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Learn the Basics

LEARN TO CROCHET

The Basics

INDEX

 

CROCHET THREADS

Texture plays an important part in the beauty of crochet. The finer mercerised threads (#100, #80 or #60) are more effective for delicate designs used for tablecloths, doilies and edges. However for some of us, if seeing and grasping the thread is a little challenging, work in a larger thread such as #10 or 4ply cotton. The crocheted items will be larger so this will have to be taken into account. Also consider that different brands or colours of the same size thread may vary in thickness.

Avoid joining the thread in the middle of a pattern and never make knots to join the thread. As the thread is coming to an end, place the new thread along the top of the work and crochet a few stitches over this. Before the old thread has run out, change to the new thread and work the stitches over the old thread. Cut off or weave in any ends that are left.

Embroidery Threads 

 

AMERICAN THREAD / YARNS

American threads usually use the same sizing as our own for crochet cotton sizes such as our number 10, 20, 40, etc. shown as No 10 or #10 etc. Bedspread weight yarn generally refers to our No 10 crochet cotton but some patterns may use thicker yarn such as No 5 or even our 4 ply cotton, so check hook and tension specified.

Yarn sizes however are generally provided as a weight of yarn such as worsted weight, sports weight, etc. The following provides a very basic guide for determining the yarn to use and should be used in conjunction with any specified hook size and tension.

American Yarn

Sock / Baby /
Fingering

Sport / Baby

Light Worsted / DK

Worsted Weight

Bulky / Chunky

Crochet Tension stitches / 10cm

21 - 28

16 - 20

16 - 18

12 - 16

8 - 12

Knit Tension
stitches / 10cm

26 -32

22 - 28

20 - 24

18 - 20

12 - 18

Crochet Hook
Size

2.00 - 3.50mm

3.50 - 4.00mm

4.00 - 4.50mm

5.00 - 6.00mm

6.50mm →

Knitting Needle Size

2.00 - 3.25mm

3.50 - 4.00mm

3.75 - 4.50mm

5.00 - 5.50mm

5.50 - 8.00mm

Australian Yarn

3ply - 4ply

5ply - baby 8ply

8ply - Aran

10ply - 12ply

12ply - 16ply + furs, etc

When using an American pattern that requires worsted weight yarn and you want to use 8ply yarn and a 4.00mm hook, remember the article will probably turn out smaller, so from the tension, add more stitches / rows to achieve the required size.

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CROCHET HOOKS

Crochet hooks are made of steel, plastic and alloy metals. Each hook is used with a set size of thread unless otherwise stated in the pattern. A pattern should specify a hook size and a tension, so a larger or smaller hook may be required to achieve that tension. If the crocheting is too loose, use a smaller hook, if the crocheting is too tight, use a larger hook. The table below is to be used as a guide only for thread and hook size.

Thread Size Hook Size
100 0.60mm
80 0.60mm
60 0.75mm
40 1.00mm
20 1.25mm
10 1.50mm - 1.75mm
3ply 2.00mm - 2.50mm
4ply 2.50mm - 3.00mm
8ply 3.50mm - 4.00mm

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SIZE and TEXTURE

The picture below provides an indication of the change in size of an article when crocheted using the same pattern, but using different thread sizes (with the appropriate size hook as above). Using a finer thread results in a smaller but more finely textured article. Depending on the pattern, some articles may be crocheted in a wide variety of sizes while others go out of shape or do not sit flat if a different size thread is used.

images/basic01.gif

The chart below provides an approximation only of how to determine the finished size of an article crocheted in a thread size other than that specified. Please note that this only works for some patterns and is a rough guide only.

Using the column with the specified thread size, go down until you locate the red 1, then go across to the column with the thread size you wish to use. Multiply the figure shown by the specified size of the article to provide the new finished size.

Example: Assume a doily was crocheted using #60 thread with a finished size of 20cm in diameter and you wished to use #20 thread. Go to the #60 column and run down to the red 1. Now go across to the #20 column and the figure is 1.4. Multiply the original size of 20cm by 1.4 and the finished size should be about 28cm.

