As a hobby, crochet may not seem all that exciting, but if you think about it, it’s a perfect pandemic pastime, particularly if you love slow, quiet days spent at home.
Crocheting can be done by anyone, anywhere, as long as you have somewhere cozy to curl up in, plus it gives you the perfect excuse to ignore your phone – because counting stitches is no mean feat.
What makes the craft really exciting is what you can make. The possibilities are endless. With a few basic stitches, you can make an entire wardrobe and then some: earrings, headbands, tops, cardigans, bikinis, and even full dresses. You can also make toys, dreamcatchers, blankets, and in the case of one truly obsessed crocheter, a car cover – with fringes.
For crocheter and pattern maker Aly Gene (@mgypsy.ph on Instagram), her hobby (and now, her business) makes her feel productive and also helps her destress.
“My ideal day involves crocheting because I feel relaxed and it makes me happy. I find that the repetitive motion of crochet soothes and relaxes me. It puts me in a better way of thinking. I love the sense of achievement I get when I finally finished what I’ve been making,” she told Rappler.
Aly, now 27, started crocheting when she was just seven years old. Now, she has an entire crocheted wardrobe – tops, dresses, skirts, even cosplay costumes. She also makes patterns and sells them on Etsy.
Here are her tips for beginners:
Use the right tools
Start with a 2.5mm to 5mm crochet hook and good quality yarn corresponding to the hook size. For yarn colors, choose light shades over dark so you can easily see your stitches.
Here are a few shops she recommends:
Master the basics
Before you can even think about crocheting your way to a brand new wardrobe, you’ll have to learn the basic stitches such as the slip knot, chain stitch, single crochet, half double crochet, double crochet, and triple crochet.
Mastering these stitches pretty much sets you up for everything else, because as Aly said, “these will be the building blocks for more complicated stitches.”
YouTube tutorials are a beginner’s best friend. Here are a few crochet channels (including hers) that Aly recommends:
If tutorials or videos are difficult to follow, you could also try learning through diagrams and patterns. Here are Aly’s suggestions for where you can download free PDF pattern tutorials:
Join a community
One of the fun things about getting into a hobby is being part of a community. As Aly pointed out, joining crochet groups gives you another learning resource because you can get help from fellow crocheters for any questions. You can also share any finished projects and get feedback.
Aly recommends joining the Facebook group Yarn Over, though some crocheters also connect on Instagram through the hashtags #gantsilyoph or #crochetph.
Pick your design niche
While you can make practically anything out of crochet, Aly advises to focus on one type of project first. There’s lots to choose from: baby garments, wearables, crochet dolls, bags, shoes, costumes.
“The more you can hone in on your niche, the more you will be familiar with those kinds of patterns, stitches and designs,” she said.
Take your time
As with any new pastime, patience is key – but perhaps even more so for crochet, where even the most seasoned crafters take ages to finish a project. Start with small and simple projects (a coaster, maybe?) and master those before attempting that blanket or cardigan.
As Aly put it, “As long as you’re enjoying the process, then don’t give up!” – Rappler.com