Something I was looking at today is how many different styles are there of doing crochet. As part of my interest in making crochet accessible, I’m constantly asking things like “can I still do this stitch if my wrist were immobile?” or “what if I can’t see? How difficult is this without my glasses?”

For the record, I’m close to blind without my glasses. I’ve been short-sighted all my life. Without them, all I see are blobs of color. I have a lot to say, therefore, about crocheting while being sightless!

So I sat down and tried to think about how many different styles I know, offhand, with either my left or my right. This doesn’t include the styles I can do while almost blind, or modifications to the styles to restrict certain motions in case of injury.

Right-handed

  • Traditional (knife grip)
  • Traditional (pen grip)
  • Traditional (modified pen grip, better for someone with arthritis in the fingers)
  • Traditional (one-handed, right only)
  • Traditional (one-handed, left only)
  • English (fast throwing)
  • English (fast throwing, modified hold for more stability in the throw)
  • English (simplified throw, better for a knitter to learn who already knows English style)
  • English (one-handed flicking, right only)

Left-handed

  • Traditional (knife grip)
  • Traditional (pen grip)
  • Traditional (one-handed, right only)

The distinction between right or left-handed gets a lot more fuzzy at this point, but it’s mostly determined by whether you can still follow a pattern made for the usual right-handed style.

The problem I have right now is that there really doesn’t seem to be any consistent naming for the different styles. For most people it’s just… this is how you do crochet, and then they demonstrate the traditional knife or pen grip. There’s almost no awareness of other styles, and apparently I’m exceptionally unusual in knowing as many as I do.

I did find out some time ago that the English throwing style crops up frequently among knitters who decide to try out crochet, which I find very interesting. I learned the throwing style from my grandmother and godmother, and as far as I knew for many years, that was simply how it was done! But it may be a specifically Irish thing, because the only other crocheter I know of who does the English throwing style is also an Irish designer.

We may never know! For now, I’m going to stick to my own naming system, and hope that it will make sense to anyone reading about it.

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