Let me tell you a secret. Yeah, come here. There are only 2 things you need to crochet: a hook and some yarn. Don’t let other people and the crochet tool companies trick you into buying a bunch of crap that you don’t need. You’re new to the craft. You might not even like it. Don’t spend a bunch of money on stuff you might not ever use. Just get the hook and some yarn. Nothing else. Really.
It’s not that these things aren’t nice or helpful. I own a billion little do dads myself. But you don’t NEED them. All they do is make things easier. They are not required. And yes, easier is good. But first, focus on learning the craft and finding out if it is something that you’re going to stick with before you pour your money into.
I recommend getting a G hook. You can get them at WalMart, Hobby Lobby, AC Moore and any other crafty place. They’ll run you about 4-5 bucks. Then go get yourself some Red Heart yarn. A skein will run you about 3 bucks. So, for less then 10 bucks you can get what you need to learn. Don’t go spending more then that on any of the other shiny things you see.
Why a G hook? It’s a friendly size to start with for most people. Large enough to easily handle and see without getting awkward. But while you’re in the store, pick up and handle the other hooks. Which one feels most natural? Does one feel like the “right” size? If so, buy that one. If you ask, each of us has a hook we use most often. Because it is the hook that fits our hand the best. For most, it is some where around a G. And don’t worry, you have time to get to know which that lovely hook is.
Why red heart? It’s cheap. Seriously. There is no point in buying expensive yarn when you are learning. You’re going to kill it. Buy the cheap crap. The other thing is that red heart is good with frogging (taking stitches out) so it makes a really practice friendly yarn. It does fray, but not right off. It takes several froggings. So, overall it is a great choice for learning.
Once you have your hook and yarn you are ready to begin. Here is my advice (that nobody ever takes): don’t make anything yet. I know that you’re excited and want to go out and make pot holders and scarves. But in the long run, you will be better at the craft if you build your skill set before you charge off.
The most important thing that everyone crocheting needs to learn: tension. Everything else can be mastered and your projects will still suck if you haven’t mastered tension. There is only one way to master this: practicing. The best stitch for this is the single crochet. Chain 20 or so stitches, then single crochet. Just keep going with your rows. You’re not making anything. Your practicing keeping your stitches even. Each stitch needs to be about the same size. Go until you run out of yarn. Then frog it, wind it up into a ball and go again. Do this until you can look down at the practice piece and honestly say that your stitches are even.
If you can be patient and do this practicing before you charge off into the world of making things, you’ll be better at your craft. Your stitches will look better; regardless of which stitch you are making. Your hands will know their work. You will have become familiar and comfortable with the hook and yarn in your hands. You will have come to know whether or not this is the craft for you. Because this is a craft of stitching, not making. If there is no peace, calm and joy in the act of the craft then I recommend you find another one. In all crafts and arts: it is not the final project that determines the love, it is the time spent doing it. This practice will tell you more about how you fit into the world of crochet then making dolls or blankets.
Welcome to the world of yarn. I hope that you find love here. Happy Hooking!