11 Things You Should Know as a Beginner Crocheter

11 Things You Should Know as a Beginner Crocheter on Yarn Obsession http://yarn.yarnobsession.com @sedruola #beginner #crocheter

11 Things You Should Know as a Beginner Crocheter

11 Things You Should Know as a Beginner Crocheter

When I was a beginner crocheter there were a few things I wish I’d known that I think would have made my journey a little easier. They weren’t big things, but they were insights that usually come with experience that I think can help at the beginning of the journey. So I’ve compiled this list of 11 things you should know as a beginner crocheter to help you in a way that I didn’t get helped.

Dye Lots Do Matter

When you’re buying yarn for a specific project it’s a very good idea to buy all the yarn at the same time with the same dye lot numbers. What is a dye lot number? It’s a number on the Yarn Label that tells you the yarn all came from the same batch so the color will be the same. If you run out of yarn in the middle of your project, you may not find the same Dye Lot and that may mean you’ll end up with a color variation within your work. Take note of the dye lot number whenever you’re buying yarn for a specific project.

There is No Wrong Way

No matter what anyone tells you, there is no wrong way to hold your yarn or hook to crochet. If it feels comfortable to you, and it’s not causing you any pain then the way you hold your hook and yarn is fine for you. Yes, there are traditional ways of holding both yarn and hook, but as a beginner crocheter you can decide what works best for you and go with it. Don’t let anyone tell you different.

Learning To Read Patterns Will Open Up Amazing Possibilities

If you’re learning from someone that’s fantastic! It’s the way many people have passed down the love of crochet. However, if you learn to read patterns, charts and graphs, you’ll be able to gather and make so many more pieces, you’ll wonder why you didn’t learn earlier. Or, you’ll wonder what you can do to turn off the faucet of crochet patterns that will now be turned on!

Hooks Do Vary

A few weeks ago I did a very interesting experiment to see if the difference in hook heads made a difference in gauge. What I found was that they do (see the experiment). What I also found is that I prefer “Tapered” heads better than “In-Line” heads and that everyone has their preference. If you’re just starting out I would recommend buying one of each type of hook (see this post) in the same size and working with them to see which you prefer.

Frogging is Normal

What is frogging? It’s what we call the act of pulling out a project we’ve worked on that isn’t turning out as needed. Why do we call it frogging? Because we imagine that the sound we’re doing is “ripit ripit ripit” which sounds a lot like a frogs conversation.

Not All Yarns Are Created Equal

Yes, not all yarns are created equal. Even if they’re made of the same materials, they will vary greatly. Make sure that you use a yarn that is appropriate for your project. For example, don’t use an acrylic yarn for something you’d like to make to absorb water, that won’t work. Making sure you’re using the appropriate yarn will go a long way to making sure your project looks, feels and wears or acts great.

You Will Hoard Yarn

You may not think you will, but what you’ll soon find out is this, yarn is addictive. A trip to the craft store or local yarn shop will never be the same because there will always be a project looming. Having a stash is not a requirement or even a problem, except for those who seem to have a hard time finding anything else in their homes but yarn. πŸ˜‰ I don’t have a solution for this except to try not to go around yarn much. Other than that, I’m in your boat, let’s create together!

Work With a Light Color Yarn For Your First Project

There are a lot of beautiful yarns to choose from when considering your first crochet projects. My advice is to select light colored yarns that are smooth to begin your crochet journey. If not, you’ll grow frustrated, angry and you may even give up altogether. Why do I say this? Because the darker, eyelash, specialty or variegated yarns can be very hard to see stitches on. Then, when you can’t see stitches, you lose count with the potential to get weird edges and skipped stitches. Start with a light colored yarn until you feel comfortable then go to darker and / or specialty yarns. It’s a great way to train your fingers to feel their way around.

Pick Easy First Projects

I know the temptation of choosing to start with a pattern that is exciting to create. Problem is, if you get frustrated and confused, you may lose interest and never go any further than your first project. Please choose a project that will help you practice the basics and even build upon them gradually so you’ll be confident moving forward with your skills.

Don’t Be Afraid to Grow

Once you get those scarves, cowls and shawls made easily don’t shy away from making larger and more complicated projects. Push your skills forward by learning more stitches and types of crochet so you can continue to enjoy your new skills. Many people get nervous that they aren’t good enough at crochet to make certain things, but the truth is, many patterns are easier than most beginner crocheters think. You can do it, I know you can!

You Will Untangle a Lot of Yarn

You may as well get used to it because it’s going to become a normal part ofΒ  your life. Yarn will tangle and you will need to untangle it. The Zen of Untangling yarn is something you’ll come to learn and treasure. You’ll try not to do it often, but when it is inevitable, sit back and enjoy the process.

There you go, eleven things I think you’ll be happy to learn early on rather than later on. Crochet is great fun but there are aspects that can be frustrating. Hopefully, this can take a bit of the edge and surprise off for you.

Do you have something you’ve learned along the way that you’d like to share? Please leave a comment or come by the Facebook Page and let us know.

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Comments

  1. Andrea Kapera says:

    Great advice. Especially that there is no wrong way to hold yarn or hook.

