A Beginner’s Guide to Crochet

Crocheting is the ideal hobby, as you can actually make use out of it and it requires little equipment.

Elli Jacobs, Arts Writer

The new year is here and that means new year’s resolutions. If you want to learn something new or take on a new hobby, crocheting could be for you.

Crochet is a yarn craft that involves only one hook. This hook is uniquely designed with another little hook attached to the top, in order to loop threads to create projects. 

One of the biggest misconceptions about crocheting is that it is the same as knitting.

Knitting uses two needles while crocheting only uses one hook. The stitches in a crochet project also appear different from those in a knitting piece. Knitting can create better hats and sweaters but it is very difficult to knit a toy, so that is where crochet benefits. Same goes with knitting where some projects are easier to create, so it is the artist’s preference on which one they like more. If you are possibly struggling with deciding which yarn craft you want to begin, crochet is easier to understand. But, if you want more of a challenge, you can learn both.

To go deeper into the mechanics of crochet, the two most important materials needed for any project are a hook and a ball of yarn. Both of these come in many different sizes. There can be jumbo sizes and micro sizes. The size of the hook also correlates to the size of the yarn. For example, if you have medium sized yarn, the pattern will call for a size 5 mm hook which is considered a medium sized hook. Hooks and yarn can also be made of different materials and textures. Yarn can be thin and soft or extremely fuzzy. Crochet hooks can be made of aluminum, steel, plastic or wood. 

There are lots of other very important materials needed for many crochet projects such as stitch markers, needles and scissors. When you crochet “in a round”, you are crocheting in a circle that has no end. Stitch Markers are placed in the project, to mark the first stitch of each round so you know where to stop. These can be crucial when crocheting toys. 

Crochet toys, like those fuzzy bees and cows (as seen on TikTok), are called “amigurumi”. This simply means “crocheted toy” in Japanese. Crocheting a toy can sometimes take different approaches to stitches than creating other things like scarves and hats. It is a bit harder to create a small toy than a big sweater. 

Most projects start with a “slipknot,” which is a simple knot that has a little loop. Other projects, like toys, often start with a “magic circle” or “magic ring”. This is a bit more complicated than a slipknot and requires lots of practice. A magic circle is more of an “open loop” rather than a closed loop with a knot at the bottom. 

Even though crochet is a wonderful hobby to take on, there are some consequences that come along with it. Depending on the way you position the crochet hook in or against your fingers, inflamed bumps can appear on your skin. These bumps are most likely going to permanently stay on your fingers. Aluminum hooks especially cause calluses and irritated skin. Crocheting even requires a properly positioned wrist. You can develop carpal tunnel syndrome or repetitive stress injury if your wrist is not in the proper place. 

Despite the problems you can get from crocheting, there are many different ways of holding the crochet hook and yarn that will not harm your hands.  You can also wear braces and specific tools that go on hooks to prevent injuries. 

Unlike other vigorous extracurriculars, this craft can be very relaxing and stress relieving. It does not take much thought, just practice. When you begin getting the hand of most stitches, crocheting will become an obsession. It can be extremely addicting when you have the urge to make specific projects. 

Crocheting is also a great way to get SSL hours. Many SSL opportunities given by the county require students to create a blanket or toy (s) for children in hospitals. You can get as much as 35 hours for one blanket. It can also be a great way of learning how to crochet faster and finish projects by their due dates, because of the strict dates given by the organizations. 

As a beginner, some of the easiest projects include washcloths, scarfs and coasters. As you become more familiar with the stitches and techniques of crochet, you can create things like bags, granny squares or flowers. 

Video demonstrations are much simpler than in-hand patterns, but not all projects have a video alongside it. Every stitch has a specific name and abbreviation in both crochet patterns and videos. Patterns can be a bit confusing to read, but are very easy to understand with only a little bit of practice. 

If you are thinking of beginning your crocheting journey, there are many Youtube channels that give very detailed explanations of every stitch you need to create a project. Some of the best include Bella Coco and Naztazia

Happy crocheting!