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What I wish I knew before I started crocheting

A crochet Xmas tree skirt Elizondo gave as a gift for her mom’s birthday.
A crochet Xmas tree skirt Elizondo gave as a gift for her mom’s birthday.

Crocheting is an old craft turned chic through social media accounts and videos popping up all over the place with countless designs. Since it’s been over a year since I started the art of crochet, here’s some advice for the novice crafters out there. 

Before you grab your group of friends and spend an absurd amount of money on yarn, put some time into researching what you’d like to make. Trust me, there are videos and tutorials for everything you could imagine. One of my favorite patterns is by TL Yarn Crafts on YouTube, her Crochet Ripple Stich! 

I would start with something easy to accomplish, like a few quilt squares or some decorative coasters for your room. It’ll save you money and give you time to practice. 

While you’re researching what you’d like to make, get familiar with the abbreviations, yarn weight and crochet hook size. It will seem like too much in the beginning, I know, so don’t let that drive you away. The yarn weight and hook size are connected. Make sure to check before you buy anything. Pro tip: the people who work at craft stores are always willing to help you find what you need.

Next step is to go and buy your supplies — arguably the most fun part of starting to crochet. Before you go, download the rewards app of whatever store you’re going to and sign up for their rewards program. 

They also usually have redeemable coupons for consistent customers. When I see that yarn is on sale for buy one, get one 50% off, I know that’s the time to stock up. 

When you walk into the aisle for crochet hooks, take a deep breath. There will be tons of different shapes, colors, sizes and brands all trying to get your attention. As frustrating as it is, you’ll have to do some trial and error for purchasing hooks. I went for the cheapest ones on my first trip to Michael’s and then had to get new ones since they didn’t fit well in my hand. 

Ergonomic ones are on the pricey side, but they will help prevent cramping and hand pain in the long-run. My favorites are the Prym crochet hooks!

Now you’re home, ecstatic about starting your new project, and the moment you look at the pattern, you begin to panic. This is where the abbreviations come in. 

Usually, videos give a more in-depth explanation of what they’re doing, but patterns rely on written abbreviations to guide people. Choose which method works for you: visual tutorials or reading digital or print patterns. 

One of my biggest challenges when I started crocheting was understanding where the loops were that I needed to use to continue crocheting. There’s no shame in watching a tutorial all the way through before you begin. 

Be patient with yourself. This is a hard craft to learn and yet so rewarding at the same time. You’ll have this secret talent before you know it while also having an excuse to make fun gifts for your family and friends. 

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Just have fun with it! Buy colorful yarn that makes you smile, get hooks that keep your hands from cramping, and find people who are just as passionate as you for loving the art of crochet.