How to Start Crocheting: A Collab With BetsyJane

Welcome back to Books and Hooks! I hope you guys had a good weekend and are having a good start to your week! 😊

So, a little while ago, I asked BetsyJane if she wanted to do a collab post with me, and she said yes! I would definitely recommend checking out her blog, poppyseeds! She has some amazing posts! Make sure to go check out her collab post as well! It’s about how to start knitting!

In today’s blog post, I’ll go through how to start crocheting, from buying materials to finding easy beginner patterns online! If you’ve been wanting to start crocheting but didn’t know where to start, this is the post for you!

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Gathering materials

Photo by Kumo Knits on Pexels.com

Buying materials for crocheting is a very simple thing. All you really need is yarn and a crochet hook. However, with that being said, there are still a few things to look into when picking out your materials. Let’s talk a little bit about it!

Yarn

Color:

  • Avoid darkly colored yarns. While using black and dark yarns, it can be hard to see your stitches, which can be frustrating for beginners.
  • Using white yarns can also be frustrating to use for the same reason.
  • I recommend using a light/medium-colored yarn, such as light blue or green. Something that is easy to see.

Weight:

  • On the yarn label, it should say the weight number, which corresponds to how thick the yarn is. (Picture below.)
  • #0 weight is very thin, while #6 is very thick.
  • Each number has a different name (#0 is often called lace yarn, #1 is often called fingering yarn, #2 is often called fingering yarn, #3 is often called sport or DK yarn, #4 is often called worsted yarn, #5 is often called chunky or bulky yarn, #6 is often called super bulky yarn)
  • I would recommend a #4 weight yarn (worsted weight yarn), which is of medium thickness. This is usually the easiest for beginners to use because it’s not too thin or thick.

Fiber:

  • Three of the most common yarn fibers for crocheters are acrylic, wool, and cotton.
  • Acrylic yarn is a popular choice because it is widely available, inexpensive, and can come in a wide variety of colors. Some acrylic yarns do split, however, this is pretty uncommon.
  • Wool yarn is another good choice! It is very forgiving, so if you mess up on a stitch or make a mistake (which is bound to happen when you’re learning to crochet) wool is usually very easy to unravel and re-use. One thing to be aware of is that some people may be allergic to wool.
  • Because cotton yarn is not as elastic as wool or acrylic, it is a slightly less popular choice for beginners. However, if it’s summer, cotton is cooler and more breathable, and it is a good choice for those warmer months. It also really depends on what project you are working on.
  • Even though they can look really pretty, I would recommend avoiding fluffy yarns or novelty yarns at first, because the stitches are extremely hard to see when working with those yarns.
  • To review, I would recommend smooth cotton, acrylic, or wool yarn, depending on the project you’re working on. Avoid eyelash yarns and any fluffy or textured yarns.
This yarn is a #3 weight (or DK) yarn. The suggested hook size is a 6 mm or J-10 hook. You can typically find this information on all yarn labels!
Here is where it shows the fiber content. This yarn is a mix of cotton and polyester.

Hooks

Photo by Anete Lusina on Pexels.com

Material:

  • Hooks can be made out of aluminum, bamboo, and plastic.
  • Each material has its own pros and cons.
  • Aluminum hooks are generally inexpensive, last for a while, and are widely available. However, they can sometimes be painful to your hands. Because of this, some aluminum crochet hooks do have plastic or rubber handles for more comfort.
  • Bamboo crochet hooks have a good grip, so if you’re having trouble with your yarn slipping from your hook, bamboo hooks may help. They are a bit more expensive than the other materials, though.
  • Plastic crochet hooks are very affordable, and they’re lighter, so plastic’s usually used for larger sizes of hooks.
  • People typically have their own preferences as to what material they enjoy using. I would recommend experimenting with different types of hooks to find what works best for you.

Size:

  • For each size of yarn, there is a corresponding hook size.
  • On the yarn label, it should say what hook to use. (Shown in the photo above.)
  • If you’re using a #4 (worsted) weight yarn, then the hook size is usually a 5.5 or 6-mm hook. Check the yarn label to see what size to use, though.
  • There are metric and US crochet hook sizes. Here is a helpful chart for conversions.

