Crochet Patterns for 2020 – The Year of the Dumpster Fire

2020 crochet pattern roundup

Let’s usher 2020 out. . .preferably WITHOUT a bang. I think this year has been rough on everyone, and when times get tough, the crochet community gets creative. I have to admit, I was over on Etsy looking for Christmas ornament patterns to put together into a roundup, but I determined that this year almost deserves its own special blog post. Because, from dumpster fires to masked Snowmen, crochet designers have created some amazing art to help us look back and remember what this year was like.

This post could be mildly offensive, will contain curse words, and should make you laugh. Sorry, mom. 🙂

Crochet Patterns for 2020

by JennifersStitchedUp via Etsy

2020 Got Me Seeing Red Beanie Pattern – I mean, let’s start off solid with how we all really feel. This pattern is crochet, not knit –even though it might resemble it. It uses the waistcoat stitch.

by HookandFlatter via Etsy

2020 Dumpster Fire Crochet Pattern – Because nothing describes this year better.

by CuriousPapaya via Etsy

Angry Toilet Paper Roll Ornament – Remember the toilet paper shortage and all of your crochet friends saying “I GOT YOU. We have enough yarn to get through this.” This ornament is interactive, y’all. It unrolls to reveal another face. . .both accurately describing how we all feel about the lack of toilet paper this year.

by SmachnaTorba via Etsy

Mini Crochet Mask Ornament – Who would’ve thought that masks would’ve become the most essential wardrobe accessory of the year back in January?

by PrieurDesignBoutique via Etsy

Covey the Virus Amigurumi Plushie Crochet Pattern – Meet Covey, the little nightmare that no one wanted around this year. Now you can make him, and throw him across the room when you’re mad at him. I guess that’s as close to retribution as we can get for the time being.

by GaNaKnitToys via Etsy

Masked Snowman Crochet Ornament Pattern – Because in 2020 not only Superheroes wear masks — snowmen do, too.

by CrochetAMemory via Etsy

Funny Quarantine C2C Blanket Graph Pattern – If you’re committed to making a blanket to memorialize this year, I highly recommend it be this one.

by BabyCakesStudios via Etsy

Crochet Toilet Paper Amigurumi Pattern – I never thought I’d be able to describe toilet paper as cute, but here we are.

by NanoStitches via Etsy

Crochet Plague Mask Pattern – Guys, I’m never cleaning the house without this again. For that “I want to look otherworldly and vaguely threatening” kind of vibe.

by OutlawHeartCreations via Etsy

2020 Commemorative Trash Bag – Are you ready to take out the trash that was 2020? YUP. Meeeee Too!

I hope you all enjoyed this roundup of crochet patterns as much as I enjoyed finding and putting them together for you. In all honesty, I hope that at the end of this crazy year your family is safe and healthy. <3 Happy Crocheting!

How to Weave in Ends to Finish Your Crochet Project

How to weave in your crochet ends

Love them, or loathe them, when you finish up any crochet project you’re going to have to weave in ends. If you’re doing a smaller project that is only one color, you might only have two to weave in (beginning and end). However, if you’re doing a more complex, multi-color project and haven’t weaved in along the way, you could have many hours ahead of you.

Personally, I find weaving in ends cathartic. This step is the one where your project completely transforms and becomes usable!

How to Finish Your Crochet Project

Finish crochet project

The next step in our beginner crochet tutorials I will show you is how to finish your crochet project to tie it off. In this step you will learn how to remove your yarn from the hook and prepare it for finishing.

8 Adorable Crochet Mug Hats to Complete Your Fall Decor

crochet mug hats

My post about crochet mug hats wouldn’t be complete without also discussing my recent Rae Dunn mug addiction. In fact, it’s this trend that had me over on Etsy looking for crochet mug toppers to begin with. This then led me to discovering that many were also decorating with these marshmallow mugs! These smaller mugs are simply adorable displayed with a crochet mug hat! Even though I can crochet, I still love supporting other crocheters who make something unique that I can display in my home. I strongly believe in sharing the love.

I should also add that I’m an Etsy affiliate, so if you shop from this post, I want to disclose that I will get a commission from the purchase. Thank you for supporting my (and the following) small businesses.

