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What to Know If You Want to Start Crocheting

For my birthday this year, I asked for a crochet hook and some yarn. I had grown bored of knitting, since my options for practical creations were limited. I would have had to invest in multiple different tools instead of having endless possibilities with a singular hook. 

Best. Decision. Ever. 

Since I started crocheting, my house has been covered with little yarn creations. I’ve made ear warmers, coaster sets, and even a stuffed bird, which I gave to my boyfriend for Christmas. I’m currently working on a set of koozies. It’s a great way to keep your mind and hands engaged while taking a break from screen time, which seems to be neverending nowadays. I have been referred to as “a therapist’s dream” for my newfound love of crocheting, and I would love to pass on the tips and tricks I wish I had known when I began.

One size fits all. Personally, I think that a 5mm hook is perfect for any beginner. They are easy to maneuver and dropping stitches is rare. They work for thin and chunky yarn alike, which is a plus. They come with a hand grip or a sleek metal model, as do most other hook sizes. For larger projects or larger yarn, sizing up to a 6mm or even 10mm can make the project go by faster.

Take it easy. I tend to be a very tense person, and that caused me to pull my stitches really tight. As hard as it was, I had to learn to relax. The tighter the stitch, the harder it is to fit the hook through, which also affects the look of the stitches. If they are too tight, the project doesn’t look as clean. As difficult as it sounds, don’t pull too tight. 

Everything is on YouTube. The internet is your oyster! With so many crochet techniques, it can be hard to know where to start. As more of a visual learner, I found that YouTube was more helpful than written guides. I would even put the videos I found in .25 speed if I thought they were going too fast. There is no shame in that, either. Everyone learns at their own pace. I suggest starting with the single crochet, double crochet, and increasing with both of those techniques. After that, magic circles are super fun to do and are a personal favorite of mine. 

It is okay to start over. I have started every single one of my projects over. At least once. I mess something up every time, without fail – and that is totally fine! It makes my end result look better. I love to experiment with new techniques on new projects to see what works best. For example, I made a set of coasters using the single crochet increase method. Later on, I tried it again with a double crochet increase just to see which one looked better. After that, I added a single crochet border. Just for fun. Experiment with your projects – there are no consequences. 

Charlotte Bongratz is an assistant editor and freshman at Michigan State University. She is a journalism major and enjoys chatting with friends, crocheting, and experimenting with new coffee orders.
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