I just did the math, and I have been crocheting now for 35 years. That explains why my wrists groan under the worsted weight of cotton, an 11-gram hook, and a moderately tight stitch.
I try to limit myself to small timespans: two hours or breaks every 45 minutes. Instead, I get tangled up creating something and don’t want to stop until I see my vision through. Art is like that for me, all-encompassing and urgent.
With the majority of my time spent typing, playing with my yarn, and sometimes my Ukulele, I may need to get some repair work on these wrists in a few years. At least that should buy me some more time.
I’ve heard loads of people claim how they wish they had learned to crochet, or how it has always been a goal to do so. To all of them and you who may feel the same way, I say do it!
There are plenty of avenues for learning the craft these days, and with all the spare time people may continue to find themselves with, given our current pandemic situation, this is the time.
Get a beginner’s book, watch a YouTube channel, search for tutorials on blogs. There is no reason everyone can’t learn to do this with the will and a heavy dose of patience. Practice and time produce stellar results, and it won’t take 35 years!
Start slowly and give yourself the space to make mistakes; that’s how you learn best. I know I spent the first two years making scarves with only one or two stitches repeated. Accept your mistakes gracefully instead of getting frustrated. I’ve seen people get really discouraged when they have to rip back their work to fix an error, some even giving up in shame, which is silly, in my view. Repetition produces a better result, that is simply what practice looks like.
Get comfortable holding the yarn, maintaining consistent tension, and keeping a proper stitch count in place of rushing into making something you are not skilled enough for yet. That will only produce annoyance and disappointment.
Before you run off to find some yarn and a hook – I love Clover hooks (in case you were looking for an opinion) – I hope you’ll be able to draw some fibre art inspiration from these 5 Creative Crochet Books.
Crochet 101 by Deborah Burger is the right place to begin. Starting with a proper foundation gives you the knowledge and the confidence to be better faster, and in our world of instant gratification, that is the best you can hope for when learning something new.
Detailed chapters explaining all the necessary techniques needed to become competent in the art of Crochet are here, along with clear tutorial photos showing the appropriate placement of hands and yarn.
I really cannot say enough about this book, with its thoroughness, organised layout, and cute practice projects. I have bought it for two of my nieces and recommend it as an excellent place to start a journey into a beautiful and time-honoured hobby and skill.
Crochet One-Skein Wonders by Judith Durant & Edie Eckman has 101 projects! Woo hoo, that’s what I’m talking about! If you are going to buy a book, you might as well get one stacked with practical patterns, and in this case, you would need no more than a skein’s worth of yarn to boot.
With all of the free instruction online these days, as heavily doused in advertising as most patterns are, you may wonder why one would even get a book? For me, I hate to be a slave to technology, so I like the feeling that if I am ever without power, I could be just a candle away from crocheting as my ancestral grandmothers did. Between my books and my yarn, I’ll never be bored.
These small and creative options are the perfect handmade inclusion to elevate a gift to the next level and are sure to be well-received treasures.
Mindful Crochet provides you with an explosion of colour, a feeling of lightness, and a sense of grounding. Calming patterns using bright and cheery hues give you a sense of joy and peace whilst creating something beautiful.
Emma Leith has put together a thoughtful book that includes tips and wise words about the importance of being mindful and how you can achieve it. With today’s ever chaotic world this book makes the perfect crochet companion on a search for health and wellness.
Read the full review, including some delightful projects I made from this soothing collection, in The Gallery.
Granny squares are some of the most satisfying projects to make in crochet. Finishing a section in one session gives you an accomplished feeling that you miss when sitting down for hours with the endlessly repeating stitch of a simple blanket or scarf.
Use a basic stitch pattern leaving colours combinations to shine, or choose something more detailed to tell a story, as the options in this 3D Granny Squares book do. Adding one of these special themed squares to a simple granny square baby blanket would be just the thing to take it to the next level.
The hardest thing for me will be choosing which one to make first!
One of the biggest booms for the hobby of crochet has come via the popularity of the Japanese art called Amigurumi.
Mainly consisting of a single stitch repeated in a spiral, these creative toys can be a great tool to get people interested in learning the craft.
I love this book for its sea creatures and their actual likeness to the real deal! Kerry Lord is an amazing talent, and you can’t go wrong with any of her fascinating and fun menagerie patterns.
Do you crochet, knit, or enjoy any other fibre arts? Have you ever received a handmade item from someone, that you treasure? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.