Crocheting is often associated as a hobby for old people. However, that is not the case, for there are many young adults who are into crocheting, as well. If you are looking into starting to crochet yourself, you might be thinking how long it would take for you to learn to crochet.
For the basics, such as chain, single crochet, and turning – it could only take a few hours for you to learn them. Learning to make smooth and consistent patterns will take an understanding of the mechanics and muscle memory, which can build up with observant practice. This will usually take a few weeks up to a few months before you master the skills. To get comfortable doing most types and patterns, it could take about a year.
When it comes to learning to crochet, or anything in that matter, it takes dedication and enthusiasm.
Starting to Crochet
If you want to learn crocheting but are not sure where or how to start. Here is a helpful guide to get you started.
What You Would Need
What do you need to buy to start crocheting? The list is pretty easy to find. You will need the following:
- Crochet Hook
Choose sizes in the middle range, like 4 mm to 6 mm, in American terms, they would be called G/6 to J/10.
There are different types of crochet hooks you can choose from: aluminum crochet hooks, wooden/bamboo crochet hooks, and plastic/resin hooks.
There are also factors to consider when buying crocheting hooks.
First is the weight of the hook. It’s better to choose something that is extremely light. Light crochet hooks will make crocheting more comfortable and enjoyable.
Second is the crochet hook temperature, and very few people know about this. Resin and aluminum crochet hooks have some sort of issues with hand temperature. They tend to steal the heat from your hand which can cause stress for your hands resulting in cramps. When it comes to temperature, wood or bamboo would be the best option.
Third is the price. Of course, you want to get one that is within your budget. Get a hook that works best for your budget. Resin and aluminum hooks are cheaper than bamboo or wood hooks. In the end, it will all come down to your preference.
If you are only starting to crochet, it wouldn’t be wise to buy super expensive yarns. Go for budget-friendly yarns first.
When buying yarn, you have to be aware of their types for you to choose the best one for you
Yarns have two general types: Natural fiber and Synthetic fiber.
Natural fiber yarns include Angora, Alpaca/Llama, Cashmere, Hemp, Cotton, Mohair, Linen, Silk, and Wool.
Synthetic fiber yarns include Nylon, Bamboo, Acrylic, Polyester, and Rayon.
There are also different yarn weights you should be aware of.
The Super Chunky/Super Bulky yarn has 4 to 11 stitches for 4 inches. This type of yarn produces the fastest projects because of the few numbers of stitches.
The Chunky/Bulky yarn has 12 to 15 stitches for 4 inches. This is usually used for afghans and scarves.
The Medium Weight or Worsted Weight yard has 16 to 20 stitches for 4 inches.
The Light/DK yarn has 21 to 24 stitches for 4 inches. It is often used for summer-weight and lighter garments and baby items.
The Sport Weight/Fine yarn has 23 to 26 stitches for 4 inches. It is used for projects with intricate patterns.
The Super Fine yarn has 27 to 32 stitches for 4 inches. It is usually used for baby items.
The Lace yarn has 33 to 40 stitches for 4 inches.
A standard pair of scissors will work, nothing too fancy when it comes to this tool. However, it should be sharp enough to cleanly cut through the yarn.
Other tools that may come in handy are:
- Stitch counter
- Stitch/place markers
- Crochet gauge tool
- Measuring tape/ruler
- Yarn needle
How to Start Crocheting
First off, you should begin with the basics. Begin small, then work your way up. Practice all the basic stitches, from slip stitch and foundation chain to double or treble stitch.
These basic stitches make several patterns, and learning these will allow you to have a wide array of projects that you can do.
Making a Slip Knot
- Unwind your yarn a little, then grab the tail in your hand.
- Lay the yarn across your hand and use your thumb, ring finger, and pinky to secure the tail.
- Wrap the end that is connected to the yarn ball around your middle and pointer finger.
- Bring the working tail down between the ring and middle fingers then secure it using your thumb, ring finger, and pinky.
- Get your hook and insert it through the middle. Hook the far strand and bring it through. Then drop your middle and pointer finger.
- Tighten the yarn a little and drop everything else. To test it out, you can now pull the tail. You can conveniently adjust the size by tugging on the loop or the tail.
Crocheting a Chain Stitch
Chain stitch is the foundation for most crochet designs; that’s why it is important to learn this.
- Make a slip knot. (instructions above)
- Put the working yarn to the left, then the tail to the right. Find a comfortable way to hold the working yarn such as running the yarn between your fingers. To start the chain, wrap the working yarn around the hook and pull it through the loop.
- Repeat step two until you have added the certain number of chains you need. Tip: don’t work your chain too tightly. You will have a hard time working around them throughout the next row.
Doing a Single Crochet
- Insert your hook in the center of the next working chain. Grab yarn and draw through your chain stitch and up the hook, which will result in two loops on your hook.
- Grab yarn and draw through both loops using your hook, leaving one loop on your hook. Here, you have already made one single crochet stitch.
- Repeat steps one and two as many times as you desire.
Doing a Double Crochet
- Do a chain stitch.
- Yarn over the hook, then insert the hook between two front loops, then under the fourth chain’s back bump loop from the hook.
- Yarn over the hook, then pull the wrapped hook gently through the chain stitch’s center. This will carry the wrapped yarn through the stitch.
- Yarn over the hook then draw the yarn through the first two loops on the hook.
- Yarn over the hook then draw the yarn through the last two loops on the hook.
- To finish the first row, work one double crochet stitch in each consecutive chain stitch across your foundation chain.
- To work the second row, bring your yard up to the right height for the next row. To raise the yarn, chain three. (this is called the turning chain)
- The three chains in the turning chain will serve as the first double crochet for the new row. Skip the 1st double crochet and do a double crochet in the 2nd stitch. Make sure you insert the hook under the top 2 loops of the stitch.
Crocheting Tips for Beginners
Keep your hands clean
Keeping your hands clean will prevent grease and dirt from getting on your yarn.
Keep all your crochet necessities in one place
Keeping them all in one spot will save you time. You don’t want to look for your hook for several minutes before you get started.
Take frequent stretch breaks and rest
Crocheting can put a toll on your hands, arms, and back. Stop for a while and stretch or rest. This will help relax your fingers and back. It will also help prevent achy and tired muscles.
Keep your tension consistent
You must focus on keeping a consistent tension. It will help keep your gauge steady and correct.
Check your gauge
You can save yourself from frustration if you take the time to make a crochet swatch and check your gauge. If this is not done, your project might end up being larger or smaller than what you intended it to be.
Do I have to have all the crochet hook sizes?
You can if you wish to. However, you can choose crochet hook sizes that you frequently use. If you are not into doing bulky ones, you may not need large hook sizes.
Can I change hooks in the middle of a project?
You have to use the same hook throughout the project if you want your stitches to be consistent. Switching hooks has the risk of creating inconsistency. Even if you wish to change it with the same size because there can be a slight difference from one manufacturer to another.
Crocheting is a skill you have to learn. You can do it as a hobby or as a means to earn extra income. You just need to love what you do and be patient.