One of my favorite hobbies over the past year has been crocheting. When I was younger, my mom had taught me some of the basics, but I seemed to quickly lose interest in it. Yet, as most of us can relate to, quarantine sent me searching for a way to fill my time. After coming across some old yarn balls and hooks, I decided to give the old craft a try again.
At face value, crocheting can be intimidating. Yet once you get started, it’s really easy to get the hang of it. All you really need is a hook, some yarn, and a pair of scissors. How difficult could it be? Maybe your first project might not be perfect, but you’ll get there with practice. So, what do you need to get started?
First off, you’ll need the supplies. As a beginner, you don’t need to worry about investing in anything fancy. First thing you need: scissors, or just anything you can cut yarn with, even a knife would do! Second thing: hooks. Hooks are the tools you use to make your crocheted creations. Similar to the knitting needles pictured below, they are thin rods that have (as their name suggests) a small hook on one end to grab your yarn with. The bigger the hook, the bigger the stitch. Again, all you need is a simple set of hooks to get yourself started. Here is a simple set of 8 aluminum hooks of different sizes for only $10 at Joann Fabrics & Crafts. There may be fancier hooks of larger or smaller sizes, with different colors and soft grips, but these are good enough to learn the basics with.
Next up is yarn. Of course, there are so many different types, weights, and colors. It can be overwhelming! I’d recommend a basic medium 4 weight yarn; it’ll be just the right size for getting the hang of it. One of my favorite brands is Big Twist. It is very soft and has a great selection of colors. Here is one of my favorites!
Now you have all the tools, so what’s next? The first steps of starting a crochet project are to prepare your yarn and figure out what you want to make. The first skills you’ll need to learn are how to make a slipknot and how to create chains. Chains are the foundational stitch of crochet work and the easiest part of it all. All you have to do is wrap the yarn around your hook, and pull it through your slipknot to create a loop. Crocheting is simply different variations of wrapping the yarn — also called yarning over — and pulling it through loops. Pretty simple once you get the hang of it! Crocheting YouTube is going to be your best friend as you begin to learn how to do different stitches. Here’s a great video showing slipknots and chains. This video, the second in the same creator’s beginners series, shows how to do a basic single crochet stitch and how to create and finish off a simple square.
Once you get the basics down, it’s up to you what you want to create! You can find patterns and tutorials for different projects all over the internet. YouTube, Tiktok, and Instagram all have wonderful crochet artists who share with their viewers how they make their projects. Websites like The Spruce Crafts have wonderful lists of patterns to help you make whatever you think of! You can be as creative as possible with crochet, and the act of sitting and doing your work can be so relaxing. Tying off your finished product fills you with a great sense of pride in knowing you can make such beautiful things. So next time you’re feeling bored, or want a way to relax at the end of the day, pick up a hook and see what you can make!