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Crochet can be intimidated. What is the world is this person doing with that hook and yarn? It’s not as complicated as it may appear, and it’s so fun and relaxing once you get the hang of it. First, you need the right tools.
I am pretty easy when it comes to hooks. I don’t believe that the hook will make or break your success in learning how to crochet. However, I do have preferences. I prefer tapered over in-line.
A tapered hook (like Boye or Clover) lets the yarn glide over the end of the hook. I have tried using an in-line hook (Susan Bates hooks) and the yarn would snag terribly! That being said, I learned with an tapered hook, so I truly believe you will do fine with the one you learn with.
Currently, I use Clover Amour hooks and love them. They are incredibly comfortable to hold, compact enough to easily take with you when you are crocheting on the go, they are quality made and the metal tips lets the yarn slide easily.
If you are ready to make an investment in the health of your hand, Furls Crochet has beautiful and comfortable hooks! My favorite are the Candy Shop Hooks, which are a bit more affordable, too. They fit perfectly in your hand, and are made to keep your hands comfortable and relaxed.
Additionally, I have used these off-brand hooks with success, but they don’t hold up well over time, so keep that in mind.
Oh yarn! All of it is lovely. I am no respecter of yarns, it’s all wonderful. I have used high-end hand-spun, hand-dyed yarn, and I have used inexpensive yarn too. Depending on the project, you can find a use for every kind of yarn you can find.
One of my favorite places to get yarn is Knit Picks. Their basic acrylic is soft and has the perfect amount of stretch, making it ideal for hats. They also have a lovely selection of cotton blends that I am in love with, (Comfy and Shine) and have yet to find a comparable yarn on the market. I love making baby booties with Mighty Stitch, a very VERY soft wool/acrylic blend.
One thing I can’t crochet without is a sharp darning needle. A sharp needle is invaluable when you finish your project and need to weave in your ends. These are my favorite ones.
I also love these two pairs of scissors, these folding ones, and this PenCut Mini. I like to keep them in my crochet bag (the PenCut is in my purse) so I have scissors whenever I need them.
Let’s dig in!
There are only a couple basic stitches. All patterns and projects are used making them! They have variations, but you can do anything once you learn the basics.
First, learn to chain. Chain is abbreviated “ch” in a written pattern. If the pattern says “Ch 20” it means to work 20 chain stitches. I suggest practicing the chain until you feel extremely comfortable!
Watch how to work a chain:
Once you are comfortable, you can move on to the single crochet stitch. In the pattern, single crochet stitch will be abbreviated “sc”.
Watch how to work a sc stitch:
Once you have mastered the single crochet stitch, you can move on to a double crochet. This is a nice, tall stitch and allows you to make blankets and hats much faster than using a single crochet. Double crochet is abbreviated “dc” in a written pattern.
I saved the best for last, the half double crochet. It’s like a double crochet, without working the last part of the stitch. I love it because it’s taller than a single crochet, so your projects are completed quickly but smaller than a dc, so you don’t have large spaces between the stitches.
Give it a try:
There are a couple more stitches that you may see in the future, but for now, focus on mastering these basics.
How to read a written pattern:
Written patterns are simply written-out instruction for a crochet piece. It is much like turn-by-turn geographical directions. If you follow them closely and in-order, you will complete the piece.
For instance, an easy washcloth might read like this:
-Ch 20 (work twenty chains).
-Sc in 2nd ch from hook. (Single crochet in the 2nd ch away from your hook, which should still be in the last chain you worked.) You can’t work in the chain immediately behind the hook, or you will undo the last chain. When working in rows, you will almost also always work in the 2nd or 3rd chain from the hook. You would work in the 3rd chain if you are using a taller stitch, like a hdc (half double crochet) or dc (double crochet).
-Sc 18. (work 18 single crochet stitches, each in their own separate stitch). Turn.
When working in rows, you will turn after each row, and work across the row you just completed.
Ready to move on?
I put together a mini ebook of free patterns!
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You will find lot’s of free crochet patterns here but here are a few of my favorites:
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