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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UMKC chapter.

Since medical school started, I am on the lookout for new stress-relieving techniques. Earlier this year, I started  crocheting and had so much fun with it—as well as relieved some stress! Here are some tips and tricks for beginner crocheters.

Materials that you will need:

yarn (a lot of it!)

The amount of yarn you will need will depend on the project you choose to work on! My tip is to always go in with more yarn than you think you will need because you don’t want to have to stop halfway. However, don’t fret if you have to stop! There are ways to attach more yarn onto your project if you run out. I bought mine from Target and I got the big bundle of yarn with multiple colors. There are also many other colors, thicknesses and types of yarn you can get. The thicker your yarn, the larger you can make your project.

Crocheting needles

Similar to the yarn, the bigger the crocheting needles you buy, the bigger the project you can make. I also bought my needles from Target. I wanted to make smaller projects, so I picked the smaller needles. I would recommend practicing maneuvering the needles before you start your project because it is a little difficult.

Stitch marker

A stitch marker is essential to make the stitching easier. Many crocheting projects, especially when making animals, require you to make circles of stitches. Additionally, counting the number of stitches that you make can make it easier to mark your first stitch and then you can count the rest. You can buy a stitch counter online, but I have discovered that using a keychain ring works just as well!

Safety eyes

Safety eyes are only needed when you are making amigurumi projects such as animals or dolls. These are very easy to install and also look very adorable! Personally, I stitch my eyes with yarn, but I have to admit that safety eyes would look better on my projects. If you do choose to stitch your eyes, there are many YouTube videos on different eyes you can make!

Don’t be disheartened if you don’t end up with a perfect product on your first try. The videos that you watch will make it seem very easy to crochet. However, crocheting takes a lot of practice to get right. I would suggest not starting a project right away but rather taking some time to practice getting the stitches right, learning how to maneuver the yarn and figuring out how to read the patterns. Happy crocheting!

Hi! My name is Shreevarsha and I am currently a third year in the 6 year B.A./M.D. program at UMKC! My hobbies include doing art and reading!