How to… crochet
Jade O'Donoghue

How to… crochet

How to crochet

First published date March 08 2013 Amended date August 28 2015

Crochet is a needlework technique that can be used to create a whole different range of projects such as jumpers, scarves and blankets.

It can sometimes be confused with knitting, but there are several key differences. Crochet is always done by hand, and crocheters use a single crochet hook, rather than needles.

When learning how to crochet, you will be introduced to the crocheting technique. Some courses will have people of all ages and abilities, but there are plenty of introductory crochet courses so you will be able to learn to crochet at a pace that is right for you.

We thought Helen, who runs crochet courses at Homespun Living, would be the perfect person to talk to about learning how to crochet, and to get some insight on crochet courses.


How long have you been crocheting for?

I started crocheting when I was a wardrobe assistant at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in 2003. The hair department hand-knot the hair onto crocheted skull caps to make wigs so they are all adept crocheters! The whole cast was hooked all summer and I made a hat, a poncho (I can only apologise!) and a few obligatory scarves...


What is the first thing you made?

See above! If you wanted to ask 'What are you most proud of' - I made an enormous granny stripe crochet blanket (pictured above) after my daughter was born to keep me sane and distracted from the craziness of new parenthood! The bright colours greet me like a huge smile draped on the back of the sofa - and it's perfect for cuddling up and reading stories under, now that she's a toddler!


 What is your favourite crochet technique?

I just love how quick crochet is so any technique is pretty speedy to create great results. I guess trebles are the most well-recognised stitch as that's what makes up the granny square motif and certainly, I can happily make granny squares without looking at my hands any more.


 What can people expect to learn in your workshops?

In Homespun workshops, I'm keen to make sure that people become happy independent crocheters by the end of the course and not just with a tutor watching over their shoulder. That's why our introductory workshops are spread over two weeks, so that you can have a go in the intervening week, and come back to iron out any glitches that you may have discovered. We make simple handwarmers in the Introduction to Crochet workshops, and the 'next steps courses' cover a range of subjects... On the developing skills courses, we've had great fun with festive trees and snowflakes in December and in the summer will be doing 'Spa Crochet', focussing on applying lace stitches to making flannels and washcloths.


 Can anyone learn how to crochet?

Definitely! If you can hold a pencil, you can crochet! I'll be honest - the most frustrating bit is the first hour when it's tricky to 'read' your stitches to know what to do next, and you don't seem to be making any progress at all. That's when I make sure there is lots of tea and cake on hand. There will always, though, be a 'click' moment when it all falls into place and suddenly, you're away! I'm delighted to say I've passed the hooking bug onto more than 50 people through the Homespun Living workshops, which have been running for one year, and can only apologise for the contagious and addictive nature of the skill they now possess!!

Anyone can crochet, so if Helen has inspired you and you think you might want to learn how to crochet, have a browse through the crochet courses available. Soon you’ll be able to impress everyone with your beautiful crochet work. 

Jade O'Donoghue

Jade will talk your ear off about rowing if you let her. She studied an MA and NCTJ diploma in Journalism at Brunel but her course-taking didn't stop there, having tried a number of different subjects since working here, even magic. Whether you're an expert who wants to share their knowledge, a student who's had a great experience or you just want to say hi, she'd love you to get in touch through our social media pages.