By Emma Esteves
Derived from the French term, “small hook,” crocheting is a process that uses interlocking loops of yarn to create blankets, scarfs, and even stuffed animals. Although it sounds complicated, this is an extremely relaxing (and rewarding) activity that brings hours of satisfaction and relief. Below are some things to keep in mind when beginning to crochet:
- Start Simple
It is very easy for any beginner to get excited when they first start. However, the best thing to do is learn the basics. Even though this isn’t the most exciting way to spend your time, it will eventually help to build a strong foundation in which more complicated pieces can be created.
When I first started, like any beginner, I got excited. Thus, I decided to jump straight into amigurumi, a Japanese style which is frequently used to create small stuffed animals. It involves a series of increases (adding stitches) and decreases (eliminating stitches) to produce a spiral like pattern. At first, this seemed pretty easy but I later learned why the process is saved for experienced crocheters. I messed up multiple times, and my final product contained many mistakes. Yet, from this experience I learned to start simple, as taking the extra time to learn the basics will ultimately create better project.
- Get the right sized hook that corresponds with your yarn
This is a mistake that many new crocheters make, including myself. When purchasing yarn for the first time, be sure to look at the wrapper that it is included with. On the back will be instructions for the corresponding hook size. But, if these instructions are overlooked, one may have great difficulty starting their project, as the hook will make grabbing the yarn quite difficult.
However, some projects might call for a smaller hook size than what the yarn package yields. This is OK to do, as the stitch may be tighter or looser depending on the width of the yarn. Overall though, it is really up to you to decide on what you want your piece to look like.
- Don’t give up
The most important thing to do when trying anything new is to not give up. Even though it is very easy to get frustrated with yourself, do not let this anger take over. Remember: If you mess up, so what! If you skip a stitch, who cares! These mistakes make your work unique. Additionally, try to challenge yourself with different patterns and projects. Be daring and try new tasks, like changing color within rows or learning new stitches.
Below is the piece that I am most proud of. This bear was made for my sister, which uses a variety of stitches and colors. At first, I thought that I would never finish or accomplish this pattern. Although there are some subtle mistakes, I never gave up on the pattern. By taking the time to learn something new, the results can be amazing.
So, don’t be afraid to try crocheting. You won’t regret it!