February 21, 2012
Tips for Crocheting Newbies
Guest post by Lisa Woodruff from A Life Full of Laughter. A little over a year ago, I taught myself to crochet. Now, I love it and actually prefer it to knitting. It’s quicker, easier and more relaxing for me. The learning, on the other hand, was slightly stressful! I taught myself with the help of library books, websites and You Tube videos. Oh, and lots & lots of practice! If you are a newbie, or even just want to learn to crochet, I have a few tips for you. Before you know it you’ll be crazy about crochet just like I am! 1) RELAX! This is most important! Just relax and have fun…. crocheting is supposed to be a hobby! You are just learning so you are bound to make mistakes, it’s okay. As a matter of fact, everyone makes mistakes sometimes, no matter how long they’ve been crocheting. 2) Check out You Tube. Just put in “crochet” or “learn to crochet” and you’ll be set for hours. It helps to watch someone else do the various stitches & show you each step slowly. 3) Choose yarn in colors that you truly love for your first project. If you enjoy the colors you will be more likely to continue picking up the project and getting more practice. 4) Don’t hold the yarn too tightly. Just let it flow through your fingers. The tension on your yarn will make a big difference in the outcome of your project. Not to mention the fact that by holding so tightly to the yarn, you are clenching your body. You’ll feel that tension in your shoulders and back. Instead, just loosen your grip slightly and concentrate on taking your time. This isn’t a race! 5) Enjoy the process and take pride in your accomplishments. Learning something new is difficult. Don’t be too hard on yourself. When I was teaching myself, I decided that I was going to repeat each step as long as I needed until I felt comfortable. I did the starting chain over & over again. Then I moved on to the foundation row. Again, I repeated it over and over. I did this throughout all the steps. It was fun at the end to say that I’d actually taught myself and now I have a hobby that I really enjoy! I’d like to mention, too, a great product that EatSmart sells that you can use in your crocheting journey. This product is their Precision Pro Kitchen Scale. I love to use this scale to weigh my yarn. As you are working on your projects, you will begin to accumulate lots of small balls of yarn. You still want to use them up but it can be difficult to know how much you have or how far they’ll go in your project. If you use the Precision Pro Kitchen Scale you will know exactly. When I’m working on a striped project, like my Granny Stripe Afghan, I can simply weigh the yarn before I start a new color. Then, after I’ve crocheted the two rows I can weigh it again. Once I subtract the two numbers I find out how much is needed for a color repeat. From there, all I have to do is weigh the rest of my scrap balls to see if each one will complete a two row color repeat. I love that I’m able to stretch my yarn stash and make it more useful! In closing, I hope that you all take the leap into crocheting! You’ll be glad you did because you’ll find a relaxing, useful hobby that you can take anywhere you go. Just remember…..this is supposed to be fun! About the Author: Lisa is happily married with one child, who left for college last fall, so she's a new empty nesters. She runs the blog, A Life Full of Laughter. She'd love for you to join her as she blogs about her love of quilting, knitting, gardening, reading, crocheting, pets, relationships, reviewing books & products, offering giveaways and life in general!