One of our very favorite things about crochet is that you can start making amazing projects after learning just the very basics of the craft. And yet, there are so many different options and possibilities in crochet that you can keep on learning and expanding your skill with this craft for years and years.
If you're already planning for the new year and your goal is to commit to expanding your skills, then this list of crochet techniques is a perfect way to get inspired. Bookmark this or print it out and see how far you can take your crochet in the months to come.
These techniques offer different ways to play with colors and patterns in crochet:
- Tapestry crochet: In this type of crochet, you work with multiple colors of yarn, carrying a base color along as you work. This allows you to create beautiful colorful patterns. There are many different types of tapestry crochet projects but it's especially useful for making sturdy and sculptural crochet items.
- Reversible crochet: There are several different types of reversible crochet. Interlocking crochet is one particular technique taught by Tanis Galik. Another great resource is Laurinda Reddig who has her unique style of reversible Intarsia crochet, which she teaches through classes and books.
- Double-strand or multi-strand crochet: In this technique, you simply hold two or more strands of yarn together while you work. It takes some adjusting to avoid tangles but can result in beautiful multi-coot projects that work up quickly.
- Fair isle crochet: This is a beautiful type of print that is popular in knitting and has recently come to crochet. Karen Whooley teaches some great techniques for fair isle crochet.
- Overlay crochet: This is a unique color technique that seems to be used most often in making crochet mandalas. It combines texture and color in a unique way reminiscent of rich embroidery, mosaics, and stained glass.
Lace Crochet Techniques
The crochet techniques in this category are all variations on lacy crochet:
- Hairpin lace crochet: This lace crochet technique uses a special piece of equipment. You usually make strips of the lace and then combine them into finished projects.
- Filet crochet: If you've ever seen a filet crochet pattern then you know that its a graph instead of words or symbols. It's a fairly simple technique that can be used to make a beautiful array of items, often with a vintage feeling to them.
- Irish lace crochet: Speaking of vintage, Irish lace crochet is a historical technique that can be used to give that classic feeling to contemporary designs.
- Broomstick lace crochet: This crochet technique is so named because historically you would use a crochet hook to pull loops up onto a broomstick to create your design. These days people often use a thick knitting needle instead of a broomstick but the idea and effect are the same.
- Bruges lace crochet: In Bruges lace, the turning chain becomes a key element of the lace crochet design.
- Lovers' knot/Solomon's knot: You can vary the stitch height a lot in this technique to change the look of your crochet design.
Most of us crochet with yarn, whether it's wool or cotton or acrylic or even thread. But you can also crochet with a wide variety of other materials. Here are some examples:
- Wire crochet: Crocheting with wire is usually used to make crochet jewelry but it can also be used to make sculptures and other art. Explore some crochet wire jewelry patterns to get started.
- Bead crochet: Beads are also a common feature of crochet jewelry. This beaded wire crochet bracelet pattern can teach you how to work with both beads and wire in one project.
- Crochet with glass: Some ambitious artists such as Catherine Carr crochet with glass instead of yarn. But you can also learn the simpler technique of working glass pieces into your crochet work.
- Plastic bag yarn crochet: Also known as plarn, you can recycle old plastic bags by turning them into yarn and then use them to crochet mats, baskets and more.
- Rag rug/T-shirt yarn crochet: Likewise, you can upcycle old clothing and fabric into great new crocheted items.
There are also crochet techniques that use a tool other than a regular crochet hook. We've already listed a few of those (broomstick lace uses a crochet hook along with a knitting needle and hairpin lace uses a different technique altogether). Here are some other techniques to try in this category:
- Tunisian crochet: The Tunisian crochet hook is a bit longer than the traditional crochet hook and shaped a little bit differently.
- Cro-tatting: This technique is used to get the look of tatting while working with a crochet hook. The cro-tatting hook is longer and straighter, with a smaller head than a traditional crochet hook.
- Cro-hooking: If you've ever seen a crochet hook that has two heads, one on each end, then you've seen the tool that is used for fro-hooking.
- Finger crochet: Why use a crochet hook at all when you could just use your fingers to crochet?
Alternatives to Crochet Basics
These are all slight variations on basic crochet techniques that can create big changes in your work.
- Working in different loops: There is a back loop only (BLO) and front loop only (FLO) crochet. And with half double crochet, there is a third loop you can work in.
- JAYGO: There are many different joining techniques to learn in crochet. Join-as-you-go-crochet is one popular choice.
- Chainless foundation crochet: There are also different ways to start projects. You don't have to start with a foundation chain even though most of our projects call for it. Learn this technique to have alternatives.
- Felting: You can take the item that you've already crocheted, and wash it in such a way so that it completely changes the look.
- Entrelac crochet: Like with Fair Isle, "entrelac" is a term that comes from knitting. It refers to a specific kind of diamond pattern that you can use in crochet as well.
- Bavarian crochet: This is a highly textured stitch pattern that packs a big punch.
- Amigurumi: Have you tried this popular Japanese crochet technique using single crochet stitches and stuffing to make little animals and other items?
- Hyperbolic crochet: Grow your crochet exponentially to create organic designs using hyperbolic crochet.
- Freeform crochet: Forget all of the crochet rules you've ever learned and just paint with yarn in the freeform crochet technique.
How many of these crochet techniques do you already know? Which one will you try next?