How to Crochet with Thread

Swedish Tablecloth Done in Filet Crochet
If you love to crochet, but find that yarn is too heavy and bulky, you'll love the smooth feeling of working with thread crochet. Done with cotton thread rather than wool yarn, thread crochet is a trendy craft that's easy to do and produces stunning and practical work. Besides making lacy doilies, thread crochet is also used to make everything from evening bags and teddy bears to wall hangings.

Use Tighter Tension

Although thread crochet uses the same stitches as regular crochet, it requires tighter tension. To make sure your tension is tighter, loop the thread around your index finger an extra time. Or, for even greater control, loop the thread around your little finger.

Thread Sizes

The thread size (ranging from the finest thread of size 100 to size 3) is based on the measure of a thread. The smaller the number, the thicker the thread. For example, doilies, made with the finest threads, would be crocheted with the higher numbered threads, while a dishtowel is usually worked with a much thicker (size 3 or 5) thread.

Hooks

Hooks for crocheting with cotton thread are made of steel and are much smaller than hooks used for crocheting with yarn. They range from Size 0 to Size 11 (the smaller the number, the thicker the hook, resulting in a larger work). In fact the two largest hooks, (sizes 00 and 1) can also be used for crocheting with some of the finer two-ply wool yarns. However, most of the time the larger steel hooks are used with thicker threads sizes.

Filet Crochet

One of the most enjoyable forms of thread crochet is working with filet crochet patterns. Filet crochet is a charted (or graphed) design worked in "solids" and "spaces". Because filet crochet can portray anything that can be graphed in black and white squares, it's proven to be a craft that's not only diversified, but also growing in popularity.

It's done by crocheting blocks (three double crochets in a row) and spaces to create a design. Each block consists of three double crochet (the first and last stitch defining the space). A space is made by chaining two and then making a double crochet to start the next block. When you have two blocks side by side, they share a common double crochet in the center, making it five double crochets in the group with two blocks. (For example, three blocks side by side = 7 double crochets.)

Besides finding a wide variety of filet crochet patterns on the internet, you can also make your own. It's especially easy if you have cross-stitch photo-to-chart computer software where you can convert a picture into a chart.

Crocheting Miniature Teddy Bears in Thread Crochet

Crocheting miniature teddy bears is a growing trend among crocheters. Although many patterns are sold online, you can take any crochet pattern for regular wool yarn crochet and do it in thread. However, it's easier if you use the thicker thread (sizes 3 and 5) with a size 1 hook. Because using the larger hook is less awkward, you'll want a thicker thread so you can't see the stuffing inside. To add features such as eyes, just use your imagination, using items such as tiny black beads or black embroidery floss.

Finally, it's good to network with other crocheters to share ideas and patterns. By doing an internet search you can easily join a thread crochet or filet crochet group where you can meet others who share your passion for thread crochet, and also learn new techniques.