Other materials

Although yarn and a hook are all you really need to get started, there are a few other useful materials you can buy to help you on your crochet journey.

  • It’s a good idea to have a nice pair of scissors to cut your yarn with. You can just use some scissors you have around the house, but it never hurts to buy a small pair to carry around with you when you are crocheting.
  • You can use a yarn needle to weave in the cut ends on your crochet project. There are plastic yarn needles, metal ones, sharp needles, dull ones, and curved ones. Plastic and metal are both good, but a few plastic ones I’ve had have broken, so just keep that in mind.
  • Sometimes, it’s wise to buy a little pouch to house all of your tools. If you bring your crochet project on a car ride, you’ll want to put your yarn needle, hook, scissors, and other supplies in this pouch, so you don’t lose anything. There are some that come with little loops to hold your crochet hooks and with little zipper pockets and such. You can buy something like that, or a simple pouch with one pocket, which you can usually find at Dollar Tree or Walmart.

Starting out

Now that you have your materials, you want to start crocheting. But, how do you start? Well, there are a few different options.

Take a class

  • Taking a crochet class is a good idea because you can have someone there explaining to you how to do different stitches, and you can ask them questions.
  • I don’t have any experience with a class, because I just taught myself to crochet through online blogs and YouTube videos, but I’ve heard some good things about crochet classes.
  • Classes can, however, be a bit pricey sometimes, so just keep that in mind.

Have someone teach you

  • If you have somebody in your family, or one of your friends, who crochets, you can always ask them to teach you!
  • I’ve been teaching my little sister how to crochet, which is really great. It allows her to ask me when she has any questions, and she can see in person how to do different stitches.
  • One drawback is that not everyone has that amount of time, so this might not be the best for everybody.

Blogs/websites

  • Sometimes, if I’m trying to learn a new stitch, I just don’t want to watch a YouTube video (especially if I’m out in public or something) blogs are a great alternative.
  • Blogs can be a great way to learn crocheting, too! There are a lot of people out there who post helpful tutorials about basic crochet on their blogs.
  • I like it best when I find a blog that has a lot of pictures to show how to do something.

YouTube

  • YouTube videos are a good way to learn. Unlike reading blog posts about how to crochet, you can actually see someone doing it, which is how a lot of people learn best.
  • There are many YouTubers out there who are great crochet teachers.
  • It’s also free.
  • YouTube is mainly how I learned, and it was very helpful to me.

Some of my favorite resources

Stitches and patterns

Now that you know a few ways to learn crochet, let’s look at how to practice crochet so that you can become an amazing crocheter!

  • If you aren’t taking a class and you are just learning from YouTube and blogs, first, look up how to make the foundation for most patterns: a chain! Once you’ve mastered that, you can look up tutorials on how to do the basic stitches for crochet: single crochet, double crochet, half double crochet, and treble crochet. Here is a playlist on YouTube with instructions on all of the basic stitches!
  • Practice making swatches! When I was first starting to crochet, one way I practiced my stitches was by making practice swatches. Crochet a short chain, then practice making some different stitches. You can unravel it and practice the stitch again, or work on some different stitches.
  • Make some easy projects! Scarves, washcloths, baby blankets, and basically any other project that’s just a plain square or rectangle are amazing beginner projects! A lot of them have simple stitch repetitions.

Finding patterns online:

  • Almost all of the patterns I make are ones I find on the internet.
  • A lot of YouTubers and bloggers share amazing free patterns that they design.
  • I think that YouTube videos are really good for beginners because they can see what’s happening as someone does it. Patterns may be kind of hard for beginners to read.
  • Once you’ve learned to read patterns, I would recommend watching the YouTube video as you follow along with the pattern.

Buying patterns.

  • Whether it’s in a crochet book, or if you’re buying a printable pattern on Etsy, there are many crochet patterns to buy out there!
  • I don’t tend to buy patterns a lot because I can usually find whatever pattern I’m looking for free online.
  • However, there can be some amazing patterns out there for sale. Make sure you know how to read a pattern before you buy one, though!

