I am pretty impatient when it comes to learning new skills. So when it came to picking up a crochet hook, ‘how long does it take to learn crochet?’ was a concern near the front of my mind. Luckily I was convinced to give it a go by a friend, who showed me how cute amigurumi shapes are constructed using one single simple type of stitch. Since then I’ve tried all kinds of projects, and I’m certain that crochet is one of the easiest crafts to achieve a good overall proficiency in. That’s not to say that it won’t show if you spend years building up your skills – it definitely will. But if you’d like to try something new, and get to the point of producing something worthwhile as quickly as possible, I’m pretty sure I can convince you to give crochet a shot!
How long does it take to learn to crochet?
It sounds cheesy, but inevitably the amount of time it takes to learn to crochet depends upon the standard you want to achieve. This sounds cavalier, but I’m sure I could show you how to crochet a small exfoliating washcloth in an hour. It might be wonky, but it would be yours. And your face would be squeaky clean and make up free at bedtime. If you tried again without me, they would be looking much neater by your second or third attempt.
To make more complicated items than washcloths though, you’d need to master some more skills. Such as:
- Keeping your tension even across large areas.
- Mastering different flat stitches.
- Using increases and decreases to create three dimensional shapes.
- Reading crochet patterns.
- Joining pieces together.
And this is going to take a bit of time. How much time depends upon things like :
- Whether you’re naturally blessed with fine motor skills.
- Whether you’ve done other yarn crafts like knitting or macrame in the past.
- How much time you’re going to spend practicing.
Is crochet difficult to learn?
I’ve tried a lot of creative pursuits, and I’m convinced that crochet is one of the easiest and most satisfying to start. The sheer simplicity of it – one hook and a ball of yarn – is immediately approachable and unintimidating. And you don’t need to learn lots of techniques to start producing useful and beautiful items. Whilst there are over 200 decorative crochet stitches to master in future if you fancy, you only need two or three of them to start making a lifetime’s worth of toys, clothes, homewares and accessories right now.
All that said, I remember the fumble of trying to coordinate yarn in one hand and hook in the other for the first time. I remember indignantly telling my husband that it was impossible without growing a third hand. Which, with hindsight, was somewhat melodramatic. I won’t pretend it isn’t an advantage to be naturally dextrous and good with fiddly tasks. But even if you’re not, I’m convinced you can learn to crochet, and quicker than you think.
Some tips to help you learn faster are:
- Start with a smooth, chunky yarn, such as Lion Brand WOW yarns, or Big Twist mellow yarn. These are easiest to hold, control, and see what you’re doing with.
- Ask a friend to help you get started. Nothing beats looking at exactly what someone else is doing to get started. So bribe them with a cake and get them to show you the basics.
- Start with something you actually want to make. Churning out washcloths because that’s what you think you’re ‘supposed to do’ to learn basic crochet is pointless and uninspiring if you don’t want washcloths. Find a project you actually want to own, and start there. Sure it might turn out a bit rough, and you might remake it one day, but you’ll be motivated and excited about your output. This is meant to be fun, remember!
Can you learn to crochet in a day?
How far you get on your first day of crochet depends on what your aspirations are, and a little bit on natural aptitude too. I’m confident that anyone could learn the basic techniques which all crochet patterns are based on in one day. Once you’ve got it figured out, you can tuck your ball of yarn and hook into the top of a bag and take it almost anywhere to keep working on in future. So in this sense, crochet is very efficient in terms of how much time you actually need to spend looking at instructions or tutorials.
Is crochet harder than knitting?
I think most people would agree that crochet is easier to learn and master than knitting. The big advantages of crochet over knitting are:
- There’s just one hook to control.
- If you drop your hook, your work can only unravel one stitch at a time, instead of an entire row all at once. It is much easier to recover dropped work, too.
- It’s more portable, and takes up less ‘elbow room’ to work on away from home
On the other hand, crochet does tend to be less elastic and more ‘rigid’ than knitting. And one place crochet does hit harder is on your wallet. Crochet uses about 25% more yarn than knitting to cover the same area with the same density of fabric.
How long does it take to learn to crochet clothes?
This depends on how generously you’re willing to stretch the definition of ‘clothes’! Scarves, cowls, snoods, hats and hand warmers are all classic beginner crochet projects. They’re a good opportunity to practice the basic stitches and develop a consistent, even technique. You also get to enjoy quick results, and you don’t have to invest in a lot of yarn to try them out.
That said, once you’re confident working the basic stitches evenly, there are plenty of simple patterns for larger garments which you could skip straight to. For example a chunky granny hexagon cardigan, which can be made from two large flat hexagons, cleverly seamed together.
To crochet intricate clothing in lightweight yarns, colorful patterns or beautifully tactile ornate stitches though, I don’t want to undersell the level of practice and artistry involved. When a crocheter has decades of experience, it shows in the confidence and sophistication of their work!
How long does it take to learn to crochet amigurumi?
Amigurumi toys and plushies are one of the hottest things in crochet. In fact, they’re what got me into crochet in the first place. One of my first projects was an amigurumi elephant, with a slightly eyebrow-raising trunk. Nonetheless, I was amazed that I’d managed to produce something so cute with so little prior experience.
Amigurumi uses a very small variety of crochet stitches – lots of patterns call for just single crochet stitch and nothing more. The complexity is in learning how to create 3D shapes using that one stitch, and finding the patience to assemble all the parts once they’re made.
So it doesn’t take long at all to learn how to follow simple amigurumi patterns. However, it takes longer to master complex patterns, and understand how to construct creations of your own.
What is the hardest thing to crochet?
This depends on who you ask! Crocheters tend to naturally gravitate towards projects they particularly enjoy, and they will tell you that other types of projects are harder. For example, some people find amigurumi hardest, because they dislike the sewing and embroidery elements. Other people will tell you that the mental stamina to make 200 granny squares and weave in all those ends and join them all together makes a blanket the hardest project to complete. And still other people have sworn off ever making another shawl or sweater because counting and constructing highly decorative stitches had them tearing their hair out.
How long does it take to learn to crochet – final thoughts
Crochet is among the easiest of the fiber or yarn crafts to master. All it takes is a single hook, a ball of yarn, and some instruction from a person, book or online video. And one of my favorite things about crochet is the huge variety of projects you can tackle with just a small number of basic techniques. So I think it’s fair to say that crochet is a quick skill to learn. But, I think it’s also true to say that you can spend a lifetime mastering all the extra crochet skills that there are to discover.
Let us know in the comments box what kinds of crochet projects you’re hoping to get the hang of!