If you saw my previous blog under my About page, I mentioned that I would give you some helpful tips. Like promised, here are ten tips with some video tutorials to get you started that might help you avoid some of the frustrations I had when I started…
1) Don’t get overwhelmed
Don’t get overwhelmed and start thinking you can’t do it. It’s like learning to ride a bike. Once you know how, you can’t figure out why you thought it was so hard. Just stick with it and surf the net a lot. There are a lot of people out there that would love to help you…including me. If you get stuck, drop me a comment here and I will be happy to offer some advice and if I don’t have the answer, I will get it for you. 😉
2) Start with a scarf
A scarf will be the easiest project to start with since it is a simple back and forth technique and repetitive and you don’t have to be concerned with it being in gauge. I suggest you do not attempt one that is “in the round” for your first project. “In the round” means you link the chain end to end and then just go around in a circle but trying to do this can be a bit of a challenge at first because it easily can twist and you might not notice until you are all the way around and have to rip it out again. I don’t mean to make it sound like it’s hard to do, it’s not but maybe try this technique after you have made one scarf…no need to add to frustrations.
3) Start with a simple single (sc) or half double (hdc) crochet stitch.
Start your first project with a single or half double crochet stitch. Learning how to “yarn over” multiple times can be hard for a beginner. Just get basic stitches down first and then try a new stitch for each new project.
4) Chose your yarn wisely
There are hundreds of colors and styles and textures of yarn. They come in acrylic, cotton, wool and various blends. My recommendation is that you choose a solid color yarn that is light or bright in color or chose white or beige. Also chose a med weight yarn (4ply) that is soft and a tightly woven strand. This is so it is easy to see your stitches. Trust me, you will need to count carefully and slowly when first starting and trying to figure out where the stitch is when using a dark or a fuzzy yarn is like being partially blind…even if you have 20/20. And do not use a multicolored yarn. You will have just as hard a time seeing your stitches. My favorite is Caron’s – Simply Soft. It has a slight sheen to it which gives you a lovely finish and is easy to work with.
5) Check the die lot on the yarn label. Not all yarn has a dye lot number but for those that do, you’ll want to get the same die lot so that your project is all the same shade. The label will look like the one in this photo.
6) Use a larger hook to start.
Using a larger hook will make it easier for you to see your stitches and will be easier to hold in your hand as you get accustom to crocheting. I would use 5 mm or higher. You will notice on the yarn label they will show a recommended hook size. You don’t have to use what they recommend but for starting it might be a good idea.
7) Start with a video tutorial.
Starting with a video tutorial is so much easier than trying to read a pattern when you have never crocheted before. Watch the video first to make sure it’s clear and you understand the persons tutorial right to the end. Of course, if you are just starting you won’t understand everything until you are crocheting along with the video and can see the result, but you will be able to tell if it is poorly made, hard to hear, hard to see the stitches and if it is a complete lesson. Bob Wilson , Mikeysmail (The Crochet Crowd) , and Crochet Hooks You have excellent tutorial videos for all crochet levels. They all speak slowly and clearly and the visual and audio is perfect. And if you don’t catch something all you have to do is rewind. 🙂
8) Don’t worry if you are left handed
There are some left handed video tutorials on You Tube but many are right handed. Don’t let that discourage you. The technique is the same…you are just holding your hook in the opposite hand and working in the opposite direction to someone who is right handed.
9) Count, count, count.
Counting will help you avoid having to rip several rows out after hours of work. Every row or so, check your stitch count. It can look right and then you get a few more rows done and suddenly you realize your work is crooked. If you messed up, not to worry, just rip out that row and start from the previous row.
10) Make sure you have the supplies you need.
Crochet Hooks – There is no right or wrong hooks. It’s what you feel comfortable with . A good idea is to buy a multi-pack of various sizes
Tapestry Needles – for sewing in ends to finish your work. Best to buy a package with various sizes.
Scissors – I bought small ones that fit in my case but any scissors will do.
Stitch Makers– But you can also use another color yarn and just tie it where you need your maker to be.
A Case – I use a make up bag . You can also use a pencil case.
I sincerely hope these tips will motivate you to start confidently and be helpful to you in creating your first project. Please let me know if you get stumped and I will try to help you.
Below are a couple tutorial videos and some links that I think will help you further…
I would love to see what you made. Be sure and post it and send me the link or drop me a note to come to your blog or site and see it.
Happy Crocheting 🙂
Here is a very good video which explains the 5 basic stitches of crochet by Red Heart Yarns
Or if you prefer you can start here with this Basic Scarf video tutorial from Crochet Hooks You.