Why You Should Learn Crochet
Crochet is an amazing skill to have in your toolbox, and it’s rhythmic patterns can have soothing, therapeutic benefits. As a knitter and crocheter, the things I love about crochet is that:
- I think it’s a bit easier to learn than knitting
- Crochet can be sculptural. With knitting you’re primarily knitting a flat cloth, with some manipulations, but crochet can go in any direction and be more 3-dimensional.
- With only 1 live stitch in crochet, it’s harder to mess up and drop stitches
- Knowing crochet opens up your world to so many new patterns to make, and makes your skills super flexible (especially if also know to knit and want to combine techniques in a single item!)
You can learn crochet (even if you are a total beginner) with my free online crochet course, where I walk you through how to read a crochet pattern, step by step.
Tips for Learning to Crochet
When you’re picking your first crochet project here are some of my tips and things to keep in mind.
- Don’t use cotton yarn. Unlike wool, cotton doesn’t have any give to it. So it’s harder to keep your tension consistent. By using a yarn made of a more flexible fiber, like wool, you’re just making it easier for you to maintain consistent tension and have better looking stitches. Also, since cotton has little give, it’ll also cause your hands to ache pretty quickly and you’ll need to take more breaks.
- Always check your gauge by crocheting a swatch. I know it’s tempting to dive right into your project, but if your pattern gives you a gauge, then it’s really important that you knit in this same gauge. Even if you use the same yarn and needle size as the designer, it’s likely your gauge will be different (because everyone has a different tension they hold their yarn with). So you’ll need to make some adjustments to get yours right. This could mean adjusting your needle size, or switching to a different size yarn if needed. Depending on the item, not getting your gauge right could have severe consequences — the bigger the item or the more shaping it has, the bigger the impact. (Just ask me how I once made sleeves for a sweater that was a better fit for my cat than me 😬)
- Stick to basic stitches. This means scanning the pattern and making sure it only uses chain stitch, single crochet, half double, double or treble crochet. Anything else might be too complicated for your first project.