Crochet is a craft that is fun, therapeutic and allows the artist in us all free rein to experiment and to create things of beauty.
Crochet is one of the most versatile crafts both in stitch variations and the locations in which it can be done. It is the perfect creative outlet for those who have little free time and are accustomed to multi-tasking. Crochet on the tube or bus, in a car or plane, or at home while you rock a baby to sleep, or simply watch television. Creating something beautiful is of enormous therapeutic benefit and can help to relieve the stress of a particularly trying day. With all the tips available online learning to crochet has never been easier, but beginners should ensure that they have all the proper tools at hand.
The item most often produced by beginners is a scarf and it is certainly a sensible choice. There is little or no shaping to be done and basic stitches can be mastered. It is also a wonderful way to practise getting the tension just right. If a pattern for beginners is preferred, then gauge swatches should always be done to determine whether a different size hook is necessary to obtain the perfect tension specified.
With the large variety of crochet hooks available for purchase, getting the right type can seem a little overwhelming. They come in steel, plastic, bamboo, aluminium and one or two other materials. Designs range from double ended, which provides different size hooks at each end; In-line, which has the head directly in line with the shaft; cushioned hooks for added comfort and ergonomic hooks, which are said to assist persons afflicted with conditions that cause pain or cramping in the hands and wrists. Find one or two in different sizes and with which you feel most comfortable. Next you can select a suitable yarn.
Yarns for Beginners
Complicated yarns such as mohair should be avoided until you are more confident with crocheting. Yarns with strands that separate easily can become frustrating for inexperienced fingers. Rather select a smoother textured yarn and ensure that it fits comfortably within the selected hook. If yarn is too thick for the hook, it will result in the hook sliding between the strands when trying to pull it through to form a stitch. Stick to lighter colour yarns that will more easily show the results of your handiwork. Yarns should also be rolled into balls rather that working with skeins, as a ball allows a smoother delivery of yarn and is less inclined to tangle.
There are many books for beginners that clearly illustrate, step-by-step, the crochet patterns involved in forming specific stitches. There are also quite a few online videos that demonstrate these and they have proved invaluable to many new crochet enthusiasts. These will guide you through how the yarn should be held to regulate tension; the initial stage of creating a slipknot on your hook and on to creating the chain stitch, the single crochet stitch and the double stitch. When these can be comfortably performed, beginner’s patterns can be attempted.
It is totally unnecessary to purchase products designed to hold crochet paraphernalia. There are many everyday household containers that are ideally suited to the purpose. Empty bottles with holes cut into the lids are ideal for holding balls of wool and preventing them from rolling around. Put tape around the holes to prevent snagging. Empty cigar cylinders are excellent for keeping hooks. Thinking up new money saving recycling ideas will be almost as much fun as the crocheting itself.
This article was written by Jessica, she spends her time finding new ways to use her crochet skills.