Essential crochet techniques for your arsenal

Martingale's Knit and Crochet Friday

The Essential Book of Crochet TechniquesWhether you’re a seasoned crocheter or a newbie to the art, you know that the key to perfectly crafted projects is mastering essential crochet techniques—from the basics like making simple stitches and determining gauge, to doing increases, decreases, and joining crochet seams.

Nancie Wiseman, one of our most prolific and best-selling crochet authors, knows this, too. So she compiled essential crochet techniques into one simple reference guide, to help you create great garments and projects regardless of your level of expertise.

The Essential Book of Crochet Techniques is truly the only resource you’ll need to carry with you as you crochet. Now available in paperback, this perfectly-sized guide has crochet tutorials for making both easy and advanced stitches, buttonholes and loops, zippers, pockets, and more. Full of photos and helpful illustrations, the tips and tricks included will help you create with confidence—from the first stitch to the final blocking and storage of your finished piece.


Table of Contents from The Essential Book of Crochet Techniques

To celebrate the release of this best-selling guide in paperback, we’ve excerpted a crochet tutorial on woven seams from the book. Read on to see how easy and clear Nancie’s techniques are, and learn how to work invisible woven seams.


Woven Seams

Woven seams are worked with a yarn needle and yarn. These seams are virtually invisible and nonbulky.

Horizontal woven seam
Horizontal woven seam. Half of seam is pulled tight to show how completed seam will look.

Vertical woven seam
Vertical woven seam. Half of seam is pulled tight to show how completed seam will look.

    • Woven seams can be worked on vertical and horizontal seams.
    • They’re worked from the right side of the work, which allows you to see what is happening.
    • They work with all stitches.
    • They work well with all weights of yarn.
    • If the number of rows in each piece doesn’t match, it’s easy to “cheat” or adjust the alignment, if necessary, to make the rows line up.

To work horizontal seams (stitches to stitches):

With right sides facing up, pin the edges together with coilless safety pins, keeping the edges flat and matching the stitches from one piece to the other. Thread a blunt needle with about 20″ of yarn or use the tail if long enough. Secure the yarn at the beginning of a piece, leaving about a 6″ tail.

    • On the top piece, insert the needle into the first chain at the beginning of the row and out the next chain, and pull through.
    • On the bottom piece, *insert the needle into the corresponding chain on the opposite piece and out the next chain and pull through.*
    • Repeat from * to * until seam is completed. Pull the yarn gently to tighten the seam and bring the edges together. Fasten off. Weave in the ends and trim close to the work.

How to work a horiztonal seam in crochet

To work vertical seams (rows to rows):

With right sides facing up, pin the edges together with coilless safety pins, keeping the edges flat and matching rows from one piece to the other. Thread a blunt needle with about 20″ of yarn or use the tail if long enough. Secure the yarn at the beginning of a piece, leaving about a 6″ tail.

    • On the right piece, insert the needle from front to back and up to the front again under the first knot or post of the row, and pull through.
    • On the left piece, insert the needle from front to back and up to the front again under the first knot or post of the row, and pull through.
    • *On the right piece, insert the needle in the spot where you came out the previous time on this side, go under a knot or post and up to the front again, and pull through.*
    • Repeat from * to * working into corresponding rows on each side and making sure they match until the seam is completed. Pull the yarn gently to tighten the seam and bring the edges together. Fasten off. Weave in the ends and trim close to the work.

How to work a vertical seam in crochet


You can purchase the paperback version of The Essential Book of Crochet Techniques on ShopMartingale.com. It’s the perfect size for tossing in your yarn bag, so you never have to be without it. And don’t forget that when you buy the book on ShopMartingale.com, you get the eBook version for free!

What are your essential techniques for finishing projects? Tell us in the comments and you’ll be entered in the drawing to win a free eBook version of The Essential Book of Crochet Techniques. We’ll pick a winner on May 31 and notify you by email if you’ve won.

Comments are closed for this post.

Thanks to all who entered the drawing! The randomly chosen winner is Karen, who writes:

“It seems like all goes well for me until I get to the finishing part. I never quite know how to put two pieces together so they will look more like one crocheted piece instead of two. So, I usually try several methods until, after pulling out stitches over and over again, I find one that looks good. However, I seem to have to do this for every project so perhaps I shouldn’t have tried to answer this question or perhaps I should buy this book.”

Karen, we’ll email you about your free eBook. Congratulations!


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