Written and compiled by Fred Jaicks
Have you ever seen those cute crocheted baby hats and other clothes and wondered where you could get them? Most people make these items themselves. Crocheting has been around practically forever and it is a surprisingly easy hobby to pick up. If you’re interested in learning how to crochet, take a look at what you need and how to get started.
History of Crocheting
Crocheting is so old that no one is sure when or where it actually got started, although historians guess it was during the 16th century. There are variations found throughout history and around the world. And, the oldest artifacts are found in the European countries, such as Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Holland.
The earliest crochet pattern books date back to the early 1800s. People would create small crochet samples and then attach them to pages in a book for others to follow. Now, however, all you have to do is get a pattern book from a craft store or search for some designs online. It’s no longer a skill you have to learn from your relatives.
Materials Needed to Crochet
One of the best things about learning how to crochet is that the start-up costs are minimal. All you really need is a couple of crochet hooks, some yarn, and a pair of sharp scissors. You can look at patterns and tutorials on the Internet for free. Of course, you can also purchase a pattern or “how to” book to have at home, if you prefer.
Experts recommend that beginners start out with an aluminum I-9 hook. This is because it creates large loops that are easier to see. Additionally, medium weight yarn works the best. Beginners should start with a light or bright color yarn because it is harder to see the loops in dark yarn.
The Crocheting Process
You begin crocheting by creating a slip-knot loop on a hook. Then, you pull loop after loop through the first loop to create patterns. There are several different patterns you can follow. Some of the basic stitches include a chain, slip stitch, double crochet, and single crochet. It’s best to start with an easy crochet pattern and gradually move on to more complicated patterns and stitches.
Crocheting vs. Knitting
Lots of people mix up crocheting and knitting because you use yarn and hooks for both hobbies. The biggest difference is that crocheting only has one active stitch open at a time while knitting can have several. Additionally, you crochet with one hook and you usually knit with two. This makes crocheting fundamentally easier than knitting.
Another difference is that the patterns in crochet tend to be circular while the patterns in knitting tend to be straight. It’s also important to note that knitting can be done by machine but crocheting can only be done by hand. There are other differences between knitting and crocheting, but these are the main ones.
Don’t be afraid to pick up a crochet hook and give it a try yourself. You’ll be surprised at how fun and easy it is to pick up this skill. You’ll be making hats, clothes, blankets, decorations, and more before you know it.