What I wish I would’ve known when I started to Crochet …
You may have recently taken up crochet, or maybe you’re picking it up again after a very long break. Either way, here are some things I wish I would’ve known when I was getting started. I’ll even share a few things that looking back I’m glad I didn’t know.
- Go for it! If it inspires you, try it! (just don’t promise it to anyone yet)
- Invest in a good hook. I’m not saying go out and buy the best on the market, but maybe don’t start with your typical metal multi-pack.
- Read your yarn label
- What is the yarn made of? -- this impacts drape, washability, pilling, and more. This is a bit more important with garments, but no one likes a stiff blanket either.
- What are the care instructions? -- can you imagine being a new mom and receiving a baby blanket that is hand wash only? Or spending weeks on a sweater and now you’ve felted the beautiful wool you used?
- Does it have a dye lot? -- if you’re making something big to start, dye lots are important. Although the color variation from dye lot to dye lot can be subtle, there is little worse than finishing a throw and laying it out to measure it and YOU can see a difference in colors. If it is going to bother you, don’t chance it.
- What size hook does the yarn itself recommend? -- I’d follow this until you’ve mastered your tension. Tension is something that takes time to understand and master, I wouldn’t fret on perfecting it until you get a bit more comfortable with crochet itself.
- Don’t mix yarn brands (yet); or weights ..
- If you mix and match from the start, you may not get a good feeling for what you like (think yarn brands, types) or you may struggle to know where you can improve. By sticking with one brand in one weight to start, you will be able to better identify if you’re struggling with your hook, tension, or misunderstanding the stitch(es) when things aren’t coming out well.
- Learn the basic stitches, then practice, practice, practice! Note, I did not say you have to start small, but I did recommend learning the basic stitches to start. Afghan sampler blankets are great for this.
- If you’re not into “counting your stitches” - then mark ‘em!
- Turning chains and beginnings of new rows are one of the harder skills to perfect in the beginning. Clean edges will make you feel like you’re mastering things in no time.
- Find a teacher that works for your learning style. If you are better with in person, find a local mentor. If you prefer to follow a video, check on youtube. If you’d rather learn to read a pattern, check out the millions and millions of patterns on the internet, or even pick up a printed book from your local store.
As a reminder, crochet for many is a therapy. Don’t get caught up in making it a race, or a competition or anything but an activity you enjoy. Sure, it can evolve, but don’t burn yourself out and lose something you love.