Have you ever heard of crochet mug hats? I sent a group of my friends a few pictures earlier as I was putting together this post, and none of them had any idea what they were, or that they were on trend right now. I first heard about them in a few of the Facebook groups I’m in that share seasonal and themed home decor ideas. I immediately fell in love! While not all crochet mug toppers are hats, or are crochet, they are so very cute. I urge you to head over to Etsy and look them up!

Crochet Mug Hats | Marshmallow Mug Hats

Note: This roundup is full of already made crochet mug hats for purchase (these are NOT patterns).

Photo Credit Anniestreasuresllc via Etsy.
  1. Pumpkin Spice Latte Marshmallow Mug Hat

If you’re a fan of pumpkin spice lattes, you’ll love these latte-inspired marshmallow mug hats. This design would look excellent on a tiered stand display in your kitchen, or on your coffee bar.

Photo Credit MymakesByMary via Etsy

2. Fall Marshmallow Mug Hat

This fall marshmallow mug hat reminds me of a scarecrow’s straw hat. I adore the craftsmanship on the area made to look like patchwork.

Photo Credit SweetThingsCrochet4u via Etsy.

3. Hocus Pocus Sanderson Sisters Mug Hats (Set of 3)

These mug hats are nothing short of magic! I love the movie Hocus Pocus and these Sanderson Sister themed hats on your marshmallow mugs would be just perfect for a great Halloween display!

Photo Credit EmmasRusticRoom via Etsy

4. S’mores Marshmallow Mug Hat

The name of this hat speaks for itself. An adorable chocolate hat topped with two pom pom marshmallows. Would look amazing in your fall campfire displays.

Caramel Apple Mug Topper
Photo Credit LatteKnots via Etsy

5. Caramel Apple Crochet Mug Topper

Fall wouldn’t be complete without apples — caramel apples, at that! Wouldn’t this just be the cutest addition to your 3-tiered display in your kitchen?

Pumpkin Pie Mug Topper
Photo Credit KustomizableKreation via Etsy

6. Pumpkin Sweet Potato Pie Crochet Mug Topper

This little cutie aims to make your mouth water! What a cute hat to adorn your pumpkin kitchen mug displays!

Carrot Cake Marshmallow Mug Hat
Photo Credit HerHeartsHooked via Etsy

7. Carrot Cake Crochet Marshmallow Mug Hat

What an adorable take on a carrot cake! This design is perfect for fall, and sure to be a conversation piece.

Thanksgiving Marshmallow Mug Hats
Photo Credit portergirl2 via Etsy

8. Thanksgiving Crochet Marshmallow Mug Hats

It doesn’t get more fall than this! Check out this amazing trio of Thanksgiving Crochet Marshmallow Mug Hats! These are sold individually, or you can purchase the set. How perfect for your holiday dinner displays!

If you’ve enjoyed these crochet marshmallow mug toppers, be sure to head over to Etsy and search for more! There are so many more cute designs that I’ve found to match just about any theme you choose to do for your farmhouse or 3-tiered kitchen display.

If you don’t have your own set of marshmallow mugs, you can head over to Amazon to purchase them! They are typically around $28 with free Prime shipping. Below is my affiliate link (so if you purchase, I get a bit of commission from the sale)

These marshmallow mugs pair perfectly with a 3-tiered stand (I got mine at Hobby Lobby, but they are available at multiple craft stores, as well as places such as Target). Do you have a favorite marshmallow mug hat? Reach out and show us on Facebook!

What is Crochet? A Cheat Sheet For What You Need To Know Before You Learn to Crochet

what is crochet

The crochet trend is all but going away–and I hope that you found my website because you want to learn how to crochet, too. However, you have questions. I get it. It’s hard to start something without knowing you’ll have someone that you can ask questions to. 

Consider me your mentor, and this blog your educational resource to learn all you need to know about this craft. When you have questions, please ask! I strive to educate others so that they can enjoy the many benefits that I’ve gained from starting crochet. 

Today I’ll go through a few bits of information you may be wondering about crochet. Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • What is crochet? A brief history of crochet.
  • What is the difference between crochet and knitting? And some Crochet myth busters.
  • What you can make with crochet.
  • How to get started learning how to crochet.
  • Where to find supplies and crochet patterns.

With a little patience, and a lot of practice (that’s the fun part!) you’ll be crocheting in no time. Let’s get started!

