There are so many books, websites and vids available on how to crochet, so instead of adding to the growing list, I thought I’d share my own personal experience of learning to crochet.
I’ve always been able to knit, my grandma taught me the basics before I started school, I used to love going to the yarn shop to help her choose a new pattern and wool…my yarn addiction started at an early age! Grandma was one of those women who could knit with her eyes closed, and so fast that it was nothing more than a blur, I suspect I never did her teaching justice.
About six years ago I decided I’d learn to crochet, it didn’t look that complicated, just one hook instead of two or more knitting needles, simple I thought…or maybe not!
Holding a hook
I looked at endless pictures and vids and quickly reached the conclusion it was a good idea to ignore how other people held their hooks, this was a personal thing, I had to hold my hook in a manner that felt comfortable to me, it really did not matter if it wasn’t the same way as everyone else, as long as I could crochet. So if you’re just learning to crochet, spend some time just holding your hook, it will make learning easier…become one with your hook, I know that sounds a bit deep, but if it helps, do it!
It is quite common to crochet the starting chain too tight, then have difficulty getting your hook into a chain, leading to endless frustration, and on more than one occasion, flying hooks and yarn, though this may be more due to me being somewhat short of fuse!
When starting out, use a large hook, work your chains loosely to see where you’re going to crochet, do not overly concern yourself with tension, get the techniques right first, finesse will come with practice 🙂
You will get a feel for tension as you progress with crocheting, I slide the yarn through my fingers, I still get a floppy stitch now and then, but I blame that on old age and arthritis!
This was a tough one for me to understand, in knitting, knit is knit, purl is purl, in crochet an sc could be a dc, or a slip stitch, it was all very confusing, a lot of patterns do not specify whether they are using British or American Terms, and yes I am a Brit, but American terms make a lot more sense to me!
If it isn’t obvious from the picture, and the pattern doesn’t state which terms are used, look through the pattern for the turning chain, for example:
Ch 1, turn, dc in next 3 sts
In that case, dc means sc (single crochet), as a turning chain of 1 is used for single crochet. After a while you can do the translation in your head and there is no need to rewrite patterns in American terminology.
It took me the best part of a year to learn how to crochet, and then I reached the conclusion that I would rather knit, or embroider, anything but crochet! But within two years I returned to crocheting, and now I’m completely hooked. So if you’re just learning to crochet, keep persevering and good luck, before long you too will be an addicted hooker!