What is Crochet?
So, what is crochet? Crochet is a popular needlecraft which is named after the French word crochet, which means hook. It involves using hooks and material such as yarn or thread to create projects like clothing, accessories and home décor pieces.
The first evidence of crochet in history was in the early nineteenth century Europe, where it was referred to as ‘shepherd’s knitting’ (because of the shape of the hook). Whilst it's never really gone away, crochet has somewhat made a comeback in the most recent years.
If you’ve been wanting to start using the Crochet technique, then take a look below at our guide to everything you need to know!
Basic Crochet Supplies
- A Crochet Hook
Useful Things To Know About Your Crochet Equipment
Crochet hooks come in all different shapes and sizes, so how do you choose which one is right?
The size of a crochet hook is generally dictated by a letter, number or ‘mm’ measurement. For example, if they are dictated by letter they generally range from E to J – E being the smallest and J being the largest.
Each crochet hook is designed to work with a different type of yarn, the table below demonstrates which weights work with which hooks. For more information on the weights of wool check out our Basics Of Knitting blog post.
|Hook Size||UK Yarn Weight|
|2.5mm – 3.5mm hook||4 Ply Yarn|
|3.5mm – 4.5mm hook||Double Knitting (DK) Yarn|
|5mm – 6mm hook||Aran Yarn|
|7mm and larger||Chunky Yarn|
Crochet beginners generally use a size G or H hook (the middle range one) with a DK weight yarn.
Beginning Crochet Stitches
How to Crochet a Slip Knot
Slip knots are the first thing to learn for crochet. This is how you attach the yarn to the hook - the beginning of all crochet projects.
To create a slip knot you must:
- Grasp the yarn around you index finger
- Hook facing upwards, insert the hook between your finger and yarn
- Twist the yarn around the hook and keep hold of the yarn
- Wrap one end of the yarn back around the hook
- Using the hook, pull that yarn through the original loop to create the slip knot
Other Crochet Stitches
Units in Crochet are called stitches, which are a series of yarn wraps around a hook. Each project is made up of different combinations of stitches. Below we have listed the key stitches to learn as a crochet beginner. This website demonstrates how to get started on the basic stitches.
In UK and US crochet there are different references for different stitches. It’s good to be mindful of this should you search for crochet content online as some sites may throw up alternative terms to what you’re used to.
|American Crochet||British Crochet|
|Single crochet||Double crochet|
|Half double crochet||Half treble crochet|
|Double crochet||Treble crochet|
|Treble crochet||Double treble crochet|
|Double treble crochet||Triple treble crochet|
The above are they key stitches to learn as a beginner, with chain stitch being a common and popular stitch to learn first and the double stitch being the most important stitch to learn for projects. This website demonstrates how to get started on the basic stitches.
Stitch patterns are a combination of different crochet stitches to create new and interesting stitch patterns. There are multiple possibilities and can be as intricate, detailed or as simple as you want. As you progress, you can combine more of the new stitches you learn to create new patterns and styles.
For example, a V-Stitch is a combination of a double crochet stitch and a chain stitch alternated.
Basic Crochet Patterns
A pattern is a set of instructions for crocheting a certain project, whether it’s a scarf, hat, blanket or handbag.
The patterns normally include abbreviations for different stitches and parts of a project. For example, people who crochet use dc for double crochet and ch for chain. Here’s a link to all of the abbreviations you'll need for crochet from Enfys.
- Try not to mix two different fibres of yarn, such as cotton or acrylic. They can shrink at different rates, especially when washed.
- Don’t cut the ends of your work to short. Use a yarn needle to weave them into the pattern instead to avoid them coming loose.
- Make sure your ball of yarn is positioned in a way that lets it unwind easily.
- If your work is too loose, choose a smaller hook.
- If your work is too tight, choose a larger hook.
- The larger the yarn you use, the bigger the project will be. Bear in mind that a project can end up a different size depending on the thickness of yarn you use.
- If you notice you’ve made a mistake half way through, unravel the pattern and re-do. There’s always opportunity to undo any mistakes.
- Unroll your skeins of yarn and roll into a ball before starting a project. To make it easier for the yarn to un ravel
- Experimenting with different stitches and patterns is the best way to progress.
More Crochet For Beginners Resources:
Here's a helpful video by SimplyDaisy on How To Crochet For Beginners.
For more inspiration, visit the Creative Rox Blog here.