Welcome to my Beginner Crochet Series! Whether you have never picked up a crochet hook before today or you have only dabbled just a tiny bit only to have a wonky something-or-another as a result, I hope to help you learn and improve your crochet skills.
Crochet is so much more than your Grandmother’s doilies and Granny Square afghans, though both are staples in the world of yarn. And yes, it will take many hours of practice to master the basic stitches. However, your biggest challenge will be training your hands and fingers to effectively use a crochet hook. I understand you will feel awkward and clumsy in the beginning. This is a new skill that requires fine tuning your motor skills. And you know what? That’s okay. You are not a robot that lacks programming. You are a human being that needs to make mistakes to move forward and improve yourself.
I may seem to be going extremely slow with my Beginner Crochet Series. But there is a method to my madness. While I was learning, I was frustrated with the lack of specific instructions for each step. Why were the rows on my afghan getting shorter instead of staying straight? Where exactly was I supposed to put the hook as I was learning new stitches? I hated the foundation row with a passion because my chain stitches were not even and I could not identify each stitch so I either skipped over the next chain stitch or put two foundation stitches in the same stitch. It was a disaster and I was one frustrated puppy.
The hand-drawn pictures in the back of old pattern books did not help; neither did the videos I found online. The abbreviations and new words were confusing. Even experienced crocheters sometimes could not explain to me the whys and wherefores because they had done it for so long it was second nature to them. “That’s just the way it is,” was a popular answer when I started reminding them of an annoying five year old.
However, I persisted. Through trial and much error, I slowly taught myself how to crochet. I became better and better and now crochet is second nature to me. But I know how it is for beginners. I understand. I have been there. And if you persist and practice there is a good chance crochet will become second nature to you as well and your projects will amaze you.
What You Will Need to Start:
A skein of inexpensive yarn. This will be your practice yarn so expect to find a pile of knotted yarn barf when you are just learning. I recommend the 100% acrylic Red Heart Super Saver for you to use as you practice. With its timeless popularity , there are almost a gazillion different colors to choose. I highly recommend a light, solid color so the stitches will be easier to see. Even after my many years of experience, I usually have several skeins around to practice new stitches and patterns before I start a project with a strange, dark yarn. You can also get another skein of more colorful yarn (again make it inexpensive because you will be practicing) to ease your boredom with your first assignment once you can somewhat comfortably do chain stitches.
A crochet hook (or two). If you do choose Red Heart Super Saver or any other worsted weight yarn, I suggest buying both an “H” hook (5.0 mm) and a “J” hook (6.0 mm) with an ergonomic rubber grip. New crochet students are known to be stressed in the beginning so their chain stitches are so tight that using the same hook size makes the foundation row nearly impossible to insert the hook into so I recommend using a larger hook for the chain row. If you find a set of ergonomic hooks that include the “H” and “J” hooks, that is even better since there is a good chance you’ll be using the other hooks at some point.
A notebook. I find that notebooks are an important tool in crochet. You can write down a tip or trick, steps on how to do a stitch, a pattern’s repeat so you don’t have to print the entire 45,000 pages, and anything else that might be important. Since I am notorious for having multiple projects going at once, I also make notes for each pattern such as the yarn and the hook size so when I go back to it months or even years later I don’t have to reinvent the wheel and start over.
Thanks for joining me on what I hope will be a fun journey into the world of crochet. Please feel free to post any questions in the comment section below. I am here to help you.
Have an excellent day!