If you're an older lady and you crochet, seriously, you're awesome. I'm 20 years old and my eyes are tired from all this stitch-counting and figuring out where to put my hook and such! But I must admit... I am in love.
When I was younger, my mom taught me to make chains with a crochet hook, and I could make those chains from sun-up to sun-down. Well. Not really. But I never realized how much more you could do with a crochet hook till a few years later! Over winter break, I made it my project to learn to crochet. For real. (First, I had to re-learn making a chain.) And now I'm addicted, and, as proof of the old lady I am turning into, I am procrastinating on doing my online physics homework right now by, you guessed it, crocheting. Leg-warmers, to be exact. I'm also calling all the local animal shelters and adopting every cat in the Tristate area.
Anyway, since this was a solo project and I learned everything I needed to know online, I thought it might be nice to post links to some of the great verbal and video tutorials I found for anyone else who might be trying to learn! (Also, selfishly, so that I can find them more easily when I need a refresher in the future!)
Rachel at Maybe Matilda has some GREAT tutorials from her Crochet Along, and that was the main resource I used (thank you, Rachel!!), as you'll see below!
2-part video tutorial for beginners that takes you from the yarn-buying to holding your hook to chaining, turning, all the important stitches, and crocheting in the round (very well explained!):
- BUYING THE YARN AND HOOK: http://www.maybematilda.com/2011/09/crochet-along-yarn-selection-tips-with.html, http://www.vogueknitting.com/pattern_help/how-to/learn_to_crochet/before_you_get_started.aspx
- HOLDING THE YARN AND HOOK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcaEKvprmik
- THE SLIPKNOT: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1k58Bn5VL48 (with some nice music to go along!)
- CHAINING: http://www.maybematilda.com/2011/09/cal-learn-to-chain-single-crochet-and.html, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtC1s4dlN5g
- SINGLE CROCHET: http://www.maybematilda.com/2011/09/cal-learn-to-chain-single-crochet-and.html (again)
- HALF-DOUBLE AND DOUBLE CROCHET: http://www.maybematilda.com/2011/09/cal-learn-half-double-crochet-and.html
- INCREASING AND DECREASING: http://www.maybematilda.com/2011/09/cal-learn-half-double-crochet-and.html (again)
- JOINING NEW YARN: http://www.maybematilda.com/2011/09/cal-joining-new-yarn-and-schedule.html
- CROCHETING IN ROUND: http://www.maybematilda.com/2011/09/cal-working-in-round.html
- FASTENING OFF, WEAVING IN ENDS: http://www.maybematilda.com/2011/09/cal-fasten-off-weave-in-ends-sew-ends.html
As for where to start, definitely start simple with a one- or two-stitch wonder. Something to let your fingers get the rhythm of crocheting before you launch into a pattern that throws a combination of stitches together into one big stitch! And if there's one thing I've learned, it's that it's worth it to take out your stitches, even if you've done rows and rows of them, if you realize you've made a noticeable mistake. Nice yarn is expensive, and your time is precious, so you want to make something you'll actually wear/use/give away, and not just hide on the top shelf of your closet!
Here's the pattern for the quite simple leg-warmers I'm making right now: http://www.knitting-crochet.com/crochet/legwar.html
And here's my other project, the cowl they were working on in Rachel's Crochet Along: http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/90652AD.html?r=1
If you have any questions about crocheting, at this point there is only a small chance of me being able to help you, but I will give it my best effort! Happy crocheting--I hope we can be old cat lady friends! :)
Here's the finished product of my leg-warmers! Finally finished my first real crocheting project!]