Which Tools do I Need to Begin Crocheting?
Crocheting is a wonderful hobby that can soon have you on your way to being the talk of the town with your artful baby blankets, your terrific hats, and your lovely sweaters. Advanced crochet can have you making things as fantastic as exquisite lace with very fine yarn. For the beginner though, one of the advantages of this hobby is that it is very inexpensive to get started, since the tools you’ll need at the onset are low cost and few in number.
At minimum you’ll need a couple of crochet hooks. These come in a variety of different widths, and unless you’re doing very advanced crocheting, you won’t need the exceptionally large ones called Afghan hooks. These come in lengths that can be from 9-20 inches (22.86-50.8 cm) long and are meant for projects where you most hold lots of stitches on your crochet hook. Instead, look for smaller length hooks, with a width approximately a quarter to a half of your index finger width. You may see these marketed as “standard” crochet hooks.
Another thing you’ll need before you start crocheting is some yarn. For early projects and learning, choose light colored yarn. Plain acrylic in a light color is a good choice since it is inexpensive. Darker yarn makes it harder to see mistakes, which you will make if you’re a beginner. So try your first projects in colors like white, pink, yellow, or light blue, and stay away from dark brown, gray, navy blue and black.
You will also need scissors for your first crocheting projects, to trim and finish yarn on projects. These don’t have to be very special, but do have a pair handy. You may also require a needle and thread in a comparable or matching color to your yarn. Some crochet patterns have you sew pieces together. Other times these are attached with different crochet stitches.
Crochet books or crocheting videos and DVDs can be extremely helpful when you get started. It does help to have visual demonstration of stitches, so choose a book with good pictures or a DVD. The only trouble with learning on your own is that you don’t have anyone but yourself to make suggestions as you work, which can be frustrating. If possible, try to learn this art in local classes (these may be offered freely at yarn shops), or beg a friend or neighbor who is skilled at crocheting to teach you. Having the reinforcement of someone supportive as you begin is often the best crocheting “tool.”
When I took up crocheting, the first thing I did was buy a kit that had many different sizes of needles. This kit even came with one of the long afghan needles.
Since that time, I have made many afghans, but I have never used that long needle yet. For my next project, I plan to crochet an afghan using this long needle that has sat in my craft drawer for many years.
One of the things I love best about crocheting is that you need very little to get started. With just a few dollars you can buy a skein of yarn and a crochet hook. There are many free crochet patterns and instructional videos on the web, so you don't even have to spend any money on those to get started.
This is a great activity to teach young girls who are interested in learning this craft. Once you begin bigger projects, the price of yarn can add up. One thing to do is watch for sales and close outs where you can buy yarn for discounted prices.
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