Crochet Training Arc!

Long story short, I picked up a new hobby: crocheting. For those who are not familiar with it, crocheting is making handicrafts by using a hook to interlock loops of yarn – similar to knitting but using one hook on one hand. Some might be more familiar with amigurumi, which refers to stuffed creature dolls made using the crocheting technique.

I’ve always been interested in handicrafts of different types (some of my other attempts can be seen in the handicrafts category posts) – I’ve tried out cross-stitch, needle felting, parchment craft, and a bunch of others. I felt I wasn’t quite a crafty and patient person though haha, so I tend to not last too long for them.

This time, out of curiosity, I tried out crocheting again with my friends, mostly got interested to make amigurumi. I got hooked in again, and hopefully this time will stick around longer to improve. I’ll also share some of the helpful resources I found along the way at the end of the post!

My very first practice, making tiny blanket for Kokoba.

First Attempts Struggles

In the beginning, I tried practicing to get used to the stich types first before thinking of to make a specific project. My goal is to make my hands get used to the movement repetition first to the point I don’t have to think too much to see which hole to hook on next, and to get used to adding new rows.

I practiced several stitches types too like single crochet, double crochet, triple crochet, and half double crochet, but honestly I still get them kind of mixed up sometimes and had to look up reference to kickstart my memory.

Thankfully I found some beginner projects that only need a few stitch types, focused mostly on single crochets. My admiration grows for those who can crochet and make large, complex projects and consistently.

Honestly speaking, I got frustrated and stumped many times in the learning process. Watching Youtube videos and slowed them down repeatedly, opening up the stitches to redo them (until the threads break down and end up being too hard to use), I spent several hours each day trying to practice and figure it out. I’m glad I have friends who are also at learning phase together so we can discuss and check in progress with each other.

'Magic Ring' - one of the things I get stuck for some while.
Attempts to make flowers!

One of the things I get stuck the most is the magic ring (left pic) – which is the start of many amigurumi projects to have a closed circle base. I had to look up different videos and redo many times to understand how it works, and I know some of my friends were stuck at this too.

Another thing I was curious to learn but still find it hard to do is to make small cute crochet flowers (right pic). I saw several different tutorials that involve different crochet types, but I kept making mistakes on hooking the wrong loop and the flowers end up wonky with funny petal shapes, haha. Still on progress to learn and hope it gets better with time!

I often updated my friends on my progress or ‘small wins’ and asked my fellow crochet learning buddies – I’m thankful that they didn’t get annoyed with me haha, and instead encouraged my progress. I had some friends who showed their concern if crocheting is a good idea for me though, since they heard me getting frustrated a lot (and long sighs in the call) hahaha, but I can’t help but to be curious to try again! I’m thankful that they’re looking out for me for that.

I am aware that spending hours of time on crocheting means less time to work on other things, and it does make me feel quite wary – like is this worth it? Shouldn’t I do other more ‘productive’ things and get busy? But in the end, as reckless or irresponsible it might sound, curiosity got the better of me. I want to try. I want to learn it and not just drop it after several days of trying this time.

When you’re at the point it gets comfortable enough you can keep crocheting for some rows without looking up guides, and to see the lines grow nicely, it’s a nice relaxing feeling for a break to quiet your mind, at least for me. I usually work with digital art creative projects or spreadsheet documents, so it’s a satisfying feeling for a change to be able to craft something physical with your own hands.

Finally Taking Shapes

My crochet kids family is growing.

It took me around one week to figure out how to make a ball. The first red ball on the left side, is my first time I successfully finished a ball shape object. I got myself some funny googley eyes to decorate them to celebrate. My crochet family kids grow hehehe.

I’ve been wanting to do a handcam stream of my crochet practice and some friends got curious to talk me to it, but I held off until I was comfortable enough to make basic amigurumis so I won’t look too frustrated or stuck on stream lol.¬†

At two weeks point I felt I was getting more used to single crochets and finally figured out the increase / decrease methods to adjust the size of the ball, and how to sew in to connect different pieces, so that’s a milestone for me and felt okay, I think it’s not that embarrassing to stream this.

I learned how to read some basic crochet patterns at this point. I mean, you see stuff like ‘MR 6CH, 4SC, 3INC’ and so on – it seemed like some math or chemical formula to me so it looked intimidating! I still can’t grasp the visual Japanese patterns though at the moment.

I finally tried out a handcam crochet stream, and glad to be able to finish the middle one (the blue funny birb) on stream. I started out following this penguin guide but eventually adjusted some things on my own like adding the funny hairdo (which was part of a failed flower attempt actually, haha) My phone camera for the handcam ran out of battery right on time as I finish it, at least it didn’t end midway or at a cliffhanger.

Trying out chunky jumbo yarn to make a bag!

For fun I also got curious to try out the jumbo chunky yarn! It’s quite different than the other projects above that for this one you don’t use any hooks. You use your own hands to push and pull the chunky yarns to make the bag. My hands got a bit sore to be honest haha, I think I prefer smaller projects with crochet hooks, but this is pretty fun to do and the chunky yarns look cute. It took me around an hour-ish to make this bag, though I struggled a bit to end the handle tightly.

I tried getting different yarn types to practice, like the fluffy or silky ones, trying to get the feel of them. I’m starting¬† out with 7,5/9,00 hook size and sometimes I still struggle to look at the stitches, so I’m holding myself from getting smaller yarns for now until I get better and still learning which yarn types work better for which types of projects.

Some of my next goals for practice is to get comfortable enough to follow different amigurumi patterns such as ones combining different yarn colors and parts (ears, legs, tail etc.) with better speed and consistency, also to be able to adjust to make my own custom patterns like making my own Kokoba crochet (my blue mascot blob) is my dream, or to make character dolls for my friends.

It’s been a challenging but exciting journey, so here’s cheers to more practice!

Crochet Helfpul Beginner Resources

I wouldn’t be able to get to this point without the warm and helpful online crochet community, who kindly shared their knowledge and tips for beginners like me to learn, and I’m truly thankful for that.¬†

Here are some links that was greatly helpful for me, mostly focused on amigurumi and basic concepts that helped me to get that ‘click’ feeling on how things work when I first learned:

Will update the list and share some posts about my crocheting learning journey in the future, feel free to drop in your favorite crochet learning resources and experiences as well!

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