The delicate art of crocheting is a lifelong skill that you'll use to make beautiful gifts for others and items for your home and wardrobe. Start by learning a couple of basic stitches, and build on that with more advanced basic stitches. First, figure out what size and style hook feels most comfortable for you. Then, start with simple yarns and beginner patterns, and you'll be a pro in no time.
Watch Now: 4 Handy Beginner Crochet Stitches
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You don't need many supplies to get started with crochet. The key item is the crochet hook, and there are plenty of different sizes and types. When you're choosing a beginner crochet hook, opt for one made out of aluminum because the yarn will make the yarn easily glide. The three basic crochet supplies you'll need include:
- An aluminum crochet hook size I-9 or H-8, whichever feels best in your hand
- A skein or ball of wool or acrylic yarn
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Begin by holding your crochet hook like you would hold a pencil, with your thumb and index finger squeezing the hook at the little indentation in the middle known as a finger hold. You can slide your third finger up towards the tip of the hook for comfort and control. The hook will be turned slightly towards you, but it shouldn't be facing downward or upward.
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Tying a slip knot onto the crochet hook is one of the very first things you need to know to get started with crocheting. It's the way you'll cast the yarn onto the hook so you can start crocheting. Quickly twist and loop the yarn onto the hook, wrap the yarn under the hook and pull it through the loop to tighten. Don't worry if it's awkward at first; just keep practicing and it'll get easier.
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Beginning crocheters usually start by learning the chain stitch first. The chain stitch is one of the most important basic stitches you'll need to know because they form the foundation of most crochet projects. In a pattern, the abbreviation for the chain stitch is "ch," or sometimes "chs" for the plural form. You'll usually see "ch" followed by a number. For example, ch 135 means that you should crochet 135 chain stitches.Continue to 5 of 12 below.
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Now that you know how to do a slip knot and basic stitches, you're ready to tackle a beginner project. You can start on a scarf or even a baby blanket designed for new crocheters. Some beginner patterns may be written without abbreviations for simplification. When you begin your first project, take it slow, and be patient with yourself. It's okay if you have to start over from the beginning of the pattern if needed.
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You can take your crochet skill to the next level by learning the double crochet stitch. You'll be able to create granny squares for afghans when you learn this stitch. Practice making little swatches until your double crochet stitches are even. The abbreviation in patterns for the double crochet stitch is "dc," plus the specified number of double crochet stitches.
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Clusters of double crochet stitches create a granny square. The granny square is the foundation of a crocheted item, from blankets to pillow covers and you can even sew them together to create a warm and cozy doggie sweater. Make them one color or multicolored, but whatever color scheme you decide, just know you're becoming a better crocheter with every square you create.Continue to 9 of 12 below.
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Slip stitches serve multiple purposes in crocheting. They join pieces together, create simple finished edges, and can be used as a decorative element on the surface of a crocheted piece. In addition, you can use the stitch in rows to create a dense material. Crocheting a fabric made of the slip stitch is called Bosnian Crochet (or sometimes a variety of other names).
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Add to your crochet skills by learning more basic stitches, including the half double stitch which results in a herringbone, the treble (or the triple crochet stitch) that creates a taller stitch, and the Tunisian crochet stitch that can create a look that resembles a knit fabric.
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Finishing techniques are an important part of crocheting. In addition to the slip stitch that adds a simple edging, you'll want to know how to make wide or narrow edgings. The easiest edging to made from the single crochet stitch. It's a terrific solution, even for rounded edges.
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You can be left-handed and crochet, too. Traditional patterns were written for right-handed crocheters, but many contemporary patterns include instructions for left-handed artisans. You'll find plenty of tips and tricks to help you along the way, and most importantly, you'll also find numerous fellow lefty crocheters to bond with and learn from.