How To Learn To Crochet

How To Learn To Crochet
Carly Jacobs
I

know I keep banging on about crochet at the moment but I have a lot of people asking me about how I learned to do it so I thought I’d write blog post about it. (If you don’t give a crap about crochet here’s a post I wrote ages ago about adorable made up words so you can read that today instead). I started to crochet because I’m shit house at sitting still. I like to be constantly doing something. I rarely if ever watch TV without doing something else at the same time and I get up at least every 20 minutes during my work day. I’m pretty twitchy.

how to learn to crochet

Blogging and writing used to be my hobby – I’d teach all day and then come home and spend the rest of the night on my laptop, blogging, writing and social media-ing. I now blog and write full-time which means that when I reach 6pm, I’m ready to hurl my computer against the wall so I need to do something else to keep my brain busy at night. I come from a family of knitters and I’ve tried knitting so many times in my life and I just sucked at it. I couldn’t get my tension right, I’d drop stitches all over the place and I had a terrible technique. My mate Pip from Meet Me at Mike’s is a crocheter and I kept seeing her cute projects pop up in my feed and I thought I’d bite the bullet and book in for a class. That was in March this year so I’ve only been crocheting for 4 months but I’ve come a long way in that time. If you’re keen to get handy with a hook, here’s how to learn to crochet…

1. Do an in-person class

I honestly don’t think I would have picked up crocheting as quickly as I did if I hadn’t booked in for an in-person class. I did mine at Yarn and Co on Smith Street and it was brilliant. My lovely teacher (who’s name I cannot for the life of me remember) pointed out all the bits and pieces that I couldn’t figure out from YouTube tutorials. It was like $80 for a private class and it’s easily the best money I’ve spent this year. I did an ask around on Facebook for some good crochet classes around Australia so here’s a few you might be interested in (if you know of others please let me know in the comments and I’ll add it to the post).

Wool School in Sydney – This one is run by one of our gorgeous students of Little Blog Big. You should check out her blog Paper and Pin – it’s beautiful!

Morris & Sons in Melbourne – this is a shop too and it is DANGEROUS.

Yarn & Co in Melbourne – this is where I went and it was rad. Can’t recommend it highly enough.

Mockingbird Lounge in Adelaide

Yarn Over in Brisbane

2. Make at least 25 granny squares

For the first month, I only made granny squares. During this time I developed my style and learned how to keep my tension consistent. Granny squares are super portable and teach you basic stitches, fastening off and changing yarn colours. I’d recommend making quite a few of these before you move on to anything more complicated.

3. Buy some books

There are some fantastic free resources available on the web but I was really able to crank my crocheting up a notch when I purchased a few books. I’ve found that web crochet instructions are sometimes incomplete or not very clear. There are some fantastic free resources on the web (hello Ravelry!) but I’ve personally had more consistent results from patterns that I’ve paid for online or bought in books. These are my three favourite books I’ve bought so far and they’re perfect for beginners. Particularly beginners that like modern crochet.

Molla Mills Modern Crochet

Screenshot 2015-07-27 16.43.20

Marion Madel The New Crochet

Screenshot 2015-07-27 16.43.43

Sally Harding Crochet Step by Step

Screenshot 2015-07-27 16.43.06

4. Find some websites you love

I’m quite specific about the patterns and colours I like in crocheting. I don’t love crazy bright patterns and traditional granny square style rugs, so I follow more minimalist crocheters like All About Ami and Molla Mills. I also love Crochet in Colour and Attic 24 and I use their patterns but adapt the colour scheme to suit my more muted tastes. If you have a cruise around I’m sure you’ll be able to find a crocheter that suits your tastes.

5. Practice, practice, practice

Practice really does make perfect when it comes to crocheting, so do it as often as you can. In front of the TV at night, while your kids do swimming lessons (I know Retro Mummy does this!), if you’re waiting at the doctor’s office or if you’re on public transport. I do it most nights at around 9pm as my way of winding for the day.

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Are you a crocheter? Do you want to be? Any awesome crochet resources you’d like to share?

 

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P.S Did you know there’s a Smaggle newsletter? And Smags on Facebook? There’s lots of cool shit in both places so make sure you go to there.

24 Comments

  1. little miss scout 4 years ago

    I get so jealous when I see your projects or Pips! I did a one night crochet course last year and learnt the basic stitches. Then googled how to make a granny square (ultimate goal!!) and got all confused and gave up. But thanks to your article I will try to find someone to do privates.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 4 years ago

      I totally recommend it. You really only need the one and if your teacher is good she’ll show you all the things you don’t get.

