Monday, March 13, 2006

Hard Crochet

About ten years ago I discovered this book at the library. At first I thought it referred to the difficulty of the projects but learned that it referred to the fabric created by the method described in the book.

The general premise is to use worsted weight yarn and a very small hook....for instance a "B" or a "C" hook....and to tug on the stitches as you make them so that they snug up really tight.

The result is a very stiff fabric that is most suited for structured items such as baskets, purses, or Fedora-style hats. In fact, there is a fantastic man's hat pattern in the book that I still would like to make one day.

I began messing around with this technique and combining it with Tapestry Crochet (another book I like) and made a couple of tote bags. My only problem was getting my hands to co-operate! The constant tension and tugging combined with the very small hook made for painful crocheting. I began wrapping the hook as suggested in the book, and then I bought those foam covers to slide on the hook.

My hands still hated it! I finished the totes but didn't like the strap on the second one. Recently I ripped it out and now am trying to decide what I want to do for a strap. Here is the second tote I made. This is partly a pattern from one of the books (the horse design) and the rest is my own design.

I wanted it to look like those Western jackets that are made from blankets. What do you think?

Here is a look at the inside.

Sorry that the photos are so bright. I don't think today was a good day for picture taking! The colors are actually deep, jewel-like blues, greens, and dark rusts. I basically used whatever odds and ends I had at the time.

That tail hanging off the side is what's left of the original strap, and will eventually be cut off and replaced.

Here is the first one I did. It's from a pattern in one of the books. I call it "I've Got My Ducks in a Row."


  1. A western jacket would be gorgeous! Have you found a pattern somewhere? Or is this one we'll have to brainstorm?

  2. Sorry, pattern....we'll have to brainstorm on that one.

  3. Debbi2:05 PM

    They are beautiful! You are one talented lady!


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