Friday, January 10, 2014

Learning to Crochet, Part 1

So you’re ready to get hooked on crochet- congratulations! You may be wondering where to begin. There are a few different ways to learn how to crochet, and no one way is right or best- it all depends on your learning style. 

  • Have a friend or family member teach you.
Do you already know someone that crochets? Excellent! Ask if they can spend some time with you to show you the basics. This hands-on learning approach is preferred by most aspiring crocheters.
  • Take a class at your local craft store or a community center.
Similar to have a loved one mentor you, going to a class allows you to learn how to crochet, in this instance in a group setting, while having an instructor to guide you through any errors or challenges. Crochet classes generally range from $20-$50.
  • Read books on how to crochet.
My favorite book for beginning crochet is Stitch ‘N Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker by Debbie Stoller. Amazon has used copies for as low as $5.49. What I liked most about this book is that besides explaining how to make basic stitches (a must for any new crocheter) it also details the differences between crocheting and knitting, as well as the various types of yarn and crochet hooks. Knowing how to pick a skein of yarn and which materials are best for which projects can be overwhelming for the beginning crocheter, and this book took the mystery out of yarn shopping. The Happy Hooker additionally includes a selection of very modern, fashionable patterns.
The other book I found helpful was Donna Kooler’s Encyclopedia of Crochet. Used copies are as low as $11 on Amazon and provided an extensive library of beginning and advanced crochet stitches, as well as projects and patterns and a detailed history of crochet. As a total and complete nerd I was especially excited about the history of crochet, and I have found this book to be a great reference for stitches and inspiration.
  • Watch instructional videos on YouTube.
Though I have been crocheting for two years now, I sometimes begin a pattern and wonder, “wait, how do I do that stitch again?” And then, comes YouTube- a great place to learn, for learners at every stage. Though I’ve watched many excellent video tutorials, the instructor I always come back to is The Knit Witch. She speaks slowly and clearly, goes step by step, and repeats. You can visit her archive here

How did you learn to crochet? What are your favorite learning resources?

- Katie Rose 

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