5 Tips for Crochet Beginners
As a beginner, the crochet world can seem overwhelming. Hopefully these tips will help you move forward.
1. Know the difference between UK and US terminology.
As a beginner, I did not know there was a difference between UK and US terminology so trying to make a hanging bird mistakingly thinking I understood the stitches did not turn out too well! It is easy to work out once you know how - have a look at this guide from Mollie Makes Magazine (click the image to go to the source website).
As a beginner, you can either be too loose or too tight with your tension. I cover how to adjust this in my lessons and have a video tutorial on how to become looser or tighter. I'm naturally a loose crocheter so I get a tighter look to my crochet by going down a hook size. If a yarn recommends a 5mm hook, I usually go down to a 4mm.
I learned a huge amount about tension by doing the Scheepjes 2016 Crochet-Along (CAL). This is a beautiful pattern (below is a picture of the one I made). Even if you decide not to make the whole blanket, I highly recommend doing Week 1 - 'making a gauge square' because you will learn so much about how to get even tension; how to make your stitches tighter or looser.
Ravelry is FREE to join and gives you access to literally thousands of crochet (and knitting) patterns. You can browse with different search criteria. Set your level to 'easy' and you're away! There are both free and paid patterns so pick something and get making. It is nice to have someone in mind when making something. You can start with something simple such as a scarf or baby blanket and get progressively harder. A brilliant project I completed as a beginner was called Spice of Life by Cherry Heart Designs (available on the Black Sheep Wools website). This pattern gives you the opportunity to arrange double and treble stitches in different orders to create a beautiful blanket. There are are clear picture tutorials to really help you get to grip with the pattern and trickier stitches.
4. Craft Nights
As well as being hugely social, craft nights usually have a group of like-minded people who are very keen to help if you are stuck on something. Have a look at what is going on in your area and go along. Two that are local to me in NE London are at Oh My Coffee Shop in Chingford Mount and a very friendly group called Highams Park Pins and Needles. Take along whatever you are working on and if you have questions there will undoubtedly be someone there to help.
No one becomes expert something without practise. There are some excellent sources of inspiration out there so follow your favourites on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook etc. One of the first people I followed was Lucy at Attic 24. She has made LOADS of step-by-step tutorials that are very easy to follow.
Set aside your crochet time - mine is in the evening; feet up, telly on. I used to pack it to take to work and do a bit of crochet on my lunch break. Crochet is very portable with short hooks as opposed to long knitting needles.
If you find you still want a bit of help with your next steps, you can always browse my intermediate workshops and come along.