Questions Regarding Crochet
1. Is crochet hard?
It depends on the person learning, and how strongly you feel motivated to learn. Not everyone will be used to crochet at first, but it’s completely worthwhile once you get the hang of it. Once you master the basics of crochet, the rest is all pretty easy.
2. How do I start?
First, you’ll need some supplies. This includes at least one crochet hook, some yarn, stitch markers or stitch holders (if you’re working in the round), a sewing kit, and some extra accessories such as buttons or beads to add to your finished project(s). If you don’t have these at the moment, go to your local craft store. It’s best to start out with a 4.5 mm or 5.00 mm crochet hook, as those sizes are just right… neither too big nor too small. The yarn you choose must not be too rough or inconsistent at first, or it’ll hurt your fingers after awhile. Also, make sure the yarn is the right texture, so it’ll be easier to use with your crochet hook. (There’s an abundance of resources online dedicated to finding the right yarn-hook combination, and gauging one’s crochet tension. We’ll be gathering some ideal websites for you to look at in the near future.)
3. Now I know how to crochet. What do I do?
Just like any other art, crochet is based on creativity (and lots of patience). You can make anything you like or feel like making with a crochet hook, yarn and lots of imagination. Here are some ideas:
- You can design a scenery or landscape with different-colored yarn. It’s not as hard as it sounds… start with solid, preferably earth-tone colors for the base (it can be one or many textures as well), and add flowers, leaves, etc. by sewing on separate crocheted items, or embroidering them directly onto the landscape.
- Try crocheting a quilt or blanket. There are some really useful stitch patterns out there that go along hand in hand with quilt-making, most notably granny squares. It may take some time to get everything together, let-alone make and assemble it all, but in the end, you’ll have created a masterpiece.
4. Where do I find high-quality yarn?
We’re in the midst of devising a personalized list of some of our top yarn companies. If you are looking for 100% wool or cotton yarn, it will likely be more expensive, but the result is wonderful, and the texture is lovely.
5. What yarn works best for what patterns?
For projects requiring lacy detailed designs, it’s best to use thin, lightweight yarn and, if you can, a small crochet hook (smaller than the one you would normally use). For projects that are larger, such as sweaters or quilts, you may want to use much thicker yarn with more ply, for a thick, textured effect. Using a larger crochet hook is optional. (Meaning: Smaller hooks used for crocheting with bulkier yarn will produce a much denser piece with smaller stitches, which is more insulated than using a larger hook.)
For further discussion regarding yarn and other craft topics, check out our Forum.
Questions Regarding Crochet Buddies
1. Who are the “humans” behind it all?
Currently, Orchid, Olive and Yvonne are the humans who run Crochet Buddies. Orchid designed (and continues to modify) the website overall, and writes the vast majority of crochet-related posts. Olive is in charge of writing advice posts, DIY projects, and some of the Weekly Wonder posts. Yvonne will share writing insight, and transcend the world of portraiture and creative non-fiction. (Henceforth, all writing advice and Weekly Wonder posts have moved to one of our other site, Homeschool Adventures.)
2. Do you have any other websites?
Yes. We have an online store, for selling all handmade items featured on this site. In addition, we have a homeschool website, for sharing any and all academic knowledge and insight. You are more than welcome to visit those sites as well. 🙂
1. Do you ever worry about whether people try to replicate your patterns or finished pieces?
Orchid: Not really. It does bother me, but I do my best not to worry about it. Here’s why: Crochet takes time. Hardly anyone has the patience to go through goodness knows how many craft sites and look for things to copy. Even if someone eventually figures out how someone made something through trial and error, that would already have burnt up lots of time, energy and integrity. In the first place, those who know how to crochet know better than to feed off of others’ ideas. And besides, if someone knows crochet, what’s the point of scrutinizing someone else’s work if such knowledge allows one to create their own designs? You have the knowledge, and the opportunity, to be creative and unique: just design it yourself. If you’re stuck, you’ll figure it out eventually. Don’t use “lack of inspiration” as an excuse.
All that being said, let me point out something: Following someone else’s pattern for purposes of learning is fine. Just don’t claim it as your own, or as the work of someone other than the original designer. That’s dishonest.
The thing is, though, not to worry about it too much as a blogger. If you constantly worry about all the negative things, you won’t be able to embrace the positive. There will always be people out there who aren’t nice. Come to expect that with any blog or website, not everyone will be honest, or friendly. Just deal with it the best you can, and don’t fret. This doesn’t mean I don’t care about what happens to my work: I care immensely. But I don’t have time to worry about who’s looking at my products or designs, and you shouldn’t either.
2. What’s your advice to crocheters who wish to start a business, or open a store?
Orchid: Start online. Don’t open a physical location and assume everyone will find your business easily. You can reach so many people on the web, at any given time. Running a store requires hours upon hours of time put into maintenance and simply being there. If you’re not in your store very often, customers may end up playing shop tag (similar to phone tag), and will eventually give up. Add in costs of rent, utilities, etc., and you won’t break even for a few months (unless you can crochet mega-fast, but that causes extra stress as well). Keep it simple. Start with a website. Over time, you can determine what kinds of products are in demand, etc. See if you can get featured on someone else’s website; that way you’ll make new acquaintances while expanding your work. Always have your inventory organized and easy to find. If your customers aren’t online, the best way to showcase your work is through arts festivals and craft fairs. Chances are you’ll meet someone who is part of – or can find – the niche market you’re looking for. Carefully choose which event(s) to attend. Keep in mind that not everyone who sees your work will know how to crochet, so don’t be too exclusive; if people like seeing the finished products you put up online, don’t get too craft techy. Be friendly and get to know the many amazing craft experts out there.
3. Why is there so much mention of “dolls” and “doll collecting” on this site? Is it even relevant to crochet?
In the Crochet Buddies world, it is! The dolls featured on this site and blog are part of the inspiration to pursue crochet (and knitting, and other related crafts).
4. Do you take commissions for crochet items?
Yes, yes, yes. Send a message via the Contact form on this site, or the contact form on the Online Store, and Orchid will get back to you right away. If the commission is for a doll, please specify which company the doll is from as well as the doll’s dimensions, to save time in determining how long it will take for the item(s) to be made. Usually from the moment a payment or deposit is made, commissions take 2-3 weeks to complete. (Have to make time in between Law studies. 🙂 ) Photos of the finished piece(s) will be sent to the recipient prior to shipping, to make sure the commission is perfect and does not need to be modified.
5. Do you ever feel self-conscious photographing your dolls or “mascots” in public? Does it, or should it, even matter?
Orchid: I’d say it’s something you sort of have to become immune to over time. I wrote a post here on the Blog about learning to appreciate one’s own creativity, no matter how old or mature one is.
More FAQs coming soon!