About Crochet

What is Crochet?

According to Wikipedia, the word crochet itself is French and means “hook.” Crochet is the process of creating interlocking loops using a hook and fiber to form textiles, such as clothing and accessories, and home decor items like afghans and rugs. 

The earliest form of crochet appears to have surfaced in the early 1800s, and the hook, originally called a Shepard’s hook, was similar to the hooks we know and love today. The earliest publications about crochet come from Europe and mention the term double-crochet, which is what we know as single crochet in the US. For more information on the differences between US and British crochet technology, feel free to check out my article on the subject.

The history of crochet stitches is fascinating as it evolved over the years. It went from a single crochet to a more elaborate lace as fashion trends evolved during the 19th century. Crochet as we think about it today in modern times can be done using hundreds of stitches, with various sizes of hooks and yarn. 

It’s also a hobby that can be done by almost anyone with the will to learn and a little patience to practice. My students have ranged in age from 6 to 70 years of age. It’s a craft that unites people, and creates something beautiful that you can pass along to future generations. 

What is the difference between crochet and knitting?

We’ll start with the obvious difference between crochet and knitting, which is the number of tools you use to create the project. In crochet, you use a single crochet hook, a device with a head on it in the shape of a hook to grab the yarn and pull it through. In knitting, two needles are used as your main tool, with points on either end. These needles are used together to create the fabric. 

The second difference between the two lies in creating the stitches. In crochet, the stitch is almost always completed when your hook leaves it (with the exception of Tunisian crochet, which is done with a very long hook). With knitting, the stitches aren’t completed on the first pass, as you often transfer the yarn from one needle to the next to complete the stitch. Many have said that the use of one hook and the fact that you complete the stitches before moving to the next one make crochet faster than knitting. (I tend to be a perfectionist and slower at crochet to ensure I get it right, so I’m not sure I completely agree with this one.)

Crochet also cannot be done on a machine–only by hand. Now, similar to how we try to make a crochet project look like knit by doing a special stitch, many have done crochet-like stitches on knitting machines. But since crochet stitches are much more involved, it’s hard to find a machine that will do that. 

Also, due to the more intricate stitches, crochet is said to take more yarn than knit. I could see where that could be the case in producing some garments, but I wouldn’t say that it would be true in every apples to apples comparison between the two, simply because it would depend on the size of hook and the yarn used. 

Some Common Misconceptions (Myths) About Crochet

Crochet is for Grandmas.

Let me set something straight right off the bat. Crochet IS for Grandmas. It is also for children, moms, men, college students and every other single person who is willing and able to learn. 

While you see many people who are retired working on crochet, there is a reason for that. . .crochet takes time. Also, when I retire, you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll be crocheting the day away, because I can. Not only that, but using your hand-eye coordination like that keeps your brain sharp! But, back to the myth that crochet is only for Grandmas. I have taught people as young as six to crochet. My daughter occasionally will sit and crochet with me. But the key is. . .crochet takes patience, which I find that not everyone has. Not everyone can sit in a chair for hours and work on the project. But, I know people of ALL ages who crochet, and they are all so very talented.

Crochet is Tacky

Oh, back to the granny square days. . .People often hear crochet and they think of the granny square afghans that hung on Grandma’s couch created with browns, burnt oranges, deep reds, forest greens, and mustard yellows. Well, news flash, yarn trends come and go just like any other fabric trend. Granny square afghans, or clothing, were made with scraps of yarn that people needed to use up. So, they’d form large, multi-color, blankets made from whatever they had left over in their stash. 

Saying crochet is tacky based upon one item made is like saying that all jeans are tacky because stone-wash may be a bit outdated. The thing is. . .crochet projects live well beyond the time they were created. This is intentional so that people can pass them down to family. So before you think a piece is tacky, just remember how long someone sat and spent creating it. 

Crochet is Hard

Meh. Choosing a sandwich at Subway is hard. . .crochet is a skill learned over time that takes patience and persistence. If you commit to it, it’s not hard at all, and before long you’ll be completing projects left and right! 

Anything new that you don’t know how to do might seem hard. You just have to jump in and try it. Crochet is fun! And something you can do while enjoying many seasons of a show on Netflix.

Knitting is better for garments because crochet doesn’t drape well and has to be formed. 

