Are you a crochet-beginner, and maybe finding it a bit difficult? Continue reading and get my 5 tips for a great start!
1. No pain, no gain...
There is no way around it - when you begin, your arms, wrists, hands, neck etc. will start to hurt! First of all, you might be using your muscles in new ways, which always brings a little hurting. But it will also feel natural to hold on super tight to the yarn and hook. In my experience, you'll ease your grib naturally when you get the hang of it. When I learned to crochet, I didn't stop for a whole weekend, so when I got in to work on monday it felt like I had endured the worst workout ever! So, remember to relax your muscles, take breaks along the way and stretch!
2. Learn the basics
You might see hundreds of projects on Instagram, Pinterest etc. that you want to do right away, but make sure to learn the basics first. I would recommend learning how to make:
a foundation chain
a slip stitch, single crochet, half double crochet and double crochet
decreases and increases
.. and maybe a magic ring, if you're into amigurumi. I have written a post about the perfect circle you might find interesting.
With these basic stitches you can make most patterns!
3. Know your tools and materials
Start by assembling a toolbox with some essential tools. You don't have to invest in expensive tools! Wait to buy the 10-piece hook set until you know if crocheting is for you. I inherited my grandmother's old sewing box, which contained a pair of scissors and various sewing needles, so all I needed was crochet hooks. I wanted to make baby clothes and toys, so I bought three hooks: a 2.50 mm, 3.00 mm, and 3.50 mm, with ergonomic handles. You might also want to buy a few stitch-markers, but you can also use safety pins.
- and then of course you will need yarn! Choosing the right yarn can be difficult and it depends a lot on the project. I use many different yarns - especially 8/4 cotton for amigurumi and baby merino for children's clothes. I have written a post about the use of certified yarns here.
4. The internet is your friend
Wether you need to learn a new technique, want to get inspired, need a specific pattern: Go online!
At first I used YouTube for crochet-alongs. It was great to crochet "with" someone, when I didn't know how to read a pattern. I would have the pattern next to me, and follow through the video. Now I primarily use it to learn new stitches.
I use Instagram to promote my work and to connect with other crocheters. It is a great place to get feedback on your work, and to take part of the big community of crocheters worldwide. It is also a great place to find inspiration.
Etsy is where I bought (... and later sold) my first patterns. There are an infinite number of patterns for everything from clothes to toys and decor. The cost varies but is mainly around a few dollars, so if you don't end up doing the pattern, you haven't spend that much. Although I would recommend not to spend money on patterns, until you are comfortable in reading them.
5. Practice and experiment
A great way to practice, is to make dishcloths - you can practice the basic stitches and different combinations of stitches this way, and actually use what you made afterwards.