Getting Started with Crochet: The Essentials

Welcome! If you’re reading this, you’re most likely interested in picking up the skill of crochet. I applaud you for deciding to take this first step and I sincerely welcome you to this amazing hobby and skill!

In this guide, you will find the whole list of tools and materials, as well as the basic stitches, that you will need to get you started on your crochet journey. 


Is Crochet Difficult???!

At the beginning, crochet may seem difficult and daunting, especially for those who wish to try out amigurumi (also known as crochet toys).

You may be feeling overwhelmed, but rest assured, crochet is really not as difficult as it seems.

Simple basic stitches can be easily learnt by mimicking video tutorials. When I started crochting, that was how I got started as well. As long as you have the right materials and videos on hand, all you need is some patience and practice to get yourself on track to becomig a crochet master.

And even if video tutorials are not the right way of learning for you, you can simply enroll in classes in your community or directly with us


What should I choose as my first project?

Before we get started with buying the materials for your first crochet attempt, let's first discuss the kind of projects that you can embark on as your first project.

Crochet is a very versatile craft-form. From bags, clothings to even toys, almost anything that you can think of can be made using crochet.

Before you begin to dive into the craft, first think about the project you have in mind to create. Is it usable/wearable items or would you prefer to mae toys?

Do keep in mind that there is no right or wrong answer to this and regardless of what project you are starting out with, you will be able to work on other projects once you have picked up the skill.

If you prefer to start off by working on usable/wearables, you can skip past the next section and get started on the materials you need to get you started.


Amigurumi: the art of toy-making

Amigurumi (編みぐるみ) is a Japanese term that basically refers to the knitting or crocheting of 3D pieces or toys. Today, it is a hobby of many all around the world.

While amigurumi and crochet are different terms, they actually use the same skills and stitches. Crochet stitches and techniques are used in order to make amigurumi and can also be used to make other pieces like wearables and blankets too!

Knitting can also be used to make amigurumi. While the techniques are different, you can definitely achieve the same cute results too!

Now that you have decided on the type of project you would like to start with, let's move on to the tools required!


What are the tools needed?

Now that you have decided to start, what are the tools needed?

The common question that I get asked a lot is: Is crochet an expensive hobby to pick up? While the cost of crocheting can vary depending on the materials that you choose to use, the good news is that there are many affordable options around and you can usually start from as low as S$10!

The list of tools you will need are:

1. Yarn

First and foremost, the most important thing you need in crochet is yarn! 

There are many brands of yarn all around the world and you can be rest assured that you will be definitely spoilt for choice. 

As a beginner, in Singapore, one of the most affordable and easy to work with yarn from our very own collection is: 5ply Princess Brand Milk Cotton Yarn. At just S$2.80 per 100g skein, you have more than 70 colors to choose from and this yarn is versatile for many different projects and a great starting point if you wish to start on a budget. Although not the cheapest yarn in our collection, this yarn is sturdy and easy for beginners to work with and will be a great starting point!

If you are just starting out, I also encourage you to visit our shop or your local yarn shop or even dollar stores (like Daiso!) to touch and feel the yarns before you make your choice. Do not worry about choosing the perfect yarn for your project. In my opinion, it is more important to find a yarn that you like and find suitable for yourself. Even if the yarn doesn't work out for you, don't be afraid to keep trying out new kinds of yarns for your next project!


2. Crochet Hook

Just as there are many yarn brands out there, there are just as many crochet hook brands that you can explore.

As a beginner, you can choose to start out with a simple crochet hook from your dollar store, such as the S$2+ hooks from Daiso or the basic rubber grip ones that we have in our store. They are good enough for you to try your hand at crocheting. 

Once you get the hang of crocheting, you can then consider upgrading your hook sets. In my experience, I recommend investing in a set of Japanese Hook Sets, such as those by Clover Brand or Tulip Brand. I have found that they are the smoothest and easiest to work with. 

Not sure how to choose your hook size?
Tip: When you purchase yarn, there will usually be a suggested hook size written on the yarn band or in the purchase description. If you are making wearables and usables, you can simply follow the written hook size. For amigurumi, it is usually better to reduce the hook size by about 1mm from what is suggested, in order to give your stitches a tighter and more compact finish.

For example, if your yarn's suggested hook size is 4.0mm, to make amigurumi using this yarn, you can use a 3mm hook.

Basically, the thicker the yarn, the larger the hook used and the bigger your finished product will be. If you feel that your stitches are too tight, feel free to increase the size of the hook to maximize your own comfort! Again, there is no hard and fast rule to this.


