So you want to learn how to crochet or knit? That’s awesome, you’re going to be giving the gift of warmth to yourself (and hopefully others) soon!
When shopping for hooks, the size is either shown by a letter or a number. The number represents the diameter from the tip of the hook to the shaft.
Sizes I would recommend for a starter hook are 5.00mm (H), 5.5mm(I), 6.00mm (J), or 6.50mm (K). These are also the most common hooks for projects. Knitting needles have only number sizes. (US chart|US/UK Chart) Size 8 (5.00mm) needles would be a good size to start off with.
Which brand/hook shape/needle type is best? I can’t really say because I think it really depends on the person’s technique. If you want a rough guide of what to get, my first crochet hooks were a Bates G4 (4.00 mm) and a Boye I (5.5 mm), and my first knitting needles were Clover Takumi Circulars in size 9 (5.5mm).
With yarn there’s a bunch of categories it’s sorted into, but as a beginner don’t worry too much about it. The yarn type you need to look out for is Worsted, also known as Aran, 10-ply, and Category 4.
Worsted yarn is in my opinion the most used yarn for projects, but I must warn you that not all worsted weight yarns are the same, so be wary of mixing different brand yarns into a project.
I started off with Vanna’s Choice and Red Heart Super Saver, then when I got the hang of things moved to Caron Simply Soft. Currently, most of my projects are either in Caron Simply Soft or Deborah Norville’s Everyday Worsted.
Youtube Channels and Videos
- Lion Brand’s Learn to Crochet series.
- Crochet Geek’s Beginner Crochet series. Majority of her stitch videos show her doing it in slow motion, which is very helpful. She also has a lefty version.
- Good Knit Kisses has a very good beginners’ series.
- Melissa Dorn has a series on starting Continental Knitting. Continental knitting is a form of left-hand knitting that makes it very easy for crocheters to learn how to knit (it’s actually my knitting style too!)
- Crochet & Knitting for Dummies
- Crochet Gifs: A good compromise between diagrams and videos. No more rewinding!
- BuzzFeed’s Gif Guide to Knitting
- Ravelry: One of the biggest resources for crochet and knitting patterns online. If a pattern’s on a website, it is definitely indexed on Ravelry! You can search by yarn weight, hook size, project type, etc.You need to make an account to use the site, but it is definitely worth it.
- All Free Crochet & Knitting: A large selection of free patterns. On occasion they round up the site’s most popular patterns and release them in a downloadable booklet.
- Craftgawker: The organized, curated version of Pinterest.
- Crochet & Knitting Pattern Centrals: More free patterns.
- The Yarn Box: Free patterns and tutorials.
Hand Health – Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)
One you get the hang of the hand motions crochet and knitting becomes an addicting hobby, but don’t overwork your hands! Let them rest to avoid cramps and aches. I’ve had it once, and I do not ever want to endure a week with a very sore thumb joint.
Need yarn, but short on cash?
Most countries with a non-Latin writing system (Japan, Russia, etc.) will have their crochet patterns shown in chart. To expand your access to patterns, I highly recommend you to learn to read charts.
- Craftyminx’s Guide to Chart Reading is very thorough in explaining the most common symbols seen in charts.
- Dabble and Babbles has a nice, colorful chart for crochet symbols in US and UK terms that you can print out. (view on Imgur)
- Knitty’s tutorial on knitting charts, featuring the most common knitting symbols.
Like a pattern, but it’s in another language?
- This guide has US, UK, Danish and German terms.
- This one has US, Spanish, Italian, French, German & Polish.
- Translate US knitting terms into 10 different languages
For Color Inspiration:
When you get into the hang of it, crochet and knitting can become an expensive hobby because you want to start ALL of the projects! (You might also start to hoard yarn…) Keep your costs low with these coupons:
- Retail Me Not (generic coupon site)
- Jo-Ann (Sign up for the student discount program!)
- AC Moore
- Jimmy Beans Wool
- Knit Picks – High quality yarn at reasonable prices. Watch out for their summer sales!
- Lion Brand
- Mary Maxim
- Purl Soho
- Red Heart
International Physical Locations