Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you click a link and purchase something that I have recommended.
Welcome to my “How to…” crochet tutorial series! Since you’re here, you must be looking to learn the wonderful craft that is crochet. This post will start with the very basics that you’ll need to get going with crochet, including the types of projects you can make and the tools you’ll need.
Deciding on a project:
Let’s start off by choosing our project. I’m very much a “pick it up as I go along” type of person and prefer to learn a new skill by finding something i’d like to make and leanring the skills I need for it along the way. Of course, everyone’s different, so if you prefer to learn the basics before diving into a project, you’ll find tutorials for all basic stitches in my Crochet Stitch Guide.
Crochet has two main project types:
The main difference between these two projects is that we make blankets in rows, turning our work over at the end of each row. Whereas, for toys, we work in continuous rounds – like a spiral. The 3D shape comes from varying the number of stitches in each round of our spiral.
As a beginner, I recommend starting with blankets – they’ll give you a good foundation to learn the basic stitches and are less complicated to make than toys.
Choosing your yarn:
It’s very easy to get lost in the vast amount of yarn available, from 4-ply to super chunky weight, merino wool to acrylic. There’s a yarn to suit every project and budget.
Every yarn will have a label which tells you not only it’s weight but also the hook size you should use for it. Generally, the bulkier the yarn, the larger the hook you’ll need and the thicker your final project will be.
The most common yarn weights are:
DK: used for lightweight blankets and toys.
Aran: Perfect for blankets, more lightweight than chunky yarn making it especially good for baby blankets.
Chunky: Useful for making thick and cosy blankets – great in the winter!
Choosing your hook:
Just as with yarn, there’s a seemingly endless list of hooks to choose from:
Plastic: These are the amongst the cheapest hook available. However, I find these hooks to be a little too low quality for my liking. I’d say you’re better off spending a little more on a good quality hook that’s also comfortable to hold.
Alumnium/steel: Excellent for beginners, these hooks are inexpensive, while still being of reasonable quality. They also come in a range of sizes. I started off with these myself, then once I decided that crochet was the hobby for me, I upgraded to these handled hooks from Clover.
Bamboo: The slightly rougher surface of these hooks makes them an ideal tool when working with the more slippery yarns such as cotton.
Handled Hooks: These are my favourite type of hook. They are similar to the metal but with the addition of a soft handle. They’re great if you plan to crochet for long periods of time.
Embroidery Scissors: A sharp pair of scissors for cutting threads/yarns.
Darning Needle: Needles with a large eye that are used to sew in the tails of yarn left at the ends of a project.
Stitch Markers: These little clips are useful for marking the ends of rounds or keeping track of how many chains/stitches you’ve made.
Row Counter: As the name suggests, this is a little counter which helps you to keep track of the number of completed rows.