It’s official. This blog, now called Organically Crafty, has a new URL and my Facebook page is up and running. It’s been just under 24 hours, and I’ve had my first question come through. So, it’s inspired me to start a new category here on the blog, Crafty Q&A.
This question comes from Kimberly. She asks:
“I really want to learn how to do this kind of stuff. I have a grandbaby on the way and want to learn. Anyone know the best way to teach yourself?”
- Pick your yarn.
Use yarn that is thin and one texture. I started with this baby bernat yarn, but anything in this style, thin big enough for your project – and if you’re lucky, pattern included – is a great starter yarn. The homespun and bulky yarn is great, but you can’t see the pattern as well and you’re about 100x more likely to mess up and get frustrated (and if you’re like me, swear of the craft forever). If you don’t have a baby to craft for, try a yarn like this – it’s beautiful and still easy to work with.
From a professional craft-failer: Baby yarn is perfect to start with, and babies are the perfect recipients of your first yarn masterpiece. They’ll have absolutely no idea if you screwed up.
- Get more than enough yarn and in the same color.
If you’re new to yarn, you need to pick yarn that either has no dye lot or you examine the yarn label closely (in the store) and pick yarn that is from the same dye lot. Of course, if you’re buying one giant bundle of yarn, it’s no problem. NOTE: If you’re making for a baby – use baby yarn. Anything else irritates their skin, so yes it’s worth it!
- Pick your project and follow the pattern.
My advice: buy the yarn with the pattern or pick a pattern that is slated for beginners. Either pick a baby blanket, or do a scarf. It’s the same pattern over and over and you just go in a straight line, nothing more complicated, like hats or pretty headbands, till you get these basic stitches down. I promise – it will be worth understanding how crochet works. My first project was this hooded baby blanket.
- Pick your needle size and type.
Pay attention to what the pattern calls for and do not switch sizes. I like to get the multipack metal hooks because they’re easy to hold and they’re not slippy. Plus, it’s a minimal investment to see if you like crocheting. A lot of needle variety packs come with a beginner’s guide to stitches.
- Start crocheting!
Just do it, test it out and see what questions you come up with. The first day or two I played with my yarn and new crochet needles, I just practiced different stitches according to the little guide that came with my set. Once you nail how to hold the yarn (MOST important step right here. Find what’s comfortable and do what works for you – everyone does it differently), how to chain stitch (can be another toughie for beginners), and how to single crochet, double crochet, you are set.
Bonus step: Start with a group of friends. Even better if one has a little know-how on knitting, sewing or crocheting. Honestly, stitch and bitches are the best. Have one at work on your lunch break with coworkers or have it once a week as a wine night with your girls (or guys – it was a 20 something guy who introduced me to the art of crochet, and I’ve met plenty of guys who crochet since then, so it’s not an old ladies only sport by any means).