belly dancing have to do with crochet you ask?! Well, let me tell you, it can be a life saver! Ever sit for a long crochet session and feel very tight and strained afterwards? A few belly dancing moves will fix you right up and help prevent future muscle tensions and problems. My favorite is the arm undulations -- really gets at the same muscles you need to keep supple and loose in order to comfortably crochet. Slowly, lift your arms up in front of you, with palms facing down, to about shoulder level. Then, bend your wrists downward, with fingertips facing the ground. Curl your fingers inward while flexxing your wrists upward, so that your palms are facing forward. Uncurl your fingers to point skyward, then bend your wrists to move your palms downward again until your fingertips face the ground. Repeat these steps in a fluid motion 5 or 6 times, then start to move your arms to the sides, still at a shoulder level. Start to undulate your arms while still undulating your hands. After repeating about 10 to 12 times, you will really feel it in your shoulders, elbows and wrists. Don't overdo it, but if you do these moves a couple of times a day, you will start to feel a nice release in your upper body, which will make crocheting for long sessions so much more comfortable!
If you're planning a marathon crocheting session, be sure to remind yourself to stop every 30 to 45 minutes to stretch your wrists, arms, and shoulders to avoid any repetitive motion injuries. It only takes a few minutes and it'll make such a difference in your overall physical wellbeing. Try these exercises:
1) Stretch your arms out, shoulder height and palms facing down, and flex your hands upward, like you're telling someone to stop. Then, bend your hands down, with your fingers pointing to the floor. Now, twist your arms so that your palms are facing up towards the ceiling. Then, bend your hands toward you, so that you are looking at your palms, then bend your hands backwards so that your palms are facing away from you and your fingers are pointing down.
2) Drape your arm over your head, so that your right hand covers your left ear. Gently bend your head towards your right shoulder and hold for at least 10 to 15 seconds. Then, switch sides.
3) Stand up and place your hands on your hips -- and do the hokey pokey! No, not really (unless you want to!) But, do gently twist to the right and then to the left a few times to work out the kinks.
Ok, hope this helps. Now, back to crocheting!
If you're like me, you can't crochet and watch TV at the same time. I just have to keep my eyes on my work. So, I've found that listening to audio books and podcasts is a great way to multitask! One of my favorite crochet podcasts is The Crochet Side by Brianna. She's got great designs and crochet tips and can be found on iTunes and at www.thecrochetside.com. There are a number of other crochet podcasts available through iTunes (the list is always changing), so you might want to do a search periodically to see if one appeals to you.
Lisa Gentry is the world's fastest crocheter according to the Guinness Book of World Records. He achieved her title by crocheting 5,113 stitches in 30 minutes -- that's almost 3 stitches per second! She's also gone up against Lily Chin, a fast and famous crocheter in her own right. The one-on-one televised match in California recorded Gentry crocheting 107 stitches to Chin's 82 stitches.
Read more: "Lisa Gentry: World’s Fastest Crocheter and New Knit & Crochet Designer | Suite101.com" - http://knittingcrochet.suite101.com/article.cfm/lisa_gentry#ixzz0H0dve3RE&A and see Gentry's own site at http://hookandneedledesigns.com/
400 calories -- those are how many calories you can burn off crocheting for an afternoon! Crocheting is a physical activity, and if you approach it with some vigor, you can get a lot of physical benefits. A word of caution though -- be sure to read the tips on properly stretching and preparing before you start crocheting and while you are crocheting for an extended period of time. Crocheting is a repetitive motion, so be sensitive to and protect your wrists, elbows, and shoulders to ensure you're not straining or overdoing it.
In the knitting and crochet worlds, you'll hear people talking about "frogging" their work. Mmm, sounds interesting, but what does that mean?! Jumping around in excitement after completing a project? No, unfortunately, frogging refers to exuberantly unraveling hours of crochet or knit work because frogs say "rip it, rip it." I know, it's not a fun thing to have to do, especially if you've just completed a complicated or tough part, but it can be so satisfying to just get those bad stitches out of there and start fresh on that section. You know you can do it better, so make that trip to the frog pond and RIP IT!
Yarn bombing is a type of graffiti, but instead of chalk or spraypaint, groups of knitters and/or crocheters get together and spread colorful fabrics around town. The practice is thought to have started in the US, with Texas knitters who wanted to use up their yarn stashes, but has since spread worldwide. While other forms of graffiti are considered subversive or vandalism, yarn bombing is usually about reclaiming and beautifying public places. You might want to check out pictures of Dave Cole's large public art installation in Melbourne Australia for the Big West Arts Festival in 2009 (before it was vandalized! http://www.theage.com.au/national/artists-in-pink-fit-as-big-knit-vandal-unravels-artwork-20091128-jy53.html) or the "Midnight Knitter" in Cape May NJ (http://www.independent.ie/and-finally/us-town-baffled-by-midnight-knitter-2095250.html).
Ever wanted to set a record doing something related to crochet? Well, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, here are the standing records that you are going to have to beat: the world's fastest crocheter can make 170 stitches per minute; the longest crocheted item is 38 miles long; and Carrie Melago just recently set the record for largest doily made in 1 hour (5 feet in diameter!)