Crochet Guide for beginners: follow this comprehensive list to know what you need to buy to start crocheting.
I love crochet! This simple craft has helped me make my life so much happier and brighter that I want to get as many people as possible to pick up a hook and try it out for themselves. If you are curious but don’t know what to buy to start crocheting, keep reading to find a comprehensive list of newbie crochet necessities and see why this is one of the most affordable crafts to begin!
What crochet hooks do you need to start crocheting?
Crochet hooks come in a huge variety of sizes. Getting the right hook size can really determine the success of your project. Usually patterns will tell you what size hook to use but I was still a little confused about the correlation between hook size and end result when I started crocheting.
My recommendation for a beginner is to buy a small Bates crochet hook set. If you are outside the US, these hooks are metal inline crochet hooks. They are fairly inexpensive and work great. If you only want to buy a few hooks here is a list on the most useful sizes to buy.
- 4.00 mm or 4.25 mm hooks (a UK size 8 or US G hook)
this is a good starting hook for making amigurumis with worsted weight yarn or using sport weight yarn for baby booties and hats.
- 5.00 mm (US 8 or H hook, UK size 6)
this hook is my go to for most projects made with cotton yarn like the soap saver and scrubbies. The hook size makes the project firm and durable but not too stiff.
- 5.5 mm (US 9/I or UK size 5 hook)
This hook is for hats, mittens, scarves all made from worsted weight yarn.
- 6.5 mm (US 10 1/2 or K/UK size 3 hook)
This is the hook size I like to use for afghans, throws or any kind of blankets made from worsted weight yarn.
If you would like to start crocheting doilies or other lace weight projects your hook obviously should be smaller. Although beautiful, I would not recommend starting out with crochet thread, as it can be harder to see and can put strain on your hands and wrist if you are not already used to crocheting.
What yarn should you buy to start crocheting?
As you delve deeper into the world of crochet you will inevitably encounter a certain yarn obsession among the members of this community. Yarn is the medium and finding the right kind can be crucial to the outcome of your project. The endless choices of color, weight, texture and material of yarn is awesome to more seasoned crocheters but can be a little confusing to beginners.
When you are just starting and you are not sure if you’ll enjoy this hobby, I recommend keeping it simple. Here is a short list of the most common yarns:
Should you buy Wool to start crocheting?
Before I crocheted I had little knowledge about yarns made of any other material than wool. As it turns out I hardly ever use 100% wool for any of my projects because wool shrinks and felts when you wash it. There are also people with allergies and this material has the reputation of being scratchy. Once you have some practice I do encourage you (budget permitting!) to explore hand spun sheep wool, cashmere or angora and, my favorite, alpaca!
I do like a nice wool blend though, for hats and mittens. Wool blends are a certain percentage of wool mixed with a synthetic fiber and they keep you nice and warm. There are countless stores to buy wool blends online. In fact, most of the crocheters I know order their yarn online but when you are still familiarizing yourself with this medium I would recommend your local craft store or even the craft isle of the big box stores. One brand I can recommend is
The beautiful yarn is 20% wool and 80% acrylic which makes it washable and durable.
Should you buy acrylic yarn to start crocheting?
Acrylic yarn is most often the cheapest selection in stores. Before I began to familiarize myself with yarn I thought of acrylic as an icky material, like stinky gym shorts icky. Boy was I wrong! Acrylic has come a long way from the stiff, plasticky material our grandmothers had to use to stay budget friendly! Overall , acrylic yarn is an excellent material to crochet with.
If you are in the US the most common and cheapest acrylic yarn is Red hearts Super Saver
If you are thinking about starting a project that requires a lot of yarn, like bed spreads or throws I definitely recommend you use this type of cheap acrylic yarn. I also use cheaper acrylic yarn for big amigurumis. You can make your project ‘softer’ by washing it with fabric softener or steaming it with your iron. Another reason I like this kind of yarn is that the color choices are seemingly endless. I do not recommend cheap acrylic yarn for baby blankets or anything you want to wear, though as the material always retains a lingering stiffness and can be staticky.
Higher quality acrylic yarn
These more expensive (but still very affordable!) acrylic yarns are a wonderful choice for wearables and anything warm you’d make for a baby. My absolute favorite brand is Lion Brands Vanna’s choice.
The higher quality acrylic yarn is so soft and squishy and not scratchy at all. I like using it for warm babies hats and blankets. The material is very forgiving and wont shrink when washed.
Should you buy cotton yarn to start crocheting?
I might have mentioned it a few times on this blog but I LOVE COTTON YARN! If you are a crochet beginner and you want to make something other than hats, scarves and afghans, I recommend you buy cotton yarn.
My go to brand for cotton yarn is Lily Sugar n Cream .
I love the color options and even big box stores carry a nice selection.
I use cotton yarn to crochet amigurumis, especially if they are meant for babies who still put everything in their mouths. I use it for rattles and dishcloths, mandalas, flowers, headbands and crochet jewelry. It is absolutely my all star crochet yarn.
I don’t recommend using 100% cotton yarn for wearables because cotton shrinks when washed and it is not forgiving when your stitches are still a little uneven. If you are planning to learn more complicated stitches, I would try them out with acrylic or wool blend yarn first.
A great option for crocheting lighter wearables such as crochet shawls or tunics is a nice cotton blend yarn. This means there is a certain percentage of cotton blended with another man made or natural fiber.
What yarn weight should you buy to start crocheting?
Yarn weight simply describes the thickness of the yarn you are using. The yarn weight will determine the amount of stitches it will take to complete one inch of your project. A lot of the yarns I’ve described above are ‘worsted weight’ and the packaging will usually tell you what hook size you should use. However, the hook size you use to begin crocheting does depend on the kind of project you are planning to make. For example, amigurumis requires you to have tight stitches so the stuffing wont show through while crochet throws will require a larger hook size so the fabric comes out soft and flowy (if this is not a word, it should be!).
The best yarn weight to use when you start crochet is worsted weight. Your stitches will be big enough to see and your hook will still be a manageable size. Once you become a more experienced crocheter you will have fun experiencing with different yarn weights and hook sizes.
If you are looking to learn more about different yarn weights I recommend you read more on the craft yarn councils page. Follow this link!
What else do you need to buy to start crocheting?
If you are just starting to learn how to crochet you will actually be surprised at how little you need to get going! There are a few things you absolutely must have before you can begin to crochet your first project though but chances are, you already have them laying around your house.
Apart from a crochet hook and yarn, the one thing you should never sit down to crochet without is a good pair of scissors. It seems a little obvious but putting your project down, getting up, looking around for the kitchen scissors, eventually losing them in the couch… it’s just a big waste of time. I have the Tulip Etimo crochet hook set that I really love and recommend once you are certain you love this hobby (Read more about crochet hooks here) and it came with cute little scissors that are always by my side when I crochet. You can get small scissors at the craft store or just use nail cutting scissors you already own.
This tool is necessary, especially when making hats or other wearables. You will also find it useful to figure out your gauge when following a pattern.
Also known as the darning needle, this is a needle with a yarn sized eye. You need this tool for sewing your pieces together and, most importantly, for correctly weaving in your ends and finishing your project.
Please do yourself a favor and keep organized right away. You will save yourself so much wasted time if all your necessities are in one place and you don’t have to keep getting up to look for something. For extra fun, you can crochet yourself your own hook case. I love this roundup on Mooglyblog!
*This article contains affiliated links to support this blog but I only recommend products I like!
I hope you found this helpful!
What else can you not crochet without? Please comment below!