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A Beginners Adventures In Crocheting | For Beginners By A Beginner

Updated on September 24, 2014

A Beginners Adventures In Crocheting | For Beginners By A Beginner

Are you a beginner to crocheting? Do you want to know how to read a crochet pattern, learn what those crochet abbreviations really mean and learn how to do the different crochet stitches? Well so do I!

So come on in, grab a coffee and together we can learn crocheting for beginners, hopefully in a way that we can all understand!




All photos on this page are either from my own album or from Morguefile and as such do not require attribution

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crochet pattern
crochet pattern

What Do You Need To Begin Crocheting?

If you are new to crocheting, the first step is to find a pattern for your first crochet project...

I would suggest that you start off by getting yourself a crochet pattern. The crochet pattern will give you all of the information you will need to complete your project, from the type and how much yarn to buy, the size of hook required and the detailed instructions on how to work up your crocheting pattern.

Needless to say, and true to form, without ever having crocheted before, I jumped straight in at the deep end when I saw a lifesize crocheted greyhound which I loved and I bought the pattern from an Etsy shop. But you can find lots of free crochet patterns on the internet, I have included some links to a few free patterns below so that you can browse through and maybe find a crocheting pattern to suit your first project.

What is crocheting?

Well basically, as I understand it, crocheting is a little bit like knitting with only one needle! You create your finished items by wrapping the yarn around the crochet hook and pulling loops through other loops!

Aluminium Crochet Hook Conversion Chart - Crochet Hook Sizes And Their Equivalents

Metric (mm)
USA
UK/Canada
2
 
14
2.25
B/1
13
2.5
 
12
2.75
C/2
 
3
 
11
3.25
D/3
10
3.5
E/4
9
3.75
F/5
 
4
G/6
8
4.5
 
7
5
H/8
6
5.5
I/9
5
6
J/10
4
6.5
K/10.5
3
7
 
2
8
L/11
0
9
M/13
00
10
N/15
000

Which Crochet Hook To Use?

So, once we have the pattern we will know what size crochet hook is called for. I am in the UK working from an American pattern so I needed to know the Britsh equivalent of US crochet hook sizes (see the table below if you need to convert between crochet hook sizes)

I only needed a size G (or 4mm) hook for my pattern but assuming that I would carry on with the crocheting bug when my greyhound is complete, this is the set I went for. There are 12 different crochet hooks ranging in size from 2mm to 8mm, enough to cover most needs I would have thought.


There are quite a variety of crochet hooks to choose from such as the aluminium ones above, walnut, birch and bamboo crochet hooks, there are lightweight plastic hooks and a combination of aluminium and steel. You can even get Crochet Hooks that light up just in case you want to crochet in the dark!!!

My mentor uses a gold plated crochet hook and swears that I would never use the aluminium ones again once I tried it, she says they are so smooth to use. But as a beginner in crocheting I'm not sure whether I could justify the cost of several gold plated crochet hooks just yet :-)

Do you have a particular type of crochet hook that you prefer to use, or did you just buy what you thought was about right?

What Are The Basic Crochet Stitches And Their Abbreviations?

The basic crochet stitches needed to complete the instructions on my life size greyhound crochet pattern

Of course there are more stitches to learn than I give here, but I am a complete beginner to crocheting and as such am only beginning to learn the basics, the time may well come when I graduate to more complicated stitches.

CHAIN STITCH - (ch)

SINGLE CROCHET - (sc)

DOUBLE CROCHET - (dc)

HALF DOUBLE CROCHET - (hdc)

TREBLE CROCHET - (tr)

SLIP STITCH - (sl st)

For a more complete list of crocheting abbreviations click here

We all like to learn in different ways so if you are somebody who would prefer to learn crocheting through books Teach Yourself Visually is a good starting poin

Learn How To Do The Crochet Stitches - The video tutorials below will show you the basics of how to do crocheting

I found it much easier to learn how to do the different crocheting stitches that I needed for my life sized greyhound by watching these video tutorials, it makes it so much easier when you can actually see somebody else doing the stitches that trying to understand some written instructions which aren't always that clear to follow!

Hover over the thumbnails to find out which crochet stitch the particular video refers to.

Use The Correct Yarn And Hook!

I say this because the size of the finished project will not be right if you use a smaller (or larger) hook and yarn! For instance, working the crochet pattern for the greyhound using a smaller hook and DK yarn will result in something the size of a small whippet!

Equivalent Yarn Weights For Crocheting

I had to do some research before beginning to crochet my greyhound to find the UK equivalent yarn for the pattern. The table below gives the UK equivalent of US yarn weights.

US & UK Yarn Weight Equivalents

US & UK Yarn Weight Equivalents
US & UK Yarn Weight Equivalents

If Your Pattern Calls For Crocheting In Rounds You Will Need Some Stitch Markers

Clover Lock Ring Markers
Clover Lock Ring Markers

Of course you can search around for suitable safety pins or paper clips etc. to mark your stitches but trust me, these locking stitch markers will make your life so much easier!

Part of my greyhound pattern is crocheted in rounds rather than rows so, if I slip one of these over the last stitch in the round I don't have to concentrate too hard on counting the number of stitches in the next round! The fact that they lock is a bonus because it virtually eliminates the risk of them falling out and making you forget where the end of the round is.

