beginners

Beginners Guide to Crochet

Copyright 2021 of Fiona Campbell, Flo’s Crafty Crochet, original pattern made by Fiona Campbell. This pattern is made for personal use only. You may not distribute, reproduce, publish, translate, alter or resell this pattern in any way or form. You may sell the finished product.  Please credit Flo’s Crafty Crochet in all promotions of your work.

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Carlingford Lough near my home taken by my husband (Imagescapeonline)

Carlingford Lough near my home taken by my husband (Imagescapeonline)

 Hello and a very warm welcome to my guide to crochet.  I am Fiona from Flo’s Crafty Crochet.  My passion is all things crochet, whether that is pattern designing or teaching, I love the mindfulness it brings and love to bring this to others.  I am from Ireland and am lucky enough to live both near the mountains and the sea and use this when I am in need of inspiration.

Crochet has been around for quite some time.  Its exact origins remain unknown but can be seen in every country in the world from Arabia to Ireland.  The word itself comes from both France (croche) and Germany (croc – meaning hook). It was used in French lace making and later became a very important part of the Irish culture in famine times making the world-famous Irish lace.  It is a widely held belief that Queen Victoria crocheted in order to ease her grief.

Wherever it came from there can be little doubt in its powerful mindful qualities.  The ability to focus on the act of creation and become lost in the warmth and soothing rhythm of the craft is something very special.

As with all things, beginning is so often the hardest step. So, I am not going to tell you that it is easy, but I will promise you that it gets easier and more enjoyable the more you do it.

It is the constant repetition of the stitches that makes you comfortable with the craft.  Giving just this time over the next few weeks will guarantee that in a few months’ time, you will be able to sit with your favourite TV show, relax and unwind while not even concentrating on the item you are making.  Truly making mindful crochet that boosts both your mental wellbeing and your sense of accomplishment.

Let’s get to it!

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 What hook and what yarn?

Choosing a hook can be a challenge as there are so many out there.  They also vary greatly in prices.  Below is a selection of the most common ones.  As you become more accustomed to your craft you will find the perfect hook for you.  I recommend Clover Amour and find it just makes crochet easier.  Which hook you choose may also depend on how you choose to hold your hook.

As a beginner you will need to know what hook size is needed and for what yarn.  This can be very confusing as there are lots of new terms that you may not have come across before.  Every ball of yarn comes with a standard guide to make this easier.  On the back of the band will be some information.

Meterage tells you how far that ball of yarn will go and is necessary when knowing how much to buy.

Fibre content lets you know what you are working with.  The most common fibres are acrylic, cotton and wool.

Other things to have in your kit

Tape measure – self explanatory

Tapestry needle – weaving in the ends to finish off

Scissors – self explanatory

Stitch Markers – I always suggest 2 types of stitch markers as they can be used to denote different things.  They can mark stitches, end of rows etc. Plus they are pretty!  I make and sell a range of stitch markers if you would like to look at my store:-  https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/FlosCraftyCrochet

Crochet Kit

Crochet Kit

From left to right: Symphonie Wood, standard metal hook, Clover Amour, Tulip, Furls

From left to right: Symphonie Wood, standard metal hook, Clover Amour, Tulip, Furls

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How to read the band

How to read the band

 Where in the world you are determines, what name is given to yarn.  With the prevalence now of Facebook these terms can easily get confused so I have included the above guide.

I recommend 4mm Clover Amour hook 8Ply yarn e.g. Stylecraft Special DK (1).png

How to hold your hook is one of the most commonly asked questions when a new crocheter sets out on their journey.  The simple answer is; in whichever way feels most comfortable for you.  In the beginning all crochet feels awkward and strange, as with anything done for the first time.  However, with practice it will begin to feel more comfortable and natural. 

The best advice is, if it feels right, it is.  I have met and taught many different styles of hook holders over the years and at the end of the day if the stitches are produced and it works for you, then it is correct.

The two most common methods for hook holding are the knife grip and the pen grip.

The Pencil Grip

The Knife Grip

Tension for the stitches is then created by the other hand.  This is where many people differ in how they wrap the yarn over the other hand in order to feed the yarn.  Again, what works for you is always best and it can be refined and adjusted over time.  Below is my method for working.  Determining you will often determine which style of hook works best for you, some are designed to work with knife and some with pen.

Crochet Stitch guide is up next.

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