Thread #10 Thread #20 Thread #40 Thread #60
1 0.85 0.7 0.6
1.2 1 0.8 0.7
1.45 1.25 1 0.9
1.65 1.4 1.15 1

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CROCHET HOOK CONVERSION CHART - UK Imperial to Metric

The following chart may be useful when using older crochet patterns that specify the old UK imperial size crochet hooks.

Hook conversion chart: UK Imperial to Metric
Old Size New Metric   Old Size New Metric
6 0.60mm   3/0 or 11 3.00mm
5 0.75mm   9 3.50mm
4 1.00mm   8 4.00mm
3 1.25mm   7 4.50mm
1.50mm   6 5.00mm
2 1.75mm   5 5.50mm
1 or 14 2.00mm   4 6.00mm
2/0 or 12 2.50mm   2 7.00mm

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CROCHET HOOK CONVERSION CHART - Metric to American

American crochet patterns also specify the use of crochet hooks that may be unfamiliar. The following chart provides approximate equivalent crochet hook sizes for our metric sizes to American sizes. The American sizes appear to vary between brands, especially from 7mm and larger. Many American crochet books now provide a similar conversion guide for hook sizes. Use the tension information, if provided in the pattern, to ensure correct hook selection.

Metric

(mm)

American

 

Steel

Aluminium

 

Boye

Boye

Susan Bates /Annies Attic

0.40 16    
0.50 15    

0.60

     

0.75

14

   

0.85

13

   

1.00

12

   

1.10

11

   

1.25

     

1.30

10

   

1.40

9

   

1.50

8

   

1.65

7

   

1.75

     

1.80

6

   

1.90

5

   

2.00

4

   

2.10

3

   

2.25

2

B

 

2.50

     

2.75

1

C

 

3.00

     

3.25

0

D

 

3.50

00

E

 

3.75

 

F

 

4.00

     

4.25

 

G

 

4.50

     

5.00

 

H

 

5.50

 

I

 

6.00

 

J

 

6.50

 

K

 

7.00

 

L

 

8.00

 

M

L

9.00

 

N

M

10.00

 

P

N

11.50

   

P

15.75

 

Q

 

19.00

   

S

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CROCHET STITCH CONVERSION CHART - American to English

The availability of American crochet patterns provides you with the opportunity to explore your craft by using a greater variety of patterns and techniques than are generally provided by English terminology patterns. While at first American crochet patterns may appear to be written in a foreign language, American crochet is identical to our own Australian/English crochet with the exception of the names of the stitches involved. The following chart provides the equivalent stitch names for American and English crochet stitches.

 

Abbrev

American

Abbrev

English

ch chain ch chain
slip st slip stitch sl st slip stitch
sc single crochet dc double crochet
hdc half double crochet htr half treble
dc double crochet tr treble
tr
trc
treble
triple crochet
dtr double treble
dtr
dtrc
double treble
double triple crochet
triptr triple treble
trip tr
tr trc
triple treble
triple triple crochet
quadtr quadruple treble

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WEIGHTS and MEASUREMENTS CONVERSION CHARTS
Imperial Standard to Metric

The following charts may be useful when using older crochet patterns that specify weights and linear measurements in the old Imperial system. Only the figures in red are more precise.

WEIGHT

IMPERIAL METRIC
1/2oz 14g
1oz 28.35g
4ozs 113.5g
8ozs 227g
1Lb 453.6g

LENGTH

IMPERIAL METRIC
1/16" 1.5mm
1/8" 3mm
1/4" 6mm
1/2" 1.25cm
3/4" 1.9cm
1" 2.54cm
3" 7.5cm
6" 15cm
9" 23cm
1ft 30.48cm
24" 61cm
36" 91.5cm

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Cotton perle (pearl) embroidery threads, although generally softer and more shiny than crochet cotton, may be used in crochet patterns as follows:- #5 perle is a little thicker than #10 crochet cotton but is suitable for most #10 cotton patterns; #8 perle is about the same as #20 crochet cotton and #12 perle is about the same as #40 crochet cotton.