8 Great Tips for Teaching Crochet

By Rachel Choi – 24 Comments
Need help teaching a friend to crochet? Great! You’ve come to the right place. In this post I’ll share with you 8 tips to help you teach someone to crochet. From my own experiences, I’ve learned quite a bit, from situations that went horrible wrong to those that went right. Hopefully, these tips will give you more confidence in teaching others to crochet. There can never be enough crocheters in the world! teaching crochet
  1. Demonstrate first. If someone has no clue how to crochet, it may be a good idea to just show them before he/she even picks up the hook. Do a few rows, just so your student can get a visual of what crocheting looks like. He/she will be able to see how your hands and yarn move.
  2. Skip the technicalities, work on the basics. Don’t get caught up with the technical aspects of crochet. The chances that a newbie would actually remember are slim. Plus, too much information can be mind boggling! Just stick to the basics stitches and once your student gets the hand of it you can move on.
  3. Go slow. Everyone learns at their on speed. Start off slow so that your student can see exactly what you are doing. If need be, you can even work in slow motion. Once your student starts to get the hang of crochet, you can start to work faster.
  4. Give step by step instructions. Remember to give all the instructions. As an avid crocheter, you may overlook even the smallest steps because you’re so used to doing it.
  5. Use proper terms. It will be easier for the student later, if you use proper terms now. Try to avoid describing steps by saying “that thingy”. When your student is familiar with crochet terms, it will be easier to learn more techniques and read crochet patterns in the future.
  6. Don’t be boring. The fastest way to make your student run away is to make crocheting seem boring! Just about anything can be crocheted, from toys, bags, clothing, and blankets. With so many options crocheting is definitely not boring. You may want to start with a small project that your student wants to crochet.
  7. Use tutorials. You don’t have to be an encyclopedia of crochet instructions! You can use tutorials such as the ones on Crochet Spot to assist you in teaching. Here are some great tutorials that you can use for beginners (both left and right handed): Learning to Crochet.
  8. Be patient. I’m sure there will be moments of frustration, especially if you are teaching someone who is brand new to crocheting. Just be patient and you and your student will have a good time!

Do you have a tip for teaching crochet you would like to share? Leave it as a comment for others to read!

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  1. sue says:

    I absolutely love the baby hat and newborn hat patterns. I have made them each now and my daughter stole them for her baby dolls. my friends all wanted to know where I got the patterns.
    I so enjoy looking through your posts and seeing all the patterns

  2. Carmel says:

    Thank you for this post! I know several people who are interested in learning, so I really needed it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Gaz says:

    This is great. I’ve been meaning to continue lessons w/my fiancee. We only did one. He did a chain and I think 3 single crochets before we had to stop. Basically, all I want is for him to help me make amigurumi to stock up my Etsy shop and for the anime conventions, especially when we have a couple back-to-back. So all he really needs to learn is single and double crochets, how to work in the round and increasing and decreasing.
    I have a friend who knits who wanted to learn to crochet just for a few amigurumi patterns but she’s too used to working w/2 needles to comfortably hold a hook.
    I often tell people interested in crocheting that it’s really not much more than just pulling yarn through loops – it’s just how many loops and how you group them that create different patterns and textures. It’s insanely simple at its core, you just got to practice til you get the dexterity to do it smooth and seamlessly.

  4. Terri G says:

    I’ve been doing classes for a few years now… one of the BIG problems that my beginners have was the “where do I stick the hook?” problem. Just this session (oh, why didn’t I think of this sooner?!), I started making my sample swatches out of yarns of four different colors. That way, they can easily see the difference in height between the stitches and where each row’s stitches go. I still haven’t figured out a trick for the “where do I start” and “where do I stop” challenges (whether to crochet into the top of the turning chain and how many stitches in to begin). If there are any cool ideas that anyone has for that, I’d be delighted to learn them!

    • Andrea says:

      Good advice! I’m thinking of starting some classes in my town and I like the idea of using different colors for each row to demonstrate where to put the hook. I would just have them mark the first stitch of the row. Then they know where to put the last stitch. (Either in it or top of ch depending on pattern.) Then they are able to see the difference between the two.

  5. Brenda GA says:

    This is wonderful advice for teaching any skill. I look forward to your newsletters and always get inspiration from your designs and insight. Thank you for all you do.

