Crochet is making a huge comeback in the handicraft world, there’s great mental health benefits to a craft like crochet. It’s relaxing, mindful, meditative, stress relieving and builds self esteem as you learn the craft and you complete your creations. There are many studies that show how crochet is beneficial for those with anxiety, depression or insomnia.
Did you know that March is National Crochet Month? It is! And it’s the perfect time to teach yourself how to crochet.
Now to answer that daunting question – how do I learn? One of the best parts of crochet, is it’s a low investment craft to start. You only need four things to start – yarn, a hook, yarn needle and some scissors. I’m going to walk you through each one.
The Hook: when starting to learn, I recommend you look for an aluminum hook. Crochet hooks also come in bamboo and plastic, and for a beginner I find the aluminum works best as the yarn will glide smoother for you. The slightly confusing part that hooks are sized 3 different ways in North America. A letter, a number and millimetre size. I always discuss hooks in terms of mm. When shopping for your first hook, buy yourself a 5.50mm hook (it may also say I / 9).
The Yarn: each type of yarn has it’s own weight and assigned weight number. Thinner yarn has a lower number (starts at 1) and thicker yarn has a higher number (up to 7). The most common yarn for crochet is called worsted / medium weight (4). All yarn will also have the size of the hook required to work with it on the label. When learning to crochet, I also recommend using a solid lighter color yarn so that you can see the stitches easily. Your first ball will be a worsted weight solid yarn, look for brands like Loops & Threads Impeccable, Red Heart Super Saver or Bernat Super Value.
The Yarn Needle: you can find yarn (darning) needles at any craft store, they will need to be big enough to pass the yarn through and they are usually blunt. They come in metal and plastic, I prefer the metal type.
The Scissors: any medium sized craft scissors will do. Treat yourself to a nice pretty pair.
Now what? Familiarize yourself with some terminology. All patterns are going to use abbreviations like
ch (chain), sc (single crochet), sl st, (slip stitch) etc, there is a thorough crochet abbreviation chart here. You don’t need to memorize each one though, it’s a big chart. Just keep handy.
The fun part is shopping, go head out to your local craft store and pick up your supplies. Next week, I’ll be showing you how to hold your yarn, the chain stitch and some other basics!