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Crafting has long been a popular form of passing time, reducing anxiety and stress, and stimulating the mind. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, people all over the globe began to take up new arts and craft habits. My personal favorite? Crochet. With an abundance of time on my hands, I decided to teach myself how to crochet, and it was surprisingly easy! You can do it too, as long as you have patience and positivity.

Crochet is a great way to pass the time and sustainably create clothing items, knickknacks, and gifts for yourself and your loved ones. My number one tip for learning how to crochet is to watch videos on Youtube for each new skill you learn. This craft is all about the smaller movements, so practicing with a visual aid is the best way to properly learn the art. There are dozens of beginner crochet tutorials on Youtube, as well as blog posts throughout the internet. 

[bf_image id="qbm7i3-7e5n1k-5etfcx"] Before beginning a crochet project, you’ll need to decide on yarn and crochet hooks. I personally love the entire RedHeart yarn collection, although different types are better for different projects. The RedHeart SuperSaver yarn is great for stiffer projects, like amigurumi, and the RedHeart Soft Yarn is great for clothing projects. Yarn type can be very divisive, but it is ultimately up to personal preference. I really like the RedHeart yarn because it is available at most yarn retail locations and is relatively affordable. As for crochet hooks, you really can’t go wrong with a basic beginner set — don’t go for anything too pricey as a beginner, and try not to get overwhelmed with the hook sizes; most patterns will tell you which hook size is best for the piece of work!

Once you’ve learned the basics and decided whether or not you’re interested in crochet by watching videos, it’s important to decide what you want to make first. I highly recommend picking something relatively simple for each skill. A crochet granny square is a fantastic way to learn different types of basic stitches. The best part? Once you’ve made a batch of them, you can stitch them together to create a blanket! 

[bf_image id="q5b6vt-a7t28o-7dmx0g"] For those looking to crochet amigurumi (or small, crocheted stuffed animals, which are my personal favorites), it’s important to learn how to crochet in the round. It can seem like an intimidating type of crochet at first, but it’s really quite simple when you get the hang of it. After learning how to crochet in the round, you can create many bases for amigurumi, all sorts of hats, and more!

There are many different types of crochet stitches. Everyone learns differently, but I didn’t begin my crochet journey by learning many stitches at once. I found the stitch books and guides to be overwhelming, so instead of trying to learn them all, I simply learn stitches as I go along. While there are many different stitches to learn, the most basic and necessary stitches are chain, single crochet, double crochet/increase, decrease, and half double crochet. They’re all very simple once you get the hang of them, and knowing many types of stitches will help to increase the detailedness of your work. 

Feeling lost and overwhelmed? Ravelry is the best spot for beginner patterns and guides for crochet. I’ve also found that the crochet and knitting subreddits are great spots for asking other crafters questions about your work. 

This “guide” has turned out to be more of a PSA about the platforms and online communities that will help you begin your crochet journey, but as everyone learns in completely different ways, I find it’s best to view the resources and go from there.

Crochet has helped astronomically by giving me a goal, a project to work on, and a feeling of accomplishment. I hope it can do the same for you!

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Amille is a senior at Boston University pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English. Her passions include travel, cooking, and creative writing; when she isn't testing new recipes and working on her first novel, she's spending time with pets and making memories with family.
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