Okay, the smallest weight I've worked with so far is fingering weight yarn. I'm working on a project with some size 10 thread I've had for a while and I get super tense from the first chain. Any tips or tricks to make my life a little easier?
I actually prefer working with thread but getting started is probably the most difficult. Once you get a few rows/rounds worked, it is much easier. A must for me is to have good lighting and be careful not to work too tightly. For me, working a 1-2 size larger hook works best because I do have a tendency to work too tightly. So, if the pattern calls for a size 8 hook, I'll use a 7 or 6. Also, I have to stop every half hour or so and just take a few minutes to flex my hands because I have mild arthritis. Although I haven't tried them, there are rubber grips you can buy to fit over the steel crochet hook to make holding the hook a little easier. Hang in there and get those first few rounds/rows done and you'll find that it becomes much easier. I actually learned to crochet using thread. My grandmother and aunt taught me to crochet and they always used thread (doilies, pot holders, tablecloths, chair covers, etc.) and I rarely saw them using a pattern!
Thank you for your reply. I, too, want to learn to crochet with thread but am really nervous to try it. Using a larger hook than called for sounds like a good idea. I don't crochet tightly, but to get started a larger hook might be good.
I have noticed that the thread doesn't have as much "give" as yarn. This may sound like a silly question but are the loops supposed to be as "loopy" as they seem? Do you do any adjusting/tightening after each loop is made (pulling on the thread to tighten the loop)?
Probably, if I'd just make myself work it over and over like I did with worsted weight yarn when I first started crocheting, I'd eventually figure it out. If anyone knows of some simple small patterns for thread crochet, I'd be interested to look at them.
Thank you, GirlWithHooks, for posting this question, I hope more people will reply.
Kelly Lee, Crochet newbie
Best tip is to take your time and don't worry if you have to rip out stitches or rows. It takes practice so don't give up.
"hang on & relax"! If you've not used thread before I've found the hardest thing to do is "hang on". With larger fiber your hand can do more of the work, but when using thread that is left to the thumb & forefinger of the hand opposite the one holding your hook. I crochet overly tight with thread because I tend to crochet off the tip of the hook rather than the shaft which is where you get the actual stitch size. And that comes from trying to hang on. Like all else, once you get past the first few rows it becomes easier to hold on to.
I keep a ball of worsted wool around to practice with so I can actually see the stitches before I try and work with the thread. Once I can visualize it in the larger size, making the smaller stitches is a breeze.
And as someone else before said, don't be discouraged about ripping back. We all do it. There is a challenge to working in weight this small and its off-set by your satisfaction at the other end after completing a project you never thought you could do. Enjoy!!!
Thank you for your encouragement. Your comments about tending to work off the tip instead of the shaft will give me something to watch out for. Today is my day to start working with it!!
I've tried crocheting with worsted weight yarn several times over the years. In October (2012), I decided to try one more time and made myself be more patient about ripping out and starting over. It was one of the things that made the difference between sticking with it and giving up yet again.
I'll just have to apply the same attitude to crocheting with thread.
Thank you for your reply!
Relaxed tension!! It can be hard to do, so if you're normally a tight crocheter, try it with a hook that's a couple sizes too big first until you kind of get the feel for it. Also, stitch markers and lots of breaks. Good luck!!
Thank you so much for the replies so far, everyone, they've been really helpful! Klhoover, when you say "crochet off the tip rather than the shaft", what do you mean?
When you look at a crochet hook you'll notice the area just around the hook is smaller than the rest. This is called the throat. The shaft is the area just beyond and before the flat spot, and it is where you get your stitch size from. A size 7 steel hook has a 1.65 mm shaft, but as it tapers to the throat you will see it is much smaller. When I crochet with lace weight fiber I tend to make my stitches in the throat area so I often get a smaller stitch size. And because I’m “hanging on” to not drop my work, those stitches are often tighter. This is easily rectified by using a larger hook with a throat the same size as the shaft my fiber calls for.
Doing this isn't wrong. It just means when I make something that has to hit gauge I need to do some swatching beforehand to see what hook I really should be using. Or just adjust the stitch repeat. Since I rarely make anything in that size thread where gauge matters it’s not much of an issue for me. But it is nice to know I have options.
This goes for knitting needles as well. I hear of many women that “knit off the tips”. So long as you are getting the results you are after then you are fine.
I misspoke earlier. I hang on to the work with my thumb & middle finger. I hang on to the thread with my index finger. So much hanging around!