To start crocheting it’s a good idea to invest time in finding hooks that work well with your hands and finding a way to hold your hook and yarn that don’t stress your hands. But then there is still the question of getting the yarn actually attached to your hook in the first place…. In this crochet lesson I discuss what things you need to get started with crocheting, how to hold you hook and yarn, and how to make a slip knot.
About yarn, hooks and accessories
The are many, many hooks available on the market and there are even more yarn brands out there. Regarding hooks, yarn and accessories, look at what you can afford and what you need. You don’t need to buy 10 hooks for example, start with one and see if you like it. If you don’t, go for another brand. This way you don’t end up with a lot of hooks you don’t use and you spend your money on hooks you actually like. Keep in mind that, generally speaking, good hooks don’t come cheap.
When it comes to yarn, be very careful of yarn hoarding! I only buy yarn when I have a project in mind for it. If you buy yarn every time it’s on sale you are going to end up with a lot of yarn you either don’t need or don’t have a destination for. It then ends up unused at the bottom of your stash, which is a waste of yarn and hard earned money.
In this short video I talk about some of the things you need to start crocheting such as hooks, yarn and other assessories.
How to hold your hook
When it comes to holding your crochet hook there is no right or wrong way of doing so. What is important is that you find a way that works for you. You are looking for a grip that is comfortable and does not cause any pain or strain on your hands, wrists or fingers. In this video I show the two most common ways of holding a crochet hook, the so-called “knife grip” and “pencil grip”.
Which hook size is which?
Sometimes a pattern will give a hook size in US gauge, sometimes metric or maybe UK gauge. This can be a little confusing if the pattern uses a size you don’t recognize. I use the metric systems which means I refer to my hook sizes in millimeter, but maybe you live in the US and then you will be used to a different system. Here an easy crochet hook size conversion chart to help you from one system to the next.
This table is by no means water tight nor do I claim that it’s complete. It’s more than likely that you will find other conversions on the internet. Also keep in mind that “identical” hooks between manufacturers can vary ever so lightly in size. As far as I can tell this table gives a reasonable overview of the conversions between systems. I will never understand why there are different systems for the same thing……
How to make a slipknot
The first thing when starting to crochet is that you have to get the yarn attached to your hook. The simplest way to accomplish this is to make a slipknot. In this video I show you how to make a slipknot.
How to hold your yarn
Whilst crocheting it is important to keep enough tension on your yarn. This makes it possible to pull the yarn through the loop(s) on your hook. Again, there is no right or wrong way, just the way that works for you. In this video I show two common ways to hold your yarn tight and keep tension on your yarn.
I used to hold my yarn in one way and then I noticed that it was straining my hand and particularly my index finger, so I taught myself to hold my yarn a different way. When you want to change the way you hold your yarn it will feel funny in the beginning, but soon it feels ‘normal’ again.
In Lesson 2 we are going to look at different crochet terms and how to keep yourself from mixing them up (which inevitably leads to mistakes and frogging). More on what frogging means later….
See you next time,