Tip 1: When first learning to crochet the whole process will feel very strange, as you will have to hold the hook, yarn and work all at the same time as you try to create the various crochet stitches. But work at it, practice the stitch until it feels natural, this will not take long. A great idea for practicing the basic stitches is to start making up a load of individual Granny squares (or one huge square) to get use to naturally and easily moving the hook. Also at the end you can sew them together and have a cozy blanket.
Tip 2: As you crochet, the yarn is guided through your fingers, this is what actually creates the tension of your work and therefore determines how tight, or not, your crochet stitching is!
If you look at a crochet hook you will see that it tapers inwards as it gets closer to the actual hook, therefore it has differing thicknesses. The further away from the hook itself the thicker it becomes. Therefore if you allow your loops to go up the shaft of the hook then your loops will be larger, and hence work will be looser. If you work near the hook itself, your loops will be smaller; and the smaller the loops the tighter the stitches. So if you find yourself working along the hook shaft and not near the hook, bring the loops down towards the hook and give the yarn another pull to tighten the loops, so that they decrease in size.
Crochet tension is important in most crocheting projects especially for clothing. Tension dictates the size of the finished garment. The tighter you crochet, the thinner the yarn and the smaller the hook, the smaller the end project will be and vice versa. So always check your crocheting tension against the pattern to ensure that the finished item will be of the correct fit. Alternatively begin crocheting with something where tension is not so important such as a mat, shawl or Granny Square.
Tip 3: When making project items where tension is vital, always take the time to prepare a practice swatch. This added time at the beginning of a project will save you time and heartache later. (Practice swatch instructions are always included in the patterns where they are applicable.) Practice swatches are just practice pieces of crochet using the hook and yarn that the garment will be made from. Patterns tell you how many stitches and rows should equal a certain length and width.
Remember you do not have to use the same yarn or the same size hook as instructed in crochet patterns. Adjusting the sizes of your crochet hook when you tension is too tight or too loose for the individual crochet pattern, will alter the finished projects size. Just be wary that if you use a different thickness yarn or a different size hook, check tension by crocheting a practice swatch to double check sizes. This is only really important when making any crocheting clothing garments.
Tip 4: Relax and enjoy your crochet, it really will show in your work. Do not hold your hook or yarn too tightly, nor too loosely. Look back at your stitches and ensure that they are all of the same size. Try to allow your crochet hook to move freely and tighten the yarn automatically after you finish each crochet stitch.
Tip 5: Hold your work at all times. Your thumb and forefinger should be holding your crocheting just below where you are stitching.
Tip 7: Crocheting with fun fur is not easy, due to its many eyelashes. For a beginner this is not at all easy, as these eyelashes make it very difficult to actually see your crocheted stitches. If you cannot see your stitches, correctly positioning your hook into the back and front of stitches is extremely hard work and can be extremely frustrating. It is therefore very easy to go wrong.
By adding a second ball of yarn of a different type (any type without eyelashes) to the fun fur and crocheting with a strand of each yarn at the same time, you will make your stitches much more visible, making the work much easier to handle. This will make your yarn and therefore work much thicker, so ensure if making a clothing garment that this will still fit and adjust hook sizes appropriately.
Above all, have fun... Remember crochet is an enjoyable pastime even for a beginner. So pick up a hook and begin today.
Ana Smith is a highly skilled crocheter of over thirty years and author of http://www.beginners-crochet.blogspot.com