Embarking on Your Knitting and Crochet Journey: From Basics to Bunnies

Apr 5, 2024

Embarking on Your Knitting and Crochet Journey

Welcome to the wonderful world of knitting and crochet! If you’re just beginning your journey, you’re about to embark on a path filled with creativity, relaxation, and the joy of creating beautiful items with your own two hands.

This guide will introduce you to the foundational skills of both crafts, highlight the differences between US and UK terminologies, especially in crochet, and help you understand the tools of the trade. Let’s start with the very basics and work our way up to creating magical bunnies

Getting Started with Knitting

1. The Basic Knit Stitch: The knit stitch is the foundation of all knitting. Mastering this stitch will allow you to create endless textures and patterns. It’s formed by inserting your needle into the front of a loop from the left to the right, wrapping the yarn around the needle, and pulling it through to create a new loop.

2. Casting On: Before you can knit, you need to get your yarn on the needle, a process known as casting on. There are many methods to cast on, but the long-tail cast-on is a versatile and popular choice for beginners due to its elasticity and neat edge.

3. Casting off (Binding Off): When your piece is complete, you’ll need to secure the stitches so they don’t unravel. Binding off (or casting off) involves knitting stitches and passing them over each other off the needle, securing the work’s edge.

Magic bunny

Diving into Crochet

1. The Crochet Chain: The chain stitch is the starting point for most crochet projects, creating a foundation from which you build your fabric. It’s simple to make, involving looping the yarn over the hook and pulling it through to form a chain.

2. Double Crochet (US) / Treble Crochet (UK): This stitch adds height and texture to your projects. Despite the naming difference, it’s the same stitch, where the yarn is wrapped around the hook before inserting it into the work, then pulled through and worked off in two steps.

3. The Granny Square: A classic motif that can be used for everything from blankets to bags. The granny square typically starts with a small loop or chain space, from which rounds of clusters of double crochet (US) / treble crochet (UK) stitches are worked, creating a square.

4. Magic Bunnies: As your confidence grows, you can start combining these stitches into adorable creations, like magic bunnies. These cute critters often start with a simple crochet circle and build up with varying stitches to form the shape.

A crochet bunny in a green scarf

Understanding US and UK Differences

One of the first hurdles many beginners face is the difference in terminology between the US and UK. For crochet, particularly, the same stitch names refer to different stitches.

Here’s a quick guide:

US single crochet = UK double crochet
US double crochet = UK treble crochet
US half-double crochet = UK half-treble crochet

And so on. Being aware of these differences is crucial when following patterns to ensure your project turns out as expected.

Tools of the Trade

1. Hook Sizes and Stitch Names: Crochet hooks come in various sizes, which can affect the size of your stitches and the overall density of your work. They’re usually labelled in millimetres, reflecting the hook’s diameter.

2. Knitting Needles: Knitting needles are sized by their diameter and can be straight, circular, or double-pointed. In the US, they’re numbered,or sometimes lettered but like crochet hooks, they’re measured in millimetres elsewhere. The size of the needle affects the gauge of the knitting, which is the number of stitches per inch.

See how to measure your gauge here >>

3. Which Size for Which Yarn: A general rule is that thicker yarns require larger needles or hooks, while thinner yarns work better with smaller sizes. This matching ensures your fabric has the desired drape and texture. Your yarn label will often suggest an appropriate needle or hook size.

This prequel to your crafting journey is designed to get you started with confidence. Remember, every expert knitter or crocheter started with a single stitch. Be patient with yourself, enjoy the process, and before you know it, you’ll be creating magic bunnies and beyond! Feel free to add your chart for an even more comprehensive guide on hook and needle sizes matched with yarn types.

Happy crafting!

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