Latch Hooking may have peaked your interest. If you are like me before you purchase one of those fancy kits you see in the craft store you have questions about what this particular craft entails.
You may even be wondering what is latch hooking is all about.
This beginners guide to latch hooking will answer some of the basic questions that arise when taking up this easy craft.
What Is Latch Hooking?
While there may be many ideas of what latch hooking is all about, the simple answer is latch hooking is a simple rug making technique.
It is a craft where short pieces of pre-cut pieces of yarn are tied to a canvas grid using a tool called a latch hook.
While it considered to be rug making there are many ways that you can display your latch hook project. You could turn them in to pillows or wall decorations.
What Tools Do I Need For Latch Hook?
The good news is that there are only 3 main tools that are needed to begin a latch hook project. The tools that are needed are the latch hook tool, a canvas and yarn.
For beginners you can purchase a kit which will contain all of these items to get you started. When just beginning I would recommend purchasing a kit as it will give you everything that you will need. These kits are easy to find in any craft stores or can also be purchased online.
Latch Hook Tool
The latch hook tool has a hook on the end of it with a small hinged piece below. When latch hooking, it is the hinged piece that opens and closes as you work on the canvas keeping the yarn from slipping out of the hook.
The canvas is where your design is created. It has evenly spaced holes where you push and pull the yarn through. Many times, the canvas will have a printed pattern showing you where to put each color.
The yarn used for latch hook projects is different from the yarn used on other crafts. For a latch hook project yarn will come in pre-cut lengths roughly about 2 ½ inches. They are separated by color.
All of these tools will come in your latch hook kit. While kits are a good way to get started you can also do latch hook projects without purchasing a kit. You can actually also make your own kit.
How Do I Make My Own Latch Hook Kit?
You can make your own design and latch hook kit. When making your own kit there are essential items that need to be purchased and there are some items that are optional.
Latch Hook Tool
There are 2 types of latch hooks available and that you will need to consider. One is a regular size that comes in most kits and then you have a fine latch hook that is available for use on a thinner canvas. Depending on the size of the canvas will determine the size of the latch hook tool needed for your project.
Because the latch hook tools are cheap it may even be worth purchasing one of each.
You cannot do a latch hook project without a canvas. The canvas is easy to purchase online, or you can find these in your craft store.
By purchasing your own canvas, you have the option of what size you want your project to be. You are in control of how big or small it is.
You can purchase pre-cut latch hook yarn online or if you feel adventurous you can cut your own yarn to size.
Each individual piece of yarn is around 2.5 inches long, so this needs to be kept in mind as you cut the yarn.
When purchasing yarn just try to avoid any type of yarn that is slippery.
Optional Tools For Making Your Own Kit
Other useful tools when making your own kit are:
The marker is helpful for outlining your design onto the canvas.
Yarn Cutting Tool
A yarn cutting tool comes in handy when you are going to be cutting your own yarn. But you do not need this tool as you can wrap your yarn around a piece of cardboard to quickly cut multiple pieces.
Scissors are another way for cutting yarn, and you will need a strong pair of scissors to cut the canvas.
Pattern Or Design
When making your own kit you also have to decide on what pattern you want to design. This can be shapes, a color theme, or anything else you want to design.
It is possible to make your own pattern for your latch hook project. To do this photos can be uploaded, or you can scan a drawing into your computer and uploading it to a free pattern generator.
For more information on making your own kit, see How Do I Make My Own Latch Hook Kit?
Is Latch Hook Easy?
Your next question may be is latch hook easy? Latch hook is not only a fun craft, but an easy craft to do. It allows you to create amazing designs simply with small pieces of yarn.
The designs can vary from shapes, sizes and colors. Depending on your motivation the design can be simple or complex.
When I first started latch hook projects I was surprised at how easy and relaxing it was. After seeing my finished project, I was amazed at how easy it was to produce a small rug.
Where Should I Start My Latch Hook Rug?
I have found that it is best to always start at the lower left corner, or lower right corner if you are left-handed.
Starting at the bottom also helps you keep better track of where you have left off, and which rows have been completed.
Is Latch Hook Safe For Kids?
If you are a parent, you may be wondering if latch hook is safe for kids. Yes, a latch hook project is safe for kids 6 and older according to most manufacturers. Kits are available designed for children and can be found at most craft stores and online.
How Do I Clean My Latch Hook Project?
Latch hook rugs benefit from hand washing. Hand was with a mild detergent in cool water. Test a section of yarn before washing it to make sure that it is color safe. Air dry it to allow it to dry naturally.
You can also machine wash on a gentle cycle, however I prefer hand washing and air drying.
You can use a handheld vacuum on your latch hook rug after it is finished. This will help remove any yarn fluff or debris that accumulated as you were working on it.
For more information on cleaning your latch hook project also see How To Care For Your Latch Hook Project?
Final Thoughts And Tips For Latch Hook Projects!
After purchasing your kit, I recommend opening it up and checking the colors and symbol chart on the instruction page and on the canvas before you begin.
If you are worried about your canvas snagging or the edges becoming frayed, you can cover the edges of the canvas with masking tape.
One crucial mistake I made in the beginning was assuming that the colors on the canvas were accurate. Now what I will do is count the number of squares across and down on the pattern and then check it on the canvas to make sure that I begin in the right place.
It is important to note that there also needs to be unworked canvas on the top, bottom, and sides. So do not begin right at the very edge.
Start at the bottom work along the entire row and then work upwards.
Another thing that I found helpful in the beginning was to draw a line though each row or mark it off somehow so that you will know that you have completed that row. It makes it easier to go back and see where you are.
When you have completed your project if you do not want to use a vacuum use rubber gloves to run your hands over it to remove all the extra yarn fluff.
I hope this Latch Hook Guide For Beginners has answered some of your initial questions. You can also see our article Latch Hooking: Frequently Asked Questions for more information.
If you have any tips when it comes to latch hooking please share them down in the comments.
Let’s share and learn together.