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This beginner’s guide is for those who heard about crochet but are not sure what it’s all about and if it’s for them. Here you’ll find an overview to what crochet is and answer common questions about this wonderful craft.
The Beginners Guide to Crochet
- Crochet is a simple but amazingly versatile and rewarding craft. It is friendly to makers of all levels and allows you to begin creating project almost right away. Only knowing one stitch you are able to create a variety of items that can be used around the house, worn and given as gifts.
- Crochet played an important role in my life. Even though I learned it as a child, I found my way back to it again in 2017 as my mom was battling cancer. I used crochet to relax, reduce stress and express my creativity. I also made items for my mom to brighten her days. Later, crochet helped me cope through grief. In the past several years, crochet has been my constant companion as I created and released two dozen designs and found a wonderful crochet community online and off.
What is Crochet?
- Crochet is a timeless craft that has been around for a long time. It is a fiber-based craft where you use a hook and a strand of yarn to create a fabric (or a garment or accessory) by the way of creating loops and interlocking them with each other.
- Crochet is often confused with knitting because they both use yarn, loops and stitches to create a fabric or garment, but crochet uses a single hook to achieve this result where knitting uses two separate needles. To find out more about the difference between crochet and knitting, read this article.
- Crochet is amazingly portable craft, something you can just put in a bag and take with you around the house or on a go. Since the hook is short, you don’t take up much space when you are working on your project. It’s perfect to take to a park, beach or a library or even to a friend’s house.
How to get started with Crochet
- The beauty of crochet is that it requires very little to get started. All you really need to crochet is a ball of yarn and a hook. You will also need scissors to cut the yarn and a needle to tidy up the ends, but those can usually be found in your home already.
- Crochet can be as simple or as complex as you need it to be so there is no reason to be afraid to start crocheting. You can start with just basic stitches as simple as making a slip knot, making a chain and some basic single crochet stitches.
- To get started, check out the details on the supplies you need to start and the beginner stitches.
- There a lot of wonderful instructional videos on YouTube for various stitches, but to get you started, you can find the basic stitches and how-to’s here.
Tips for Success in Crochet
- As all new things, learning crochet may be overwhelming at first as you get familiar with all the supplies and stitches and terminology. However, the best way to succeed with crochet is to take things slowly, one step at a time.
- Crochet has been around for a long time and has lots of things to you can learn and try, but you don’t need to know everything to start and to begin making crochet projects. With just some crochet basics you can create so many great items.
- Decide on one stitch you will begin with (for example SC or Single Crochet) and focus only on that stitch for a while. Practice making it until it feels natural and it doesn’t come out too loose or too tight. Once you get a handle on that, create something simple using this stitch like a pot holder or a scarf.
- Once you see that small easy crochet project came out in the way that you like, create a bigger or more complex project using that same stitch like a blanket or a hat or a cowl.
Common Questions/FAQ About Crochet
What is crochet used for
- Crochet is used to create a variety of things from blankets to potholders, from hats to scarf, from sweaters and other garments, to bags, cup holders and headbands. Anything that can be created with fabric, can also be created with crochet.
Is it easier to knit or crochet
- From my personal experience, it is easier to crochet than to knit since you only use 1 hook, you only have to keep track of one loop at a time and you can create many projects just knowing 1 simple stitch. Generally people find that the easiest craft is the one they learned first, so some would tell you that knitting is easier simply because it was what they were introduced to first. To see how crochet compares to knitting, you can read a post here.
What materials are used for crochet
- All crochet needs is a hook and yarn. You can use a variety of yarns and yarn weights, from cotton to wool, to synthetic fiber to silk to bamboo, it all depends on what you are trying to create. For example cotton yarn is better for kitchen items, where wool is great for warm winter garments. Besides crochet hook and yarn, you might also need things like a yarn needle and stitch markers.
What is the easiest thing to crochet
- The easiest things to crochet are items that are rectangular and don’t require much counting. New crocheters usually start with items like potholders are the easiest to start practicing with, and once you are got them down, you can also make scarves, tea towels and blankets.
What are the most popular crochet items
- Popularity of items depends on the occasion and the season. In winter, you will find that hats, scarves, mittens and socks are quite popular, while in summer it would be shawls, sarongs, bags and scrunchies. Blankets are great for baby showers, granny squares are great for all kinds of projects from blankets to bags to sweaters. For some cute free crochet patterns, check the post here.
What should a beginner crochet
- As a beginner, you want to choose something for your first project that is start with smaller simpler items that are quick to complete and easier to handle and count. Try making rectangular items like potholders or coasters, then scarves or placemats. There are many free patterns and begnner crochet tutorials available for these types of projects. Stick to common crochet stitches. Choose something easy for your first stitch, like single crochet stitch, and practice to get even stitches and tension. If you are just beginning, you can read about what to crochet when you are too scared to start.
What kind of yarn do you use to crochet
- There are so many yarns out on the market, it’s exciting, but also at times overwhelming! When learning how to crochet, start with inexpensive synthetic or acrylic yarn in a medium size aka worsted weight yarn. It is the easiest to handle, forgiving on being reused over and over and you won’t feel bad if at first things don’t come out right. To figure out how to pick the best yarn for your work (and how to read yarn labels), check out the blog post here. Once you feel good about your results, you can progress to pricier yarns like wools, or harder to handle yarns like silks.
What is the easiest crochet stitch for a blanket
- There are a few great stitches for your first blanket projects and each has its own advantage. You can always start with simple stitches like single crochet (SC) since it’s the easiest one to learn. Any of the basic crochet stitches (single crochet stitches, half double crochet stitches, double crochet stitches, etc) would be a great place to start. For a list of easiest crochet stitches for a blanket, read this post here.
How do you know what size of hook to use
- There are a lot of different crochet hook sizes you will come across and what size to use depends on the yarn weight you are using and the density of the crochet fabric you are trying to achieve. Generally, a bigger hook gives you looser, softer fabric and the smaller hook gives you tighter, stiffer fabric. The ball of yarn would usually have a label that suggests what hook size to use and a pattern you use would make a suggestion as well. You can find more information on yarn and hook sizes here.
How do you hold a crochet hook
- Crochet is easier than knitting as there is only one tool you need to hold, a hook, but there are different grips or ways you can hold it: a pencil grip and a knife grip. To see exactly how to hold a crochet hook, read the post here.
The Last Thing You Need to Know about Crochet
- Like anything new and worth while, learning crochet takes time and patience, but it is really forgiving and absolutely rewarding craft to learn. You can start with small simple projects and feel like a winner just after a day or two of learning.
- As you crochet more often, you can grow the number of different stitches you use and items you make, but even knowing just one stitch you can start making a variety of items for yourself or to give away as gifts.
- Crochet is quick to learn, very portable and only uses a yarn and one hook.
- Give crochet a try. You can start with a very inexpensive hook and beginner yarn, a foundation chain and few basic stitches. Learn the basics of crochet, and before you know it, you will surprise yourself with all the fun and exciting projects you can make!