Patterns:

  • Some of my favorite beginner projects are washcloths, scarves, headbands/ear warmers, baby blankets, and simple hats!
  • The pattern you find should list the yarn to use. It might list a specific brand, or just say “worsted weight yarn.” Either way, make sure the yarn is suited for the specific project you’re making.
  • As I mentioned earlier, I think that video tutorials are easier for beginners to understand compared to blog tutorials, because in YouTube videos, you can see what the person is doing better than if it’s written out.

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Thank you for reading today’s post! And, thanks again, BetsyJane for doing this collab with me! Everyone go check out her post to learn how to start knitting!

Would you like to learn to crochet? Did you find this post helpful? Do you want to see more blog posts about crochet for beginners? Be sure to comment!

Have an amazing day, and have fun with your crocheting!

~ Rebekah

How to Crochet a Granny Square

Do you want to learn to crochet a granny square? Well, here’s a great place to start! I will cover how to crochet a classic granny square and I’ll share a few variations that you can do. Granny squares are great beginner projects, and you can attach them all together to make a blanket, scarf, or purse, or you can make small ones and use them for coasters or washcloths.

What is a granny square?

A granny square is a classic crochet motif that is easy to recognize by its appearance. It is made using sets of three double crochets and chains.

How to crochet a granny square

You’ll need any yarn and the corresponding hook size.

To begin, chain 4. Slip stitch to the first chain you made to form a loop.

Round one: Chain three. (Counts as a double crochet.) Double crochet twice into the loop. *Chain three. Double crochet three times into the loop.* Repeat the instructions between * twice more. Chain three and slip stitch into the first double crochet you made.

Round two: Slip stitch in the next two stitches and into the chain three space. Chain three (Counts as a double crochet.) Double crochet twice into the chain three space. Chain three. Double crochet three times into the chain three space. *Chain one, and do three double crochets into the next chain three space. Chain three. Double crochet three times into the same space.* Repeat the instructions between * three times more. Chain one and slip stitch into the first double crochet you made in the round.

For the rest of the granny square, repeat this pattern: For the first corner: *Slip stitch into the next two stitches and the chain three space. Chain three (Counts as a double crochet.) Double crochet twice into the same space. Chain three. Double crochet three times into the same space*. In all of the chain one spaces: *Chain one. Double crochet three times into the chain one space from the previous round.* For the corners: *Chain one. Double crochet three times into the chain three space from the previous round. Chain three. Double crochet three times into the same space.* Rep all of these steps around, depending on if you are at a corner, chain one space, or the beginning. When you get to the end of the round, chain one and slip stitch to the first stitch.

You can make these as big as you want. When you want to be done with it, just fasten off and weave in the end! Then you’re done! This is a very simple pattern to follow, and it’s easy to memorize. Hope you enjoyed this post! Have a wonderful day! ❤

Crochet supplies for absolute beginners!

Hey everyone! Today, I am posting a material guide for complete beginners. So, if you are new to crochet, or even if you don’t know anything about crocheting, this is a great post for you to read.

There is a lot of things that you can buy for crocheting. But it’s better to just buy some yarn and a crochet hook when you begin. This way, you can see if you like crocheting and you won’t be very invested in it if you decide you don’t like it.

Yarn

First off, what yarn should you buy? It might seem like all yarn is the same, but it is not. First off, when you are using dark yarns, the stitches are very hard to see. This could lead to you getting annoyed, and not wanting to crochet anymore. Another thing to note is that when you use fluffy yarns or novelty yarns, the stitches are extremely hard to see as well. This could lead to a lot of frustration and quitting crochet.

Instead, I would recommend a medium toned yarn that is a number four weight, or worsted weight. The different weights correspond to the thickness of the yarn. A number 1 weight is also called superfine yarn, and it is very thin. The bulkiest weight yarn is usually a 7, and it called jumbo yarn. So a number 4 worsted weight is about in the middle. To tell the weight of the yarn, you have to look at the yarn label. It should have the size.

As for the fiber of the yarn, wool, acrylic, and cotton would all be good choices. There are pros and cons for each. Wool can be great for practicing your stitches, and it is forgiving of mistakes. It is strong and usually easy to unravel if you make a mistake. Some people have wool allergies though, but if you don’t, it’s a good choice.

