“Those who think chocolate is addictive have clearly never tried crochet.” - Anonymous
According to a study Betsan Corkhill, 81% of women feel happier after they’ve been knitting or doing crochet. Knitting and crochet are great ways to reduce stress and they also reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.
Handmade fashion is in a resurgence at the moment and many young adults have found a passion for crafts.
Are you a fan? Why not learn how to crochet?
In this article, we’re looking at exactly what you’ll need to start doing crochet.
Getting Started with Crochet: Crochet Hooks
To learn to knit, you’ll need knitting needles. To crochet, you’ll need a crochet hook. So far, so good.
Wait, just one hook?
Of course! Unlike knitting, you only need a single crochet hook. The technique is different from knitting.
So before you start making a snood, an amigurumi soft toy, or lampshade, you’ll need to choose the right crochet hook and for this, you'll need a bit of help!
There are plenty of different materials, diameters, and sizes, and choosing the right crochet hook is half the battle. Fortunately, we’re here to help you!
What Does a Crochet Hook Consist of?
Firstly, keep in mind that there are a lot of differences between crochet and knitting. Crochet hooks aren’t like knitting needles, for one.
A crochet needle is made up of:
- A head
- A shaft
- A handle
The head has a point at the end, allowing you to hook onto a loop. It can be pointed or flat or anything in between. The pointier it is, the easier it is to hook a loop in a tight-knit. If you want to crochet lace, you’ll want a flat head so that you don’t damage the lace.
After the head, there’s the throat, this allows you to keep a hold on the yarn or thread. Choose a throat that the yarn won’t come off of. Above the throat, there’s the lip. This is the part directly above the throat. You can get an inlined head or a tapered head. For more precision, an inlined hook is recommended.
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The shaft joins the head to the handle. This is the part that determines the crochet hook’s diameter. It can be short or long. A short shaft will restrict the number of loops you can do. For consistent loops, you’ll want a straight shaft.
When it comes to handles, you can get everything from minimalist handles to thumb rests, grips, and ergonomic crochet needles. It’s important to consider the handle since it’ll affect the weight of the crochet hook. Thumb rests can be very practical for some and very annoying for others. It all depends on how you hold your crochet hook. You’ll need to try out a few different ones.
If you can't decide, you can always get a crochet hook set or a crochet set that comes with crochet supplies.
There are plenty of great reasons to crochet.
Choosing the Material
Steel crochet hooks are used for fine work like lace doilies, for example. You can also use an aluminium crochet hook for this.
For less delicate crochet projects like scarves, jumpers, or hats with thick yarn, you can use bamboo or plastic crochet hooks. If you want to start making a tablecloth or a rug, it’s recommended that you work with plastic crochet hooks.
To get started, plastic crochet hooks are cheaper but tend to start with a 0.6cm diameter. If your budget allows it, we recommend getting a size 4 or 5 wooden or aluminium crochet hook.
Just like with knitting needles, crochet hooks have a number that defines their diameter. A hook with a 4 will be 0.4cm in diameter. Thus, the bigger the number, the thicker the hook is and the bigger your loops will be. When it comes to wool, they tend to mention the diameter you should use. Beginners should opt for 0.4 or 0.5cm diameter hooks so that they can see the loops. As you gain experience, you’ll be able to tell which diameter you’ll need depending on how tightly-knit you want your project to be.
A crochet hook is also smaller than a knitting needle. They tend to be between 12.5cm and 20cm in length and 15cm hooks are recommended for beginners.
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Where Can You Buy Crochet Hooks?
There are plenty of craft stores where you can buy crochet hooks in the UK. There are also plenty of websites. You’ll pay anywhere from a couple of quid to around £15 depending on the material and design. You can also get crochet hook kits with several hooks in.
Which Yarn Should You Start Crocheting with?
The type of yarn or crochet thread will depend on your project. If you’re making an item of clothing, you’ll probably want a soft material.
When you get started, you should pick a project that you really want to make. Start off with something quick and simple so that you don’t get discouraged like a cushion cover, lampshade, soft toy, or a headband.
Choose the yarn according to what you’re making. Most crochet tutorials and patterns will tell you which material and the thickness you’ll need. Buy just what you need so you can see if crochet is for you or not. You don’t need to stock a haberdashery when you’re just getting started.
Even though certain yarns are recommended for certain projects, you should also remember that there’s an element of personal preference to consider. Trust in yourself since the goal is to enjoy yourself, after all. Nevertheless, we’re here to help you get started and it’s better to start off with a simple material that’s easy to crochet.
Choose a single colour so that it’s easier to see your work. Forget about thick wool as it tend to unravel and are tricky for beginners to work with. Soft cotton thread is easier to crochet with.
You’ll soon get the hang of it and you’ll be able to make whatever you want.
Useful Tools when Getting Started with Crochet
Even though you can crochet with just a hook and some thread, there are some tools that’ll make your life easier.
You’ll probably end up needing some scissors when you crochet. Choose a smallish pair of scissors, the same size as the ones you’d have in primary school, for example. These can be useful for cutting your thread at the end.
If you knit, you’ll know what we’re talking about and you probably won’t need to invest in one. A metal or plastic wool needle is useful for hiding the ends of the wool or thread in your creations.
Practical, isn’t it?
Even if clips or safety pins do the job, stitch markers in different colours can help you differentiate the threads used. As their name indicates, their job is to indicate the specific parts of your work, such as where you should change thread or increase or decrease.
Every good seamstress knows that measuring is everything and a measuring tape will help you a lot when you crochet. It’s always a good idea to measure your yarn before you start a project.
Now that you know what you’ll need, you’re ready to get started.
So which hook are you going to use?
If you want to learn more about how to do Tunisian crochet, Afghan crochet, tapestry, embellishment, knitting, or needlework, consider getting in touch with a private tutor. Whether you need help choosing your crochet thread, crochet kits, or craft yarn, they'll be able to help you with choosing a crochet kit and teaching you the techniques you'll need to get started!
On Superprof, there are three main types of tutorial on offer: face-to-face tutorials, online tutorials, and group tutorials. Each type has its pros and cons and the best one for you will depend on your budget and goals.
Group tutorials are usually the cheapest because you're sharing the cost of the tutor's time with the other students in attendance.
Face-to-face tutorials tend to be the most expensive (and cost-effective) as the tutor's all yours for the lesson and they'll be creating bespoke lessons for you.
Finally, if you want a one-on-one tutorial for less or can't find a suitable tutor where you live, online tutorials are great because they can be taught from anywhere in the world. All you need is a webcam and a decent internet connection!