As soon as the temperatures start going down, I’ll pull out my yarn and crochet hook and crochet my afternoons away. Bundled up in my living room with a hot beverage and a movie or TV show, I’ll work on a new project, the latest being a blanket out of granny squares.
Crocheting is an easy craft to pick up, and it’s so versatile: you can make anything from plushies to clothing with it. If you’ve been meaning to get into it but don’t know how, I’ve got you covered. Here is everything you need to know to start your journey into crocheting.
When you’re starting out, all you’ll need is yarn, a crochet hook, and scissors—no need to spend more than $20. I recommend picking out your yarn first; that way your project is the color and texture you want (e.g., pale pink and 100% wool, or burgundy and equal parts wool and polyester). Depending on your project, I recommend going for yarn that has more polyester as it is easier to wash and handle, but like always, it’s what you want that matters the most.
Once you’ve picked out your yarn, your label will tell you what size crochet hook you’ll need. That will be the number (in mm) next to the drawing of a crochet hook. Now, you can use a different size hook, but keep in mind that if you go smaller, your project will come out tight and rigid, and if you go larger, your project will be looser and have bigger gaps between the stitches.
Later on, you can add stitch markers—little rings that help you keep track of your stitches—and yarn needles. I use the needles when I need to make sure my pieces stay together, like when I’m connecting two sides of a sweater, but you can make do with a smaller-sized crochet hook.
Always have something to keep your project and materials together. The last thing you want is to spend half your afternoon trying to find everything you were using. I usually have a basket in my living room where I keep everything together, nice and aesthetic. And I’ll also use a tote bag, especially if I take my project with me outside of the house.
Similarly, I like making notes of my crocheting. Whether it be a page on my notes app or a random notebook, I like writing down my plan. For example, I made a purple cardigan, and I had a couple of pages in a notebook to plan out the layout of the granny squares for my cardigan: how many I’d need and what pattern I’d make.
When starting out, YouTube is the best teacher. You can find videos explaining each step separately and tutorials from start to finish. What’s great about these kinds of videos is that you can learn what things are called and what they look like (e.g., what is a double crochet and how it is different from a half-double crochet), and you can know if your progress looks the way it’s supposed to.
Pinterest is a great place to find patterns and inspiration. Most pins will lead to blogs with video tutorials as well as written instructions, and my favorite part is when bloggers have pictures of the finished product styled and accessorized.
Generally, when people start crocheting, the first thing they learn to do is granny squares. I started with granny squares, and they’re super easy. It’s why it’s the first thing to do. You could make 40 squares and turn them into a blanket or a sweater. However, it’ll take too long to go from granny square to the finished project. Instead, try bandanas, beanies, scarves and blankets.