  2. Gail Dietrich says:

    Things have gotten easier for us left handed people more and more help showing a lefty doing the stitches

    • sedruola says:

      You are so right Gail. Even when I started (12 years ago) there were hardly any lefty resources. I’m working on a way to also incorporate lefty help in my offerings. πŸ™‚

  3. Especially yarn hoarding….

  4. Darlene P. says:

    Well written, so true, and very encouraging!! Kudos!

  5. Is anyone aware of a link to a video tutorial for granny squares? I used to make them, but have completely forgotten how. Thanks in advance. Also, this is a very encouraging piece. Thank you.

  6. Love this post! Thank you from Spain!

  7. Shona Warwick says:

    A really great post Sedruola. I wouldn’t call myself a “beginner” but I find I am always learning new things with crochet. I love it! πŸ˜€

  8. If you are going to be amking a side to side afghan, use a size larger hook for your beginning chain, eg. body will be done with a 4-50mm hook use a 5-50mm hook for the chain. This will stop the sides curling in on you!! πŸ™‚

  9. Ronda K says:

    Great Post! The only thing I would add is that you must count stitches … no one told me this when I began and made a whole bunch of lopsided throws thinking I could eyeball it…

  10. These are all so true – thanks for sharing! I’d like to add – And no one should be upset if they get bored or frustrated with a project. We all do and have many projects going at one time.

  11. Kayla Israelson says:

    Great tips. Wish I read it when I first learned how to crichet

  12. I relate

  13. brittianey says:

    Thanks for the encouraging words I needed that I started almost 1 year ago I do little things like hats ,booties,things like that but I see a lot of big nice blankets with beautiful things on them and I’m like I can’t do that because I don’t know how to read the patterns but I’m gonna learn because I love to crochet but I’m really sick of doing the same things !

  14. this tip I learned from my great grand (I thought this was a normal way to do it)…when making a long chain for a cowl or necklace, after chaining a few stitches, slide the tail end onto the back of the hook. When you have the amount u need just pull the yarn through that stitch on the end to close the circle and u have joined them without a twist.

    • sedruola says:

      Wow! How cool! I would need to see it, but sounds perfect! Thank you for sharing. πŸ™‚

  15. Michele says:

    Love the way you included the type of project to begin with, so many people start off with something do difficult they give up. Also love the fact that you gave them permission to Frog it. A beginners project will never look right, unless they get over the fact that they can start over without feeling guilty or imperfect.

  16. My mom was a crochet whiz. People knew her as the “Crochet Lady” because of her work. Twenty-two yrs ago, she saw a photo of a crocheted Last Supper, and with only that photo to go on, using crochet cotton (I call it fancy kite cord,lol) she picked out each stitch, and re-created this amazing image. It was 10 x 12 ft and took her 39 hours of working time. Not having anyplace for something that big, she donated it to our church, and it it still used on the Sacrament Table every Sunday. When a stroke took her from us in 2004, she was in a weekly crochet group of elderly women, calling themselves “The Happy Hookers.” I did not inherit her love of, or talent with, yarn and hook. I made what will be forever known as “Granny Circles”, despite following every single direction. I have posted some of Mom’s work, and even one of her hysterical failures that I dearly treasure. They are on my FB page, if anyone would like to see some amazing stuff that can be done with determination and practice. Never give up. I did, because……………… one can only spend so many years wearing and decorating with yarn. But growing up with a crochet-nut, I have seen incredible work, and I’ve seen many people begin their crocheting journey with my mother as their guide. (I’ll go make sure the photos are PUBLIC, for those who might like to take a peek.) Good luck with your own masterpieces. πŸ˜€

    • sedruola says:

      Oh Connie, thank you so much for sharing your mom’s love of crochet and the amazing work she did! I am truly inspired! I also have faith that one day, when it’s right, you too will pick up the hook again and go for it! πŸ™‚

  17. @ Connie – your mom’s work is beautiful and clearly was a labor of love for her. She was quite the talent. Thank you for sharing.

  18. I think the most important thing to learn when crocheting is to mind your margins, especially in double crochet to follow the “rules” closely. After that, everything else, to me, is a piece of cake.

  19. There is a lot for a beginning crocheter to learn. The list you gave is important and I would add these to the list:

    12) Gauge is important. Before starting any project make a swatch of the pattern and record with it hook size, type of yarn, pattern it applies to and dates you made it. Try to do the swatch over at least two separate periods of time, three is better if you can. Then you will see how your tension changes as you work on a project, set it aside, and pick it up again.

    13) Count your stitches no more than every third row. Especially if you are doing a new stitch. It’s easy to drop or add a stitch and by counting no more than 3 rows apart you’ll have less to frog if you don’t know how to fix the mistake.

    14) Watch how you turn at the end of rows. Some patterns call for starting chains to be used instead of the stitch (or extended stitch for more advanced patterns) and it’s really easy to drop stitches at the end of rows.

    15) Read directions carefully. In fact, read completely through a pattern before starting it and make sure you practice any unfamiliar stitches before starting the pattern.

    16) Most importantly, remember this is a hand crafted item. No one expects it to be perfect and most people won’t see the flaws you’ll learn to see in your own work. What matters most is that you have just made a truly unique item because it was made by you and took however long it took. Rejoice in that fact.

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β€œHi! Just wanted to say that you did a GREAT job of explaining the HDC (half double crochet) edging for a single crochet blanket in your YouTube video. Thank you so much! God Bless” - Donna M.
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