I’ve enjoyed crocheting since I was a little girl. I picked up the skill from watching my mom; she gave me a crochet pattern book that included basic instructions, a roll of yarn and a crochet hook, and I’ve probably crocheted up a million miles of yarn by now. It’s rewarding to create something beautiful out of a bit of string or yarn; useful things that decorate my home and keep my family warm (and hopefully somewhat stylish).
Crochet fell out of consumer disfavor for a while, but now shopping mall racks are filled with lacy, delicate sweaters and unique scarves and accessories, which I think has inpsired the renewed interest in learning to crochet. I’d like to offer these tips and resources to anyone who wants to learn how to crochet but doesn’t know where to start:
Learning to Crochet–Practice Makes Perfect!
As with learning any skill, you have to start with the basics. What’s encouraging about learning to crochet is that you only need to learn two basic stitches, the chain stitch and the single crochet stitch, to get started. The chain stitch is the starting point for any crochet item that you want to make. The single crochet stitch can be worked in rows or rounds, and by adding or eliminating stitches in the right places you can make shapes of almost any kind.
Crochet supplies come in an overwhelming variety of sizes, materials and colors. Choose an inexpensive, medium-weight yarn and hook size G or H for your practice project. A stiff yarn wil be easier to work than a soft, floppy yarn. Reserve the more costly and attractive types of yarn for later projects. Your first crochet project should be something small and simple, like a potholder.
As you gain experience, you’ll find your stitches will become more uniform, so if your first project is a long scarf you will have one end that looks like it was done by a beginner, and the other end may look like you’ve got it figured out. So practice on potholders and other small items first. You can always unravel the yarn and use it again until you’re satisfied that your stitches are neat and orderly.
Making gifts for your family is rewarding, but wait until your skill has improved before you attempt to make sweaters for them! (And remember, they’re only supposed to have two sleeves.)
My Favorite Online Crochet Resources
For those who are interested in learning to crochet, but don’t have anyone to teach them, I recommend these instructions from the Lion Brand website. Lion Brand is a retail website that sells a huge variety of yarn, project kits, crochet hooks and other crochet accessories, and also has free pattern links. The instructions are clear and concise, with easy-to-follow text and excellent images; some of the sections include a video. (Warning: if you sign up for their newsletter, you will receive one quite regularly).
The Crochetville Forum is an excellent resource for the beginning crocheter, with experienced crocheters who are happy to offer help to beginners and links to online crochet classes. The forum is also a great place for any crochet lover who wants to show off latest projects, share patterns with others, or engage in crochet-along projects.
Once you’re done practicing on potholders, check out the directory at Crochet Central. This site has thousands of links to an immense variety of crochet projects, from easy to advanced.