In my crochet world, I have 4 best friends. I knew three of them before yarn came into the picture, but now we are besties. You probably know a couple of them already…
There is no better teacher for crocheting than Youtube. No offense to all the sweet grandmothers out there–I know you have skills that I can only hope to one day achieve. However, Youtube is tirelessly patient. I am a visual and auditory learner, so I need to see and hear what I am learning. When I started crocheting, I looked up how to do each basic stitch–chain stitch, slip stitch, single crochet, double crochet, etc. I practiced unless I felt comfortable, then looked up a new stitch. Then I started finding videos of patterns. It was a HUGE help to have a video of a person crocheting that I could follow, and even better are the videos that have the pattern written on the top of the video to let you read along.
Pause and rewind are the best features of Youtube. It never gets mad at you for having to watch part of a video 15 times. It also won’t tell on you if you don’t like a video (aka teacher) and leave to find a different one. Don’t try to learn from a book. Trust your old friend.
Girls love Pinterest. I love Pinterest. It’s like having an unlimited source of magazines to look through and plan your life—clothes, food, home, wedding, babies, etc. Well, guess what? Pinterest knows how to crochet. I have a board entitled “Crafty Happy”, and it has some of the best crochet patterns Pinterest has to offer. I love baby crochet projects, and apparently, I am not the only one. Pinterest lets you gather and share pretty things without having to go to every crochet blog out there (yes, even this one). So, make a new board and start pinning.
Everyone has a friend who requires a little more effort when it comes to keeping in touch. You can’t just text or email–you actually have to meet in person in order for your relationship to have value. Hello old friend, Library. I knew I was getting sucked in when I went to look at books on crochet. I knew I had crossed a line when I got in the check-out line with those books. Had I really become that person? What would the librarians think of me? (actual thought from my head)
If you can get over your fear of librarian judgement, the library is an incredible resource for tips, stitches, and patterns. Some of my favorite pieces have come from those books. Why buy a pattern when you can have it free? Now, I wouldn’t try to learn the basics from a book–it’s not visual enough for me. However, once you know what you are doing even a little and what the secret crochet language actually means, books are awesome. Just make sure you get the ones with lots of pictures because a pattern means nothing unless you can see what it makes.
Confession: I belong to an online crochet and knit community. (It’s okay to judge me–I did for a while.) Ravelry is like Pinterest but exclusively for crafting. I had to “join” by creating a username and password, but they never send me spam or ask for my money. It’s a pretty cool club. I love it because I can search specifically for free crochet patterns for anything I want. I can specify hook size, yarn weight, amount of yarn required, etc. Everything that I like goes into a notebook of favorites (again, just like Pinterest). I wish everything on Ravelry was free, but there are so many free patterns that I would never be able to complete them all.
These are my best crochet friends. They can be your friends too but be warned–they have a sneaky way of tricking you into buying yarn. I really need a frequent buyer card at Hobby Lobby.