When I began my crocheting journey I was clueless. My whole family were crafters at heart and here I was, a lost soul who couldn't even sew on a button. So what brought me to crochet? I was in search of a hobby to help me past time and get through rough patches in life. I found myself in the yarn aisle at Wal-Mart and that is when my life changed forever.
There are so many things I wished I knew when I began crocheting. Here are my top seven:
There is a huge difference between knitting and crocheting - from tools to terminology. I believe it is very important to understand that in the beginning. Be sure to let those requesting custom orders know that you crochet...not knit. It'll make life easier when the pictures do come rolling in, along with the question “OMG this is cute, can you make this for me?”. You can explain to them that they're two different crafts. While crochet and knit do share some similarities, product outcomes will be different.
The first thing you can do is learn the crochet terminology. It is extremely helpful. I learned to crochet before knowing the names of the stitches I was creating. There isn't anything wrong with learning that way, but honey, it saves time & frustration on all kinds of levels. When I learned the terms a whole new world was opened.
Dye lot numbers matter. If you're the grab-n-go shopper, stop! I used to be that person. There's no real harm shopping that way, but being mindful can save you in the long run. Ask me how I know...maybe one day I'll tell. If you're buying multiples of the same color, check the label around the barcode area. It should have the lot number printed somewhere near the color of the yarn. In some cases you won't find the same dye lot numbers. If that happens, you can always alternate between the yarns every row or two, if deemed necessary.
Swatch. Swatch. Swatch. And then swatch some more.
Invest in a good camera, whether it be a phone camera or DSLR. I've used both my Samsung Galaxy phone camera and Nikon D3200. It doesn't have to be expensive, but make sure you can produce a quality photo. Try to shoot in natural daylight as much as possible and limit the use of flash, especially if you're photographing with your phone. Download useful editing apps on your phone to edit your photos. Photoshop Express, PicsArt, and Snapseed are my most used favorites.
As with any craft, there are so many things to learn. Join groups on Facebook, Ravelry, or at your LYS and make friends within your community. It's probably one of the best ways to expand your knowledge, along with YouTube, books and magazines.
Allow room for constructive criticism. It is a sure way to help you grow on your crafting journey.
If you've stuck with me this far, I hoped you've taken some of my lessons learned into consideration. There are so many things I've learned along the way and I'm still learning even now.
Feel free to drop a comment and share some of the things you wished you knew when you began crocheting or knitting. I'd love to hear!