One of the things I LOVE about crochet is it is one of the most inexpensive hobbies to have. You can make beautiful and intricate things by hand on an incredibly small budget. But, when you start looking around online or at craft stores, it can get super overwhelming with all the crochet tools and supplies available. Take heart – there are literally only 5 essential crochet tools for beginners – and 2 of them you will have lying around the house already!
1. Crochet Hook
I have a particular passion about finding the best crochet hook for your style. This would include how you hold your hook, the type of projects you typically do and if you have any pain or health concerns. But these are things that will work themselves out as you go along, so definitely don’t worry about them right away. If you want to become an absolute Crochet Hook PRO, you can download and ready my free ULTIMATE GUIDE TO CROCHET HOOKS from my resource library – a 17-page downloadable PDF that goes through absolutely everything you will ever need to know about the incredible hook.
But for starters, I recommend buying one of the many affordable crochet hook sets that come with all the common hook sizes. I recommend choosing from a basic aluminum set or an ergonomic/comfort grip set with aluminum heads. The emphasis here, is to choose a hook with an aluminum head (versus plastic or wood) which will give you a better experience as a beginner since the yarn moves more freely on an aluminum head. Here are two inexpensive sets I would direct you to that include ALL the crochet tools I recommend for beginners, minus the yarn, for UNDER $15:
If you’d rather just go for ONE hook to begin, start with a size 5.5 mm, also called I-9. This will match well with a worsted/medium weight yarn (which we will talk about next). Single hooks are also quite inexpensive, starting at $3 or $4. But, if you also need to acquire the rest of the tools (stitch markers, scissors, etc), I recommend just going with one of the above sets since you get the whole shebang together.
Yarn and crochet hook come in at a tie for 2 of the 5 most essential crochet tools for beginners. You cannot make anything, of course, without these two. If you really get into crochet, or any fiber art, it’s highly likely that yarn will become a sub-passion because it is the material that brings your project to life! There are endless colors and so many different fibers (acrylic, cotton, wool, silk, on and on and on) and blends of fibers. It does become really fun as you get to know yarn and all the many different ways to choose the best yarn for your project.
BUT FOR STARTERS…
…go for an acrylic yarn, in WORSTED weight (also called MEDIUM weight, with the number 4 on the label), in a color that you LOVE. Acrylic yarn is super inexpensive and comes in so many colors. I’d recommend you head to a hobby store like JoAnn Fabrics, Michaels, Hobby Lobby or Walmart. You will find yarn at any of these stores.
It’s vital that you choose the right weight of yarn (basically the size of the yarn) matched with the correct crochet hook size. My recommendation for beginners (as stated above when we talked about hooks) is to choose a hook size 5.5 mm with a worsted/medium weight yarn. If you don’t like the feel of acrylic yarn, you can choose any fiber of worsted weight yarn. But, typically, acrylic is a good choice for beginners because it’s easy to work with and doesn’t require a big investment of money if you don’t like it. When you’re just starting out, stay away from textured yarns or really thin, smaller weighted yarns.
Any scissors will do, but just make sure they’re sharp! I recommend a pair of small scissors that are designed for fiber or sewing. I love these detail scissors by Singer. I also use these Fiskars scissor snips which are amazing and quick because you can just grab them and snip your yarn – you don’t even have to poke your fingers through any holes! Of course, feel free just to start with the scissors you have laying around at home. Any scissor will work, but as you crochet more you will be super thankful for a small, SUPER SHARP pair of scissors.
4. Tapestry Needle/Darning Needle
You will need a tapestry needle for weaving in your yarn ends at the beginning, end, and within your project. These needles come in plastic and steel. I like steel because they’re sturdy and don’t bend. These are the ones I use but it really doesn’t matter. Mine came with some crochet hook set I got ages ago and I’ve never had to buy more. These are not standard sewing needles – they are much larger and have a large eye opening for threading yarn through (versus skinny thread). Again, the sets I recommended above when we talked about hook sets, come with tapestry needles as well.
5. Stitch Markers
Finally, the last essential crochet tool is stitch markers! Stitch markers will keep the place you left off at when you set your project down for the day. They will mark the beginning and end of rounds and rows. They will keep your place as you count stitches by tens or twenties or whatnot. You must have stitch markers.
I love the locking plastic kind because they don’t fall off your project like the non-locking kind. This is one of the two items I referred to as a tool you may have lying around your house because you absolutely don’t have to buy special stitch markers. You can use: safety pins, paper clips, or a small strand of scrap thread that you can thread through your project using your crochet hook. I use these plastic locking stitch markers which commonly come with crochet hook sets, or that you can buy separately when you need more (like when you have small kids that like to play with them!!).
I hope you’ve found some relief after reading this and realizing there are literally only 5 essential crochet tools for beginners! I’ll have a separate article on fun, optional gadgets that I love and use but are absolutely not necessary. I’ll link to that post when I have it completed!
As far as finding a pattern that you want to try, there are TONS and TONS of free patterns online that would be perfect for beginners. Don’t invest a bunch of money into books or paid patterns until you know you are comfortable with crochet and are willing to spend a bit of cash on it! All in all, crochet really is a super inexpensive hobby and one that is well worth trying!
So to wrap it up, I’ll include the links again to two great starter kits that come in under $15 and will give you all these essential tools minus the yarn: