Garments, Granny Squares, Or Amigurumi? How To Find Your First Crochet Project
This article was written by The Zillennial Zine’s fall editorial intern Elizabeth Miller. Find them on Instagram at @Lizzy_7979. If you would like to share an article with The Zillennial, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of the most highly debated topics in the crochet community is the ideal first project for beginner crocheters. Especially online, the crochet community welcomes beginners with open arms. We are thrilled to see new faces join us! But when these beginners ask us for projects, a debate erupts. Which project is best for a beginner? What does the beginner know how to do? What do they wish to practice? What do they want to make? While there is no one-size-fits-all answer, here is a guide to help you find out what your first project should be. We’ll go through the pros and cons of three main types of crochet projects: garments, granny squares and amigurumi.
Garment patterns are for projects that you can wear. They can range from simple hats and scarves to intricate shawls, pants and more. If you’re a new crocheter looking to make things you or someone else can wear, a garment project may be what you’re looking for.
Other than being able to wear your finished piece, there are lots of other pros to garment projects. Garment projects can be a great way to practice consistency with your stitches, especially when they use the same stitch repetitively. There are lots of simple projects out there, and varying difficulty levels can ease beginner crocheters into trying new stitches and techniques.
However, garment making can get complicated quickly depending on what you’re looking to make. Some patterns will require piecing, or sewing the pieces together to make the finished garment, so not only will you need to be confident in your stitching, but also in figuring out how the pieces will go together. Lots of garments will require you to make a swatch to figure out the gauge so you can size it properly, so I would not recommend those patterns for your first project. Another method for sizing garments is blocking, which is a process of washing or steaming the piece so it holds a specific shape better. This can be complicated, so again, I would not recommend it as a first project. But, these skills can be developed over time, so if you stick with it, you’ll be able to make whatever you set your mind to!
The granny stitch is a relatively easy and repetitive stitch that is great for beginners. Typically, the granny stitch is used to make a bunch of squares that are then sewn together. You can use them to make a bunch of things, like totes, cardigans, and blankets. They have a cute patchwork look, especially when you use different colors. Another pro is that the motion is very repetitive, so you will also be practicing consistency with your stitches, particularly the double crochet stitch. Also, they are a great introduction to the magic ring.
The con to granny square projects is that you often have to make a lot of them. I mean, a lot. A baby blanket made with small to medium-sized squares will typically require at least 16 squares. Cardigans require about 40 or more, and blankets can end up needing well over a hundred. If you don’t feel like you have the patience to make that many squares, a beginner project like this may not be for you.
Amigurumi is crocheting toys and stuffed animals. These patterns typically start out with a magic ring and work in the round to create the 3-dimensional shapes. A pro is when you follow the pattern closely, you’ll end up with the desired shape. Each round has a few different steps, so the pattern will keep your attention.
Some cons to these patterns as a beginner are that you may be required to color-change, and you need to be confident in your ability to read patterns so you can follow the instructions properly. Patterns may also require you to do some sewing. Not all patterns will include instructions as to which stitches to attach separate parts to (like arms and legs), but make sure you are able to differentiate between individual stitches and rows in case. For example, a pattern might say to attach a leg to the third stitch in the fifth row. Depending on the toy you’re making, the yarn may make it difficult to see where the stitches are as well, especially if you use fuzzy yarn. But, they turn out so cute in the end!
These are the major pros and cons of the different types of crochet patterns. Hopefully, this guide helped you find out which type of project you’re going to try first. Happy stitching!
Which type of project did you try? What are your recommendations for beginner crocheters? Let us know in the comments below!