Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Summer Series - Crochet 101

The other day I sat down with Little Miss to teach her some new crochet stitches and it dawned on me that I should share here on the blog too.  I love crocheting and it is a great hobby so I thought I would share what I know with you.   There are a lot of benefits for learning to crochet - improves hand-eye coordination, relaxing (unless you are tearing out a project for the bazillionth time), helps with memory, and so much more.
Summer Series: Crochet 101, A Glimpse of Normal Blog, how to crochet
I am by no means an expert, just a girl who loves to craft and buy yarn.  I am still learning some of the more complicated stitches and I will be the first to tell you that when I get stuck, I go ask my crochet friends.  They are great resources.  If you don't know anyone that crochets, but you still want to learn, check your local craft store for classes, some local libraries have groups, or there are many great teaching videos online.

Today I am going to start with the basics.  I am going to tell you about the tools you need and a couple of extra items that can be helpful in the long run.  So what exactly do you need to start crocheting?  Here is what I, personally, recommend:

1.  CROCHET HOOKS - The hook I started with is a "J/10" hook which is 6 millimeters.  It is a nice size hook to start with and use to get the feel for crocheting.  You will quickly learn that hooks come in many, many sizes from the super small hooks used for very delicate, intricate work to the big, giant, fat hooks for big and chunky yarn.  Hooks also come in many different materials - aluminum, wood, plastic, and more.  The hook material is really a preference thing.  I started with an aluminum hook and I really like them.  I also have plastic hooks that I like.  The hook I use really depends on the yarn I am working with.  They even have crochet hooks with built in lights so you can use them in the dark and still see what you are doing.  I was lucky enough to get one of these light up hooks from Little Miss for Mother's Day and I do enjoy using it when the kids are asleep, but I still want to crochet.
Different kinds of crochet hooks

This is a set I got from Amazon...look at the tiny hooks on the right...someday I will play with those.

This is the hook I started with and recommend starting with
2.  YARN - There are SO many types of yarn out there, but when you are first starting you want to start with something basic.  I would recommend starting out with something like Red Heart Super Saver yarn.  It is a medium or worsted weight yarn and works well with just about any hook size that a beginner would use.  Just to let you know more about yarn,..Yarn comes in cotton, wool, cashmere, acrylic, silk, and more.  Yarn is categorized by weight and these weights are: lace, fingerling, sport and DK, worsted and Aran, and bulky and chunky.  The weight is important because it determines what projects you can do with the yarn.  You would not want to try and make a blanket out of lace or fingerling yarn and you wouldn't want to try and make a decorative edge out of chunky yarn.  Getting the right weight yarn for a project is important and some are interchangeable and some are not.  We will discuss this idea more next week, specifically yarn labels which are very important.
This shows different yarn side by side so you can see the difference in weights.

Chunky Yarn

Medium, worsted  cotton yarn

Medium, worsted yarn - this is the type of yarn I started with.  It is soft and easy to use.
EXTRAS - Stitch markers, ruler or measuring tape, scissors, and a yarn needle.
These extra supplies are helpful to have and chances are that you have at least half of them already.  The scissors are for cutting the yarn when you finish or if you switch colors.  The yarn needle is helpful when weaving in ends or stitching pieces together.  The ruler or measuring tape (you can use either one) is used to help you measure for gauge and length when working on projects.  Finally the stitch marker is used when you need to mark out rows, starting points, and more.  They are handy to have, but if you don't own any you can use safety pins for a stitch marker.  The stitch markers come in all different shapes and forms, but you really don't need anything too fancy since it is just used while working on your crochet and not a part of the finished product.
A Stitch Marker I have. 
These are the things you need to get started crocheting.  So gather your supplies and then come back next week for learning more about yarn and how to start crocheting.  Do you know how to crochet?  Do you want to learn how to crochet?  What information would be helpful to you while you are learning to crochet?

2 comments:

  1. Crocheting is a lot of fun. I taught myself when I was a late teen from a book. I'm sure I still have it. The tension was the most challenging. I cannot crochet when I'm stressed unless I really concentrate on keeping it loose. LOL I used to belong to a crochet group and we met once a week. I miss that group! I need to start one of my own. :) Thank you for posting.

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  2. and you forgot to mention that you have made many, many very cute goodies...thank you for my hat!!!

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