Crocheting is a beautiful craft that allows you to create everything from clothing to decorations to functional items for around the house – and that’s not to mention how relaxing it is.
So if you want to dive into the art form that is crochet, where do you start?
Here’s everything you need to know…
What is Crochet?
Crochet is a technique that works to turn strands of yarn into a woven fabric.
It’s often practised as a hobby, a form of stress relief, or even an occupation.
Crochet is often compared to knitting except the main difference is crochet uses a hook tool to create stitches, whereas knitting uses two long needles. People usually crochet to create clothing such as sweaters, hats, and scarves. That being said, many people also make decorative pieces such as tea cozies, fabric flowers, and blankets.
Crochet Supplies: What You’ll Need
- Yarn: There are different types of yarn starting from lace all the way to heavy wools. It might be better to avoid decorative and specialized yarns for beginners.
- Hook: The tool used to crochet is known as a hook and can be easily identified by its curved end. Different hooks work for specific yarns, but most yarns mention which hooks are ideal; so beginners should start by choosing a yarn and then buying a hook. Most hooks list their measurements along the side so you can easily identify them.
- Scissors: Sewing scissors are recommended, but normal scissors will suffice.
- Crochet Patterns: Certain patterns may use abbreviations such as: “ch” for chains and “sl” for slipstitch. Luckily, many crochet websites explain what specific abbreviations are along with how to perform those crochet stitches, so as a beginner – don’t feel intimidated!
Crochet Patterns (And Free Crochet Patterns!)
Unless you’re practicing a simple chain, odds are you’ll need a pattern in order to crochet.
Don’t worry: there are plenty of patterns that you can find anywhere from your local library to simply searching online for free crochet patterns.
For a more specific pattern, you should try searching relevant keywords such as: “free afghan crochet pattern” or “free tea cozy crochet pattern.”
If you’re not sure where to start, we highly recommend trawling the following websites for inspiration and patterns:
How to Crochet
The best way to get to grips with crochet is to watch someone do it:
And here’s a step-by-step guide:
- Hold your crochet hook like a pen or a spatula so that the base of the hook is either atop or underneath your palm, and form a slipknot.
- To hold your yarn and crochet hook, wrap it around your non-dominant hand’s index finger, and pinch the slipknot’s base with the thumb and third finger of your non-dominant hand.
- Create a chain stitch by wrapping your hook around the yarn between your non-dominant hand and the slipknot. After wrapping the yarn once, pull the yarn through your slipknot. The loop created from this exchange will serve as the new slipknot loop so you can repeat this motion.
- To turn when crocheting, keep the hook around your final stitched loop and move your finished work under the opposing hand. For example, if you stitched a row that fell under your right hand, you would place the hook through the loop of your last stitch and move fabric until falls under left hand.
- To finish your chain, use a slip switch stitch, which can also be used strengthen the edges of future projects. Choose an earlier stitch in the chain and push your hook through the loop so that your hook has two strands of yarn around it. Wrap you hook around the yarn in your non-dominant hand as if you were creating a new stitch and pull the yarn through both loops.
- Single crocheting works similarly to slip switch stitches, except you’ll need to wrap yarn around your hook—known as “yarn over”—once more. First, select a stitch in your chain close to your final stitch and push your hook through the loop. Wrap yarn around your hook and pull through first hoop then yarn over once again and pull through the next loop.
- Double crocheting uses the same principle as single crocheting except once again, you wrap more yarn around hook. Start with yarn over, push the hook through the fourth stitch in your chain so you have two loops around your hook, and yarn over again. Pull the hook through your chain so you have three loops on your hook, yarn over, and pull through the first two loops. Now you’ll have two loops on your hook, so yarn over again and pull your yarn through the remaining two loops.
Of course, there are many other stitches and techniques you can use when crocheting, but these are the ones beginners tend to use the most. Most abbreviations, patterns, stitches, and techniques can be further explained online or via tutorial if you would like further clarification.
We hope this guide hooked you — if your crochet hooks didn’t already — into the world of fabric making, but either way, be sure to crochet away.