Saturday, 12 August 2017

I can crochet...what next?

My post today is inspired by a conversation with a friend who is learning to crochet. She had quickly mastered chain stitch and double crochet, whipped up two lovely pen pot holders and was wondering what else she could create with crochet stitches.

The question really took me aback - the answer is simply anything and everything. The reason so many of us love crochet is its versatility and the fact beginners to the craft can quickly learn new skills and stitches and create something fabulous. I think the question really struck me because immersed in crochet I could think of many many projects my friend could tackle next, but as a beginner (and as someone who has only just discovered Ravelry) it's hard to know where to start. In my post today I want to signpost to some really good beginner crochet projects. I also want to convey that just because you are learning to crochet you don't have to immediately make a blanket! In fact I think there is an argument that as a beginner it's good to get some smaller projects and successes under your belt before embarking on a mammoth project like a blanket.

So my top five projects or project types as are;

1.  (Small) Accessories for the home
Storage baskets and cushions are great places to start when you're learning crochet. You can crochet up a basket in anything - cotton, string and twine. I made a mini storage basket with some cotton scraps;
Red and blue crochet storage basket

Just search Ravelry to find a wealth of storage baskets you could try.

2. Amigurumi toys
Often as a beginner you master double crochet first and once you have, the whole world of amigurumi toys open up to you. I tend to use a good acrylic yarn such as Stylecraft DK to make toys and the stuffing is inexpensive, making toys are great affordable beginner projects.
Collection of crochet toys

I have made a lot of the projects from this book; Amigurumi Cosy and can recommend it for it's clear instructions

3. Gifts
It's so rewarding to gift something you've made and there are heaps of ideas out there. I recommend looking at Lucy from Attic24's blog she has a range of really lovely little projects and often has great tutorials to accompany them. I have made this little Bower Bird a number of times  - it's very straightforward and makes a great gift;

Bower Bird by Lucy from Attic24

Other gift ideas include seasonal decorations, mandalas, mats, cosies - the list goes on...

4. One skein shawl patterns
If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will know that I love making things to wear. I can remember the joy I had when I first discovered that I didn't need to crochet toys and blankets and could actually make something beautiful to wear! Starting out you are unlikely to want to tackle a multi-skein project, but there are many shawl projects out there designed to be worked up with one skein. I would recommend The Crochet Project Shawls Book One as a good place to start, all the patterns are designed to be made with one skein.

My favourite single skein project is Northmoor Lock by Joanne Scrace which appears in Shawls Book One. It is very 'beginner-friendly' and designed to use every single scrap of yarn which I love too!

Northmoor Lock Shawl by Joanne Scrace

You can find out more about my love of crochet shawls in this blog post: All about the (crochet) shawl

5. Garments
I am on a bit of a mission to celebrate crochet garments and there is absolutely no reason why a beginner can't tackle a simple garment project. Here are two that I think would work well:
Verity Crochet Vest by Dawn from The Almond Snug
Shimmer Sweater by Emma Varnam

My friend Tamara and I are organising a blog hop and garment crochet-along this autumn which will provide lots of advice and support if you're attempting a garment for the first time:
Back to School Sweater CAL

Back to school sweater crochet along graphic

You can find more about crochet garments in this post too - they really aren't as hard as you might think!
Crochet garments

Yes, I know I have been trying to avoid blankets but there are some really beautiful blankets that will develop and stretch a beginner and I would sign post you to these projects:
Cedar River blanket designed by Kat Goldin
Hydrangea Striped blanket designed by Lucy from Attic24

You can make anything!
If you are new to crochet I hope this has helped signpost you to some fun and rewarding projects - I would love to hear what you make - and if you're an experienced crocheter I hope I might have given you some suggestions for quick holiday makes.

Happy crocheting! x


  1. Great first project ideas Helen! I am regularly asked this question by beginners I teach. These are really helpful suggestions. Thank you!

  2. Thanks Tamara, as I pressed publish I also thought bags are a great way to try out new stitches/skills too x