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Which crochet books are the best for a beginner?


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I have been thinking about learning to crochet. I have perused Amazon and looked at tons of books for some guidance, but there are so many to choose from. Naturally they all have mixed reviews so it's hard to decide which ones are worth purchasing. I've also read that some have mistakes in the patterns and I don't want to get frustrated from the get go!

 

I'm in my 60's and also am concerned about developing carpal tunnel. I have read reviews on various brands of crochet hooks. Furls even offers a $500 guarantee with their crochet hooks that you will not get hand fatigue or carpal tunnel. Are inline or tapered crochet hooks better for a beginner? Are there brands that are preferred that are lightweight? I am petite. As you can see I do a lot of research before diving into a new hobby!

 

Any advice is much appreciated!

 

Jodi

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So many questions...first, welcome!

I don't have any advice on a good or 'best' book to learn crochet, I'm sure others will chime in. This is a US source that has a LOT of useful info, you might want to look at 'how to read a crochet pattern' for starters, there's also into on hook sizes, US yarn sizing, lots of other good stuff. (see menu under 'industry standards').  Most US yarn companies &pattern publishers belong to the group that sponsors this site.

With regard to hooks, BS on any hook being better than another.  Crocheters belong to different camps and think the style they like is the bee's knees.  There are 2 styles of hook shapes, the business end not the handle -- in-line and tapered.  I am a fan of one because I started with a set of that sort; I discovered that I can't use the other style--I could probably adapt, but there is a different 'muscle memory' that you develop that is different, maybe sort of like putting a US person that's always driven an automatic car in the US into a car with a stick shift and the steering wheel on the right side on a UK road.  I'm not going disparage the tool I'm not accustomed to, different strokes for different folks and all that.  The only bad thing I can think of about a hook is if it was poorly made and had rough edges or something. 

There are also various ways to hold a hook - like a pencil, or overhand like a knife - I am a pencil-hold person; hooks with handles intended for overhand grippers are 100% useless to me (some would be like writing with a pencil with a barbell on the end of it).  One hold-style is not better than the other, just different.  You might want to buy a couple of 'plain' hooks with a plain straight metal shaft to learn on to see what style of hook end you prefer to use, before you lay out more $ to buy a set with fancy handles you can't use.

I have been crocheting and knitting for 50 years.  I've never developed carpal tunnel.  I will advise, however, that you are not a machine; some have come on here having injured themselves crocheting for hours a day and days, weeks, months on end -- let me just say, don't even think about it.  Also, I wouldn't advise thinking about creating a business making things to sell--sadly people won't want to pay a price that will reimburse you for your yarn, let alone your time.  

Regarding mistakes on patterns - I advise steering clear of buying patterns from Etsy or on a designers website/blog for a while, and I mean like at least a year after you've settled into knowing what you're doing.  A lot of people only have 1 of 2 talents required of designers--they can make a pretty 'thing', but can't write an intelligible pattern.  Choose patterns on yarn websites, like Yarnspirations.com (they are the site of the company that owns most US yarn brands) or Lionbrand.com, or Annies' Attic and their parent company's magazines, or Leisure Arts patterns or books (these are all US sources, I assume you are in the US or posting at an odd hour if you are in Europe or Asia).  Patterns from these sources have been tech-edited, errors will slip thru but they will publish errata later or correct the pattern.  They will be written in conventional terms...in the help section here a while back, there was a designer invented new stitch names for the BASIC stitches, that was sort of interesting.

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With regards to books I suggest you try your local library to see which ones work best for you.  There are tons out there and each have strengths and weaknesses.  I liked some of the children's offerings because the directions were clear and easy to follow.  I think it was Visual Crochet that had lots of great photographs to let you see what the stitches looked like not just drawings.

Hooks are very individual and you will eventually find which brands work for you and which don't.  You can sped days reading the arguments for and against different styles and brands.  I'd suggest not investing in anything expensive until you figure out what type of hooks you find most functional.

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I bought 'Teach Yourself Visually - Knitting' a while back when I wanted to get back into it (I learned the basics in 1970 but dropped knitting when I learned to crochet later that year).  I thought that book was excellent, it covered a LOT and even had a few patterns in it.  So assuming the Crochet version in that series is as good, I second Baily4's recommendation.  Amazon listing (US), is 90% 4 &5 ratings.

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Welcome  to Crochetville from the Gulf Coast of Florida.

Grab your yarn and hooks, put your feet up and sit a spell.

We are always so glad to meet new friends.😁

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