The Crochet Project

Do we cast on?

Published 7 months ago • 3 min read


Knitters cast on a project but what do we use as crocheters? Chain on? Hooks up? Mostly I see cast on still used. Nothing standard it seems, but isn't that always the way with us crocheters? We have so many fewer standards than knitters with much more variation in how stitches are named and how patterns are written. The only true international standards are for charts and there are still a few idiosyncrasies in those. I'm not quite sure why this is, maybe we are just a quirkier bunch than the stuffy knitter?!

I suspect though, that our lack of standardisation is because explaining crochet patterns is a little trickier than knitting patterns. In knitting the stitches all sit on the needle waiting and you have to process them in the order they present. You do have some options, of course, to manipulate them or work into the front or back but each stitch must be handled in turn. In crochet there is much more freedom as the hook can be placed almost anywhere into the work to begin the next stitch so the instruction for the stitch must be in two parts: "what" and "where". (With knitting you only usually need the "what".) And so with a two part instruction you have more options as to how they gets written out.

Anyway, this is somewhat of a ramble, but an interesting one I hope, to tell you that it's time to cast on/chain on/ get started on some socks!


Yes, this week in our Crochet Socks class we cast on (or whatever we decide to call it!) and make the cuffs - that ribbed bit of the sock that starts at the ankle. I have filmed (in left and right handed videos) two of my favourite ribs - the half treble ribbing and my invention Joanne's elastic ribbing.

Cuffs need lots of stretch as they need to be pulled past the widest part of the foot - the diagonal of the heel and instep then to be able to ping back to hold the sock up and one of the key factors for getting it right can be the height of your stitch as the ribbing is worked in rows and then joined to form a circle so that the stitches of the rib run perpendicular to the rest of the sock. This is because crochet has more stretch vertically than horizontally (the opposite to knit fabric) If you are struggling with stitch height or your rib elasticity then you might find this tutorial useful - aim to be a rider! Of course this tutorial is included in the class so you'll find that in the class too if you are joining us.

Hat heaven

I mentioned last week that I was remaking the Sea Urchin hat as I recorded a getting started video so it could be our pattern of the month in the Hub - it is flying along and seems to grow so quickly despite me only having five minutes here and there to devote to it in a super busy week. I love hats so much, it's one of my favourite ways to wear handmade, especially in the winter months. I've loads of ideas for new designs - probably enough to fill a book and I haven't been inspired enough for a book in a couple of years! But traditionally hats have been our worst sellers. I'd love to change that but not sure how. I'll get my thinking cap on!

Sweater Weather?

We are still unseasonably warm here in Cambridgeshire UK, most fine days are pushing into the twenties (70s in Farenheit) which is unheard of for October, the leaves haven't fully turned yet but it has to come soon surely?!

If your mind has started to turn towards cosy sweaters then you may enjoy this tutorial on how to pick a pattern you'll want to wear. And if you want an added confidence boost and hand holding all the way through the process then you might want to join us in Sweater School - you can dip in and out of lessons at anytime and the whole class is ready to work through at your own pace.

Maybe next week we'll have some proper Autumn weather here, until then

Love as always


The Crochet Project

Patterns and Skills for Today's Crocheter

Join our community for beautiful, modern crochet designs, easy-to-follow patterns, and super-helpful tutorials. See you there! - Sarah

Read more from The Crochet Project

Hi, I'm sure that in the Christmas excitement you haven't exactly been waiting with baited breath for me to continue the countdown of my personal favourites from my career but let's pretend you have and all get excited for MY TOP FIVE! WOO HOO 5/ Log Off Shawl Mystery crochet a-longs were often when i got most creative and this one kept you all guessing in the best way. Its a pattern I will almost certainly make again as I tackle the residual stash that I've always kept for swatching ideas...

4 months ago • 3 min read

Hi, Again I want to start by thanking everyone who has sent and email or commented on a post lately - I have read them all but I am utterly behind on replying, I hope to catch up soon. But please know they are all very much appreciated. It's been a not unexpectedly emotional experience winding the business down. I've been reflecting a lot on what we achieved and I thought it would be nice this week to share with you some of my personal favourite designs. I've no idea how many items I have...

4 months ago • 2 min read

You guys! 🥲 Thank you so so much to each and every one of you who has taken the time out to write to me to wish me luck or tell me what The Crochet Project has meant to you. I've been sharing all of the messages with Kat so she gets to see too what a wonderful impact we made. Reading all of the messages has been a wonderful way to reflect on the past ten years of The Crochet Project and I wanted to share three of the things that came up the most in messages and those just happen to coincide...

5 months ago • 3 min read
Share this post