Since I started crocheting, many readers and followers have asked me to share how I’m learning and the books and patterns I’m using, so this post is the answer to those requests! Now, keep in mind that I have just been crocheting for a few weeks, so take all of this with a grain of salt. If you’re an experienced crocheter and have some tips, resources, or patterns to share, please do so!
This is just what I’ve discovered so far…
I have learned through a mix of books and videos. I have tended to use videos when it comes to specific projects, like hats or mittens, and books to learn specific stitches. I looked at a few different stitch books and my favorite one is the Crochet Stitch Dictionary. (You can get this book used from $2.99 on Amazon). It has a wide variety of stitches and it feels like it’s geared towards beginners. It doesn’t assume you know the full crochet vocabulary.
It also has pictures for each stitch and shows it with the pattern symbol and abbreviation, so you can start to learn the vocabulary…
…and each new stitch shows a swatch and step-by-step pictures. I can go to this book, learn a new stitch, and practice it by making a dishcloth.
So, I’ve been making lots of dishcloths! I’ve been using them for cleaning in the kitchen and I love them! I received one as a wedding gift, but used it as a potholder instead of a dishcloth. What have I been thinking? These things are awesome. I just have to get over getting them dirty!
I typically use the Sugar n’ Cream thread in Ecru for dishcloths.
The other book I’ve used a lot is the Essential Guide to Crochet. It’s actually a magazine, but doesn’t seem to be a limited publication. I found it at JoAnn’s. Like the Stitch Dictionary, it has pictures, diagrams, and assumes this is a new world to the reader. It also has a lot of cute projects in it. Some projects in some of these magazines are definitely not my style, but this book has a lot that I would make.
I’ve been making the granny square afghan from this magazine. Mine is going to be a chunky cotton spread and I think I’m going to put fluffy tassels on the end, but we’ll see.
I’ve only made 10 squares so far and I’m going to need to make at least 30 more to make it a decent-sized throw! That’s a lot of yarn!
The other book I’ve enjoyed and would suggest is Easy Crochet Dishcloths. (This book also starts at $2.99 in the new/used section.) This gives some specific dishcloth patterns that are beyond doing one stitch over and over.
One thing that’s improved my finished dishcloths tremendously is using bulb pins as stitch markers. I mark the end of each row, so I start and end the subsequent rows in the right place. My dishcloths are now square instead of being trapezoids.
And, I’m still figuring out the world of yarns. There are just sooooooo many yarns out there and so many reasons why you want to use one size and material for a specific project. It’s a lot like figuring out the oil paint brands and colors you like. You just have to buy a skein, try it out for a project, and decide if you like it or not. I have some fun wools and cottons in my stash to try for various things I want to make.
For specific projects, here are some video tutorials that have been helpful…
The awesome thing about crochet is that once you learn some of the principles, you can make tons of things! Just from learning the magic circle, the treble stitch, and how to increase (from the mitten tutorial), I was able to make a cat bed without a pattern…
A few people have asked for the pattern, so I’ll make one more and make a pattern to share. If you don’t want to wait, you can find all sorts of free tutorials for crochet cat beds online.
I’m hoping to get lots of crocheting done during the lull between Christmas and New Years. It’s been a relaxing thing for me to do while watching TV in the evening or just hanging out around the house. If you’ve been thinking about picking up crochet, I would encourage you to try it!
Don’t be afraid to be a beginner at something…
PS – The winners of the Magnolia Pearl Giveaway are…
Congrats to the winners and thanks to all who played along!