Monday, November 7, 2016

Crochet Starter Kit or Gift Set for Beginners

Have you been thinking about learning to crochet?  No????  Oh!  I get it - it's because you already know how ;)

Well then, maybe you know someone else who'd like to learn?  The holidays are a perfect opportunity to put together a gift set for yourself or for any beginning crocheter!  

I remember when a friend told me she wanted to learn and asked me what she would need to get started crocheting.  You don't need a lot, but it certainly can help to have a little guidance.  So here's what I would include in a "Starter Kit" for someone who'd like to learn how to crochet.

It took me a while to find the hooks that I LOVE, but I now they are what I recommend to everyone, even beginners.  Maybe especially beginners.
My favorite crochet hooks are the Clover Amour Hooks, with grippy handles.  The handles feel fabulous while working, not slippery, or too skinny to hold.  And they are a bit longer than many other handles so you have better control over them since they fit in your hand better... I think :)

If you're a veteran crocheter, just do yourself a favor and go buy the 10-size set now!

But for the purposes of a starter kit, I recommend the size H/5.oo mm hook or the size J/6.oo mm hook.

It is best to learn to crochet with an acrylic yarn that isn't too slippery... but isn't too scratchy either.  For beginners, I think Lion Brand Vanna's Choice yarn is a great place to start.  It's a great yarn - soft, easy to use, great colors - and it meets my not-slippery, not-too-scratchy recommendation.  

I recommend a lighter color yarn for learning because it's easier to see individual stitches.  The Vanna's Choice line has many colors, so you'll probably have a hard time picking just one :)

(3) a tapestry needle

A large-eye needles is necessary for weaving in the ends of your project (the yarn tails that hang from your work at the beginning and end of a piece, and any place you changed color).  I find steel needles work much better than plastic ones, and recommend a set like this...

Stitch markers may not be a necessity for a beginner, but they can be very useful when learning to count stitches in a row or count rows themselves.  These stitch markers are inexpensive and easy to use (they close like a safety pin so they won't easily fall out of your work) ...

(5)  how-to materials, tutorials, and guides

In addition to the essential tools, a beginner may also need some learning materials if there is no handy friend/teacher nearby :)

Some learn best with a physical book, with pictures and descriptions.  Although I haven't seen this book firsthand, I previewed several books on Amazon and this one looks like a great beginners tool to me.  I think it would be a wonderful addition to a starter crochet kit/gift :)

Some may prefer the audio-visual approach, in which case I have two words for you:

There are a gazillion learn-to-crochet tutorials on youtube.  You may just have to jump in to one or two to see if they're suited to you.  Some may go to slow or too fast.  Or maybe you need a left-handed tutorial.  Poke around, I guarantee you'll find one that you can learn from.  I previewed this tutorial and it was well done :)

And don't forget about Pinterest for pictorial instructions on how to do basic stitches as well as charts of common abbreviations, and instructions on how to read a pattern.  If you were preparing a gift set, you certainly could print out and laminate some of these to include <3

So, what do you think?  What other tools, materials, or information would you include in a gift set for a beginner crocheter???  I'd love to hear about it in the comments.  

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