Super untrue. Crochet may have once been known to be thicker due to the stitches stacking on top of one another, however it has evolved. The way your project turns out solely depends on what type of yarn you use, the size of hook, and the type of stitch. I am in at least 3 or 4 crochet groups where people make bathing suits, shorts, short-sleeved tops, crop tops, pants, dresses, and so much more! It is possible to make many types of garments with crochet! And they are all beautifully done. 

What Can You Make With Crochet?

This topic might see its own blog post some day. I always say, where there’s a will, there’s a way! I’ll make it with crochet! 

I’m normally also not that cute and crafty at rhymes. 🙂

But my point is this. . .you can make virtually anything using crochet. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Blankets
  • Scarves
  • Beanies
  • Pillows
  • Sweaters
  • Beaded Bracelets
  • Stuffed Animals
  • Coasters
  • Dishcloths
  • Scrubbers using tulle and scrubby yarn.
  • Headbands
  • Shorts
  • Socks
  • Wall Hangings
  • Rugs
  • Table Runners
  • Water Balloons
  • Can Koozies
  • And much more!

I literally can’t list everything I know of that I could make with crochet. There are people who do freeform crochet, or crocheting without a pattern to make something, around town to cover things and make them beautiful (called yarn-bombing). Crochet is popular in jewelry, and you can even make crochet braids in your hair. It’s a very versatile craft!

How to Get Started Learning How to Crochet

Luckily if you want to learn how to crochet, you’ve come to the right place. I can teach you. . .online, of course. I have several articles ranging from how to hold your hook, to how to do your starting chains. As time goes on, you’ll be able to find stitches, patterns, and more right here on this very website! Also, feel free to join my Facebook group! 

The first steps in learning how to crochet are to learn more about the tools you’ll be using. 

Tools and Materials

Crochet is done with a hook, but hooks come in all shapes and sizes, so how do you know which to use? Well, luckily, your yarn will tell you. Depending on the type of yarn you purchase, if you read the label it will give a suggested hook size. Pretty simple, right? To learn more about the anatomy of a crochet hook, and for more information about hook sizes, you can view the respective links on the blog. I also have reviews of many hooks I’ve used and loved. Ultimately, you and I aren’t the same though, and what you prefer (the look and feel) compared to what I prefer, may be different. It’s important to use what is comfortable to you. In the long run, that is what will make you stick with the craft.

The next thing you need to crochet is yarn. Oh, yarn. It’s very addictive to buy and that should probably be considered its own hobby. Yarn can be made from many different types of fibers, which you can read more about here. For your first project, I recommend getting an acrylic yarn, or a cotton blend that feels nice to you. These can be fairly inexpensive if you pick them up at one of the big box stores, or a bit pricier if you buy hand-dyed from an artisan. Pick a yarn that you love, but don’t select something that is considered a fashion yarn for your first project, and also don’t select black yarn for your first project–those are both very hard to learn on.

Next, you’ll need something to cut the yarn. Any scissors will do. . .they don’t have to be fancy. Just make sure you don’t cut open your freezer pops with them before you cut your yarn. Then you’d end up in an. . .um. . .sticky situation. I like to use embroidery scissors, as they are small and compact to carry around, and sharp to cut the yarn completely on the first try. They also make yarn cutters that they sell in the craft aisle. I have one that I occasionally keep with me when I have kids around. That way there aren’t sharp scissors laying around anywhere. I’ve written about the one I like, here.

Lastly, you’ll need a yarn or tapestry needle with a large eye. This can be either steel or plastic, blunt or pointed, but just make sure that it has a big enough eye on the end that your yarn can fit through. I also found some that I really like that are angled on the end. I feel like these are great for leading your yarn back through the project in multiple directions. 

There are several other tools you can purchase to help you in your journey, but these are the only four that you need to get started!

Learning Crochet – The Basics

If you want to learn how to crochet, set aside several hours to do so. I recommend blocking off at least an hour each day to begin, and then 30 minutes to an hour on the days after so that you can practice a little bit each day. Practice is what will make you a better crocheter. When you first start out, it takes a little while to figure out how to hold your hook and your yarn, so it’s important to give yourself some time to figure out what methods you feel the most comfortable with. 

