I come from a long line of crafty ladies- needlepoint, cross-stitch, sewing, quilting, and knitting and crocheting were all activities my mom and grandmothers participated in. Somewhere along the line, though, I forgot to sit down with one of them and ask them to teach me to crochet properly. As a result, I wield a hook with a few half-baked stitches and no nomenclature to speak of! (Literally.) I heaved a HUGH sigh of relief when The Crochet Dude Drew Emborsky send along his “Let’s Start Crocheting” beginners kit!
Boye Letâ€™s Start Crocheting! kit by The Crochet Dude includes G, H, I aluminum crochet hooks, 12 stitch markers, row counter, 2 plastic bent end needles, yarn cutter, measuring tape & a beginner project book.
The only thing you don’t get is a skein of yarn that gets you going. Since I don’t know what kind of yarn is really best for a beginner, I used what I had on hand- a ball of twine. (I didn’t wan’t to “waste” my good yarn on beginning projects, you know?)
So I cracked open the case and got going. The book is a small, spiral-bound book with plasticized pages for durability. And the fact that it’s small means that it’s easy enough to tuck into my project bag for easy reference.
The book features illustrations (versus photographs) and there are versions for both righties and lefties. The first section teaches you the basic stitches and techniques:
- single crochet
- half-double crochet
- double crochet
- treble crochet
Once you’ve practiced these, you have 3 simple projects to try: a dish cloth, a spiral scarf, and a bath mat. Since I was really focused on learning the stitches properly and their names, I spent a whole afternoon working on my swatches:
OK, so they don’t look like much. And I seriously went astray with my double-crochet…..somehow I started increasing!
This is where sitting at someone’s knee would be helpful….because I’m such a visual learner, there needed to be a few more illustrations on counting the chains and turning. Or better yet, a QR code that links to a video would be oh-so-helpful.
However, I kept going on my own, and I think I worked out the problem by the treble crochet. I’m still having some tension issues- and I’m not quite sure how to correct that on my own. I guess I’ll just keep practicing.
Now I’m excited to pick out some fun yarn and do a “real” project!
So here’s the knitty-gritty: this is a great beginner’s kit since you get everything in one package (sans yarn) for under $20 USD. It’s a perfect price-point for a birthday present or gift, too. But I do think that it would still be handy to have a “real” crocheter on hand for coaching through some tricky bits (or at least be ready to scope YouTube for helpful videos!)
I really like the look and feel of crochet. Although I’ve had more experience with knitting, I like crochet better. Personally, I’m going to plug away and build my confidence, then pony up for the Intermediate Kit.
Disclosure: sample provided for review.
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