Top Tips for Crochet Beginners by Too Cute Crafting
Crochet | 3 min read time
Zoe Bateman shares her woolly words of wisdom to help you get hook happy!
If you’re new to crochet it can feel very daunting and overwhelming at first, with so many new things to remember at once. Here are a few tips and tricks to get you started on your crochet journey!
Things every crochet beginner needs to know
One of the most common mistakes I see when teaching crochet is people pick a project that is far too difficult or ambitious for a new crocheter. If you were learning to sew you wouldn’t start with a wedding dress as your first project! Same thing goes for crochet. Pick something simple and repetitive so you can build up your confidence.
Keep things tidy
Keep a project bag which contains the yarn you’re using for that project, the right hook(s), scissors, and a printed copy of your pattern. This means you can pick up and work on the project whenever you like, without trying to find the correct hook size. Plus you’re much more likely to work on something when it is right there waiting for you.
Track your progress
Have a printed copy of your pattern to hand so you can mark off the rows you’ve completed, and make any necessary notes as you go. If you have a pattern in a book you can make a photocopy of it, or write in pencil so it can be erased afterwards.
Keep a crochet logbook
For each crochet project you make, keep a log of the pattern (it doesn’t have to be a copy of the pattern, just the author/book/website so you can find it again.) Also write down what yarn(s) you used to make it, what hook size, along with any pattern alterations you made. I also write down what I liked/didn’t like about the pattern so I can make changes if I crochet it again.
Count your stitches regularly
One of the most common mistakes in crochet is losing or gaining stitches as you work, which leads to an odd shaped piece of crochet with uneven edges. Make sure you are working into each stitch (unless the pattern tells you to skip a stitch) and that you are working into the last stitch of the row. This can be easy to miss as it’s usually a bit shorter than the other stitches, and is down to the side of your work.
Keep it loose
If your foundation chain is too tight, try going up a hook size when crocheting the chain so your stitches are looser. Then switch back to the correct hook size to continue crocheting the next row.
Make sample swatches when you’re using a new stitch or learning a new crochet technique. This allows you to practice before you start your actual project, and if you keep all your swatches you can build up a handy reference collection for future projects (just don’t forget to label them with what stitch/technique they use!) Swatches are also really handy for trying out colour combinations before committing to them. Yarns can look very different when crocheted up, so this is a great way to make sure you like the colours together before beginning your project.
When reading patterns, pay attention to the row or round numbers. It can be easy to miss that you’re supposed to repeat a particular row if you’re not looking for it. For example;
Row 3: ch1, 12sc, 12hdc
Row 4-8: ch 1 6sc, 6hdc, 6sc, 6hdc
This means you repeat the same pattern for rows 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8.
Another important thing to look for in patterns are repeats that occur within a row. These are usually marked with an asterisk, for example;
Row 5: ch1, 2hdc *3hdc, ch1, 2dc repeat from * six times.
This means you only repeat the 3hdc, ch1, 2dc part of the row six times, and not the ch1, 2hdc part. You are only repeating what comes after the asterisk, not before.
When repeating part of a pattern multiple times it can be easy to lose track of how many repeats you’ve done. I like to keep track with a tally chart on the pattern. It also means that if you are interrupted whilst crocheting you know where to pick up from.
And remember, crochet is a journey not a race! Take your time, pick yarns and patterns that excite you, and keep learning as you go.
About Zoe Bateman
Zoe is a freelance multi-crafter, and author of ‘You Will Be Able To Crochet By The End Of This Book.’ An avid crocheter for over 15 years, Zoe loves nothing more than sharing her love of crochet, and craft in general, through workshops and events. You can keep up to date with her creative endeavours on Instagram @toocutecrafting