Hooray! You’ve Decided to Learn to Crochet!
Having a skill like cooking, knitting, or crocheting is both relaxing and useful. Most people, including the paragon of do-it-yourself hobbies, Martha Stewart, will tell you that crocheting is easier than knitting. One of the main reasons is that you just use one tool, a crochet hook, instead of two knitting needles.
Let’s start with the things you’ll need to begin.
Choosing Your Materials
A Basic Crochet Hook
First things first, you will need a crochet hook. The basic ones are inexpensive, so you might look for a starter kit like Boye Crochet Starter Hook Set, which includes three different sized hooks for under $4 at Walmart (hooks sized G, H, & I). You can also simplify things with a single larger hook like a Susan Bates Silvalume Crochet Hook (size J) at Joann’s.
Hooks are sized from smallest (A) to largest (P). You can view a chart on sizes, caveats, and advice on hooks here).
You’ll want a mid-weight yarn. Look for a worsted weight (labeled #4) in acrylic, wool, or cotton. Choose a light-colored yarn, and avoid fuzzy yarns or multicolored yarns, as you want to be able to see your stitches clearly. Typically, you match your yarn to your crochet hook size, and most yarns will tell you the size hook to use.
Lily Sugar ‘N Cream Super Size Solid Yarn (gauge four medium and 100% cotton) is a good starter yarn. Get it at Jo-Ann’s or Amazon in shades like Ecru, White, Cream, Coral Rose, Yellow, or Beach Glass.
How to Crochet: First Stitches
You have your hook and yarn; now, you can get started. Without an instructor by your side, you will need to watch a few videos and blog posts online and pick a project.
Your First Video
You’ll want to know how to make a slip knot to put your yarn on the hook. This video for absolute beginners shows you how to do just that and how to single crochet.
Your Next Assignment
Once you have these basics down, you will be ready to try some additional simple starter crochet stitches. An excellent place to start is this post by Better Homes & Gardens, with easy steps and clear diagrams of 5 basic crochet stitches, two of which you’ll already know!
- Slip Knot
- Chain Stitch
- Single Crochet
- Half Double Crochet
- Double Crochet
As you start learning the basic crochet stitches, you will quickly get familiar with the lingo used in the directions—for instance, SC for single crochet and CH for chain.
Your Best Book Bet
You may like learning by diagrams rather than video. If so, opt for a clearly illustrated book on crochet for beginners, such as A Little Course in Crochet, available on Amazon for under $16. It’s one of the best-rated resources for how to crochet step by step, and it also addresses left-handed vs. right-handed crocheting.
A Few Additional Basic Stitches
Here are some suggested videos:
- How to Crochet Four Basic Stitches (YouTube) This includes chain stitch, single crochet, double crochet, and triple crochet.
- Basic Crochet Stitches Series (YouTube)
Another helpful video is 25+ Crochet Hacks for Beginners (YouTube).
Your First Crochet Project: Try a Hat
Now that you know how to start crocheting, you need a plan for a first project.
There are countless sources for crochet patterns for beginners, including many free ones online. Hats are an excellent beginning crochet project. Many hats can be made by just mastering a single crochet stitch.
Here are two suggestions for easy hat patterns. There’s a post with images and the steps laid out, followed by a video. You may wish to view both and select one, though you will learn tips from each.
Basic Hat Pattern From Crochet It Creations (Post with detailed instructions and photos)
This guide shows you how to adapt the hat for infant to adult sizes, as well as ways to dress up your hat with fun details like pom-poms and functional ear flaps with braids for tying.
Easiest Worsted Crochet Hat (YouTube)
Jonna Martinez does a great job explaining the steps at a comfortable pace. Like many YouTubers, she is helpful and supportive and invites interaction on social media.
Additional Beginning Crochet Projects
Simple rectangular shapes like small blankets, lap throws, scarves, and washcloths are all good. If you want to know how to crochet a blanket, it’s often easier to start small. However, if you’re aiming for a baby blanket, try not to pick one that uses a fine yarn and tiny stitches. You might try a yarn like Bernat Blanket Big Ball Yarn in Blush Pink, Country Blue, or Teal as it’s soft and will make your project go faster, as it calls for a largish K-sized hook.
Hopefully, now you are motivated to start crocheting. There are more ideas for projects suitable for crocheting for beginners than you might imagine. Consider these fun and easy projects: reusable market totes, cheerful dishcloths, unique baby bibs, cell phone or tablet cases, and much more!
Search for inspiration on Etsy, Pinterest, Instagram, and more. While crocheting dates back hundreds of years, there has never been a better time to learn and share ideas and get support during your progress. Plus, crocheting may be good for the brain, helping to reduce anxiety, release serotonin, and build neural pathways, making it a great hobby to “get hooked on!”