First I wanted to know what the word technique actually means
- The practical aspects of a given art, occupation etc.; formal requirements.
- Practical ability in some given field or practice, often as opposed to creativity or imaginative skill.
- a method of achieving something or carrying something out, especially one requiring some skill or knowledge.
So when someone asks about my favourite technique I think we are asking about, the second or third of these – practical ability and knowledge.
Is a technique a stitch, or combination of stitches? Is it when you use a different tool to crochet?
I think that techniques are using what you need for a given project.
So I think about other questions like: how to get drape for this project? Do I want texture? Do I want stretch or should it be rigid? Do I need to change my hook size?
I also think favourites change over time – when I was making my shawls for the crochet along and then shawl book I loved using bobbles, (I still do!) in Praze-an-beeble shawl have a bobble edging, in Skewjack a bobble sections, and in Bladerwrack a graduated bobble fringe! However, I also have ripples in two of the shawls and the final shawl has a stitch that I absolutely love – tweed stitch (sometimes called linen or moss stitch) and I have re-used I have used tweed stitch in my own designs recently – the Catdigan, the advent shawl and Kaywinnet cardi – for two reasons. I like the stretch in the fabric and I think that it doesn’t necessarily look like what people expect crochet to look like – and I love playing with people’s perception of crochet!
I know I would love to have more time to just play with different techniques – I love creating with Tunisian crochet, and I think it has a huge amount of potential, using different stitches, experimenting with yarn overs, and different return passes, use of colour – gosh I get excited all over again when I think of the possibilities!
Some of the techniques I know and teach are
- Popular – broomstick, Tunisian, amigurumi, C2C, tapestry, mosaic, freeform,
- More unusual – hairpin, filet, thread, cables,
Of course there are the techniques or stitches within each of these. In amigurumi, the invisible decrease is brilliant, in filet I use an extended treble stitch to create square squares! And in conventional crochet, using a foundation double or foundation treble crochet to start is soo much stretchier and standing stitches are great when changing colours.
I couldn’t leave this without my absolute gamechanger - more a tip than technique - was when I learned to do a standing treble crochet weaving that first end in as I go. I have a video here, and post on my Instagram and facebook showing you this technique! It can halve the sewing in of end when you are changing colour a lot in crochet with holes – like granny squares!
What is your favourite technique? Or is there a technique you would like to learn?
Let me know in the comments…