5 Quick Crochet Tips for Beginners

By Rachel Choi – 28 Comments
  1. Pick the right color to work with. When you first start crocheting certain colors of yarn make it easier to see the stitches and others make it dreadfully hard. Try to avoid using very dark colored yarns such as black and very light light colored yarns such as white.
  2. Pick the right type of yarn. You don’t need fancy yarn when you first learn to crochet. In fact the facy yarns such as eyelash yarn and boucle will make it harder for you to learn and see your stitches. Stick to ordinary, simple and cheap yarn.
  3. Use a big hook. Bigger hooks make it easier to see stitches. As you may notice by now, being able to see the stitches is a big part of learning to crochet.
  4. Have fun. So what if this sounds cheesy. Don’t crochet if you’re not having fun doing it! Studies show that crocheting is actually good for your health, but if it’s stressing you out, it’s probably a good idea to take a break.
  5. Ask Rachel (me) for help. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help if you need it. I won’t bite. There’s nothing more dreadful than being frustrated over something hard to understand (I’ve been there). You can also find more help in the Crochet Tutorials section.

Do you have a crochet tip for beginners to share?

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28 Comments

  1. Stephanie says:

    I’m a new crocheter who is self-teaching. Not so sure that’s a good idea. I enjoy your blog and have it in my google reader. You’re kind to offer your help and give such terrific tips.

  2. Erin Lea says:

    I am a self-taught crocheter. I learned how to single crochet in girl scouts when I was 10, but didn’t actually crochet regularly until a year ago. I spent a lot of time online looking at different blogs and I have purchased several books as well.

  3. Erin Lea says:

    Rachel, I am wondering what your favorite yarn to work with is? either in the “plain” yarns or the fancy yarns. I like to use Red Heart Super Saver (because its cheap) for my stuffed animals, but that stuff is rough and irritates my hands if I work with it for a long time.

    • Rachel says:

      My favorite by far is Caron Simply Soft yarn. As the name indicates it is soft and not rough like the Red heart Super Saver. I used to buy rad heart a lot because of how cheap it is too! I also like Vanna’s Choice because of all the pretty colors, but sometimes Vanna’s Choice can be expensive.

  4. Caroline says:

    Make sure you’ve got good light – especially when dusk kind of creeps up on you and it gets darker while you are concentrating hard!

  5. Lizzy says:

    I love vanna’s choice, and completely agree it’s a great yarn to work with and they offer the most beautiful selection of colors!

    My tips for beginners are just what you said as well as that they start off with a simple, somewhat small project, and stick to just one stitch (single crochet, for example) until they get comfortable with the motions of yarn-ing over, turning, and such. It really only takes a while until it becomes all muscle memory and you can try different stitches or working in the round.

  6. When you crochet in the round, you MUST mark the beginning of each row somehow! If you don’t you will go crazy trying to figure out where you are. I always think I can keep up by counting, but something always makes me lose count somewhere along the line. I always looped a little piece of contrasting colored yarn through the stitch and removed it and used it on the next row, etc. I recently discovered the technique of using a LONG piece of yarn and weaving it in and out as you go along. That way you can easily see where you are, and can easily count what row you are on, if you get lost! This was recommended in a doll pattern I was recently working on, and it is so cool! Now why didn’t I think of that?

  7. Debbie says:

    If you are self teaching, try to find someone who is more experienced to help you over the rough spots. Or take one class and ask lots of questions.

  8. missy says:

    Hi Rachel, your site is in my favorites so that I can just click and come right here. I have a question on an afgahn that I’m trying to conquer. To explain the question better, I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind visiting a website to read a pattern for me and tell me what I’m doing wrong? If you don’t mind, please let me know and I’ll explain the question for you. Just so you know, it’s from a free Red Heart Pattern at http://www.coatsandclark.com.
    Do you have any nice, but fairly simple, afgahn patterns?

  9. T W says:

    Hello Rachel, I’m wanting to crochet your neck warmer for my 83 year-old mother for Christmas. I bought some boucle yarn because I thought it would really look nice but I’ve really had a hard time figuring out how to crochet with it. Any suggestions? I’ve been crocheting off and on for about 30 years and just recently picked it up again following the loss of my husband. It really helps to ease the tension. Thanks for any suggestions offered! By the way, great site!

  10. holli says:

    Hi Rachel,
    So I’m really getting into crochet. And I was at our craft store and bought a Q(16.00mm) hook. I have no idea what to use it for. Any ideas?

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Holli, you can probably use the Q (16mm) hook with super bulky yarn or with more than one strand of yarn held together. You can make something thick, like a rug, or you can make something lacy with thinner yarn. Just play around with it to see what you can come up with.

