Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The ends and outs of basic crochet.

It's hard to believe that I only taught myself to crochet a little over nine months ago. Since then I feel like I have come leaps and bounds and now using my hook is like second nature. When I post patterns and tutorials here on my blog the number one comment I get is "I wish I knew how to crochet, I would totally try that!", but guys, you can learn to crochet so easily! We live in the age of technology and Internet information is the greatest way to learn a new skill quickly and easily. I know that it can sometimes be overwhelming to sort through all of the tutorials and videos so today I thought I would compile some of my favorite crochet how-to's and share then with all of you wanna-be crochet addicts! I taught myself to crochet solely by reading and watching YouTube video after YouTube video and in that time I've found some really great stuff so hopefully these sources will help you on your journey!

I guess it is best to start off with the basics, you're going to need to know all about yarn and hooks to get started. Knowing what tools you will need will keep you from wandering around in the yarn section of your local craft store for hours and will make you feel a little bit more confident about the journey that lies ahead. There is a lot more to picking a yarn and a hook then you might think so check out this wonderful guide from Anonymous Crochet before you head out to gather your supplies.

Now that you have everything you need to practice crochet you're going to need to learn all of the basic stitches used in any beginner project. Once you have your basic stitches down you will be able to look at any pattern and make all kinds of wonderful goodies. Learning stitches to a beginner can sometimes become confusing and frustrating, I've been there. The biggest tip I can give you is to be patient and to persevere. Don't give up if you mess up a few times, keep trying! Pause your video and go at your own pace. I started videos over and over again until I got the stitches down and practiced a ton until I gained confidence with them. This video from All Free Crochet was a savior for me, it's a pretty basic and it teaches you all about chain stitches, single crochet, double crochet, and triple crochet stitches. If you are more of a learn by reading and pictures type of person then this guide from Knit Simple Magazine is super helpful and it also includes a few stitches that are not included in the video above such as the slip stitch and half double crochet.
One thing that you'll notice when reading patterns, looking at tutorials, ect. is that some terms are different depending on your source. British and Australian terms are simply a little different then the American terms but the stitches are the same. This stitch term rundown from Aberrant Crochet gives you each stitch and the abbreviation in both English and European so you know how to read all kinds of patterns.

I always suggest starting off making a swatch of crochet stitches before starting off any project. This will get you practice and up your confidence level before you dive into a project. After you have made a swatch there are two key steps that you have to take with any crochet project for it to hold up and stay together, these are fastening off and weaving in ends. If you do not learn these two steps you will be bumming later on when you crochet a really cute granny square and then it completely unravels. These steps essentially keep your work together and make sure that during wear and tear they don't loosen in the future.

Now that you've learned the tools, the basics, and the crucial steps to keeping your project intact its time to pick a pattern and crochet something cute. I always suggest that beginners start with something like a scarf or a basic granny stripe blanket. These are both easy projects with few stitches to learn and will help you practice crocheting while you make something functional. If you're looking to make a simple scarf this tutorial  from Make and Takes offers picture and video!
If you want to try a basic blanket project you should check out this granny stripe blanket from Attic24, it's best you you try the stripe-a-day method so you don't get overwhelmed just like Matt did (his blog is a glorious crochet wonderland)!

I hope that all of these tips, tricks, and tutorials help you on your crochet journey and if you have any questions feel free to ask! I'm going to follow up this post with some more intermediate skills and methods like joining pieces, fancy stitches, and more so stay tuned!

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting this! I have been taught how to crochet twice already and I always seem to forget how to do it. Hopefully this time it sticks!

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    1. I had that same problem when I first started. Finally I decided to work on it everyday and it stuck! Good luck!

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  2. Ah super cool! I can do a basic single crochet stitch, and that's it! I'm hoping to work in it more soon so I can start making some cool stuff!

    -Becca
    Ladyface Blog

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    1. I hope that I see some projects on your blog! xox

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  3. Yes!!1 I'm just learning how to knit, well with a loom, and all through youtube, but I've been wanting to learn how to crochet. But like you said there are so many videos out there. Thank you for this post, i will be bookmarking it. I'm super excited now.. :)

    -Adri
    Adri @ Adri's Thoughts

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  4. Thank you for the mention Autumn!

    -Julia

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