So you want to learn how to crochet. The first thing you do is head to the craft store, but what do you get when youíre there? Well, a crochet hook, obviously, and some yarn. But there are dozens of hooks from which to choose, and hundreds of different types of yarn. What do you do?
My advice is to start with the yarn. Pick one that is smooth (not hairy or bumpy) and not too thick or too thin, in a colour that you like. I recommend a shade in the medium range: not too light, not too dark. You might want to pick a variegated yarn (meaning there are multiple colours in one ball). Some people find it easier to see the stitches when they appear in different colours. Seasoned crocheters sometimes like using variegated yarns because it can hold their interest longer than the single colour yarns do.
Once you have your yarn of choice, look at the label to determine which hook to get. Here is the ball band from a ball of Bernat Satin:
You can see where Iíve circled the recommended hook size. Beware: some yarns donít tell you a hook size. Usually those yarns will tell you a knitting needle size, and Iíve found that using the same size hook works just fine.
Find your hook. Most hooks come in a package that clearly displays the hook size. If it doesnít, youíll want to look at the thumb rest; thatís the flat bit about an inch or so down from the hook. Hereís mine:
When I first learned to crochet I found that when using the recommended hook I ended up with stitches that were too tight. Moving up a hook size usually solved the problem. So, in this case, I would have probably gone for a 5.5mm hook. For the last little while Iíve noticed that the recommended hook size has been working just fine, which means that no matter how experienced you get, itís important to do a swatch before you start any patterns where size matters. (More on swatches to come.)
For now, start with the recommended hook. If youíre feeling adventurous, you can certainly buy more hooks in different sizes, just to test them out. If you get as obsessed with crocheting as I am, youíll be buying them eventually anyway. ^_-
So, you have your yarn and your hook. What now? Click here to learn how to make a slip knot