If you learn to crochet from books remember that the US terms are slightly different to the UK ones and the same applies to patterns…the stitches are the same but the names of them are different…so check if the book you are following is UK or US based.
Hi, I learnt to crochet watching my mum when a child, then just grabbed a hook and yarn and experimented! Today cat toys, tomorrow a masterpiece!
I can honestly say experimentation and seeing what works for you helps, not everyone works in the same way and that’s what makes it a unique and enjoyable craft! I never learnt the ‘correct’ way to crochet, I make everything up as I go along!
Hi, I taught myself when I was a teenager …many years ago . In those days their was a lot of crochet bikinis around and I wanted to make one . I learned the basic stitches from a book ( no internet in those days ) I used to practice a lot until I got it right !
I taught myself to crochet a few months ago via a couple of American and Canadian You Tube videos. I started learning a few stitches by making a granny square blanket. Repetition drummed the info into my head forever! I’ve always struggled with crochet before when I’ve attempted to learn using a book but found it so much easier to watch someone actually do it before my eyes. Now I’m doing a random and utterly weird freeform thing which will decide for itself what it’s going to be as it progresses. I’ve learnt a few harder stitches for this one and am repeating them all over the place.
I taught myself from a book when I was young, but I’ve never made anything bigger than doll’s clothes. Did anyone ever actually wear crochet bikinis, Gerda? Did you? If yes, I admire your courage!
I am a late 60s girl - lots of crochet bikinis - knitted dresses - etc. I even knitted a pair of yellow hot pants and embroidered a butterfly on the bib ! I wish now I have kept some of the items I made ! Gerda x
Wow! I think I’m a similar vintage to you, Gerda, and I never had the courage to wear an ordinary bikini, never mind one full of holes!
I crocheted loads of bikinis in the 60’s…for OTHER people
Wow, Harrods - that’s the big time. Thanks for the warning on US/UK terms too. I think I need to be brave and just pick up those hooks now…
Thanks for the tips @Minerva and @chicita. I’ll look out for those books and tutorials. And @NOfkantsCurios I’m a bit like that with sewing - I have ways of doing things that I’m sure are totally wrong but they work for me. Maybe I’ll start with a crochet bikini like @gerdabags but make it extra small, so I can add to my cat’s dressing-up wardrobe?
I am sure your cat will look beautiful dressed up in a crochet bikini xx
Learning by seeing and copying is the best method to learn to crochet. I used to teach a class.
Have you tried the How To video’s on Youtube. But be aware most are by Americans who use the American terms for the stitches which are different to the UK.
I taught myself from a book many years ago when pregnant with my daughter - she’s 38 now!
I have always loved knitting and really couldn’t get the hang of crochet but about 3 weeks ago I thought I would have another go. I got my netbook and got an american video off You Tube. It was brilliant. Showed you how to hold the needle and you can pause it at any time. I am now into granny squares and using my time whilst watching tv creating !!! Good luck. Carol x
Hi. I taught myself to crochet when I was about nine. Patterns can be confusing. Stick to uk abbreviations until you can translate. I find speaking in full helps and writing down diagrams is also useful. See if you can find anyone to buddy up with, two minds can be better than one. Good luck.
I learnt some basic crochet technique from an e-tutorial from the The Amazings website (now sadly unavailable). I think watching someone actually form the stitches and being able to replay the movements time and again really helped. I’m not quite up to following a complex pattern but like Amanda I have more fun with freeform and find I am able to create something interesting in a way I have never managed to do with my equally-meagre knitting skills. Beware though, crochet can be addictive Alison
Everything i know about crochet i learnt from youtube. There are so many amazing tutorials on there. 2 weeks after i bought my first load of wool/yarn i made pillowcases and a gorgeous rug for my mum’s living room from tutorials. Also a couple of dresses for my younger sister. The Crochet Crowd channel is really good and has some amazing patterns to get a hang on. Once i was confident enough with what i was making i began to write my own patterns and creating my own bits and bobs. Yes crochet is highly addictive, i really do have to set myself a reminder on my phone to eat and drink as once i get started that is it lol
Definitely have a look around on YouTube - there are excellent tutorials there.
Two tips I always offer to beginners:
Tension is everything. Practice making squares, either granny squares, or plain row after row of trebles. As your tension improves, your crochet will improve (and you can use them as dishcloths, which might make a change from cat toys…)
Use a hook with a flat bit in the middle for your thumb to rest on. This will help whichever way you hold your hook. The bamboo ones look lovely, but when you’re a beginner, it can be a bit of a hassle keeping the hook facing the right way. If you’ve got a hook with a flat bit, you don’t even have to think about it.
Don’t forget to give your hand a rest. If you’re new to it, the action will be unfamiliar and if you’ve got an achy hand the next day, it’ll be a miserable experience.
I make a massive blanket using one stitch when I was much younger. More recently I have used you tube to expand my repetoire, so I can make more than a granny square.
I would suggest starting with granny squares. Have you tried a local knitting or crochet club, they are always happy to see new members and are generally happy to lend a hand.
Wow, such much help. Thank you all! There is a knitting club every month at my local chocolate shop, so I think I’ll start going there. Plus there I’ll have the bonus distraction of eating truffles if I get frustrated. Do you think they might suspect my motives if I leave my hooks at home?