Like with anything new you try confidence comes with time and practice. If you have the right instructor and you practice enough, you’re sure to be able to crochet with confidence. Easier said than done, right?!
Whether you’ve never picked up a hook before or you’re just starting out and feeling overwhelmed, I hope you find this post useful. The same also goes for seasoned crocheters in need of a confidence boost. With the right guidance, I believe, anyone can give crochet a go.
Where do you start?
With so many books, YouTube videos and creative workshops out there, which one do you choose? The answer is, the one that is right for you. So, which one is right for you?
I, like many of my students, prefer to learn from a real person, right there in front of me, guiding and encouraging me and telling me where I’m going wrong. Others are happy to sit at home and teach themselves via the internet, YouTube or trawl through books for the most appropriate tutorial for their learning style.
So, which type of learner are you?
Whichever way you learn, confidence cannot be taught. Confidence comes from within. I taught my first workshop of the year the other day, I was joined by four ladies who lacked confidence with crochet. Almost all of them had had a go at crochet before but just couldn't quite get to grips with it. This is where I came in.
How to feel Confident!
Simply, take baby steps, practice lots (and lots, and lots), ask for help, experiment with materials and take your time. You are not going to be crocheting master pieces on your first try and yes, no doubt, there will be lots of frogging, yay, new word… frogging means pulling your work out… Not your hair out!
I would start by learning the stitches, finding a comfortable way to hold your hook and yarn and relax. Simple squares work better than long continuous rows as you will gain more of a sense of accomplishment. One of the worst things you could do is start an elaborate project to then become bored of the repeat. Squares allow you to play around with colours and textures easily and they can then be joined together to make a blanket or cushion cover for example.
Within my Introduction to Crochet workshops I always begin by explaining that everyone's crochet journey is different. Some struggle to grasp the basics in the early stages (I know it took my Granny a while to teach me those many years ago) and others pick things up very easily, just like Tracey who attended my January Introduction to Crochet Workshop. Within the three hour session Tracey mastered the chain stitch, double crochet, treble crochet, double treble as well as experimenting with the shell stitch.
"But I just can't seem to get it. I don't think crochet is for me!"
The beauty of crochet is that it only requires two things to begin, a hook and some yarn. Ok, so patience, willingness to learn, creativity, and an interest to create with yarn are also required but if you’re reading this then you’re almost there! Of course, the right teacher also helps!
Often, the yarn or hook type you choose can determine whether your first experience of crochet is a success or not. The best way to start is to purchase a value ball of yarn and a basic crochet hook. Choosing a yarn that is too textured or the wrong colour can prove to be a nightmare. For instace, never choose a dark coloured yarn whilst you're practising as you will struggle to see the stitches. These challenges may be what are holding you back from feeling confident and moving forward with your crochet journey. I use double knit (DK) acrylic yarn in my beginners classes and a 4mm crochet hook. Stylecraft yarn is a great yarn option as it comes in a huge range of colours, I buy mine from Knitworking in Gedling but you can also buy online.
Did you know?
Remember, learning to crochet is a journey and there will be bumps along the way. Take regular breaks, stretch your shoulders, wriggle your fingers and enjoy. Once you find a comfortable way of holding your hook and yarn, which is often the hardest thing to master, you'll be away. Start small and your confidence will grow. Jumping in at the dead end can only mean disaster!
I run a monthly Crochet Clinic which is a great place to gain support when you're struggling, be inspired by others and crochet in a social environment. If you're not local to Nottingham then why not see what craft groups are running in your area. Knit and Natter, Craft and Chat, Stitch and Bitch are just a few terms you could pop into a Google search.
Be confident my lovelies, you can do this! Happy Crocheting!