So, you have decided to take the plunge, dive in and learn to crochet! What to do first? Connect with websites such as Crochetville, Crochet Pattern Central and Ravelry. Search these sites to see what type of things you can create with crochet.
Next, and most important search out hooks at your local craft store. Boyle hooks are great and come in a variety of sizes from tiny stainless steel hooks that are used for doilys and delicate baby things to large Q hooks that are used for double strand yarn use in blankets. Start with an H hook. H is used for many types of garments, animals and afghans. Its an easy hook to begin with. Any color will do – pick your favorite!
Yarn comes next. Pick out several colors of acrylic yarn. I like Red Heart Yarn as well as Hobby Lobby’s brand, I Love This Yarn. Both of these are 4 ply and are very easy to work with.
Now on to the pattern books. Most craft shops have a plethora of crochet pattern books and beginner instruction books. Pick out one that has easy to understand instructions with pictures. I will try to tell you how to do the various stitches here but you will need pictures to completely understand what I am talking about. Its easy to begin with a simple afghan square pattern. You can practice making the squares then whip stitch the squares together, add an edging and you’ll have a beautiful afghan!
The Hook and Yarn
Begin by holding the hook either as you would a pencil or overhand – whichever is most comfortable for you. Now, take the end of the yarn and loop it on itself, put your hook through the middle of the loop and pick up the yarn that is coming out of the skein. Pull the short end of the yarn so it tightens around the shaft of the hook. Not too tight though! Now you are going to begin the CHAIN stitch. Hold the yarn strand in your left hand, wrap the yarn around your little finger then around your pointer finger. This provides the proper tension you’ll need for the stitches. Grab the yarn with the hook and draw the loop through the loop on your hook. Keep doing this until you have the proper amount of chains. The pattern you are working with will tell you how many to chain.
Hold the chain you just made in your left hand. You have one loop on your hook shaft. Insert the hook through the SECOND chain from the hook, hook the yarn strand and draw through the chain. Now you have TWO loops on your hook. Wrap the yarn around the hook once and draw through BOTH loops. You still have a loop. Repeat in the next chain and the next and the next until you have used up all the chains you made. Now do one chain at the end so you can turn the project. Now do a single crochet just as you did before but instead of putting the hook through the chain you will see two strands of yarn that made up the top of the single crochet of the first row. You will put your hook under the two strands to make the single crochet. Do this across the row, chain one and turn the project again. Keep doing this all the while keeping your tension so your stitches are not too tight nor too loose.
Practice, Practice, Practice! It will feel awkward at first but before long you will be comfortable with the hook and yarn. Its hard to describe how to do a stitch without pictures to show you.