Crochet Something Contest: Best First Crochet

In case you missed it, here is a brief recap of our Crochet Summer Crochet Something Contest (CSCSC):

THE CROCHET SUMMER CROCHET SOMETHING CONTEST!

This non-competitive contest is a great opportunity to spend the summer trying something new, or finally challenging yourself to make that thing you’ve always wanted to make. This feel-good contest is meant to be a fun way to gather more people to the craft of crochet.

There are six categories:
• Best Garment
• Best First Crochet Project
• Best Art/Sculptural Work
• Best Doily
• Best Home Decor (afghan, pillow, tea cozy, bathmat, etc.
• Name your own category (anything that doesn’t fit into one of the previous categories, bonus points for a funny, yet tasteful, category heading)

Each category will have one winner, with many superlative-laden runners up. EVERYONE is a winner with Crochet Summer! Post your entry on Instagram by August 31st with the hashtag #crochetsomethingcontest2018 and you could WIN!


There aren't a lot of entries on Instagram thus far for this humble little category, so I'm here to say, "Don't be discouraged!" I know that posting a not-so-good project goes against all the unspoken rules of Instagram, but if you're new to crochet don't be discouraged by those uneven edges! Let your crochet awkwardness shine bright and show us what you've got! There are five official categories (not including the "wild card"). Our first category feature was Garments, and this week we're devoting a little love to the first-timers.

readers digest.jpg

For me, this is the book that started it all. The year was 1999, and I was in college at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago's Fiber and Material Studies department. While browsing a thrift store one day I found this gem: The Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Needlework. Of course I bought it. I had tried my hand at crocheting for many years. Like knitting, my grandmother taught me to crochet when I was a kid - but this time it was my other grandma. I very successfully crocheted the world's longest chain for the next 12 years. But, now that I had this book, I just knew that things would be different. I was going to make that Irish Crochet pillow top on page 385 if it killed me! (I didn't). My knitting skills were just getting good at the time and I thought crochet would be easy. Well, teaching yourself anything isn't particularly easy, but this time it did start to finally make sense. 

The difference between crochet and knitting is a matter of control - mentally, physically, and emotionally. No, really. Stay with me. If you are a Type A kind of person, then knitting is definitely your thing. Here you are with this row of perfectly delineated stitches, all lined up neatly for you on a stick, ready to pluck off one by one. It's organized. It's methodical. It makes sense. Crochet, on the other hand, is all about having faith that it will all work out as you blindly stab at a jumble of yarn and hope against all odds that you've hit the right spot. This sort of needlework is perfect for the cavalier crafter who is overly confident and doesn't much care if they are messing it up as they learn. I say this with confidence after teaching myself (yes, successfully, from this book) and then teaching Kate years later. Kate is a Virgo. If you know about horoscopes than you know what I'm saying. Kate is an EXCELLENT crocheter. She does it correctly every time, which is better than I do most of the time. 

So, if you're just learning, take heart. You will get it eventually and I promise it will make sense where you are supposed to put the hook soon. Once you get the hang of it, try out one of these quick and easy little crochet projects, perfect for beginners!

Fiorella uses a single ply worsted weight yarn and is perfect for beginner and advanced crocheters alike. It is a great project to play with color and hone your technique. Don't be deterred by the color changes, it's actually much easier than using the same color!

Kate's Crocheted Plant Coasters are a great way to practice making a circle in crochet, which I think is easier than crocheting flat back and forth. These make great centerpieces too!

These Simple Crocheted Handwarmers by Jennifer Edwards are perfect for self-striping yarns or using up scraps! The designer says, "Beauty in simplicity is the main feature of these fingerless handwarmers! Crocheted all in one piece, with no seams, double crochets and a few half-doubles make these an easy evening project." Sounds good to me!

I love a good, sturdy crocheted rug. The aptly named Chunky Wool Rug by Bethany Dearden hooks up super quick and is perfect for every room of your house. Bonus, it not only fulfills the "Best First Crochet" category, but also the "Best Home Decor" category!

Tell us about your first crochet project in the comments! And if you're just learning be sure to post your progress on Instagram with the tags #crochetsummer2018 and #crochetsomethingcontest2018.