Did you know you can make lots of beautiful, unique garments and items for around the house with do-it-yourself crochet ideas? Here are some tips for getting started with crochet.
1. Look for yarn with multiple plies
When thinking about crochet yarn for beginners, look for yarn with multiple plies. This means that when you look at the yarn, you can see it’s made of more than one strand. To test this, hold the yarn at two points and twist the yarn one way and the other. In one direction, if the yarn has multiple plies, you’ll see the strands pull away from one another.
Another feature to look for in crochet yarn is a high twist of the plies. Hold the yarn vertically, and you’ll see that as the strands twist around one another, they create an angle with vertical. The further that angle is towards the horizontal, the higher the twist. Both multiple plies and tighter twists make the yarn easier to work with and less likely to pull apart as you use it.
You can also look for smooth yarn, without bobbles, sequins, or fluffy bits. These can be super fun to work with, but sometimes they catch on the hook, so it can be tricky to crochet yarns for beginners. If you’re shopping in person, try this ‘hook test’: Is it easy to push a crochet hook through a strand of the yarn (not slipping around it, but going through the yarn)? If so, this yarn is likely to be difficult to work with, and might not be the best crochet yarn for beginners.
2. Choose a Beginner Pattern
When shopping for someone new to crochet (yourself, or maybe a friend?) look for patterns labeled ‘Learn to crochet’ or ‘beginner.’ These will likely explain the steps in more detail and are more likely to avoid assuming you know terminology or techniques when you start.
Another great idea is to look for a designer who specializes in ‘crochet for beginners’ patterns. You can often find this information on the designer’s website or social media accounts.
Consider picking a design for an item that’s small and flat to start. Some great do-it-yourself crochet pattern ideas for beginners include coasters, dishcloths, or scarves. Finally, pick something you’ll love (or you think your friend would love). Working on a pattern you really like makes it so much more likely you’ll enjoy the learning process and stick with it.
3. Find A Community To Connect With
This is a big one and is often overlooked. Finding a community is a great way to connect with others sharing your learning journey, and to find support in those inevitable moments of frustration. There are lots of great places to find supportive ‘crochet for beginners’ communities. Try asking at your local yarn shop, or a fibre artist group in your community. Social media can be a great place to connect with other beginners, especially through the accounts of designers who focus on beginner patterns.
If you’re feeling like taking on a little challenge, try looking for pattern testing opportunities for designs aimed at beginners. Designers will generally create a testing group where a small number of people will work from the same pattern to test for readability and errors. This can be a great way to meet other crocheters and to practice and grow your skills.
If you’ve been thinking of trying crochet, there’s no time like the present. Find some great beginner crochet yarn, grab a pattern from a designer you admire, join a community, and give it a go!