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how i got started

My first experience with yarn was at a young age. I was gifted a knitting loom set by my mom and was also taught how to use each loom by her. In elementary school, my winter breaks would be the time I would finish a project — hats, scarfs, headbands, etc. I would need help with various sections of the project, but I still made most of it. As the years went by, I broadened my projects… becoming interested in other crafts such as soap making, painting, and gardening. However, crafts with yarn still had a special place in my heart because that was where it all started for me. 

Fast forward to the first semester of my sophomore year (Fall 2021), and crocheting was all the rage — it was all over my Instagram, TikTok, and even YouTube at one point. After countless hours of doom-scrolling on “CrochetTok,” I thought to myself that it was time to get back into yarn and learn how to crochet. 

I went home at the end of October, ready to start crocheting — I even went to the store and got some yarn and needles with my mom. After a couple of hours of learning and practicing, I was able to do a simple single stitch chain. I was proud. I took my progress as a good sign and brought all of my supplies back to my dorm. Supplies that were used once during the months of November and December.  

Coming home for winter break, I knew that I had to try again and actually come out with an item, or else I would give up again. I saw a bag that looked quite simple and thought that would be a good inspiration to work towards. 

I spent hours every day for a couple of days trying to learn how to make a square patch because that was all that was needed for this bag. I found an “absolute beginners guide to making a granny square” on YouTube, and kept watching, practicing, watching, and practicing until I could make a square without looking at the video at all. After (semi-)mastering the square, I set out to finish my project. I needed 18 regular granny squares and 30 mini squares (for the edges and handles) to make my bag. 

Forty-eight crochet patches later, I made my bag! 

getting started

All you need is some yarn, a needle, a device, and a yarn needle based on what you are making (you might need to connect pieces together). These items can be found on Amazon or even at your local craft store! I would recommend going with a basic yarn because some of the fluffier ones are hard to work with as a beginner.

the stitch i would recommend starting with

I would recommend learning the basic single stitch if this is your first time learning how to crochet. Then I would move on to double stitch and triple stitch. There are a multitude of stitches that can be useful when crocheting, but I feel like these are the best to learn first and used more often compared to other stitches. YouTube is a great resource to learn these stitches!

setting a goal

Finding an item that you are interested in having/using is a great motivator for keeping you going if you are having trouble getting into the groove. Pinterest, TikTok, Youtube, etc., are all good places to find something you are interested in making.

making the item

This part is simple — figure out the pattern or way in which you have to go about making your desired item and go for it! It will take time and patience, but think about the end goal: you will have something that you made yourself!

the finishing touches

As I said above, based on your project, you will most likely have multiple parts you need to put together. This was one of the longer processes for me because I had nearly 50 individual pieces that needed to be stitched together. I promise that after doing it a couple of times, you will get used to this process; and in no time, you will have your finished product!

TLDR: Crocheting is fun but takes time to learn and get used to, so don’t give up! Set a goal, work towards it, and you’ll end up with a homemade, handcrafted product!

Mahati Shastry

Columbia Barnard '24

Mahati is a sophomore at Barnard who is excited to experience the wonder that is NYC. She loves reading, writing, and spending time outdoors. Even though she is just entering the Barnard family, she already feels like she’s at home. Currently, she is undecided but is very interested in political science and human rights. :)
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