So, are you one of the many wanting to learn how to crochet? Well, I'm here to help.
First let's cover a little bit about yarn. See in the image above how there are little icons with info on them? The one on the left shows you the weight of the yarn. Some patterns will call for a certain weight. Medium or 4 is a really good yarn to start working with. You can purchase it at superstores and hobby stores. My favorite is Red Heart but I also like the store brand from Michael's.
The yarn may seem a bit itchy at first but it is good to begin crocheting with for a simple reason. You may see some yarns that are fancy, puffy or really soft but they are hard to work with as a beginner because it is easy to "split" the yarn (that means to stick your hook through the middle of the yarn -it's a witch). Take my advice and stick with the plain ol' cheap stuff when just starting out.
The next icon has to do with knitting. I don't know a thing about knitting so I ignore that info.
The next icon does pertain to crochet and shows you the recommended hook size.
When looking to purchase hooks they sell plain aluminum, ones with comfort grips and others with all sorts bells and whistles. I go plain aluminum because I lose hooks like nobody's business so the cheaper the better. My grandmother taught me to crochet with a G hook as a beginner and it is still my favorite hook size and I prefer it when working with the type of yarn shown above. They also sell a variety pack which might be good for you to test the hook you are most comfortable with.
When working with a new type of yarn, like the really pretty fuzzy ones or the ones that are huge and chunky I'll go with the recommended hook size the first time working with it and go up or down depending on the experience I had.
These cheap yarns are acrylic. This means that you should not use this type of yarn for potholders or anything that comes into close contact with heat. Also don't use for anything that needs to be absorbent, like dish rags. It is great for scarves, afghans. In fact, I highly recommend that you make a scarf your first go. It's a quick project and quick results can be highly reassuring when working with a new hobby. Now back to the business of the day...
My grandmother taught me how to crochet and she taught herself. So we kind of have our own way of doing things. Basically this is my disclaimer: I don't crochet "by the book" but I get the job done. Since I don't know any way but my own (and my Mimmie's), it is what I am sharing!
Want to learn to chain our way? Check it out!
The first thing is creating your loop that you will use when crocheting. There is a way that you don't actually tie a knot but move the yarn over fingers and around and all of that. It always confuses me. I was taught to simply tie a knot with your yarn over the widest part of your hook. Then tie a knot again directly on top of the knot you just made. Slide the loop off of your hook and there you have it!
Next you're going to need to create a chain. A chain is by far the easiest part of crochet but it is important to do well as it is the basis for all other stitches.
With your loop on your hook (toward the middle of the hook) wrap the yarn around the top part of the hook like in the picture above. This is called "yarn over".
You're going to start pulling your yarn through the loop on your hook. See how I am pulling down in the pic above?
Pull all the way through the loop on your hook. Now you basically keep repeating the same thing over and over.
Keep going with this and your chain will get longer and longer. Yarn over. Pull through. Yarn over. Pull through. See in the pic above how the chain looks like a hair braid? As long as it looks like this, you're doing it right!
Since the chain is the basis for everything you will crochet in the future, I think it is a great idea to really get it down and get it down pat. Practice making long chains for necklaces, fan pulls or just for the heck of it. You'll get comfortable with using your hook and holding your yarn and the practice will make your stitches more consistent.
If you accumulate quite a pile of chains you can make a nifty bracelet.
I took 5 chains that were 36 inches long and knotted them together twice about ten inches apart from one another in the middle of the chains.
Wrap around your wrist in a crisscross fashion and you have a cute and comfy bangle to wear and a use for all of your practice chains!
If you make chains about 100 inches in length and a whole bunch of them you can make an awesome scarf instead!
Have questions? Fire away in the comments. It's my goal to make learning to crochet as easy as humanly possible! TGIF crafters!!!