Hi there! I’m so glad you found my page! This is the start of a miniseries presenting the basics of crochet. Hopefully, it will answer some of your questions and give you a place to start.
So, let’s get started!
What is crochet?
Crochet is an art form that allows crafters to make beautiful pieces of fabric. These fabrics can be stand-alone projects—ranging from scarves, to shaped hats, to baskets—or can be assembled to form more complex projects, like clothing or stuffed animals
What materials do you need?
Yarn comes in many colors, textures, thicknesses (the “weight” of the yarn), and materials (like wool, polyester, or cotton). Yarn is purchased in skeins and can be found at most craft stores, online, or even Walmart.
When first learning to crochet, it can be overwhelming trying to figure out what kind of yarn to buy. I remember standing in front of a yarn display completely unsure what was the best to buy when I was first learning. If you are first learning to crochet, I recommend using Red Heart brand. Since Red Heart yarn is an acrylic yarn, it is cheaper than most yarn. It is carried in nearly all stores that stock yarn and is available in a wide range of colors, including variegated patterns. Additionally, this yarn is easy to work with, which is the main reason I recommend it for beginners.
Once you have learned the basics of crochet, you can try branching out by using other types of yarn. But for now, while first learning, make it easy on yourself and use Red Heart.
2) Crochet hook
Just like yarn, crochet hooks are made in many colors, thicknesses and materials. However, all crochet hooks can be classified by size. Crochet hook sizes are named with letters that correspond to a specific diameter. The further along in the alphabet, the greater the diameter of the crochet hook.
Different size crochet hooks are used to achieve different effects. Generally speaking, though, thicker hooks are used to crochet thicker yarn and skinnier hooks are used to crochet thinner yarn. The label on a skein of yarn will tell you what hook size is recommended for that particular yarn. However, with a little bit of know-how, you can use almost any hook size with almost any yarn to achieve different results.
Once you have purchased your first skein of yarn, look on the package to see what size hook is recommended. Red Heart yarn may recommend anywhere from a size H to size K hook, depending on the weight of the yarn. However, you don’t have to use the recommended size. I learned to crochet with a size J hook. A J hook is towards the larger end of the hook size spectrum, which means your finished project will be less intricate. Since smaller hooks, and therefore more detailed projects, are more challenging to work with, I suggest starting with a hook that is either size J or K.
Now that you know what size hook to buy, how do you know which style to buy? Fortunately, the type of hook you purchase is mainly a matter of preference. I most often use metal hooks by Boye, since they tend to be cheaper (and you can buy packages with several different sized hooks). If you find the idea of using an aluminum hook unappealing, look at a craft store or online for ergonomically shaped hooks, hook covers, or hooks made out of bamboo. Personally, I don’t have any issues with the metal hooks, but feel free to purchase whichever kind you think you would like best.
Read “So You Want to Crochet? -Part 2” to learn what other supplies you will need and what you should know before you start.