In this day and age, more and more people are teaching themselves how to craft. With the internet making so much knowledge and techniques available for free, it isn't so hard to fully teach yourself how to crochet. However, there are some things that you can only learn from experience, or from someone else showing you firsthand what to do (such as a grandma or mom). So here are some things I wish someone had told me when I first started to crochet.
1. Your stitches don't need to be extremely tight.
When you're first starting to crochet you're probably going to hold your hook with a death grip and make your stitches super tight. Don't do that! Let your hook glide through the loops and don't hold your yarn too tightly. Crocheting really tightly leads to hands cramping more easily and a need to take more breaks in between.
2. When you're crocheting a lot, ergonomic hooks are a must.
Speaking of hand cramps, when you're crocheting with a normal hook, it's pretty hard on your hands having to put so much pressure onto the tiny feruell. Unfortunately, when you are crocheting for long periods of time and you're using non-ergonomic hooks, there is a very strong risk of carpal tunnel. Lucky for us, different brands make crochet hooks with the cushion built into the hook, but Boye also sells a huge ergonomic holder for any of there hooks. It's really easy to use and is much more cost effective than having to buy all new hooks.
3. Crochet through both loops unless you want a stripe on your stitches.
God this sounds so stupid but it took me so long to figure out why my crochet didn't look like everyone else's. When I finally figured out that you were supposed to crochet through BOTH loops on top of a stitch, it was only after many weird looking amigurumis. The only exception to this is when a pattern establishes a stitch is BLO or FLO, which means to crochet through back loop only or front loop only, respectively.
4. Don't compare yourself to other crocheters.
With all the projects and patterns online it's really easy to get overwhelmed. You see all thes e picture of fancy things people have made and you tell yourself that you'll never be able to make things like that. Remember: this is supposed to be fun. And guess what? One day, you WILL be able to make all that stuff, and maybe stuff that's even better. Almost a year ago I was so intimidated to do a granny square and a month or two later I started a huge granny square blanket for my grandmother for Christmas. You just can't rush yourself.
5. You CAN both knit and crochet!
When I first started crocheting, many other crocheters online made fun of knitters and visa versa. That lead me to believe that because I crocheted I could never be a knitter as well. Boy was I wrong. I finally caved after seeing so many beautiful knitting patterns. It took me a whole to figure out but once I did, I saw how fun knitting was too (I might even like it more than crochet). Don't let anyone tell you that because you do one craft you can't do another. You can't let other people limit your creativity!