Starting crochet is pretty simple. Most projects start with a slip knot to get your yarn on your hook. Then from there, you form a foundation chain, and you crochet stitches into that, building row by row, until you have a finished product. You can crochet a flat project, or join each row and create something round, such as a hat. The project can be the same color, or multiple colors, and can even include different textures of yarn. Ultimately, you have complete freedom when it comes to making a crochet piece your own.

Finishing a crochet project is as simple as tying the yarn off and weaving in the ends. The larger the project, or the more color changes you’ve had to do during the project, the more ends you’ll probably have to weave in. There are many ways to do this though to make it secure so your project doesn’t come apart. By cutting a longer tail (at least 6 inches in length) and weaving the yarn in three directions, you will have a piece secured and not likely to rip out. You might occasionally find an end or two after you wash it, but those can be trimmed, or tucked back in. After all, remember that this is handmade and NOT supposed to be perfect. It’s the imperfections that often make it beautiful.

Washing Crochet

Yes, you CAN wash your crochet creations! I’ve written an entire blog post giving you tips and tricks to do so. When you start crocheting with some yarn, it may feel a bit stiff, but you can wash it and dry it and it will get softer each time! There’s also some fibers that you can’t wash in a machine, and have to hand wash, so pay close attention to the care instructions listed on your yarn label

Gauge

So what is this thing called gauge? Well, it’s a unit of measurement for us crocheters to make sure our project is going to turn out the same size as the pattern we are following. Not everyone crochets the same–my tension may be looser than yours, or vice versa. But the more you crochet the more even your tension gets. Gauge is to help you measure if you are crocheting too loose for what a project calls for, and then you can adjust your hook size so the pattern comes out more true to size.

Where to Find Supplies and Crochet Patterns

This is one of the funnest parts of crochet–shopping for yarn! I strongly urge that you always have a project in mind before going to the store to buy yarn. This will help you avoid buying one skein of something because it looks pretty, and then never being able to use it. 

Finding Tools

Crochet hooks, needles, scissors, and more can be found at any craft store, or a store like Walmart. Depending on where you go, these stores carry different brands, and their own brand, of supplies. JoAnn, Michaels, and Hobby Lobby are fantastic places to find crochet supplies. 

But, what if you live far away from one of those. No worries! You can buy what you need directly from Amazon and have it shipped to your house in just a few days. How’s that for convenience? There are so many online retailers now that sell crochet supplies, and I’ve listed a few below:

  • Amazon
  • Lion Brand
  • Yarnspirations
  • Etsy
  • Ebay

Buying yarn can also be done online, however I know that personally I love to give my yarn the neck test before I buy it. What is the neck test you ask? It’s nuzzling the yarn in the crook of your neck a bit to test the softness and see if it’s something you’d like to have against your skin. Please tell me I’m not the only one who does this in public. 🙂

Patterns

Patterns can be found in books (both purchased at book stores, craft stores, or even on your tablet), free online via blogs and sites like Ravelry, or you can also buy patterns on designer websites or places like Etsy. I suggest you start with a few free beginner crochet patterns first, and then expand and buy some from small crochet businesses. 

Summary

I hope that this article has helped you to learn a little more about crochet, and also enticed you a bit to learn how to do this wonderful craft with me! My crochet journey goes back about 25 years to my college days, where I was often bored between classes and wanted to learn something new. Like many of you, I found something pretty I wanted to make, and I regretted never allowing my grandma to teach me how to do this as a child. So, I launched into learning myself! 

I crochet to relieve my anxiety. I work full time in digital marketing, which can often be stressful and fast-paced. Crochet allows me to slow down time, just a little bit, and gets my mind off of client work and deadlines. When I crochet, nothing else matters. It’s truly a hobby where I can immerse myself in a project and relax, which is exactly why I spend so much time doing it. 

I joke and say that crochet is therapy. . .but for me, there’s a lot of truth to that. I hope that others find this amazing hobby and fall in love with it as much as I have.

How to Read a Yarn Label – An easy breakdown of 14 symbols and abbreviations

How to Read a Yarn Label

How to Read a Yarn Label

If you’ve ever shopped for yarn, you know how important it is to know how to read a yarn label. It can affect the time you spend searching for yarn (both in the store and online), the amount of money you spend on buying the yarn for your project, and what hook size you’ll need to complete your project. It’s truly the first step to completing a project successfully!

