Finding Your Place in Crochet
Knitters often find it difficult to transition into crochet because it requires a different way of thinking about your fabric as a whole. It might be fair to say it’s less precise. It’s a little but wonkier. It’s also a little more forgiving, and I think it lends itself better to free-form experimentation than knitting does. Working only one stitch at a time gives you the freedom to put that stitch wherever you please – and there are about a million places one could potentially insert one’s crochet hook and pull up a loop. It can be hard to describe which loop you’re referring to when writing a pattern, and often requires some interpretation when you’re reading a pattern! Though there are a limited number of gestures comprising the basic crochet stitches, there are a mind-boggling number of ways that one could combine chains, single crochets, double crochets, and half-double crochets, depending on exactly which loops you decide to grab.
I think the origin of most confusion pertaining to crochet comes down to this fact: crocheted stitches are staggered, rather than stacked atop one another in a grid formation. That is why many new crocheters find their early swatches biasing one way or the other, and that is why it’s hard to produce a crocheted fabric with perfectly straight edges. That is why knitting charts are drawn on graph paper, and crochet charts usually look more like hand-sketches, even when they’re produced by a computer.
But before you can experiment, you need to know the basics. To get you started, use the visual guide below to help you find your place in crochet.