Shabby Blog

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Learning to Crochet - Beginners Guide Digest

I recently learnt to crochet thanks to the goodness of youtube / pinterest and a wonderful friend called Jess.  It was something that took time, patience and persistence.  It probably sounds silly, but I was so proud of myself once I finally cracked it.

I'm still a serious novice, I can only do a few stitches but the ones I can do I can do relatively well.  The first thing I made and finished was a little blanket for Nye and I'm now making another slightly bigger one.   There are so many how to videos and tutorials online but I thought I would post up which ones I personally found helpful.

So, the first thing I did was buy some wool and then some crochet hooks.  I got the wool from Hobbycraft and the crochet hooks on ebay.  I had no idea about the different sizes and managed to buy an entire set for about £3.00 just by searching 'Crochet Hook.'  Now I find I tend to use the 4.00 4.5 and 5.00 (they are marked on the side of the hooks)

Since my initial wool buying I have purchased all my wool off ebay.  As a beginner my friend told me that the wool that multicoloured is good because it means you don't have to change between wool's to get a good pattern.  This was a great tip!  Wool brands also do special baby wool which is really soft, so that's another thing to take into consideration as well as thinking about whether the wool is easy to wash (definitely a necessity for a baby blanket!)

So, to begin with I had to learn to do a slip knot which attaches the wool to the hook.  I'm going to be honest with you, it took me several attempts over multiple days to even learn to do this!  But, once I had tried over and over again I did get the hang of it and it is easy (once you know how!)  It took me some time to work out how to even hold the hook but to be honest, finding something comfortable comes with time.

Here are some picture guides on how to gold the wool and the crochet hook 

This is the first video I used to help me.

Now, I like you may be, was very eager to get going but the best thing I learnt from my friend Jess was to practice doing a single chain stitch over and over and over again. I did this for days.  I felt like a petulant child wanting to move on but it was wroth while because it got my hands used to the movement of doing loop after loop. So, persist until you feel like you could do it with your eyes shut!

At this point it is probably useful to know that some US & UK crochet terminology is different.  So if and when you want to make something and they start talking about double crochet (dc) for example, this could mean two different things!

Here is a chart for future reference but you probably won't need this yet.

Taken from
So, now you can do the slip knot and the chains, I used this follow on video to start making my first ever blanket.

At this point, I still didn't really understand the terminology and had to stop and rewind the video about 15 times to catch on as she did each new stitch.  But once you start, you gradually learn what she's on about.  And once you know how to do a square, you're off.  Normally granny squares are sewn together to make a blanket but, as a beginner, I decided to just keep making the square bigger and bigger until it was the size of a blanket!

Then came the difficult bit, learning how to finish the blanket off with a new stitch *scary* But the instructions on Attic24 are amazing.  Here's the tutorial for doing the edging.

Attic24 Granny Blanket Edging
Here is a picture of the first blanket I made which Nye now goes to bed with every night.

So, I'm now on my second blanket, here's it's progress so far.

I plan to do a few more rows around the edge and then I will finish the edging using the tutorial above.  I've set myself Friday as my deadline as I'd like it done before we head off to Norfolk for my friends wedding. 


  1. Loved this post. I learnt to crochet from a YouTube tutorial a few years ago and haven't really looked back. I am so coveting that set of hooks, so colourful and pretty.

  2. And a bargain! I love crochet, wish I had more time to get things finished though.

  3. I'm one of Jess' friends (assuming you mean the Jessica that we both know) and am inspired by this post!!!

    Plan on pulling out my old crochet kit and trying again this evening!


  4. Hi Cait, yes certainly is the Jess we both know and love! She is a pro teacher. xx

  5. Oh, I'm flattered. I honestly have never made a blanket as lovely as yours, though, Jenn! I'm a scarves and hats and leg warmers kind of gal, my self, but am now totally inspired to work on one using the elusive granny stitch! So glad that we got to make epic strings of single stitch together while you were starting out :)



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