  2. Jules L 4 years ago

    I cannot recommend Unwind Craft Cafe in Keilor East for lessons. My crocheting has improved dramatically since taking lessons there. Plus they srock the gorgeous range from The Bendigo Wool Mill. http://www.unwindcraftcafe.com.au or check them out on Facebook.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 4 years ago

      I just looked them up and their prices are amazing! What a great little place. I’ll add them to the list.

  3. Amy 4 years ago

    I picked up crochet again this year to help with some depression/anxiety symptoms. I enrolled in the Craftsy.com course with Kim Werker ‘Crochet- Basics and Beyond’ and found it really great. It helped me identify some mistakes I was was making all the time and I was able to make my first successful project – yay! I also have the crochet step by step book you mentioned and find it really helpful too.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 4 years ago

      I cannot believe how amazing it is for anxiety. I’ve been having a lot of trouble getting to sleep so I’ve bee crochet until I get the nods and when I go to bed, I nod off immediately. It’s totally fixed me. I love the Step by Step book! I want to go through and try out every stitch.

  4. Ooh did you do a private class rather than one of the workshops at Yarn & Co? I haven’t been able to make any of the workshops so a private class might be an excellent idea! I’m so keen to get started too!

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 4 years ago

      Yes! Because I went to book in for one of their classes and it didn’t get enough students so they cancelled it. Plus I was being impatient. Also it’s around $60 for a group lesson and like $80 for a private. Totally worth it.

  5. Lisa 4 years ago

    I learned granny squares from the Meet Me At Mikes tutes. I am yet to progress beyond that but I’m rockin’ some tidy granny square blankets now. 🙂

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 4 years ago

      It’s so important to stick to granny squares for a while. They’re a great way to perfect your technique!

  6. This is one craft I’ll admire from a distance, I just don’t have the patience! x

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 4 years ago

      I actually thought that too (seriously I’m so twitch and I rush all the time) so I’m shocked as hell that it actually agrees with me. It makes me patient which is totally bizarre.

  7. Jamie 4 years ago

    I really got into crochet about 6 years ago, and I’ve loved it ever since! I learned to knit as a child and was always awful at it (similar to the reasons you’ve listed), but I picked it up again a few years ago and I’m convinced that learning to crochet made me a better knitter. Crochet still has my heart, though…I’m currently finishing a “Halloween” afghan made of purple, orange, and black granny squares! 🙂

    I used Debbie Stoller’s (from Bust magazine) crochet book to learn: http://www.amazon.ca/Stitch-Bitch-Crochet-Happy-Hooker/dp/0761139850/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1438085036&sr=8-2&keywords=Debbie+Stoller – and practiced, practiced, practiced constantly from there!

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 4 years ago

      Oh I love the look of that book! I think I might add it to my list!

      • Jamie 4 years ago

        You should check it out! It’s so cheeky and great. 🙂

  8. peregrinationgourmande 4 years ago

    I’m not crafty at all but I like to see what my crocheting friends manage to do. One of my friend made a Totoro for my daughter. Incredible. That might be a good thing for me as a meditation activity. x cathy

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 4 years ago

      I’ve just booked in for a amigurumi class on the weekend! Can’t wait to get into toys!

  9. Georgie 4 years ago

    My mum is a crochet ninja, but it took me forever to get the hang of it. Found this site while learning:
    http://www.craftyminx.com/crochet-school/
    Its really awesome and it might help anyone who is struggling. Happy crocheting!!

  10. Author
    Carly Jacobs 4 years ago

    Oh awesome! Thanks for the link!

  11. nessbow 4 years ago

    I have been crocheting for about eight years now and I absolutely love it. I learned the basics from my mother and just ran from there. I love youtube tutorials for learning new stitches and I pick up patterns from all over the place. I also have a few books that were my mother’s and grandmother’s which have been immensely helpful.

    Although I loved knitting I was never any good at it and I found crocheting much easier to learn. I think it’s easier to backtrack when you make a mistake and that helped me to feel more confident. And after years of crocheting, some of my skills transferred to knitting and now I’m a much better knitter. It takes time and practice to learn, but it’s a great skill.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs-Smaggle 4 years ago

      Oh totally! My whole family knits and I’m the only crocheter but my mum’s become totally fomo about the whole thing and started to learn granny squares! 🙂

  12. Janet 4 years ago

    My mom taught me to crochet years ago, but I haven’t done it in ages. I’m thinking about giving it a try again. Fun fact: my mom was taught crochet by her grandmother, who was blind, so my mom learned to crochet by feel and doesn’t look at her hands while she’s working. She’s crocheted thousands of blankets, scarves, beanies, booties, potholders and all kinds of other items while watching TV. Unfortunately I didn’t inherit that skill level.

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