  11. Sherri says:

    Hi Rachel,

    I’m a new crocheter who is self-teaching. I am now trying to make a stuff toy and one of the components is a rectangle of 24sc x 34 row. The finished work curls seriously diagonally (two corners curls inward and the other 2 corners curls outward). Could you tell me what is wrong? Thank you.

    • Alma says:

      SHERRI: The biggest problem when you have curling of any kind is you either have too many stitches or not enough. This generally happens when you are crocheting into the last stitch or in the turning chain. Wish I knew just what you were doing wrong. When I teach I always have some safety pins to give to my students; I have them put a pin in the beginning stitch and the ending stitch that way you don’t loose or gain stitches. I wish you all the best and if I can help you in any way, please feel free to contact me, I will reply even if I can’t help you.

      GOD BLESS, Alma

  12. Rachel says:

    Hi Sherri,

    It’s hard to say without looking at it, but curling is normally due to it being too tight or uneven. You can try blocking your work to see if it helps. Learn more about blocking here: http://www.crochetspot.com/blocking-crochet/

  13. ndy says:

    hi,
    i just started taken up crocheting, I am trying to make a scarf to hopefully wear this winter but the edges of my scarf is crooked and not straight what do I do, I have done this scarf over and over again. Now am just fed up and starting again with a fresh yarn.

    • Rachel says:

      Crooked edges is common when you’re first starting out. It may be the number of turning chains that you are making, like when you begin the row you chain 2 or 3. If there’s a bump then it can be because you have too many chains in the turning chain. So if you’re crocheting 3 chains at the beginning of each row, try crocheting only 2 instead. It can also be caused by other reasons so let me know what pattern or stitches you are using so that I can help you better. Here’s a post with more tips that may help you out 7 Tips to Establish Consistency in Crochet

    • Alma says:

      NDY: What I do when I teach crochet is to hand out 2 safety pins; have them put a pin in the very first stitch of each row and in the very last stitch. That keeps you from gaining or dropping stitches, which that sounds like your problem. I wish you all the best and if I can help please feel free to contact me and I do reply to all my mail.

      GOD BLESS, Alma

  14. T W says:

    My question wasn’t answered but I keep getting notified everytime anyone else asks a question on here. Can my question be deleted if I’m not going to be answered?
    I still love this site.

  15. T W says:

    Thanks, Rachel! I wound up using another bulky yarn for that neck warmer but I still have the boucle so maybe she’ll get another neckwarmer this Christmas! Or maybe a scarf…

  16. Beverly says:

    I’m new at this crochet thing & I’ve attempted to make blankets & scarves but every project the edges come out crooked, almost like I’m trying to crochet a triangle! This especially seems to happen when I use the double crochet stitch. What in the world am I doing wrong? Any ideas?

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Beverly, here’s a post that has more tips in it that might help you out: 7 Tips to Establish Consistency in Crochet

      Regarding the crooked edges when doing the double crochet, try only using 2 chains at the beginning of each row instead of the typical 3 chains, and make sure to double crochet into each of the stitches across (no skipping any). Or if you do the 3 chains, skip the first double crochet and then make your last double crochet into the top of the chain 3 that’s at the end of the row.

    • Alma says:

      BEVERLY: It sounds like you are gaining and loosing stitches at the beginning and ending of your rows. What I do when teaching is give them 2 safety pins; have them mark the first stitch of each row and the last stitch and when you get to the last stitch take out the pin, finish your pattern, turn and do the first stitch and mark it. This has helped so many to learn what to do and how to notice the ends and beginning of rows. If I can help you please feel free to contact me as I do answer all my replies.

      GOD BLESS, Alma

  17. Denise says:

    Hi Rechel i am not getting any thing from you at all i still want to be on your list.

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Denise, try checking your spam folder to make sure the newsletter isn’t accidentally going into there. If you don’t see it, you can always resign up using the orange box on the upper right hand side of this page.

  18. Jenn says:

    Hi Rachel

    I am currently teaching myself to crochet using books and videos. Anyway, I am noticing that I am doing well for the first couple rows and then it gets really curvy. Not sure what I am doing, help if you can :-)

    Jenn

    • Rachel Choi says:

      Hi Jenn!
      The curving can be caused by a number of things. Here are some more basic tips that will probably cover anything that may be going wrong: 7 Tips to Establish Consistency in Crochet
      If you don’t think any of the tips apply, then you are probably crocheting correctly and the curving may be natural. If you need more help, feel free to email me ([email protected]) a picture and I can take a better look at it.

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