Hello crochet friends! Today I’m bringing you the first part of a series I’m starting here on the Crochet Creature blog about getting started in the wonderful art of crochet. I’m excited to include a lot of helpful information in this series about how you might get started when you decide to learn to crochet, and some of my personal tips too. If you’re new to crochet you may also like to check out my post 7 Crochet Tips and Tricks That are a Little Unconventional but will Totally Help You Out. Without further ado, let’s start with Part One – Find Your Style!
Learning Styles; Find Yours and Fly!
Sometimes we hear people talk about learning styles and how schools might fail our children by using a ‘one size fits all’ approach. It’s a scientific fact that different people learn best in different ways, and learning to crochet is no different. If you find your ideal learning style and go with it, you’ll absolutely fly! So what are your options? Well, there are actually a lot of learning styles that have been observed in teaching experiments but in this article I’m going to specifically talk about ways you could learn to crochet and ditch the science, sorry professors!
There are two main options for learning by watching when it comes to crochet. Take a class and watch the teacher as they demonstrate stitches and techniques OR watch a video of someone teaching crochet online. You may find local classes in your area and think you’d find it really helpful to see others crocheting in front of you. Perfect, go along! But maybe you live in the middle of nowhere and there are no classes. Fear not my watchy-learny friends, we have the internet! Places like YouTube have a host of people offering tutorials of skills like crochet for free and other sites like Craftsy and online learning centres may have full crochet courses you can take for a fee and access from the comfort of home. Watching and learning is probably the most common way people learn to crochet these days with the rise of technology and not having to wait for Granny to finish her tea, it’s convenient and popular amongst visual learners.
Learning by reading. Ah the old classic! There’s not much you can’t learn from a book and crochet is certainly well represented in the written world. Of course books are available online, in book stores and at the library for free, or you may find published articles in magazines, blog posts and on designers websites that are helpful too. My advice is, if you’re going to learn to crochet by reading and following the handy dandy diagrams they sometimes include, get yourself a selection of reading material before you start. Every book or article will explain the stitches slightly differently and include different diagrams and photos. Some might make sense to you and others may not, so it’s best to have a variety on hand to ensure you don’t get frustrated and think you’re never going to get it (been there)! Another piece of advice is don’t judge a book by it’s cover! Cliche, I know, but really, don’t do it. Just because that book at the back of the library is filled with awful crocheted swimsuits and mens ties, you don’t have to make those! All you’re after is the stitch guide and the how to’s, and maybe this vintage gem explains it better than the modern Mollie’s Makes annual with the cute bunting.
This guy looks like he’s straight out of the 80’s but he might be filming a cracking crochet tutorial, you never know!
Crochet Style; Clothes, Toys, Vintage, Modern?
When you’re thinking about learning to crochet it’s important to think about what style of item you hope to be able to make one day. It’s going to affect what stitches you learn, what yarn you buy and what hooks you need, as well as affecting what techniques you need to know. When I decided to learn to crochet, I knew I wanted to do amigurumi and make toys. I learned the basic stitches and techniques for that and I didn’t learn the rest. I don’t know how to do a popcorn stitch and I couldn’t make you a jumper, but I’m successfully making my own amigurumi patterns from scratch. Before you dive in to stitch guides and patterns, think about what you want to learn first. I highlight first because you can always come back and learn more later! One day I’m going to learn how to make a jumper and do ever such difficult things like tension but I only started with learning a single crochet and a chain.
Give it some thought. If your heart longs for a cosy fleece, hand crocheted and extra special, start by learning the stitches you need, the techniques you need and use resources made for people who want to make clothes, they’ll be more relevant to you. If you have a passion for the adorable and amigurumi takes your fancy, use resources made for amigurumists and learn only the bits you need for that. I could go on but you get the idea. When you learn something new it’s very important not to get bogged down in learning everything at once. Better to be good at one thing, than terrible at everything!
That concludes part one of my Getting Started With Learning How to Crochet series. I’m hoping to release these weekly but you know, life never goes that way! Sign up for my newsletter and I’ll be sure to let you know when part two is out. Next time I’ll be discussing what equipment to buy and why it’s worth spending a bit more on certain things.
Bye for now crochet friends,
Emily The Crochet Creature