The yarn label usually has the size of hook and weight of the yarn. This is a size 3 yarn and it uses a 6 mm hook or a J-10

Cotton yarn isn’t stretchy, which makes it a good choice for making things that you want to be strong and hold it’s shape, but it can be a little difficult to work with sometimes. Sometimes, people think that it’s not a good yarn to crochet with for beginners, but it’s doable. It is a good fiber to use if you want to crochet something for the summer, or something like a washcloth.

This yarn is half cotton and half polyester.

Acrylic is the fiber I usually crochet with, because it’s affordable, washable, widely available, and a good choice for beginners. It sometimes splits though, but it’s not very common. I would overall recommend this fiber for beginners. But because it is man made, it is plastic. This means that it does melt. Do not use this when making potholders!

So, I would recommend a medium colored yarn that is a worsted weight or a number 5 weight. It would not be a good idea to get yarn that is fluffy, but instead get some acrylic, wool, or cotton, depending on the project you are making.

Some of my favorite yarn for beginners:

Hooks

All of my crochet hooks

Now that you’ve found a good yarn for beginners, it is time to find a hook! To figure out the hook you will need for that yarn, you look on the yarn label, and it will say the hook size you have to use. There are a lot of different materials that hooks are made of: bamboo, wood, plastic, and aluminum. This is really just a personal preference and what yarn you are using.

Aluminum hooks are a very common choice for beginners. You can get ones that have a rubber handle or just all aluminum. These hooks are pretty cheap, you can get a set of fourteen for about seven dollars, so they are good for when you are just trying out crocheting. Aluminum does make the yarn slip more, so it would be good if you crochet faster or you are using more textured yarn.

Wooden hooks can be found in most craft stores as well. These will grip the yarn more than aluminum hooks. If you are having trouble crocheting because the stitches are falling off the hooks, then these hooks may help. If you are a slow crocheter, and you are having trouble with the stitches sticking to the hook, then you may want to try a different material.

The hook on the left is a 6 mm hook or a J 10. The one on the right is 15.75 mm or a Q 17

Plastic hooks are a common choice for large hooks, 11 mm and larger. This is because they are lighter than aluminum. There are also small crochet hooks that are plastic, but almost all crochet hooks that are larger than 10 mm are plastic. They are in between wooden and aluminum.

What does mm mean when picking out crochet hooks? Well, it stands for millimeters. There are three different ways crochet hooks are classified into size: the metric way, the UK way, and the US way. The metric is the way I usually use. It is usually printed on the hook. A good sized hook for worsted weight yarn is a 6 mm. The US way is a number and letter (J/10) and I will share a chart. The UK way is a number (4).

https://www.crochet365knittoo.com/crochet-hook-conversion-chart/
This is an inline crochet hook
This is a tapered crochet hook
An inline crochet hook is shown on the left. The hook on the right is tapered.

Lastly, there are two different styles of hooks: tapered and inline. I use both styles, but I prefer using inline crochet hooks. Inline crochet hooks create uniform stitches, and they grab the yarn better, so they would be a good choice for beginners.

But when using tapered hooks, you can crochet faster, it may reduce wrist pain, and it doesn’t tend to split the yarn as much as when using an inline hook. It really just matters on what you prefer!

My favorite hooks!

Other materials

After you get some yarn and a hook, there are a few other things you can get too. Yarn needles are used to sew in the ends after you finish the crochet project. They can be metal and plastic. They are both good, but some of the plastic ones I’ve had have broken. But I would recommend both.

Scissors are a good thing to keep on hand for when you need to cut they yarn. You can use any scissors, but I like the small ones that I can keep in my pouch that I carry around with crochet supplies in it (the hook I am using for a project, a yarn needle, scissors, any small parts I might need for the pattern I’m working on) but bigger ones work too.

Other materials!

Review

So, there are a lot of supplies that you need, but to begin all you really need to buy is a crochet hook and a ball of yarn. I hope you found this post helpful and that you start to crochet! I am going to be posting on Wednesdays and Saturdays from now on. Bye! Have a wonderful day! ❤️