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Learn to crochet for beginners

The old-fashioned, somewhat dusty image of crochet has completely disappeared since crochet tops became one of the absolute favourite items of clothing in summer. Everyone loves crochet and wants to learn how to crochet! Do you too? Then you've come to the right place!

Here you will learn all the important basics so that you will soon be able to crochet your own tops, amigurumi, home decorations or practical everyday helpers, such as zero waste dishcloths or reusable make-up remover pads. And don't worry: learning to crochet is not complicated at all and stitch by stitch you will find crocheting easier and easier.

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Learning to crochet: choosing a crochet hook and yarn

To get started, you don't need anything else apart from a suitable crochet hook and yarn. Cotton yarn (for example Catania Originals) is probably the most commonly used yarn for crocheting and is available in different thicknesses. When learning to crochet, use slightly thicker yarn (e.g. Schachenmayr Catania Grande) and make sure that the yarn thickness and the millimetre markings on your crochet hook match as closely as possible.

The many different crochet hooks differ not only in terms of their needle size. There are needles for special techniques (for example, lace crochet hooks for particularly fine work or needles for Tunisian crochet), needles with and without a handle, made of natural materials or plastic, and so on. Your choice is basically a matter of taste and depends on what is important to you.

Our tip for beginners - choosing the right crochet hooks

When crocheting for beginners, we definitely recommend a hook with a handle. This is the best way to hold the crochet hook in your hand and prevent it from slipping. You can also choose ergonomic crochet hooks made of plastic. They help you to intuitively learn how to hold the crochet hook correctly. They also take the strain off your wrists and shoulders. So you really can crochet for hours on end.

Which projects are suitable for learning to crochet?

Of course we all want to learn to crochet so that we can design unique and impressive crochet tops and jumpers straight away. But let's be honest: how quickly does motivation give way to frustration when you've chosen a complicated, overly elaborate project?

Learning to crochet should be fun first and foremost! So it's better to start with a project that will give you a nice result quickly. It doesn't always have to be a potholder! You'll find a large selection of free crochet and knitting patterns on our blog that have been written specifically for beginners. How about a pretty headband or a practical shopping net, for example?

And after a few headbands, shopping nets and potholders (which also make great gifts!), you can confidently move on to a more time-consuming project such as a jumper or jacket. By the way, a self-crocheted baby blanket is a nice transition. The pattern is usually not too complicated and you learn how to use different colours. However, you will need a little patience in any case!

Learning to crochet: reading crochet script

You may have already discovered them yourself somewhere. You will often find a so-called crochet script in instructions for a specific crochet pattern (here for Granny Squares, for example). What initially looks a bit like hieroglyphics and looks incredibly complicated turns out to be relatively simple and extremely practical in the end. If you know how to read the crochet script, you can easily crochet according to foreign-language instructions, for example, or simply skim over the long text of crochet instructions.

In short: the crochet script is the blueprint for your crochet project. The arrangement of the crochet symbols indicates exactly where you should crochet chain stitches, single crochet stitches, etc. in order to achieve the desired crochet pattern.

Crochet script symbols

What is a crochet script?

Crochet script is a system that represents the different stitches as symbols. This allows entire crochet projects to be represented graphically. This makes the individual steps for crocheting complex crochet patterns very simple and easy to understand. With a little practice, you can easily translate the crochet script into practice and completely dispense with the written, usually very time-consuming, instructions.

How can I read a crochet script?

Crochet instructions are all structured very similarly. They are read from bottom to top and from right to left - in the opposite direction to this text here. So you start in the bottom right-hand corner and work your way to the left, symbol by symbol. The rule is: 1 symbol = 1 stitch. As a rule, each crochet pattern is accompanied by an explanation of the symbol. This allows you to identify symbols that were previously new to you.

Linear crochet lettering: from bottom right to top left

Linear crochet patterns, i.e. projects that are crocheted in rows rather than rounds, are usually crocheted in back and forth rows. You then alternate between crocheting a row from the front and a row from the back of the work. A stitch is always crocheted in exactly the same stitch as the one below it in the crochet script. This is why the crochet charts look so organised. So you can follow every stitch exactly.

Crochet lettering as a circular diagram: from the inside out

When crocheting in rounds, the crochet script is also shown as a circle. For some projects, such as amigurumi, which are usually only crocheted with single crochet stitches, the crochet lettering can also consist of just a section of a circle. In this case, the part shown is repeated as often as mentioned and the circle is filled completely.

You read the crochet pattern from the inside out. Projects that are crocheted in rounds and not in rows are not turned. Therefore, the reading direction does not change from row to row, but is always crocheted and read from the right side.

Crochet symbols and their meaning

To help you read crochet fonts, we will show you the most important stitches, how they are abbreviated and which symbols are assigned to them. Some symbols are not assigned to just one type of stitch. You should therefore take a look at the legend of the crochet script before starting your work.

Single crochet stitch (dc)

Single crochet stitches are one of the basic stitches in crochet. Single crochet stitches are perfect for learning to crochet, as many projects can only be crocheted with single crochet stitches. How about amigurumi, bags or a new cushion made exclusively from single crochet stitches?

Chain stitches (slip stitches, single crochet, single crochet)

Alongside the yarn ring, chains of chain stitches are the most common way to start crochet projects. This involves crocheting small loops which, when strung together, form a first row or a thread ring. Air stitches are also frequently used in crochet instructions for shawls.

Crochet pattern for turning chain stitches

Spiral chain stitches & starting or slip stitches (W slip stitch, Wlm / slip stitch, beg slip stitch)

To bridge the distance to the next row, turning air stitches or starting and slip stitches are used. The symbol for turning or slip stitches is the same as for chain stitches. There is no extra symbol for this.

The chopstick family

To make a project looser, crochet with double crochet stitches. The symbol shows a straight line with different numbers of horizontal lines - depending on which treble crochet you are crocheting. Each horizontal line indicates how many yarn overs you need to place on the crochet hook. A distinction is made between half double crochets, (whole) double crochets, double crochets, treble crochets and treble crochets, depending on the height of the double crochet. The higher the trebles, the looser and more airy the crochet project will be. Chopsticks are often used in granny squares or crochet shawls, as they make the project particularly airy and soft.

Still not tired of crocheting?

We hope that we have been able to help you learn to crochet with this little crochet encyclopaedia and wish you lots of fun with your new favourite activity! If you would like to learn even more about crochet, we recommend our lovingly designed crochet books for reference. In our books category, you'll also find extensive collections of crochet patterns for further study. And if classic crochet alone is not enough for you, you can also try out other variations. One popular variation, for example, is Tunisian crochet.