  6. Nanabear says:

    I have been teaching crochet for a few years and once the students learned the stitches they wanted to create their own projects. So the next obvious step was: getting patterns and reading them. Most of them got lost with trying to read the pattern. So, I told them to get a large piece of paper and take time to do the following: for each row of instructions write down everything that is before a “,” (comma) then start a new line with whatever is written to the next “,” comma. This way they will have a longer description of the pattern and as they progress with each stitch, they also understand what they are doing. I also supply documents that explain and show the different stitches before they start. Once they figure out how to read patterns – some of them take flight – and you can’t stop them. Once that happens, I know I have done my job well. Hope this idea will help those who teach crochet, or those who are intimidated with 10 lines of instruction for a pattern. Good Luck,

  7. Hannah Truelson says:

    Thanks Rachel! I really want to teach my little sister and she really wants to learn but I think she’s left handed. I’m right handed in crochet, so I don’t know how to teach her. Do you have any suggestions?

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Hannah, try using some of my tutorials, they have both left and right handed pics in them.

    • Alma says:

      HANNAH: I’m a long time left handed crocheter! I now teach a lot of classes all over town. What you do is use the “Mirror Image” = That is where you stand/sit in front of the person and have them do with their left hand what you are doing with your right. This is so easy and I’ve taught so many and even a few left handed people too. I’ve had so much success with my teaching and my students leave doing great.

      Hope this helped you and if you have any questions please, please feel free to contact me. I try to respond as soon as I get any messages. Only problem now is I’m waiting for 2 surgeons to get together to do an emergency surgery on my left leg/ankle; had it done in Jan and it’s not done right. I will get right back to you as soon as I’m able to and please don’t hesitate to contact me.

      GOD BLESS, Alma

      • Mary Wharton says:

        Iรขโ‚ฌโ„ขve taught both my sisters how to crochet- Iรขโ‚ฌโ„ขm left handed and both of them are right handed. I used the mirror image to teach them. One sister is now making an afghan and the other crochets all kinds of things- bags, purses, blankets, slippers, bibs, etx.

  8. With all the people I’ve taught to crochet, I have encountered the same problem….they crochet too tightly…thus making it extra hard on themselves. I think one of the most important things to teach them is to lighten up and relax! I always tell them that crocheting should be fun, not a chore! I’ve found that if I can teach them to push the barrel of the hook through each stitch as they are making it, rather than just the hook part, that helps them loosen up….until they get the hang of making the stitches larger, anyway. I taught a lefty once, and she had better luck sitting across from me as I worked than sitting beside me.

    • Alma says:

      METTA: I’m left handed and teach right handed and a few left handers. What I’ve found so useful in teaching a class/person is to use a “K” hook = It’s larger, they can hold it better, see the stitches and be able to go into the next stitch easier. Also when I start out one of my main teaching guides is to teach them that when they do the chain to “Pinch every stitch as they go up”, I watch them very close and will go over and tell them to “pinch” or just kidding with them will sort of attempt a pinch on the arm (they know what I’m saying). That way they will get to making their stitches more uniform and correctly. Most it doesn’t take long but for those that do, I just tell them we all have a nack for doing something and some have it and some don’t. I try to get them to laugh, relax, hold their arms down and outward from the start. Hope this has helped you some.

      GOD BLESS, Alma

  9. Bookworm says:

    I was trying to teach a couple of friends to crochet this weekend, so I have another tip to add. don’t try to teach more than one person at the same time. You need to be able to give the person you’re teaching one on one attention, trying to switch between 3 people just leaves them room to do something wrong. And one of them was a lefty, she just could not get it and we (me and another girl) were having trouble trying to figure out how to reverse it for her. I think if she’s going to learn, we’ll need to find her a left-handed crocheter because us righties obviously aren’t cutting it ๐Ÿ™

    • Alma says:

      BOOKWORM: You’ve missed the boat on teaching a left hander. I’m left handed! All you do is get in front of them and they do with their left hand what you are doing with your right. I teach one-on-one, but have had classes as large as 8-10 people at the same time. I tell them from the start that some will catch it right away and other’s will struggle a little but do encourage them to try. I will teach the class one basic thing, check each student to be sure they have that and work with each one till they get it. It takes time, patience and a sense of humor when teaching anyone or a class. Best of luck on teaching that left hander as they will do great. Also on a left hand crocheter, they will read a pattern from the left to right; where right handers read from the right to left. The only problem with anyone left handed doing a pattern is when it comes to mostly doing clothes = They must take the left side and make it from the right side pattern and so on. If you need any further help, please feel free to contact me as I’d love to help you.

