Ideas to make hand-crocheted gifts for everyone on your list more easily


Crochet Designs Make Great Gifts

By Heather_Howard

Homemade gifts are always appreciated but can be overwhelming due to the length of time involved in their creation. By modifying classic crochet designs you can quickly craft stunning gifts for your friends and family.

One time saving trick is to alter crochet designs by using a larger crochet hook. Standardized crochet hooks come in sizes 2-15 mm labeled by ascending letters. An "I" hook which is 5.5 mm is an ideal selection. Although an "I" hook is great for most projects, you will want to stick to a smaller hook when crafting baby blankets to ensure a tighter stitch. If selecting a very large hook, such as an "N" or "P" you will want to use two strands or a thicker yarn for added stabilization.

Rather than spending weeks crocheting a queen sized afghan, decrease the number of rows to create a "lapghan" instead. Many people prefer lap blankets as they are less cumbersome than typical crochet designs for larger blankets while still maintaining its function of keeping you warm.

Over the years, the granny square has become a popular mainstay with a myriad of crochet designs for the beginner. The granny is relatively foolproof since it is worked in the round and doesn't require much counting. Although fairly easy to craft, it becomes tedious to slip stitch hundreds of miniature squares together. A less time-consuming method is to crochet one large granny square for your lap blanket.

Although there are several methods to start your granny square crochet designs, the easiest seems to be starting with a slip knot followed by 5 chains. Join with a slip stitch forming a ring. Your first round is then worked into the first chain. Chain 3, yarn over make 3 double crochets into the center of the ring and chain 3, and then make three double crochets to create a shell. Following a shell is 3 chained spaces and repeat. When you come full circle, slip stitch to the top and begin the next round in chain 3. Each succeeding row repeats this pattern. Shells are simply three double crochets separated by 3 chain spaces and corners are created by two shells connected with 1 chain space.

Stunning effects can be created by alternating yarns in your crochet designs. Consider using a variegated yarn for two rows followed by a solid color on the next four rows. Alternate this 2-4 combination throughout the blanket. Another attractive pattern is to start your granny square with a solid colored yarn for the first 10 rows making a solid center and then incorporate the 2-4 combination.

Adding adornments to your project compliment and add style to your crochet designs. By simply weaving a satin ribbon though the open weave around the edges adds a touch of elegance. For a teen's blanket try inserting strips of neon colored faux fur.

With these time saving modifications you will have time to crochet a blanket for everyone on your holiday list. Your friends and family will marvel at how you found the time to create so many beautiful crochet designs.

About the Author
Heather Howard has been crafting since she was six years old and today enjoys a range of crafts, in particular knitting and counted cross-stitch. To learn more about quilting, knitting, crocheting and embroidery, visit:

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