Welcome to the first installment of the “learn to crochet” blog series. Today I’m going to give an overview of the basic tools and materials that will serve you best when getting started.
Crochet is a wonderful hobby that can start fairly inexpensively. Be forewarned, your love for different hooks, yarn, and accessories may call out to you!
What Yarn Should I Use?
There are a variety of yarns available on the market from superfine spiderweb weight to an ultra bulky yarn. Each serves its purpose and the weight of yarn will determine the function and design of your desired project.
To start, I recommend a worsted weight. It is a common weight that you could use for most projects, including a hat, scarf, or sweater. The “4” you see on the ball band means there are four twists of yarn to make up the one strand and overall thickness.
Now that we know what weight to look for, what type of yarn or wool will you choose? Acrylic or animal wool? I personally would recommend acrylic when you start. It’s inexpensive and if you have to rip back, it’s not going to make you cry as much.
I would also suggest that you choose a solid colour that is not black or dark. It will make seeing your stitches much easier and less frustrating.
What Is The Best Size Crochet Hook For Beginners?
First of all, I would recommend an aluminum hook such as you see pictured for beginners. Aluminum does not stick as much as wood or other materials so it will be less frustrating. I recommend this set for starting out.
Worsted weight generally uses a 5.0mm hook. I would suggest either that size or a 5.5mm hook. The bigger the hook, the bigger the stitches which makes it easier to see where you are working.
If you have trouble with gripping or sore hand joints, you may want to consider ergonomic hooks. These types of hooks usually have a grip on the handle to put less stress on your hands while you’re crocheting. I particularly enjoy using these hooks.
UK Versus USA Terminology
It is important to be aware of the origin of your pattern before you start your project so you do the correct stitches to get the intended results.
According to Crochet For Dummies, “just as hook sizes differ depending on where you live (as explained in Chapter 2), the crochet terminology used in the United States is different than that used in the United Kingdom and Australia. For example, what’s called a single crochet in the United States is called a double crochet in the United Kingdom.
No one is entirely sure how this different crochet terminology came about, but one theory is that the UK terms refer to the number of loops you have on the hook after you draw a loop through the next stitch and that the U.S. terms refer to the number of times you move the hook to complete the stitch. For example, after you’ve drawn the yarn through the stitch in the previous row, you have two loops on your hook or a double loop, hence the United Kingdom’s double crochet. To complete the stitch, you only have to draw the yarn through both loops on the hook once, which is a single movement, hence the United States’ single crochet. “
This post was featured on Guelph Local on February 7, 2020.