Although I have owned a set of crochet hooks for years, and use them constantly to help me with my knitting, I’ve never actually learned how to crochet. One of the types of projects that I often see done in crochet is small toys. Every time I see a little crocheted creature, I can’t help but want to recreate it. I’ve decided that it is finally time to take on a crochet project, and I’m going to start with a little stuffed animal rattle. Here are a knitter’s first impressions of crochet as a tackle my first crochet project.
For my first project, I have chosen a little baby rattle by CrochetStreetPattern. I think these rattles are just adorable. These type of items are easier to create with crochet than with knitting, which is why I have chosen this as my first project. It is also a fairly small item, so hopefully it won’t take me too long to complete.
Holding the Yarn
I usually knit with the yarn in the right hand, or English-style. So for me, when pivoting to crochet, that meant that I had to get used to holding the yarn in my left hand. As a result, it took me a couple of tries starting my project because my tension was so tight that I couldn’t get the crochet hook into the stitches. I think these are normal growing pains when learning how to knit or crochet. After some warm ups, I was able to get more comfortable with the tension, and make more consistent and relaxed stitches.
Stitches look a bit different in crochet. The thing that can be the most puzzling is that you only have one “active” stitch at a time, unlike knitting when you have a whole row. This also means that when you take the crochet hook out, your stitch loop is just sort of hanging out there. When I was finished with my crochet sessions, I just popped a stitch marker through the loop to keep it safe.
Techniques I Used
Knitting isn’t the only craft with “magic” involved (check out this article on Magic Loop). To get started with crocheting in the round, I used the magic ring technique. It is really fun to make. When you finish adding the number of stitches you need, you simply pull the yarn to tighten it up.
Most of my stitches were made using the simple single crochet. I was surprised to find that this actually requires two motions to complete. However, once you get going, it is a very satisfying and hypnotic stitch to make.
Increases & Decreases
The stitch increases and decreases are very simple in crochet, compared to knitting. For increases, I simply crocheted into the same stitch twice. For decreases, I just worked the single crochet on two loops at once.
Things I like most about crochet
Crochet feels more free form than knitting to me. It is not tied down by the row structure of knitting. Increasing and decreasing the number of stitches is very straightforward. This means that creating 3D shapes (like my little turtle) is much easier.
Things that are challenging about crochet
Although I like the free-form feeling of crochet, it also makes me feel a bit lost at times. For example, I can’t quite tell where I am in a row unless I’m constantly counting. I think this is something that might come with familiarity. I might be able to learn this skill as I spend more time crocheting.
If you love knitting and haven’t tried crochet, I highly recommend it. If you want to try making little toys and rattles too, check out more cute patterns from CrochetStreetPattern. This was a fun start, and I am going to keep working to improve my skills. If you crochet, be sure to comment with tips on how I can get better.