Thankfully, the Craft Yarn Council, a governing body overseeing the standardization of the industry, has developed general guidelines for yarn manufacturers to follow while labeling their yarn for retail sale. Although the design may vary between labels, ultimately the information is similar enough to give us, the consumer, the information we need at our fingertips.

Patterns on Yarn Labels

Before I get into the nitty gritty of how to read a yarn label, I want to note that many yarn manufacturers that sell in big box retail stores will include free patterns on the yarn label. These free patterns are often free crochet or free knit patterns that are on the backside of the yarn label, meaning you won’t be able to view them unless you remove the label from the yarn. 

If you want to keep the label and the free pattern included, make sure to take the ultimate care to remove the yarn label from the yarn at the seam, thus keeping the pattern on the underside intact. Depending on the size of the yarn, this may be tricky and require scissors. 

Many times these patterns will include how much yarn you need to complete the free pattern project included on the outside of the label. 

How to Read a Yarn Label

There are many elements of a yarn label that I will talk about today. Many of them are standard, and some of them are simply observations about what I’ve seen in my many years of being a yarn consumer. As always, please let me know if you yourself find any discrepancies or have another point that would be valuable to this post by sending me a comment below.

  1. Yarn Manufacturer – Often one of the most prevalent pieces of the yarn label will be the name of the Yarn Manufacturer, or Brand, featured in the center with their logo. This is important information should you need to search for another similar skein of yarn.
  2. Product Name – For example: Simply Soft, Sugar ‘n Cream, Soft Essentials. The product name gives you reassurance that all yarn within one product line will be of similar texture, no matter the color. Product Names are created to create uniformity.
  3. Color – One of the most important things we look for as consumers is color, and when you’re buying a lot of yarn, you want to make sure that it all matches perfectly. The color will always be listed on the very end of the label. Many times the color name will also be listed in additional languages, depending on the location.
  4. Product Color ID – Alongside the color, you’ll often find an ID number that can be referenced also if you need to search for additional yarn. 
  5. Lot Number – some yarn is dyed in batches, thus creating the possibility of color variations amongst the yarn. If you’re working on a large project where color detail is important, such as a sweater, you want to make sure that when you run out of one skein and begin working on the other, that the color stays the exact same. When shopping for your yarn, try to get all of your yarn from the same lot if possible. Some yarn contains a message that reads, “no dye lot.” What this means is that the yarn is dyed pre-spinning into the skeins, thus not having significant color variations. 
  6. Yarn Manufacturer Contact Information – The address of the yarn manufacturer will be listed on the yarn, along with any contact information for where you may contact them if you need to. Many also include their website, and a website for their free patterns, as well as what social channels they are on so that you may follow them if you like. 
  7. Yarn Weight Category – This will come with a number from 0-6 to indicate how thick your yarn strands are. 0 is a fingering weight yarn, 4 is medium, or worsted weight, and 6 is bulky. The yarn weight is a standard set by the Craft Yarn Council, and yarn manufacturer’s try to follow this standard for labeling yarn weight.
  8. Gauge – All yarn labels come with a square for both knitting and crochet gauge. This information tells users how many rows and stitches it should take them to achieve the gauge and with what size hook or needles. This is incredibly helpful for makers who also create their own patterns, and can also tell you how much yarn you’ll need for your project. 
  9. Care Instructions – When it comes time to launder your yarn, you definitely need to ensure to practice caution when washing certain types of fiber. Depending on the country you are located in, these might look a bit different, so always check to see if the symbols shown are US or EU. 
  10. Yardage or Quantity – On each label, you’ll find out how much yarn is contained in the skein. This can be in yds (yards), m (meters), or both. 
  11. Total Yarn Weight – Often displayed by the quantity will be the entire weight of the skein displayed in oz (ounces) or g (grams), or both. 
  12. Fiber Type – The type of yarn fiber will be visible on the label along with the percentage of that fiber (useful when trying to figure out how to launder the item you create with the yarn). Look for fiber types such as 100% Cotton, Acrylic, Polyester, and more! 
  13. Country yarn was created – Look for Made in China, or Made in the USA to find out where your yarn was manufactured. 
  14. Hook Size – Usually in the area with the gauge, you will also see the recommended hook size for the yarn. The hook sizes often list both the number standard to hooks purchased in the US, as well as the mm of the hook (as different brands have different letters per mm). 

