Welcome to the Learn How to Crochet Series!
When I was learning to crochet, some good online resources quickly helped me get out of a tangled mess of yarn. If it wasn’t for these free tutorials I think it would have taken me a lot longer to get to grips with the basics.
Since learning to crochet I have been asked if I could teach others. This has inspired me to create the Learn How to Crochet Series. In this series I will: show you the essential crochet tools you will need as a beginner; teach you the basic stitches and techniques; explore the many types of yarn available and guide you through choosing the right yarn for your project; and much more. Throughout the series I will demonstrate the stitches both right and left-handed as well as using both UK and US terminology.
I really hope this series inspires any budding crocheters out there to pick up a hook and give it a go!
Part One: Essential Crochet Tools for Beginners
In Part One of the Learn How to Crochet Series we will take a look at the essential tools you will need to get started. If you are confused by all of the yarn and crochet hook choices available this post will take the guesswork out of what to purchase.
Some of the links below are affliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a comission if you click through and make a purchase.
Crochet hooks are manufactured in various sizes and different hook-size systems are used throughout the World. On the right I have created a handy hook-size conversion chart for you to pin and print.
The most commonly used sizes are in the middle range from 2mm (B/1) to 9mm (M/13). Finer hooks are used for lace crochet and the thicker hooks for jumbo crochet. Millimetre sizes are the diameters of the hook shank, which determine the size of the crochet stitches. It’s useful to remember;
Finer Hook = Smaller Stitch = Lighter Weight Yarn
Thicker Hook = Bigger Stitch = Heavier Weight Yarn
Beginners are best starting with a 5mm (H/8) hook. This is a good middle-of-the-road size that is more comfortable to hold than a finer hook and creates bigger stitches.
Crochet hooks are made from a variety of materials such as bamboo, plastic and metal. As a beginner a standard metal hook is the best to learn with since the yarn glides well over this material and metal hooks are inexpensive. Metal hooks usually come in bright colours – a different colour for each size, which is handy for picking up the right size at a glance. I started with a set of crochet hooks almost identical those pictured below which I still use to this day.
If you are prone to finger and wrist pain, you may want to consider buying hooks with a comfort handle. These hooks are designed to prevent you gripping the hook unecessarily tightly, stopping your hand from getting tired easily. Clover Amour Crochet Hooks are a popular choice and receive very good reviews from many crocheters. These hooks are a little more pricey than the metal hooks with a standard handle and therefore you might want to invest in only the 5.0mm, H/8 size to begin with.
The subject of yarn could fill a whole blog post alone. There are many types of yarn, made from a wide variety of fibres with a range of textures and weights ( yarn “weight" refers to its thickness). Yarn is confusing when starting out in crochet and it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the choices available. So what should you choose to get started with? Here are my recommendations:
Use inexpensive yarns.
There is no denying that natural fibres such as wool and cotton are beautiful, but they come with a higher price tag. When you’re learning and practising new crochet stitches it’s perfectly normal to make a lot of mistakes, therefore it makes sense to start with a cheaper yarn so you’ll worry less when mistakes happen. I recommend using an acyrlic yarn in an aran weight (US: worsted weight, Aus: 10 ply). Acyrlic yarns are very cheap and are available in a wide variety of colours. My yarn of choice is Stylecraft Special Aran which is a 100% premium acyrlic yarn available in 39 shades with a recommended hook size of 5mm (H/8). For US readers a good alternative is Red Heart Soft which is also 100% acrylic, worsted weight (UK: aran, Aus: 10 ply). Red Heart Soft is available in 15 shades and has a recommended hook size of H/8 (5mm).
Stick to solid colours.
I don’t want to be a killjoy, I know those multi-coloured, varigated yarns are oh so tempting but learning to crochet with a solid-coloured yarn is so much easier. A multi-coloured yarn makes it difficult to see individual stitches and therefore count your stitches.
Choose a light to medium colour.
Like multi-coloured yarns, dark colours are a nightmare for seeing individual stitches and checking your stitch count even for a more experienced crocheter. Pale or medium coloured yarn makes it much easier to see what you’re doing.
Blunt-ended yarn needles
For darning in yarn ends and sewing seams.
UK readers get KnitPro Wool Needles,Aluminium, Multi-Colour, Set of 3
US readers get Knitter’s Pride Wool Needles, Set of 3
For trimming off yarn ends and cutting yarn.
UK readers get Singer 4.5-Inch Professional Series Detail Scissors
US readers get Singer 4.5-Inch Professional Series Detail Scissors
For hooking onto your crochet to mark a specific stitch or row.
For measuring your crochet and checking tension.
UK readers get Prym 254 cm/ 100-inch Tape Measure Profi Fibreglass
US readers get Dritz Quilting 288" Yardage Tape Measure
I really hope this post has taken any confusion out of the essential tools you need to begin crocheting. I’d love it if you could meet me back here next time for Part Two of the Learn How to Crochet Series where I’ll be demonstrating hook and yarn holding techniques for you to try.