5 Questions I Was Too Embarrassed to Ask When Beginning to Crochet

As a professional crafter, you might look over things that are simple and forget that beginners just don’t understand some terms and phrases that seem obvious. As a new crafter, it can be intimidating when you are expected to know something you don’t. When I started learning crochet, I kept coming across terms and techniques that even beginning patterns assumed I should know. I was embarrassed to ask, so instead, I tried Googling it.

Now Google is great, but finding definitions and examples of simple things can be a difficult and convoluted task. Most articles on crafting are written by experts who often assume jargon is just understood by those seeking out information, even though the ones looking are often the most lost. For those teaching someone to crochet or those learning themselves, I have put together a list of the questions I was too embarrassed to ask. I sat down with Crochet Project Editor Susanna Tobias, and we put together some answers to share.

5 Questions I Was Too Embarrassed To Ask, Answered

Q: What’s the difference between knitting and crochet?

A: To me, this answer has always been easy—crochet uses one hook, and knitting uses two needles. Also, if you’re working basic crochet vs. basic knitting, they look completely different.

beginning crochet

Q: Yarn over (yo) what?

A: Some companies abbreviate this yoh, which stands for yarn over hook. That means that you will wrap the yarn from back to front over your hook before making your next stitch.

Q: What does it mean to fasten off?

A: Fastening off is arguably one of the most exciting parts of a project because that means you’re almost done! To fasten off, you’ll cut the working yarn leaving a tail of a few inches, then you’ll pull the tail through your final loop, and pull the knot tight.

Q: What does gauge gauge?

A: Gauge tells you the number of stitches and rows in a given number of inches. For instance, if your pattern tells you 15 hdc (half double crochet) and 12 rows = 4″, that means you should be able to measure 15 hdc and 12 rows in a 4″ square. If your measurements don’t match, your finished project won’t match the finished size.

beginning crochet

Q: What is blocking, and should I block my project?

A: Blocking is the process of getting your yarn wet and pinning it down to dry in your desired shape. Therefore, if your edging isn’t quite as straight as you intended, you can stretch the yarn in parts to make it straight.

A lot of times it will depend of the project, but if you’re a beginner, it’s better to start a habit of blocking. And, blocking will help eliminate those wavy edges. So, the answer is yes, you’ll definitely want to block your project.

beginning crochet

As I continue to learn more about crochet, I continue to have even more questions. However, I’m no longer embarrassed to admit what I don’t know. If you have more questions that can help you and others, please let me know in the comments below, and I will try to find an expert to answer them!

Happy crafting!

Marissa Bouska
Assistant Editor, Beadwork magazine

For more tips, tricks, and projects for beginners, visit the Interweave Store!

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