Early on in my crocheting journey, before I bought all these wonderful crocheting tools and bags that I now enjoy and use I had to improvise and use what ever I had around the house. I learned that although these things are nice to have around, some are not always necessary. Some of the items and suggestions listed below are things I actually used, and others I put down while surfing the internet.
Some I have upgraded with more specialized replacements, while others I still find myself using. I thought this would be a fun subject to share, and who knows might even be enlightening for those you looking to use what you have till you get what you want.
The first confession I would like to share with you, is that I still use highlighters when crocheting. Before I start any new project, the first thing I do is sit down and read through the pattern and as I do I highlight any instructions for specialty stitches. Secondly, (shown below) when there is a part of the pattern that tells me to repeat a series of stitches over I will highlight the part I am to repeat.
This helps me to save so much time because it enables me see the instructions more easily and prevents me from making many mistakes.
Anyone who has crocheted for any amount of time knows that with crocheting comes the cutting of yarn ends. This tip will help to keep them from laying all over my end table or falling on the floor . I did not want to set a garbage can next to my living room chair, so I sat a small basket on my table and it serves a perfect spot to catch all my yarn ends. Thus when I am done for the day, I just empty it in the trash. Problem solved.
When making fringe I have always had the problem of some of the string of yarn falling off my hook when I was pulling it through. So one day I saw a half finished rug hooking kit at a yard sale. So I bought it and I finished the rug and then promptly placed the rug hook in my crouching bag. The next time I went to do my fringe I used the rug hook to pull them though. The latch on the hook make it so easy to finish my fringe because it secured the yarn while pulling it through and I never again had to redo the process because of losing a few strings of yarn.
Plastic Sleeves and dry erase markers
Whether we call them plastic sleeves or sheet protectors I am so glad they were invented. When I carry my pattern around it gets a lot of use and some of my patterns end up being taped together. This is from being carried in my bag until I finish my current project. I never have this situation arise anymore since I started using either an 8 1/2 x 11 or a 5x 7 sheet to protect my pattern.
For me it is not always convenient to carry a heavy crochet book around with me. So when I am crocheting a pattern that I find in a book, I copy the pattern and place it in the plastic sleeve and then replace the book on its shelf. This not only keeps my books looking nice, it is lighter and easier to place in my bag.
This tip also works just as easy for the loose patterns or pamphlets.
Besides the added protection you can also mark the rows as you go and write notes with a your highlighter and use a dry erase marker on the plastic sleeve itself. When you are done, it easily wipes off. Just make certain your marker is dry erase and not permanent.
If you have been around at all you know my passion for using two things, stitch holders and post em packs. Post em’s are great for using in crocheting. It not only helps mark the row you are on, but it can also be a handy place to write any notes you might want to remember.
This might not be a problem for everyone, but in the summer when I am crocheting outside sometimes my fingers will sweat and this make it hard for the yarn to slide through my fingers. If I put a small amount of baby powder on my hands it helps to keep my hands dry and makes the crocheting a lot easier.
This is not my first choice but when nothing else is handy, you could use a bobbie pin in place of a stitch holder.
Some other things that I have not personally used but have saw on the internet and thought were ingenious are as follows.
I hope you have found these insightful and now know you can use things around the house until you decide to upgrade to one of the many speciality tools that crocheting has out there.
Are there other things around the house that you have discovered and made useful? Please share. The one thing that is good about the World Wide Web is that we can help other people by sharing things that have worked for us and possibly keeping our craft more enjoyable and affordable.
Until next time, keep those hooks flying.