I am sure that as I get further into crocheting I will find other uses for these very handy stitch markers.

Amazon UK customers please follow the link below for:

Locking Stitch Markers

 

This Is The Part Where We Find Out How The Crocheted Greyhound Is Coming Along - This is likely to be a slow project but I will add photos as I go

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The tail required a little concentration counting the stitches in the circles but it seemed the easiest place to begin my crocheting adventure!The ear needed me to learn a few more stitches and was a little bit trickier... I need another one of these... unless I call him Van Gogh! (Thanks to Lynne from Dip-Dip and the Bridge for pointing me in the right direction here)The front leg is coming along nicely!The finished chrocheted front leg of the greyhound compared to our greyhound, Declan. Though it's not as muscly, the length seems to be in the right area!
The tail required a little concentration counting the stitches in the circles but it seemed the easiest place to begin my crocheting adventure!
The tail required a little concentration counting the stitches in the circles but it seemed the easiest place to begin my crocheting adventure!
The ear needed me to learn a few more stitches and was a little bit trickier... I need another one of these... unless I call him Van Gogh! (Thanks to Lynne from Dip-Dip and the Bridge for pointing me in the right direction here)
The ear needed me to learn a few more stitches and was a little bit trickier... I need another one of these... unless I call him Van Gogh! (Thanks to Lynne from Dip-Dip and the Bridge for pointing me in the right direction here)
The front leg is coming along nicely!
The front leg is coming along nicely!
The finished chrocheted front leg of the greyhound compared to our greyhound, Declan. Though it's not as muscly, the length seems to be in the right area!
The finished chrocheted front leg of the greyhound compared to our greyhound, Declan. Though it's not as muscly, the length seems to be in the right area!

Crocheting With Black Yarn Can Be A Bit Difficult To See...

With the crocheting completed on the two front legs, the tail and the ears I decided that it was time to start on the head and neck of the greyhound.

The nose is worked in black yarn and because my eyesight isn't that great, even with my glasses on, I was finding it a little bit difficult to see where the stitches were in the black yarn. I would get to the end of a round and either have too many or not enough stitches remaining so I was having to pull the crocheting back and start again.

Some Free Crochet Patterns To Try

If you want to learn how to crochet try some of the easy crocheting patterns for beginners available online

If you feel that with the help of the tutorials you would have the confidence to begin your first steps in crocheting why not try make up one of these free patterns.

The Crocheted Shamrock Garland will make a simple decoration for St Patrick's Day. The Crocheted Granny Square or is a great place to start for beginners.

If you feel quite adventurous why not try your hand at the Crocheted Dog Sweater.

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    • Zodiacimmortal profile image

      Kim 3 years ago from Yonkers, NY

      I've added this lens to my lens https://hubpages.com/art/craft-cat as I more or less just started. I think it's Nice to be able to learn and teach as you go.

    • SheilaSchnauzies profile image

      Sheila 3 years ago from Omaha, NE

      Hi, it's me, Squidoo's Creative Crochet Coordinator! Here to recommend your lens for a boost in lens rank! You did a great job on this lens! Happy crocheting and keep writing those great lenses!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      i saw this pattern and it was why i learned to crochet completed it august start jan

    • Deadicated LM profile image

      Deadicated LM 5 years ago

      Cool Lens, thanks for all the great information and instructions. Well done!

    • Sniff It Out profile image
      Author

      Sniff It Out 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks Janet, I wonder what Declan (he's the real greyhound) will make of the finished article... he keeps trying to run off with one of the legs as it is!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I haven't been crocheting very long, so I'm almost a beginner. I was looking for a comparible yarn to worsted weight so I found your conversion charts useful and picked up a few tips too. I hope we can see the finished greyhound with the real one soon!

    • Sniff It Out profile image
      Author

      Sniff It Out 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you for the blessing cffutah, it's much appreciated :-) let me know how you get on if you do decide to try your hand at crocheting!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Terrific friendly tips on crocheting, I know my daughter tries to get me to do this, I watched one of the videos which gave me some good tips and maybe I'll begin this too with my daughter. *blessed by a squid angel*

    • Sniff It Out profile image
      Author

      Sniff It Out 5 years ago

      @RuthieDenise: I never really thought about learning crocheting until I saw the greyhounds... If you want to learn go ahead and find a pattern that you would really like to make, it doesn't have to be anything big, and go for it!

    • Sniff It Out profile image
      Author

      Sniff It Out 5 years ago

      @parmaggie: Yes, I did wonder whether I might have bitten off more than I can chew... but nothing ventured nothing gained eh :-)

    • Sniff It Out profile image
      Author

      Sniff It Out 5 years ago

      @SunshineLollipops: It's not as easy as it might look, it does require all of my concentration at the moment, but with practice I am beginning to master the basic stitches :-)

    • RuthieDenise profile image

      RuthieDenise 5 years ago

      I've always wanted to learn.

    • parmaggie profile image

      parmaggie 5 years ago

      Big job for a beginner. You are brave! I crochet but basically easy stuff. Great lens. Thank you.

    • profile image

      SunshineLollipops 5 years ago

      You make it look so easy! I will have to get my crochet hook out and try again :) Thanks for the tips. Great lens!