Welcome to Start Crocheting! In this series, every Monday I’ll share a new post teaching you another beginner crocheting technique. Learn the absolute basics here and then join next week to learn the two most basic stitches: chain (ch) and single crochet (sc).
Crochet is fantastic for beginners because it’s so cheap to try! Who wants to invest hundreds of dollars into a hobby (I’m looking at you, photography and sewing) that they’re not even sure they’ll enjoy? When you learn to crochet, all you need is a single crochet hook and some yarn. Everything you need to learn is online, and so are patterns. Note that North America and the UK use different names for their stitches so to avoid confusion, know that this series is teaching the North American nomenclature.
Supply List: Yarn and Hook
Go to a craft store – or heck, even Walmart – and pick up a size H / 5 mm crochet hook. Mine is by Susan Bates. I prefer crocheting with aluminum hooks but bamboo is a great Earth-friendly option. You’ll also need a skein of yarn in a bright color and worsted weight. I recommend Red Heart Super Saver which is what I used for years. Cheap yarn is perfect for learning with, is almost always acrylic, and tends to be a little scratchy. Don’t worry, even once you’re experienced, cheap acrylic yarn will come in handy for craft projects like seasonal home decor and stuffed animals. Bright colors are easiest to work with in order to see your stitches as a beginner.
You’ll notice some of the yarn is thicker and some yarn is thinner. The size referencing this thickness will be indicated on the label. Make sure you buy yarn labeled “worsted weight” or your project will end up entirely too small or entirely too large. Other sizes can get tricky for beginners to manage and worsted-weight is a great all-purpose size for many beginner projects.
Learn to Read Patterns
If you’d like to learn how to read a crochet pattern, take note of the abbreviations in the parenthesis throughout this series. This is how the instructions would appear in a normal pattern. If it’s a little overwhelming for your first time, don’t worry – you can always come back to them later once you’re more comfortable.
Step One: Make a Slip Knot
a. Find the end of your skein. As you may have guessed, a skein of yarn has two ends. You can use the end on the outside but I highly recommend reaching into the middle of the skein, pulling out the little clump of yarn, and finding that end from inside the skein. It’s going to make your life sooo much easier once you get into the groove of crocheting. But we won’t be using much yarn today so it’s not the end of the world if you’d rather fiddle with the skein another day and just use whatever end you can find without getting frustrated.
b. Cross the yarn over itself. You now have a loop formed from two distinct ends – one that’s attached to the skein and one that isn’t attached to anything.
c. Reaching through the loop you just made, grab the end attached to the skein and pull it back through the loop.
d. Pull on the yarn to form the knot. You can play with the two ends and the loop to make the loop either bigger or smaller.
e. Insert your hook through the loop. Pull on the yarn to shrink the loop until the hook has just enough room to be able to slip back out.
f. With your right hand’s index finger and thumb, grab the free end of the yarn to hold it in place while you use your left hand’s pink to grab the attached end of the yarn as shown below.
g. Now turn your hand so your palm is facing away.
Pretend you are Beyoncé circa 2008.
h. Use your left hand’s middle finger and thumb to grab the free end of the yarn. This leaves your right hand free to hold the hook.
g. Now you’re ready to crochet!
If this was a little confusing, try running through it a couple more times until it feels natural. As you get accustomed to holding your yarn and hook, you’ll be able to adjust the tension of the yarn in your left hand in order to make working with the hook significantly easier.
Next week we’ll really get crocheting. We’ll learn how to make a chain (ch) and how to make a single crochet (sc) stitch. That’s enough to start making pot holders, coffee cozies, scarves, and more.
Easy peasy or completely lost?
Leave a picture in the comments or send it to me on Twitter and I’ll help you out!
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