How to Crochet: The Parts of a Crochet Project

Dissecting crochet down to its parts with tips, hints and notes

Chunky Crochet Heart
Chunky Crochet Heart. Kathryn Vercillo

When you are learning how to crochet, you can easily get hung up on certain difficult parts and decide to give up. And even as an experienced crocheter, you'll likely find that there are portions of a project that you really enjoy (like the first few stitches) and others that just aren't your favorite parts (like weaving in ends!) By examining each step in the crochet process, you can get a better understanding of the parts to enjoy, and this allows you to have a more fulfilling experience of each crochet project.

Before The Crochet Project Begins

For some people, the very best part of a crochet project comes before the hook even starts going. It's all about finding the right crochet project, sifting through patterns and other sources of inspiration. Then comes the choosing of the yarn, which can be delightful for many crafters.

Tip: If your favorite part of the crochet process is before it even begins, make sure you really indulge this part. Devote a lot of time to it. Read a lot about crochet, follow crochet blogs and Pinterest boards for the craft, and create project inspiration boards.

Note: If you love this part of the process, you might have a lot of things you want to do but not a lot that you've actually done. Find the joy in the other steps to get more finished projects under your belt!

Hint: If you don't enjoy this part, it can be helpful to keep an inspiration file of all of the patterns you want to try one day, saving them as you come across them, so that you never have to spend too much time looking for the right pattern.

Crochet: The First Steps

What some people love is the excitement of first starting the project. The pattern has been picked, the yarn has ben chosen and the first stitches have been "cast on" (although that's a knitting term that we don't really use in crochet). It can be a really exciting part of the process.

Tip: If you love the first steps, consider what you love about it. Find ways to extend that. One thing that I do is engage in mindfulness crochet so that I can really be present in the moment during the parts I love the most.

Note: Sometimes people who like the first steps really love the thrill and excitement of the new project but can get bored as the project goes on, resulting in lots of WIPs. Set aside one week of each quarter or one month of each year to get those WIPs done and then let yourself enjoy those beginnings all throughout the rest of the year!

Hint: If you don't like the first steps, determine why. You might be uncomfortable in the process of learning something new. If that's the case, try to embrace beginner's mind as you work to make this part more enjoyable!

The Middle Part of a Crochet Project

The middle of a crochet project is interesting, especially if it's a long project, because it's where the meat of the work gets done. This can be really soothing and meditative, enjoyable because you've figure out the stitches and pattern repeats and now it's smooth sailing. You can see what you're going to create unfolding in front of you but the end isn't encroaching.

Tip: If you love the middle part of each crochet project, then big projects like crochet blankets are ideal because you have lots of middle time to enjoy for everything that you make!

Note: If you're a middle-lover, you might find that you dread the ending of the project. If so, it can be helpful to come up with a good closing ritual that helps you let go of your projects.

Hint: If you hate the middle of each crochet project, it could be because you feel bored. Shorter projects, projects done in parts (Iike sweaters where the collar, front, back and sleeves are all made separately) and projects with many changes in the middle are all good choices to keep you engaged.

The Joining and Edging in Crochet

Some people make a lot of crochet projects that are motif-based and then they have to join all those parts together at the end. And those project, as well as most other projects, also require adding a finishing edging to the project. If you love this part, it might be because you feel a lot of satisfaction as you near the end of your project and see it all come together.

Tip: If you love joining then choose motif-based projects. You might also really like sewing and could consider combining sewing and crochet in some of your projects.

Note: People who like joining tend to dislike large repetitive projects, such as large granny square blankets.

Hint: If you hate joining, you might want to choose seamless crochet or join-as-you-go crochet projects.

Weaving In Ends in Crochet

At the end of each crochet project, there are ends to be woven in. Most people say that they don't like this part of the project, but there are a few people out there who really love this part.

Tip: If you enjoy weaving in ends then you should decide if you want to save them all until the end (save the best part for last) or do batches of them as the project grows (sprinkling the part you like throughout the whole project for more enjoyment.)

Note: If you enjoy weaving in ends, there's a good chance you'd also like sewing, and you might want to consider seeing if it's a craft that you want to add to your repertoire.

Hint: If you hate weaving ends, it helps to crochet over as many of them as you can while you're working so that there are fewer left to weave in. Some projects can also have fringe added to them where the ends are turned into part of the fringe and no longer require weaving in.

Crochet: After It's Done

Finally, there are people who do enjoy the act of crocheting but especially love when a piece is finished. They celebrate the sense of satisfaction, of knowing they created this thing with their own hands. And often, they enjoy gifting it to others and seeing those people enjoy their work.

Tip: If you love the ending of projects, you should consider working on lots of small instant gratification projects. And you should always finish what you start!

Note: If you love the ending of projects, you may have trouble with the beginning or middle parts. Look closely to see which aspects of those you DO enjoy so that you can magnify them and appreciate more of the process, too.

Hint: People who hate the ending of projects sometimes have trouble letting things go. You can create an ending ritual, always start a new project before the last one is done or make more than one of the same pattern to avoid this distress.