      GOD BLESS, Alma

      • Uh oh ๐Ÿ™ I was reading through some comments here, and have already learned something new! I am going to be teaching a beginner’s class in January, and I didn’t think about lefties…ok, so the tips about having them sit facing you, that’s all good. But then there was this comment about reading patterns backwards. After I thought about it, I can see that, but…help! Can you contact me about this please. Just trying to figure this out is sending my brain into overload.

  10. Kerstin says:

    I have experienced that crocheting the first row of whatever stitch into a row of chain stitches is most frustrating for beginners, because they need some time to “realize” how a stitch looks like (i.e. how a chain stitch looks from behind and where to place the hook best).

    So if you teach an absolute beginner:
    let her/him crochet the basic chain,
    then take over the hook and crochet the first row in single stitches,
    then give her/him back the hook and let her/him crochet whatever you wanted to show (probably single stitches).

    If she/he has had some experience with the shown stitches, you can show them how to crochet them into a chain row; so they learn how to do the first row (and therefore will not come to your door everytime they start a new project ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) but will have learned the stitches for this first row before (and therefore will not have the double effort to do stitches for the first time plus do a first row for the first time).

    Good luck and a lot of fun with your teachings,


  11. I have actually gone the route of stitching up a few rows of single crochet (we do this in session 2 after learning the chain stitch in session 1). That way, I can go right to teaching the rhythm of the single crochet stitch and THEN have the students work the stitch into a foundation chain. They still hate that part, but at least they don’t get so frustrated with learning the stitch AND keeping the darned FC under control. I generally keep a few of those swatches around for the entire class series, in case someone is having a “bad stitch day.” With the already made-up rows, there’s something to grab onto to make a row of new stitches.

  12. Alma says:

    The basic thing I start out when teaching crochet is to use a “K” hook as the stitches are bigger and they can see where to put the hook next. I start out with the chain and teach them that after each chain that they must “Pinch the stitch” before going into the next chain, that helps to keep the chain more uniform. I really haven’t had any problems in teaching, I’ve been teaching now for 8 years and only had one person that gave up; I think it was a language barrier as she only spoke and understood Spanish and under a lot of stress.

    I’ve taught people of other languages with much success! I got a lot of tutorials from the Internet, went to a web site that will translate them free into whatever language. I have my English copy, they have their language copy; we go to the same page and I just illustrate to them and have them read their information. Proud to say I’ve taught people from the Spanish, French and Greek languages very successful this way.

    I wish everyone the best in teaching crochet as it’s an art to enjoy. I try to make it light, have some humor to help them relax and be willing to try. I’ve taught children as young as 9-10 years old, their still at it.

    GOD BLESS, Alma

  13. Terri Greenberg says:

    I’ve taught a number of lefties now, and I’ve stopped using the words “left” and “right.” Instead I say “hook hand” and “yarn hand.” For example, I say, “push the hook through the fabric from your ‘hook hand’ side.” That way, lefties don’t have to translate “left” into “right” while trying to control yarn, hook, and hands.

  14. Tanya Herring says:

    I am just starting crochet classes this month. And it is good to read the comments. I too am lefthanded but I crochet with my right hand. When I was younger I could go between left and right but settled on my right hand. I want to ask for feedback here: I am ambidextrious. I write with my left hand but most everything else is done right handed just simply because this is a “righthanded world” and we lefties must adapt. I have found that I have much better control over the yarn with my left hand and also the piece I am working on which is sometimes the hardest part is learning how to hold the yarn with the piece as it progress, etc. What do y’all think about having a lefthander try crocheting with right hand and using the left to control the yarn?

  15. Katie says:

    I’m a kid myself, and i’m teaching two girls in my class. One is really doing well and the other one is kind of struggling. I crochet different than most people. I’m very experienced crocheter.
    Any subgestions.

    • Olivia says:

      Maybe your one friend who’s doing better could show the other the basic steps. Then they could
      learn together. Or if you know someone else who crochets they could teach your friend. I hope it all works out with you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Olivia says:

    I’m going to teach my brother to crochet. He’s very interested & really wants to learn. I’ve taken a long break from crocheting, too long, so I’m going to make a few small items & get back into it before I teach him. I’ll probably make some bracelets or wrist warmers for him. He’s out of school for summer now so I’ll have more time to teach him. Thanks for all of the great tips & advice, I wish you all luck with your students!

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