Want to learn how to crochet? These stress-free patterns are perfect for beginners who want to get started with crochet.
While I was in the middle of writing and photographing my first cookbook, I was under a crazy amount of stress. All my biggest deadlines hit the week right before Christmas. I was a total wreck that holiday.
For my Christmas present that year, knowing how I love to engage in a little crafty therapy, Tim gave me a copy of Crochet to Calm: Stitch and De-Stress with 18 Simple Crochet Patterns along with a few simple supplies to get started with crochet.
I had attempted to learn how to knit years ago with very limited success. Somehow crochet, with its lone single hook, called to me.
Over the last few years, I've dabbled with a few simple crochet projects. I find that I love the repetitive hand motions when I'm watching tv or listening to an audiobook. I never became a master crocheter and my projects have remained in the beginner phase, but that doesn't bother me one little bit.
I love the soft feel of the yarn and seeing the colorful pile of yarn balls in my basket. If you need something calming to do with your hands, I highly recommend giving crochet a go!
Here's everything you need to know to get started.
Everything you need to learn how to crochet:
When Tim gave me that book, I knew absolutely nothing about how to crochet. Before I could dig in on a project, I had to learn a few simple stitches.
I spent a few days over Christmas break with the kids watching crochet tutorials on Bluprint. I streamed the videos to our tv from my laptop and just sat myself down by the Christmas tree with yarn and a crochet hook.
I started with Beginner Crochet Basics & Beyond.
The class covered how to do a basic chain stitch and the simple stitches you need to complete a very simple project. It also went over how to read a crochet pattern, which really felt like reading a foreign language at first!
By the end of the week I was able to stitch a few very basic crochet stitches into something that resembled the coffee cup warmer project from my Crochet to Calm book. It turned out totally wonky and I never even bothered to put the final finishing touches (cleaning up the edges and adding a button) but I was proud of it anyway because it wasn't just a simple square.
After learning about granny squares in this Bluprint video, my second project was to do a granny square pillow. I used happy tropical colors and the front and back turned out super cute but I confess I'm still trying to figure out how to sew the seams up to finish it off!
What makes the perfect crochet project for a beginner?
My two little failed (or at least not-completed) projects taught me that my favorite things to crochet include:
- Small projects that can be finished in a single session or two: washcloths, scarves, little pouches, etc.
- Have repetitive stitches: only require two to three different stitches for the whole project
- Are slightly monotonous: I am crocheting for stress-relief, I don't want to be staring at a pattern and worrying about what the next step is going to be. I want to be able to just relax and watch tv and have my crochet work be on almost-auto-pilot in my hands.
That may sound overly simplistic, but I believe it is the perfect way to get started and build your confidence. If it never levels up beyond that? Who cares?? We can still create fun and useful items so our crafty time doesn't feel wasted.
Crochet tools for beginners getting started:
Crochet is an excellent hobby to pick up because you can do it anywhere and it requires so very little to get going. The only things you really need are:
- A basic yarn hook: Tim gave me a starter set of these pretty colorful crochet hooks. They feel wonderful in my hand and the set came with all the sizes I've needed for any of my small projects. If you don't want to invest in the entire set, pick your first project and just get the single hook you need for that. I tend to gravitate towards projects that require a 3.75mm hook like this one.
- Yarn: This is the best part of crochet! All those gorgeous yarn balls to choose from. If you're just practicing stitches, it doesn't matter which weight of yarn you use, but you do want a nice quality one that won't fray too easily. I played around with this yarn when practicing with the Bluprint tutorials and then quickly upgraded my yarn based on my project needs.
- Free patterns: For simple projects, there are dozens upon dozens of free crochet patterns available on the internet. I'll list several of my favorites below.
- Large eye yarn needles: To finish off your project, you'll need to tie up the loose ends and weave them in. These handy plastic needles are the perfect solution.
Free crochet patterns for beginners:
Not all patterns are created equal. Just because a project is small doesn't make it appropriate for a beginner. You want to look for patterns that have a short list of required stitches and simple lines and rows as you get going.
- Classic crochet dishcloths: Practical and pretty. Starting with a dishcloth is never a bad idea. Get the patterns here.
- Daisy granny square coasters: Once you master the first one, these are awesome repetitive projects. Mix and match the colors for your room or the season. Get the pattern here.
- Winter scarf: I love, love, love making scarves with repetitive rows. They are so forgiving for beginners and easy to do while watching tv. This pattern was especially easy for me, get the pattern here.
- Colorful face scrubbies: This project requires a unique stitch called a "puff stitch" so maybe don't start with this one until you've mastered some of the others. Get the pattern here.
Once you've accomplished a project or two from that list, be sure to check out the adorable drawstring crochet gift bags I made during the holiday season! They'd be so cute for any gift-giving occasion during the year.