**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you purchase after clicking on my links.
When you hear crafters throwing around lingo it can often sound a bit intimidating to try and jump into something new. But don't worry... I'm here to guide you through the basics and into the great beyond of crochet.
So let's start with some of the basics that you will need to get started.
Yarn - Yarn is made from natural or acrylic fibers and comes in what is called weights. There are several different 'weights' of yarn but the most common are cotton thread, fingerling, worsted, bulky, and super bulky.
A hook - Now these come in all shapes and sizes. Over the years I have come to love ergonomic hooks. After crocheting for nearly 30 years it has taken a toll on my hands and wrists. You can even use your finger if you want!!
And last but not least a pattern! Those are some of those things that vary in size, complexity, and price. I find many patterns on Etsy, designers on Facebook, but most of my patterns come from Ravelry.
Now there are a few terms that are debatable throughout the crochet community so I am just going to throw it out there right from the beginning. I USE THOSE TERMS... I use the terms hooking and hooker. Now before I get lectured about the meaning of the work... I am well aware. In fact, if you haven't noticed my location yet, I'm in the Reno/Sparks, Nevada area. Some of our towns were/are popular for their famous **cough** brothels **cough**. I mean for a long time I was just a 30-minute drive from one of the most famous houses on the west coast. But that is beside the point... We are here to learn about crocheting right? Now some of these are silly and some are very serious. So let's get on with it.
Terms I think you NEED to know... For now.
Fiber - What your yarn is made out of.
Weight - used to gauge how thick yarn is. I will go over this more in a bit.
Chain(ing) - the foundation to almost all projects out there! Seriously... Like 90% of all my patterns I make start with a set number of chains. These also come in handy when turning in work and doing other fancy things that we will learn along the way.
Turn(ing) - Usually done at the end of a row but not always. Sometimes we join our rounds or end our row and need to go back the way we came.
Frogging - The process of pulling apart a project.
W.P.I. - stands for Wraps Per Inch. This is a great way to determine mystery yarn.
W.I.P - This stands for 'work in progress'. This one is pretty self-explanatory.
H.O.T.H. - This actually stands for 'hot off the hook'. Usually, a term saved for when a project is finished.
C2C(c2c) - Corner to corner - a style used working diagonally from corner to corner of a project. This is super popular for blankets, small lovies, and graphed scarfs.
Stash - What you call your accumulation of yarn yet to be used or the remnants left from finished projects.
Get To Know Your Yarn
Let's face it... A trip to your local craft store yarn department might be a little overwhelming if you aren't sure where to start. There are hooks and needles, stitch markers, bags, and bowls... OH MY!
I will break down all of this over the next week for you to help you dive into the wonderful world of crochet with confidence. But let's start with one of the main things you will need to get started and that is... YARN!
The chart above gives a good break down of all your sizes. Most commonly you will be working with Aran or Worsted weight yarns. That will be your Red Heart Super Saver, I Love This Yarn from Hobby Lobby, Big Twist from Joanns, and Impeccable at Michaels. But there are so many many more options out there!
Lace is pretty obvious of its use. It is also used along with fingerling yarn for doilies like grandma used to make and socks. Sport yarn could also be used for doilies but is best for baby and kids items, as well as socks.
That leads us into the 3 and 4 weights. DK, Worsted, and Aran are in the 3 and 4 weights. Occasionally you will run in varying thicknesses within the same weight. For example, Red Heart Super Saver is a 4 but so is Caron Simply Soft. But the Caron yarn is slightly thinner than the Red Heart yarn. So, the Caron yarn is right on the bubble of 3 and 4 and really could go either way. Most just consider it a thin 4 weight.
After those three you have Chunky and Bulky. Both of these are really fun to work with. They usually work up fast because they require a larger hook. Also, because the yarn is so thick it creates very warm items. This is great if you have little kids who want to finger chain stitches. Also in these categories is your fun fur yarns, eyelash yarns, and the ever so fun Sashay (the ruffly) yarn.
There is one that is left off and that is a JUMBO and that is your super thick yarns or a (7) up on that scale. Hooks used for this are very large or you can do some hand knitting and crocheting. That is super fun too! Great activity for kids and teens.
Now, yarn varies from store to store, state to state, and definitely country to country. Something that I can get on the West Coast might not be available in the UK and visa-versa. I love using yarnsub.com when I can't find the yarn that a designer has used or if I flat out can't find the yarn that I am looking for.
Tools of the Trade
There is a wide variety of hooks and they are made with different materials! And they come in all kinds of sizes!!! Here is some of mine...
I have classic old school hooks from when I first started, hooks that I've added handles to, and ergonomic hooks bought from the store. Some are metal, some are plastic and some are made of wood! Doesn't matter what they are made of or what brand they are. As long as they are comfortable in your hands that is all that matters. Especially if this is something that you plan on doing for a long time.
Most yarn packaging will give you a hook recommendation on it. Very very few have I come across do not.
Now this one is pretty simple - blunt-ended and large-eyed. Some have an eye that runs the length of the needle and both ends are pointed. I love the ones I got and use them the most because I don't have to really worry about if my tail is long enough to weave in. I can just start my needle, thread my yarn, and finish my project.
While these might not seem all that important, let me tell you. Nothing is more frustrating than grabbing a pair of scissors and not have them cut! They don't have to be huge like kitchen scissors or even big fabric scissors. I have a small pair by Fiskers that I have had for so long one of the finger loops recently cracked, but they still work. If I were to get new ones I love these purple scissors or even these foldable rose gold ones from Annie's.
Be sure to keep checking back as we work our way through the basic stitches used as the foundation of most projects out there. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram for up to date information on the blog, projects I'm working on, and any sales that we might be offering.
As always feel free to shop us online and be sure to join us tomorrow for the beginning of our year in stitches.
This blog uses affiliate links to help keep it going. All that means is I earn a small commission for your click and/or purchase.