Crocheting Tips - Beginners Guide

Crocheting Tips – Beginners Guide

What do you usually use yarn for? Sweaters, scarves, blankets, mittens — probably all those things. But what about other crafts like bags, pillows, t-shirts etc.? If you’re looking for something unique, why not give crochet another try? With just a little bit of practice, you’ll find out it’s really easy to make some great pieces that are perfect for yourself or others.

If you’ve never tried it before, there are plenty of beginner projects available online that will guide you through every step of creating new designs from scratch. Once you start making them by hand though, it gets more complicated.

Let me share with you my top 6 great crocheting tips I learned while working as an independent designer at Handmade Nation. Hopefully they’ll come in handy when you decide to pick up this craft too!

Learn How to Hold the Yarn

There are many ways to hold the yarn but the best way for beginners is to wrap it around your middle finger and ring finger, keeping the two loops together. This allows you to have both hands free to work on whatever design you want without having any tension put on the yarn itself. After you become comfortable doing this, you should move onto wrapping the yarn between your thumb, index and middle fingers. This method also makes it easier to keep track of how much slack you need.

Make Sure Your Pattern Is Correctly Written

The most important thing when learning how to write crochet patterns correctly is to remember that each row must always begin with “YO”. So if you see anything else besides “YO” then your pattern may not turn out right. Also pay attention to where rows actually begin. Some people put their first loop on wrong side causing problems later on. In general, beginning of the next row starts after last stitch made in previous one. Or sometimes it begins after 3rd stitch instead. Both methods aren’t correct since stitches won’t match up anymore. Always check your written instructions carefully and follow them exactly.

Don’t miss our guide to Journal Quilts

Another common mistake is forgetting to count the number of stitches you made in last row. Counting backwards helps a lot especially when you’re switching colors. For example, say you changed color halfway through the row because now you’ll need to change back again to original color. When counting backward, skip the half colored stitches and go until you reach the last uncolored stitch which was closest to the hook. Then continue counting forward starting with 1st uncolored stitch and ending with 4th uncolored stitch.

That means you skipped 2 whole stitches during switching colors. Now take these 2 skipped stitches into account and add them to the total number of stitches you counted forward.

Lastly, here comes tip number three…

Use Quality Hooks (and Don’t Oversize Them)

Hooks vary greatly depending on the type, size, quality etc. Of course you want to buy good ones that fit the material you plan to use for your project. And please avoid buying cheap hooks thinking that “they’re fine.” They may look similar to expensive hooks but chances are they’re not.

Cheap hooks tend to break easily and lose their sharpness quicker than regular ones. Not only does this cause frustration, it could also hurt someone who uses them. Therefore, it’s recommended to invest a little extra money and choose better quality hooks.

Also know that bigger isn’t necessarily better. Bigger sized hooks mean less fabric per inch therefore resulting in longer time needed to complete a given item. Plus, they might not allow you to create tight enough stitches. Smaller hooks however require more effort on your part meaning faster result. Here’s a quick rule of thumb: if you feel a certain difficulty while using larger hooks, try smaller ones instead. On the contrary, if you struggle with small ones, maybe large ones would solve your problem. Just experiment and adjust accordingly.

And finally, here’s the fourth tip that will help you save lots of cash…

Buy the Best Materials You Can Afford

You can either spend big bucks on high quality materials and tools or save money and purchase lesser known brands/models. Most experienced designers recommend going with higher priced options due to the fact that they provide superior performance. However, for starters, stick with cheaper models such as Lion Brand, Bernat, Red Heart etc. These brands offer decent products that are durable and reasonably priced. As you progress along in your career, you can upgrade to nicer versions of same product line once your skills improve.

Keep Track of Time & Measurements

Time management is crucial when crocheting. Keeping track of measurements and counts becomes even harder with multiple colors. One trick is to lay down flat surface with pins placed evenly spaced apart horizontally across it. Next mark vertical lines vertically down the length of the piece being measured.

Learn more from our guides, All About Embroidery Stitches

At the bottom, place ruler against pinned horizontal lines marking points A, B, C, D, E, F etc. Wherever you happen to stop pinning, leave space for marks representing X, Y, Z etc. By doing this, you’ll easily be able to tell exact measurement of any particular section of the piece. Another helpful tool is tape measure. Simply measure the area using its width and writing down numbers directly on the fabric.

Here’s the sixth and final tip to consider when getting started…

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions

Most people think questions are bad and shouldn’t ever ask anyone. Well, this couldn’t be farther from truth. Being curious is totally normal and asking questions doesn’t bother anyone. Why waste precious energy worrying over whether or not you did everything perfectly when someone knowledgeable is standing beside you ready to assist you anyway? Instead of trying to figure things out by yourself, simply seek answers. There are tons of forums and websites dedicated solely to helping newcomers learn various techniques and tricks.


So hopefully these six tips above will help you get started and set you on the path towards successful crafting adventures! Good luck and happy crocheting!

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