Getting Crafty: Crochet Edition
I've mentioned in previous posts that I crochet, needlepoint and recently started some machine embroidery. These hobbies are therapeutic, great for pursuing while spending time with family, and make meaningful gifts!
I first learned to crochet lace doilies on a study abroad trip with my high school history class. My host family's mother was a school art teacher, and her daughter had no interest in crafting. She was thrilled with my eagerness to learn, and since we didn't speak the same language, it was a great way for us to spend time together. I really enjoyed it but didn't keep up with it. I picked it back up in college when one my of my roommates was an avid crocheter, and I haven't stopped since.
It is around this time of year that I usually switch from needlepoint to crochet (my cozy, winter hobby). This year, I was really excited to get started on a blanket for our master bedroom, so I'm already about two-thirds through my first project of the season!
If you're interested in getting started with crochet, begin with a few basic stitches on YouTube. By learning a chain stitch and a single crochet, you'll be ready to start crocheting. You may need to watch a few different videos before you find one that suits your style of holding a crochet hook, so be patient.
All you really need is a hook and a yarn that work well together. The pattern you are using or the video you are watching should indicate hook size and yarn weight.
I recommend starting with a dishcloth. It's a great way to test your tension and yarn to see how it aligns with patterns, and it's a fun way to learn stitches. You can complete one in an hour or so (once you build up your speed), and they are a practical item to have around the kitchen.
Shopping for yarn is one of my favorite parts of this hobby. It's far less expensive than needlepoint, though some of the fancier or thicker yarns can be $10 a skein or more, even at a craft store like Michael's or Joann's. There are all kinds of different weights and materials out there, and over time you'll find what you most enjoy. My current favorite is the Bernat blanket yarns.
Susan Bates crochet hooks - I especially love the acrylic ones
Bernat Blanket Yarn - This is the best for blankets. Steer clear of the velvet if you're just learning; it's really tricky to work with.
Lily Sugar n Cream - I buy this in colors to match my kitchen for dishcloths. It is inexpensive and washes well.
There are lots of great resources out there to get you started:
Yarnspirations - makers of the Bernat Blanket, and a resource for lots of great patterns
Daisy Farm Crafts - consistently great patterns and tutorial videos
Wool and the Gang - unique materials and patterns
Let us know if you're a current crocheter or considering a new hobby full of hygge! Speaking of hygge, don't forget to enter our giveaway, announced yesterday!
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