Japanese crochet is similar to crochet that is commonly known, but it has its differences. This makes it a craft for someone who already has a knowledge of crochet and knows how to do the basic stitches. No matter how much experience you have, start with one of the simpler projects and work your way up.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Learn to read Japanese crochet patterns. The stitches are the same as in everyday crochet, but they are not expressed the same way. In regular crochet, the instructions are spelt out in sentence form, such as sc across the row c 1 turn. In Japanese crochet, you have to follow a chart with symbols. In many ways, it is like following a counted cross stitch chart, only it is crocheted in the round instead of back and forth.
Start with a simple Japanese crochet pattern like Amigurumi. This is the art of making crochet animals. They are done in simple single crochet, stuffed and then the seams are sowed. Since it is only one stitch, it is easy enough for a first try.
Make baskets, another popular Japanese crochet project. The instructions often don't have gauges included, but with baskets you do not have to be that fussy. Just change the hook size and the yarn size and you can use the same pattern to make a basket in any size you want. These would be good for someone with a little bit of experience.
Move up to a more difficult pattern such as a lace pattern. Some of the yarns and threads used in lase patterns of Japanese crochet cannot be found in the US, but you can find suitable substitutes. Many Japanese crochet patterns call for lace thread, and Japanese lace thread is differently sized. You can use tatting thread, which is very thin. It is used to make lace. For the thicker lace thread, crochet cotton may do the trick.
Make shawls if you are more experienced in Japanese crochet. Most of the patterns will use heavier yarn, so they do go fast. There are some that are very lacy and you should wait until you have a couple of projects under your belt before trying them.
Make women's tops if you are experienced. They tend to be lacy and made with fingering yarns or any 2 ply yarn. The patterns are more intricate with flower and leaf motifs. They do have short sleeves which are much easier to do than long.
Tips and warnings
- There are free patterns on the Internet, but you will have to download Japanese characters to read most of them.
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