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A friend of mine taught me how to knit last year, and it was highly addicting and fun for about a week, then I got pissed off from all my mistakes, packed it away and never touched it again.
I hear crocheting is supposed to be easier. I wanted to learn how and see if that is true. So here’s a quick tutorial on some of the basics that I’ve learned so far.
So lets start at the VERY beginning, how to find the right yarn and crochet hook.
The yarn that you get will depend on the project that you are working on.
For example, if you are making a dishcloth, you should to use 100% cotton yarn (for its absorbancy and ease of wash). I usually get the most inexpensive cotton yarn I can find, since the only thing that matters to me when I am making the dishcloths is that it is 100% cotton and cheap! Some Walmart stores even sell this yarn on a really large spool.
Of course, if you get a soft novelty cotton yarn, you will have really nice dishcloths – that will get stained (from spaghetti sauce), and faded (from constant washings). You may end up annoyed that you wasted used your nice yarn making it.
If you have really nice, soft novelty yarn, I would recommend you use it for something that you will wear and want to last for a long time.
There is nothing like wearing a scarf made from some quality yarn!
But if you are a cheapie (like me!) I recommend you use a really soft acrylic yarn like Hobby Lobby’s “I Love this Yarn” brand or Caron’s Simply Soft Yarn.
I have NOT had a good experience with Red Heart’s Super Saver. It is tempting to buy because of the range of colors and the extremely low price. But, crocheting with scratchy yarn is not a good time. Besides, who will you give a scratchy sweater to?
Also, for a beginner, I would recommend you use a simple, plain yarn. Don’t get the kind that hides the stitches with fur or other embellishments, like the one below.
The amount of yarn you will need also depends on the project (duh). I know you know that, but I needed an intro for this paragraph. If you use a pattern, the creator will tell you about how much you need. If you are making it up as you go along, it is a bit tricky. For example, if I were making that scarf from the previous post I would probably buy 2 skeins of yarn. But if you want it really long and really thick – maybe you should buy 3 skeins. The beauty of that scarf is you can’t mess it up! And with the leftover yarn, there are some really nice stash buster patterns.
Choosing a Crochet Hook
Most yarns have the recommended crochet hook size on the label.
- recommended crochet hook size
- recommended knitting needle size
- amount of yarn on skein
- type of yarn
- washing instructions
Unless you are looking for a particular effect (when making amigurumi toys, for example, I use a much smaller hook than the recommended size), or trying to get the correct gauge (more on THAT later), you can just use the recommended size.
Hooks also come in different materials: plastic, aluminum, bamboo, glass, silver, gold
Yes. There are some people who only use the best of the best. Not me. I just use the aluminum. I like how the yarn slides on it (and the price!).
Do you want to go yarn shopping with me? Yes? Well, come on then!
The Slip Stitch
Here’s a video showing you how to do the slip stitch. The slip stitch is a connecting stitch. It is typically used to connect items worked in rounds (think hats) as opposed to things worked in rows (think scarves).
Here is a video showing you how to connect each chain in your chain scarf.
The Chain Stitch
Anyway, what struck me about these scarves was the fact that they were nothing but a bunch of CHAINS! Yes. The super, simplest crochet stitch of them all… I don’t even know if it is considered a stitch. Generally, it is used as a foundation. Most all crochet projects start out with some chains. If you see it in a pattern it will be abbreviated to just ch. For example if you see ch 8, this means that you should make 8 chains. Here’s how to do it:
Easy, huh? I hope this helps you get started! Let me know if you have more questions!