Originally posted in 2011 on my old website.
I’m currently working on teaching my 5 year old daughter to crochet. In doing so I found that everything has to be broken down much more than if I were teaching an adult to crochet for the first time. It also made me realize, whether you’re a child or adult, some of these things I never really think about when I’m crocheting would make good tips for all first timers. So I’ve decided to make a series of first timer tips to help anyone just starting out crocheting.
Tip #1: Go Big
When you first decide to try crochet, its usually because you see something that you want to make – Whether it be a beautiful lace shawl, or a funky amigurumi.
You decide you want to learn to make that. So you buy the yarn recommeneded, get the pattern and pull up youtube to learn the stitches needed. Three hours later, you throw down your barely made foundation chain and swear you’ll never try to crochet again.
But wait, don’t give up. Instead just drop the yarn and hook you were using, and go big!
Most people give up on crochet because they simply didn’t choose the best tools for their first try. Whether you are 5 or 50, the best beginner yarn is bulky to super bulky weight yarn (look on the yarn label for the weight of the yarn), and the best hook is bigger than the yarn asks for (if the yarn says to use a 8mm “L” hook, use a 10mm “P” hook).
My daughter’s first project is a bulky red acrylic scarf (she picked out the yarn herself). Learning where to put her hook is much easier with the lace effect you get from using a bigger hook than called for in the bulky yarn. This particular yarn called for a 8mm [US-L], and we picked a bubble gum pink plastic 10mm [US-P] hook instead.
Whatever yarn you choose, stay away from novelty yarn or boucle type yarn. The extra “nubs” or decoration will only frustrate you when trying to place your hook in the correct spot for your stitches. Save those yarns for later when you can crochet well enough that you can actually feel where your hook should go instead of see it (because many times with those types of yarn, you won’t be able to see your stitches very well).
Stay tuned for Tip#2: Starting out Small