Top tips for Beginners crochet

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

I have found myself being asked to run some small, beginner crochet classes for people who have ‘always wanted to learn!’

Crochet is one of those crafts that is reallllly hard to learn without specialised help. It’s one thing to watch a tutorial showing you how to hold the yarn, and it’s quite another to be shown personally (or on video – thanks COVID!) and to be able to ask questions in real time.

Following my latest class, I put together a list of tips that will make your life as a beginner crochet master in the making much easier.

Tools

Crochet Hooks:

  1. Ergonomic – Best for long term, most expensive but worth it. Clover, Tulip etc. Many options. Really only found in boutique stores or online. Spotlight might have them online but rarely in stores. You can also buy generic ergonomic hooks which will be cheaper (I bought a whole set for $18) and will give you an intro to see if you want to spend the extra on Clover (the answer to this is YES!)
  2. Aluminium – Cheap and sturdy. Will last a long time and I used these for the first 6 years of my crochet career. Easily accessible from Spotlight and online.
  3. Bamboo – middle of the range price wise. I don’t know anyone that actively uses these long term. Available from Spotlight and online.
  4. Resin / Plastic – Cheap and nasty. Great for kids learning and for bigger hooks. I don’t recommend these because there are better options around the same price point. Available at spotlight and online.

I have some recommendations here for beginners: Crochet for Beginners list on Amazon

** Disclaimer: I may earn a small commission on any purchases you make from my recommended products. This allows me to continue generating free content for my audience. There is no obligation to follow through on the purchase, however I will appreciate it if you do 😊

Hook size conversion

4 Useful Conversion Charts for Crochet & Knitting | Crochet hooks ...

Yarn

The world of yarn really is infinite. There are generally two main categories:

  1. Acrylic– anything that is a man-made or synthetic fibre falls into this category. They are usually cheaper and are great for making toys as they wash well and do not stretch. Most of the yarn you’ll find in Spotlight or Lincraft is acrylic and therefore is easily accessible. I purchase all of my acrylic yarn from Spotlight. My favourite is 4-Seasons ‘Marvel’ range.
  2. Natural Fibres – Yarn that is made from a plant or animal falls into this i.e. cotton, alpaca wool, bamboo, wool (generally from sheep) etc. More expensive but will last a LONG time as a beautiful keepsake. The selection of natural fibres in Spotlight and Lincraft is minimal. You are better off purchasing from a boutique mill like Bendigo Woollen Mills or Wangaratta Woollen Mills for your natural fibres.
  3. There are also a large number of smaller yarn stores that import amazing yarn from Overseas and also stock Australian handmade yarn dyers. Check out Skein Sisters or Little Woolie Makes on Instagram for their delicious ranges. Be warned though – the smaller and more custom the yarn the more expensive the price.
  4. Yarn weight also varies in terms depending on where it is made. I’m talking PLY weight – not the actual weight of the yarn. Have a look at this simple table for an example:

Most patterns will tell you the recommended yarn to use as well as the amount of yarn / meterage you’ll need and the recommended hook size to use.

I’d also recommend finding a secret storage spot for your yarn stash which will grow without you realising it. You’ll never have the right yarn for a project or you’ll see the most beautiful 4 ply sock yarn and buy it before realising you can’t make socks to save your life (that’s me!) but you’ll get it anyway because it’s SO PRETTY! Just wait… you’ll see what I mean soon mwahhaaa 🙂

Stitch markers

I use bobby pins for my stitch markers. You can also find purpose made plastic clips online or cute custom-made clips from boutique craft stores. I haven’t found anything that I like more than my trusty bobby pins, but they can get in the way as they are much longer than the average stitch marker.

Darning / Yarn needle

Think of a sewing needle on steroids. You need to have the hole big enough for yarn to get through easily. Buy a few of these, they’re easy to lose down the side of the couch, never to return.

Scissors

Any sharp scissors will do. Make them ugly and small so your family don’t steal them for cutting open icy poles…

Helpful videos:

HOW TO CROCHET FOR BEGINNERS – The Crochet Crowd

HOW TO CROCHET FOR ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS – Bella Coco Crochet

LEFT HANDED BEGINNERS – Bella Coco Crochet

Next Steps

When you have completed a few square-ish projects e.g. scarves, blankets etc. and you feel like you’re ready to go to the next step and tackle circles, take a look at this video:

Magic Circles (for starting your rounds)The Crochet Crowd

How to crochet a flat circleBella Coco

How to increase and decrease to make Amigurumi (soft toys)Knit Grit

Keep in touch!

Don’t forget to like my Instagram page and send me any questions you have so I can keep track of your progress and help you out when you’re stuck!

https://www.instagram.com/chanloutaycrochet

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