Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Question from Reader: Greek Filet Crochet??

Dear Dee,

I've recently been on holiday in Kefallonia, a Greek island and while I was there I saw an old Greek lady doing some sort of crochet. I don't speak Greek; she didn't speak English so I couldn't understand what she was telling me but basically it looked like Filet Crochet with one end of her work tied to a chair and the other end had 2 or 3 stitches on it, attached to what looked like a metal rod in her left hand and this was pulled to keep her work tight. She worked through these stitches with what looked like a long needle with an elongated eye and cotton threaded through it, using her right hand. I would love to know what this technique is and am currently trawling the internet to find out what it is. Maybe it's just a local craft? Cynthia from the UK

Dear Cynthia,
What a great question!

I believe, based upon your description, what you observed while on vacation is a technique called "Locker Hooking." This involves having a mesh fabric (yes, the mesh certainly could be crocheted if you wanted), with a "needled crochet hook" (a crochet hook with a hole at the end) to pull yarn or material up into the space, then secured once the yarn attached to the hook is pulled through. The end product has a very similiar look -- yet a bit different -- to those woven on an actual loom. The specialized crochet/locker hooks can be found in some craft/yarn shops, and online such as at www.Lacis.com and at Amazon. There are also books available such as the one I own, called: "Hook, Loop 'n' Lock: Create Fun and Easy Locker Hooked Projects.  Your local library may have additional references available.

Check out this video I found on YouTube: http://youtu.be/I2iQwz-JesM; I believe it will be the technique you observed while on holiday.

And, for the record,  I do think of the Locker Hooking technique as a hybrid between crochet & weaving, much as I think the Tunisian technique is a hybrid between crochet & knit. 

Thank you for writing in! :)

ETA:  If you're interested, there is a  small group on Ravelry for this technique: http://www.ravelry.com/groups/locker-hookers

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