3. Sewing needle, scissors, stitch markers, sewing thread and felt

You will need a scissors to cut your yarn when you finish making your parts and also a sewing needle to thread the yarn and close up your pieces when you finish crocheting them.

As a beginner, you may be confused as to where you are working on, so a stitch marker is great to help you with that. The best stitch marker: plastic safety pins (they're handy AND free!)

Sewing thread and felt are optional when you are just starting out as it is mainly used to embroider or put on extra details or parts and are not essential for most patterns.

If you're making wearables/usables, you can skip the remaining tools and get straight on to the basic crochet stitches!

4. Polyfill stuffing

Polyfill or polyester fiberfill stuffing is commonly used to stuff your amigurumi. Amigurumi works like a stuffed toy. You have to stuff it in order to give your creation its 3D shape.

Fiberfill can also be found at Daiso or the dollar store but my personal favorite can be found: here. I prefer this as I have found over the years that the ones sold elsewhere tend to clump together and make it harder to stuff, causing problems with shaping and also overstuffing of pieces when you accidently put in too much stuffing. Again, feel free to try out different stuffing to find the type you prefer the most!

5. Safety Eyes / Noses

The last essential that you have to get will be safety eyes. These eyes really give your creations life and different sizes and shapes can really give your creation a whole different look.

I have always found that the most common size used for safety eyes is 8mm. If you are unsure the size of eyes you will be using, you can choose to get a variety of them to try out or purchase the eyes after you are done with your project. Usually the eye sizes used can vary depending on your personal preference and your creation.

Safety eyes will usually come with a rubber or plastic backing to fix the eye in place and prevent it from falling out. However, I have also come across many amigurumists who use uhu or super glue to glue the eyes in place. There are different pros and cons for each method. 

  • If you are making amigurumi for children, it is highly advisable to use the backing for extra security
  • If you are unsure about the placement, using glue allows you to decide on the placement after all the other parts have been sewn in place.

If you are worried about the security of safety eyes, you can also swap it out with felt eyes or embroider on the eyes with thread instead. Some crocheters also use buttons or googly eyes as well!

Got everything you need? Now let’s get started!


Crochet: The Basics

1. Selecting a pattern

To get started, you can simply do a google search for free crochet or amigurumi patterns. If you know what you want to make, you can also narrow down the search terms, such as: "free unicorn crochet pattern" or "free sling bag crochet pattern for beginners". There are an infinite number of patterns for crochet online, so feel free to take your time to browse and choose the project that catches your eye (and heart!).

It is best to choose a pattern with minimal sewing and also not very complex or big when you are just starting out as it can be daunting to embark on such projects at the beginning. Simple projects, such as a small pouch, a simple tank top or a small bee toy will be simple to get you started.

A simple bee design that we teach in our beginners' amigurumi class

2. Reading the pattern 

In every pattern, the designers will usually explain the tools and materials, abbreviations that they will be using.

You do not have to follow their materials used exactly: as long as you work the pattern correctly, you will be able to create the same finished product!

Amigurumi are usually worked in rounds. Each round will follow a specific set of instructions as written and you will just need to follow the stitches written to complete!

If you need additional help reading patterns, feel free to reach out to me!

3. The Stitches

When you look at the pattern, you may be confused. What does it mean by SC? INC? These are all abbreviations of the crochet stitches.

For Wearables/Usables, the most common stitches are:
Chain Stitch - CH (Watch here)
Single Crochet Stitch - SC (Watch here)
Half Double Crochet Stitch - HDC (Watch here)
Double Crochet Stitch - DC (Watch here)

In Amigurumi, the most common stitches are:
Magic Ring - MR (Watch here)
Single Crochet stitch - SC (Watch here)
Increase stitch - INC (Watch here)

Decrease stitch - DEC (Watch here)

The abbreviations may differ depending on pattern writers but will usually be explained in the pattern. I have attached links above to tutorials of each stitch.

As a beginner, you may find it very difficult to follow at first, but with practice and determination, you will soon find it easier to control your crochet hook and yarn and be able to follow. The beginning is always the hardest and it was just the same for me when I first started.

Just keep trying to mirror what the tutorials do. If these tutorials don’t seem to help you, there are many many others online which you can search for using the stitch names.

When I first started crocheting, this was the method which I used to learn. I believe that if I can master crocheting this way, so can you! Just don’t give up and keep on trying!

If you have any trouble or need physical advice and guidance, feel free to drop me a message or arrange for a class with me!

I hope this guide has helped you in some way and I look forward to seeing your completed creations! Feel free to tag me on social media or send me pics, I would love to see them all!

Last but not least, Welcome to the World of Crochet!

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