So you’re thinking about learning to crochet. Crocheting is a simple, therapeutic craft that doesn’t take much to get started and is quite simple to learn if you have the right instructions.
There are many reasons why it’s popular, including the inexpensive nature of the materials involved, the accessible learning resources, as well as the potential to explore your creativity and create anything you can think of.
But is crochet difficult? Crochet is not difficult, but learning how to crochet can be a bit challenging at first, especially when you first get used to holding the crochet hook in one hand and yarn in the other. Your first stitches can be hard, but once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you’ll have finished projects in no time.
Crochet has been around for as long as yarn has been around, which is to say, centuries. In its simplest term, crocheting involves making interwoven loops using a crochet hook to create a full piece.
However, once you’ve learned the basic techniques, crocheting is incredibly rewarding because it allows you to make a wide variety of crocheted things, including clothing, accessories, blankets, pillowcases, and more!
Let’s take a look at what to know before picking up your first tools and materials to start crocheting.
What Do You Need To Start Crocheting?
Crocheting is one of the most accessible crafts to learn, and it’s mainly because you don’t need a lot of tools and materials to get started. To start crocheting, you only need two things: a crochet hook and yarn.
The right tools can make learning to crochet easier, so let’s take a look at what you should know about the necessary tools and materials required.
1. Crochet Hook
A crochet hook usually looks like a long tool with a hook at one end and a long handle on the other. There are a variety of sizes and shapes of crochet hooks to choose from, and choosing the right crochet hook can make the process more pleasant and much easier.
First of all, consider the crochet hook’s design. For beginners, it’s best to select a crochet hook with a wide plastic or silicone handle, which makes the crochet hook more comfortable and convenient to hold. We have an article on the best crochet hooks for beginners if you’re not sure what to choose.
There are two main types of crochet hooks, tapered crochet hooks and inline crochet hooks. Beginners tend to find inline crochet hooks easier to use, and they will help your stitches look more even.
Now, let’s talk about crochet hook sizes.
Crochet hooks come in a variety of sizes ranging from 0 (2mm) to T/U/X (25mm). The most important thing to know when you buy a crochet hook is to match the size of the crochet hook with the size of the yarn.
When you buy yarn, the yarn ball’s sleeve will tell you the right crochet hook size to use. For beginners, we recommend buying crochet hook sizes E-4 (3.5mm) or G-6 (4mm), which will work perfectly with DK yarn to make any project you’d like.
Choosing the right yarn for a project deserves its own guide, mainly because yarn comes in so many sizes, materials, and plies.
Yarn weight refers to the size of the strand. You can get super fine lace-weight yarn to work with 2mm crochet hooks, or you can get super bulky yarn to work with jumbo-size crochet hooks to make a chunky blanket.
As mentioned, the weight that works with most projects would be DK or sports weight yarn.
Yarn also comes in a variety of materials, ranging from cotton, linen, acrylic to luxurious wool. For summer projects, cotton is always a great choice. For winter projects, acrylic or wool are amazing to keep you warm. Depending on your budget, you can opt for the right price range.
You will also need to consider yarn ply. Ply refers to how many individual plies make up one strand of yarn. DK yarn is usually four-ply, while cotton yarn can have 10-20 plies.
For beginners, it’s best to work with a yarn with less than four plies. This is because when you crochet, the plies can snag on your crochet hook if you are not careful. When you work with 4-ply yarn, the plies are less likely to snag.
3. Other Supplies
In addition to the essentials mentioned above, you may want to get:
- A small pair of scissors, which will help you cut yarn conveniently, especially for projects that require a few colors of yarn, such as granny squares.
- Yarn needles. These need to be big enough to work with your yarn sizes. The needles are needed to help you weave in loose ends or sew individual pieces of a garment together.
- Stitch markers. For beginners, it may be helpful to use stitch markers to make sure you are crocheting on the right stitches, especially for patterns that require counting stitches a lot.
Is Crocheting An Expensive Hobby?
The great thing about crochet is that it can totally work with your budget. We’ve mentioned that it doesn’t take a lot to get started, and you can find affordable crochet hooks and yarn that work for your budget.
Those who have a more generous budget can opt for high-quality crochet hooks and really luxurious yarn. However, there are also plenty of $5 crochet hooks and acrylic yarn that are great to practice with before you invest further.
If you want to find crochet tutorials and patterns, there are plenty of free resources available on YouTube for you to learn the very basics. You can also find a lot of free crochet patterns for clothing, blankets, or pillowcases online.
For more complicated patterns, you can also find crochet books or buy patterns on Etsy or Ravelry.
Is Crocheting Easy?
If you have not crocheted or worked with yarn before, then learning to crochet can be a bit challenging. You will need to learn how to hold the yarn and the crochet hooks properly and learn some “building block” stitches like the chain, slip stitch, single crochet, double crochet, etc.
For those who have never worked with yarn before, it can be hard to maintain the right tension or identify the right spot to loop a new stitch.
That said, it’s not super hard to pick up. You can learn all of these techniques using free YouTube tutorials and master the basics in just a few hours. If you have all the building block stitches down, then you can tackle pretty much any project with ease.
It can be frustrating at first, but remember, any craft takes practice! If you consistently spend time practicing and learning new techniques, you will eventually get better and be able to create amazing projects in no time.
Once you learn the basic building blocks, it’s actually not super hard to become an advanced crocheter. The chain, single crochet, and double crochet can be utilized in numerous ways to create some amazing advanced projects!
Tips For Beginners
If you are a beginner who wants to learn how to crochet, then here are some tips that will make your experience much more enjoyable.
1. Ergonomic Crochet Hooks
The right crochet hook can make a world of difference when you first learn how to crochet. As we’ve mentioned, crochet hooks come in so many different designs, but for beginners, it’s best to work with one that has a wide plastic or silicone handle that makes the hook easier to hold.
Small crochet hooks can be a little awkward to hold and even slippery. Even if you succeed in learning how to crochet with a small crochet hook, your hands will get tired really quickly, which will affect your productivity and comfort level while crocheting.
2. The Right Yarn
Yarn also comes in so many different weights, fibers, and plies. For beginners, we suggest practicing with 2-4 ply sports weight or DK yarn. This is a medium-weight yarn that is both easy to hold and work up really quickly.
You also need to pay attention to the ply, as yarn that has more plies (like cotton yarn) can snag on your crochet hook and ruin an entire project. That’s why 2-4 ply yarn is the least risky for practicing.
3. Choose Popular Patterns
When you buy a pattern on sites like Etsy or Ravelry, make sure to read the reviews first!
Those who come before you may give you tips about whether the pattern is friendly for beginners or if the pattern is confusing or has errors. That way, you can avoid a lot of frustrations, especially when you first pick up crocheting.
4. US Vs. UK Terms
When you look at a tutorial online, you should take a look at whether they use US or UK terminology.
This is because many stitches have different names in the US and the UK. The single crochet (abbreviated “sc”) in the US is referred to as the double crochet (abbreviated “dc”) in the UK. The double crochet in the US is referred to as the double crochet or as the treble crochet (or triple crochet, abbreviated “tc”) in the UK.
As you can imagine, this can get confusing really quickly, especially if you’re a beginner. This is why looking at the terminology in the pattern first before starting your project will save you a lot of frustration.
A great thing about crocheting is that with the simple basic stitches (chain, slip stitch, single crochet, double crochet), you can create a multitude of combination stitches that have a wide variety of looks and textures.
That’s why it’s so fun to experiment! When you have mastered the basic stitches, you can totally explore and experiment with stitch combinations to create a unique result.