I was a crochet beginner way back in 2002. That’s when I met my husband’s grandmother and became inspired to learn.
My first project was a scarf for my then fiance and I cringe every time I see it (yes, we still have it). Because I was a crochet beginner I stumbled along, like I was in a dark room, learning things as I went. There were a few things, that had I known, would’ve made my journey a little easier. They weren’t big things, they were insights that came with experience. I think these insights can help a crochet beginner so I’ve put together this list of 11 secrets you should know as a crochet beginner
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Crochet Beginner Information
Dye Lots Matter
Remember that scarf I told you I made as my first project? Well, I ran out of yarn before I could finish. My first huge lesson was, dye lots matter! When buying yarn for a project it’s a good idea to buy all the yarn at the same time with the same dye lot numbers.
What’s 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 shade will be the same. If you run out of yarn in the middle of your project, like I did, finding the same dye lot could be a challenge. If you need to use a different dye lot, it could mean color variations in your work. Take note of the dye lot number whenever you’re buying yarn for a specific project.
There’s No Wrong Way
No matter what anyone tells you, there’s no wrong way to hold your yarn or hook to crochet. If it’s comfortable to you, and it’s not causing 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 crochet beginner you decide what works for you and go with it. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.
Learn to Read Patterns, Charts & Graphs
If you’re learning to crochet from someone that’s fantastic! It’s the way the love of crochet is traditionally passed down. However, if you learn to read patterns, charts and graphs, you’ll be able to make so many more crochet pieces! You’ll not only wonder why you didn’t learn earlier, you’ll struggle to find a way to turn off the faucet of crochet patterns that you’ve turned on! 🙂
I did an 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 a crochet beginner I 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 well. 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.
Yarns Are Not Created Equal
Not all yarns are created equal. Even if they’re made of the same materials, they will vary greatly. Make sure you use a yarn appropriate for your project. For example, don’t use acrylic yarn for something that needs to absorb water, acrylic is plastic, it won’t absorb water. When you’re using the right yarn your projects look, feel and wear much better.
You Will Hoard Yarn
Yarn is addictive. You don’t think you will, but hoarding will be normal. A trip to the craft store or local yarn shop will never be the same because you’ll always have a project looming. Of course, having a stash is not a requirement or a problem, except for those who have a hard time finding anything else in their homes but yarn. 😉 I don’t have a solution except try not to go yarn shopping. Other than that, I’m in your boat, let’s create!
Work With Light Color Yarn First
There are a lot of beautiful colored yarns to choose from when considering your first crochet projects. Choose a light colored yarn that’s smooth as a crochet beginner. If not, you’ll get frustrated, angry and even give up. Why? Because the darker, eyelash, specialty or variegated yarns are hard to see stitches on. When you can’t see stitches, you lose count and get weird edges and skipped stitches. Start with a light colored yarn until you feel comfortable then go to darker yarn. When you feel comfortable with darker yarn move on to 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’ll lose interest and never go any further than your first project. Choose a project that’ll help you practice the basics and build your skills gradually so you’ll be confident moving forward with new harder projects.
Don’t Be Afraid to Grow
Once you get the hang of scarves, cowls and shawls don’t shy away from larger, more complicated projects. Push your skills by learning new stitches and new techniques so you continue to enjoy crocheting. Even if you get nervous that you’re not good enough make certain things, remember that many patterns are easier than most crochet beginners think. You can do it, I know you can!
You’ll Untangle a Lot of Yarn
You may as well get used to it because it’s going to become a normal part of life. Yarn will tangle and you’ll 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’s needed, 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 and 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.