Beginner Crochet Projects
Fast and Fun
Cotton yarn and a crochet hook can perk up your kitchen. Fresh dishcloths, potholders, and placemats in exciting colors can be created quickly for almost instant gratification. The most basic of dishcloths can be made as follows:
- Chain until the length is as desired for one side of the dishcloth.
- Crochet rows of single crochet, half-double crochet, or double crochet until cloth is square.
- To check for a square shape, fold the cloth along a diagonal from corner to corner. If the corners opposite the fold math, you have a square.
Free dishcloth patterns abound, so you can learn new stitches and practice them on a low-cost project that is also useful. Here are some pattern sites to check out:
- AllCrafts.net has free patterns for all skill levels
- Crochet Pattern Central is a directory of free patterns for dishcloths and more.
For potholders or hot pads/trivets, use a heavy yarn or use two strands of worsted-weight yarn held together and a size K hook. Single crochet makes a dense fabric without holes for protection from the heat of an oven or hot pan. Learn to make a granny square to add variety to your projects.
Placemats are simply larger versions of the dishcloth, made rectangular instead of square. Practice changing colors by adding stripes in your kitchen decorating colors. A large rectangle can also be a good dish-drying cloth.
Crocheted circles can be made as soon as you learn to increase. Increasing the number of stitches in a row or round is a simple matter of making two crochet stitches in a single stitch. Patterns will tell you how often to increase in order to keep your circle lying flat instead of making a bowl shape. The crochet math in the pattern is based on the geometric principle that the circumference of a circle (number of stitches around) must increase by pi as the diameter of the circle increases.
Once you have mastered crocheting small circles by making some coasters or round dishcloths, try a smaller hook and finer yarn to make a table mat. Try a jumbo hook, size P or Q, and some rug yarn to make a throw rug.
Once you can crochet rectangles and circles, you have the skills to try shaped patterns for a variety of projects. Set a goal to learn a new skill with each project: shell stitch, picots, triangular shaping, etc. Soon you will be able to create any shape you wish!