Reading a Yarn Label

If you’ve been crocheting for any amount of time, I’ll bet that you’ve purchased yarn without even looking at the label. Even if you haven’t, sometimes yarn just draws you in and you think you’ll someday use it for a project. In my experience, this is normally the type of yarn that I end up asking my friends what I should make with it. Having a pattern in mind before you buy the yarn, and then matching it by reading the yarn labels, will ultimately lead to the most successful projects. 

4 Crucial Things to Buy When You Want to Learn to Crochet

What Crochet Tools Do I Need

So, you want to learn to crochet, but need to find out which crochet tools are right for the job? You’ve come to the right place. Crochet can be as inexpensive as you make it–the only things you technically need are a hook, yarn, scissors, and a yarn needle to weave in the ends. Pretty simple, right? Let me break it down.

This post does contain affiliate links, which means that if you purchase from the links included I will get a small commission. For that, I thank you!

Yarn

The thing that likely drew you toward wanting to learn to crochet was probably a pretty skein of yarn. It’s addictive, trust me. Although, choosing the right yarn for a beginner project may mean you have to set aside the yarn you’ve been eyeing for a little bit. Some of the yarn that initially catches our eyes in the store is actually fashion yarn, and very hard to crochet with.

To begin, you’ll want to pick up a skein of yarn that is a light, solid color. I highly recommend choosing an acrylic yarn for your first project. This yarn is a bit more forgiving than others, and not as stiff as cotton. (Although, cotton yarn will be great for your first project if you want to make something like a dishcloth.)

Take a look at yarns like Red Heart Soft, Caron Simply Soft, or Vanna’s Choice from Lion Brand. Several of the craft stores have their own brands now also, such as Loops & Thread at Michaels, Big Twist at JoAnn, or I Love This Yarn at Hobby Lobby. These will all be fine to begin with also.

When first learning to crochet, it is important to begin with a yarn that is a medium (or worsted) yarn weight (size 4). Don’t forget to grab a lighter color to begin. Seriously. . .if I crochet you something in black yarn, it means I really like you. Dark yarns can be harder to see your individual stitches and will be more difficult for beginners.

Now, if a dishcloth is going to be your first pattern, those are best made out of cotton. Try Lily’s Sugar n’ Cream, or the Peaches n. Cream version that can be found at Walmart. Cotton is good for bath and body themed crochet pieces, because you can throw it in the washer and dryer, and it also will dry better. 

Crochet Hook

I always advise students to pick a yarn before they pick their first hook. Why, you ask? Because the type of yarn you choose has a direct impact on what hook you use. The hook size you will need to purchase will be right on the back of your yarn label. Pretty simple, right? Now, there is a bit of a range, depending on the pattern you are working with. But, you’ll never use a thick size P hook on something like sock yarn. 

Since you are purchasing a size 4 yarn, you’ll want to pick up a size H/5.00mm, or size I/5.50mm crochet hook. These are the two that I use the most in my stash to this day, and the two that I have the most variations of. 

Variations, you ask? Well, not all hooks are created equally. . .but as a beginner you simply need to choose one and try it out. Odds are, you’ll select the brand that is sold at the store you’re at picking up your yarn. That’s okay, because as you continue to crochet, if something doesn’t feel right about your hook, know that you can always change it.

Scissors

For your first crochet project, the scissors you use will not matter one bit. I started out using my scrapbooking scissors, and have migrated to using embroidery scissors. As long as they will cut the yarn, use them. Just make sure they are clean (i.e. maybe don’t use your kitchen shears) and aren’t super dull (i.e. your kid’s school scissors). 

Yarn Needle

Throughout your crochet journey, you’ll probably use several of these, so I would go ahead and get a variety pack if I were you. These can be purchased in the same aisle as the crochet hooks and come in many sizes and styles. Some have straight edges, and others curved. Some have larger eyes, and some smaller. They are either plastic or steel. Either is fine! I personally have both. You just need something larger than a sewing needle to wave in your ends when you are finished with your project. 

And that’s it! That’s all you “officially” need to start crocheting. Yes, there are many sparkly things that are “nice-to-haves” once you get started, but while you are learning, none of the fancy items are necessary. You can find all of items that you need to start crocheting for under $20!