The Harmony Guides are seminal resource books—eachedition makes an invaluable contribution to the needle-crafter’s repertoire.
I was rst charmed by crochet when I saw the delicate edgingon white cotton pillowcases, ne linen table cloths, and dec-orative anti-macassars ound in thrit shops and yard sales,created and crated by anonymous women whose prociency and passion were evident in every stitch. But I was alwayswary o that little crochet hook, and just naturally preerredknitting—what I was used to!All that changed while I worked in the Far East or leadingashion companies where a wealth o local crat skills and ex-pertise was available. Here anything was possible, rom ne,intricate, and embellished crochet to the more raw-edgedstitches constructed in exciting new yarns and bers rom Ja-pan. The women that crochet are skilled, quick, and creative,and it was a pleasure to work with and learn rom them.I soon overcame my initial wariness and realized that cro-chet is perhaps the most versatile o all crats. Using just ahook and a ball o “yarn,” it is possible to create a abric romalmost any length o continuous ber: wool, cotton, string,ribbon, abric, leather, wire, even plastic bags cut into strips! Just keep in mind the intended use o the nished product,and choose the appropriate hook.Quite simply, crochet is a series o interlocking loops o threadworked into a chain using a thin rod with a hook at the end.A chain o loops is ormed, with each new loop catching thethread and pulling it through the previous loop. Ater the chainis completed, the thread is then turned to start a second chain,and so on, until a abric is created—and rather more quickly than knitting.Crochet can oten prove to be easier than knitting, too,as working with just one stitch on a crochet hook at a timeis much easier than handling a number o stitches on a knit-ting needle. There are only our basic stitches, too! Each issimple and easily mastered, and the variations and combina-tions o these are endless. This is why I was delighted to begiven the opportunity to edit and contribute to this ocusedselection o basic crochet stitches rom the seminal Harmony Stitch Guides.I nd inspiration or stitches and designs in many everyday things: the worn walls o buildings, patterned sidewalks, un-dulating tiles, the delicate stamens o fowers, even tangledand broken wire-mesh ences; seemingly mundane items, butinspiring in their orm and design. I cannot resist returning tolook at old, avorite stitches—the tried, tested and trusted—and also re-interpreting them. I have added a ew more to thisedition.Crochet is one o the most basic orms o textile, having ananity with shermens’ nets and medieval lace: the very word“crochet” is French or “hook.” It also has an anity with knit-