Beginners Series Number 1: What do you need to crochet?

So you’ve decided you want to learn to crochet. So what do you need? Well, like any craft, that depends on what you want to produce. But there are some things which are good to collect when you’re a beginner.

Hooks

Crochet Beginners Series: What Do You Need? : Crochet of a Subversive Reader

You definitely need a hook to crochet. Hooks come in different sizes, which (like most things in crochet) may have different markings/names depending on when and where they were made. In Australia we tend to use the millimetre naming system – so you can buy 3mm hooks, 4mm hooks, 4.5mm hooks etc. If you’re just starting out a 4mm hook is a great investment. I’d throw in a 5mm and a 3mm or 3.5mm as well. You can find a hook conversion chart here.

Hooks are also made of different materials. I’d avoid plastic unless you’re buying bigger hooks – I’ve broken my fair share of plastic hooks. Plain metal ones are great for beginners, and when you start to crochet more, you might want to look into the more ergonomically friendly hooks, like the one on the right in the photo.

Yarn

Crochet Beginners Series: What Do You Need? : Crochet of a Subversive Reader

Although you can crochet with kitchen string, plastic bags or recycled material, most people learn to crochet with yarn. Again, the type of yarn you will use depends on your project. I use a lot of acrylic yarns which are easy to work with (I find the nastiest, scratchiest ones are the best for amigarumi toys), but I’m starting to appreciate the beauty of wool and some of the blends. Stay away from the fluffier novelty yarns, though. They’re really difficult to crochet with.

Additional Other Stuff

Crochet Beginners Series: What Do You Need? : Crochet of a Subversive Reader

Here’s some of the other things I use for my crochet:

  • Scissors – a nice little pair of embroidery scissors have been best for me
  • Tape Measure – for lengths and gauge/tension
  • Yarn Needle – a strong needle with a big hole for yarn to fit through
  • Stitch Markers – I’m new to these (usually I just count things) but there are gorgeous ones out there just for crocheters
  • Pins – for holding pieces together
  • Notebook – or paper of some sort for writing ideas and patterns down and for keeping track of rows

I’m sure there’s lots of other things that crocheters use, but these are my basics. If you get a small collection like this together, you’ll be ready to jump into the world of crochet.

Where can you find these things?

Here, I need to talk from an Australian point of view. I buy hooks at yarn shops, Spotlight or Lincraft, Big W or my local discount shop (which has quite a brilliant range). I also buy yarn at those places, plus online. (By the way, Lincraft has a good online shop). Yarn needles and stitch markers are usually available at the more specialised craft shops, while I got my scissors and tape measure in an affordable pack at Big W. Notebooks, obviously, are everywhere (this particular one is a nice Kikki K one) but you also might like to get some graph paper – I got a student graph book from the newsagent.

Anything Else?

You might want to find a good crochet book for beginners – I picked up a crochet for beginners from Spotlight. You also might like to buy a crochet magazine, either from the newsagent or on your iPad if you have one (I get three magazines on my iPad now!) – crochet magazines usually have instructions for how to crochet at the back, though check if they’re in US or UK terms – you can use either, but you need to know which one you’re learning. (There’s even an occasional magazine with left handed instructions!)

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3 thoughts on “Beginners Series Number 1: What do you need to crochet?

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