A Complete Guide to Beginner Crochet Supplies and Tools
Want to start your crochet journey but feel a bit overwhelmed with all the options? I totally get it. There are so many tools and pretty yarns out there that it’s hard to tell what you actually need. Then once you do decide on a list of beginner crochet supplies, then there are lots of different options for each item. How do you know which hook is best? How do you know what kind of yarn to get? Like I said – overwhelming.
So, as someone who has a habit of buying every single tool and accessory for a new type of craft within the first week of deciding to try it, (and as a gift from my bank account to yours) I’ve put together a list of what beginner crochet supplies you actually need to get started.
Keep reading to figure out:
- Which crochet tools are right for you…
- What sizes of hooks and yarn you’ll need (yes, yarn size makes a difference)…
- What accessories you might want to get depending on the kinds of projects you want to try…
- Are beginner crochet kits worth it?
Ready to get started?
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You Can’t Crochet Without…
It’s probably not a surprise that the two absolute essentials to start crocheting are yarn and a crochet hook. But there are actually a few other things that you’re going to find yourself a bit stuck without.
You’ll also need a pair of scissors and a tapestry needle.
Best Yarn for Beginner Crochet Projects
I think pretty much every crocheter will agree that yarn is the most fun supply to pick out. And why wouldn’t it be? There are endless options in color and material and every single skein you pick up has the potential to be made into anything you can imagine!
But let’s be real, sometimes having too many options aren’t great. Once you get going, it’s so much fun, but when first getting started, it can be overwhelming.
Luckily there are some “rules” you can follow when picking out the yarn for your first project.
What Kind of Yarn Should I Buy For my First Crochet Project?
First of all, let’s talk material. (You’ll also see this referred to as fiber.) The most common ones you’re going to see are cotton, wool, and acrylic yarns. They’re all great in their own way, but not every kind is suitable for beginners.
Cotton yarn is good for lots of easy beginner projects. It’s not very stretchy, which is great for projects that need to hold their shape. It doesn’t get as warm as wool, and it won’t melt when used as a hot pad.
Overall, cotton is an OKAY choice for beginners. The lack of stretch may make it difficult to work with if your tension is tight or uneven (which is pretty likely for your first few projects). It also has a tendency to split if you have to pull apart your project and restart.
PS. That’s called “frogging.”
Acrylic yarn is generally accepted as the best yarn for complete beginners. It’s often the least expensive, which is probably what you want until you’ve got the basic techniques down and your projects start turning out correctly. Save the expensive specialty yarns for when you’re more comfortable with what you’re doing.
What Size Yarn Should Beginner Crocheters Use
Unless you’re buying specialty yarn from a small business that does all the spinning themselves, all yarn is going to have a size listed on the back of the label. Most of the time it will be an icon in the shape of a skein of yarn with a number in the middle. The higher the number, the thicker the yarn.
Here’s what those numbers mean:
- 0 – lace weight thread
- 1 – super fine, sock weight yarn
- 2 – fine, sport, or baby yarn
- 3 – DK, or light worsted yarn
- 4 – worsted weight, afghan yarn
- 5 – chunky or bulky yarn
- 6 – super bulky yarn or roving
As a rule of thumb, beginners are going to want a size 4 or larger. A smaller-ply yarn is going to be more difficult to see the stitches.
Some things to keep in mind when picking out the size of yarn you want to start with:
- Worsted weight yarn is usually going to be cheaper per skein, so if you’re on a budget, you can get more colors at once to play around with.
- The amount of yarn is significantly different between skeins of size 4 and 6 yarns. You get quite a bit more yarn to work with if you go with a worsted weight over a bulky or super bulky yarn.
- On the other hand, a thicker yarn is going to work up a lot quicker. So if you’re looking to see more progress faster, a size 5 or 6 might be a good way to go. Just remember that will mean you are also going through yarn quicker.
- The siz hook you’ll use depends on the size of your yarn. Yarn labels usually have a recomended hook size listed on the back of the label. (But you can usually get away with up to .5mm larger or smaller.)
What Color Yarn Should I Get for Learning Crochet?
This might not have been something you have given any thought to before now, but the color you choose for your first crochet project actually makes a difference!
Well, sort of.
There’s no specific color you need to look for, so just pick out something that looks nice to you or makes sense for the project you’re making.
But there ARE some colors that you might want to avoid when first learning how to crochet.
And those are black and white.
That’s only because the lightest and darkest colors make it more challenging to see the parts of your stitch when you’re learning the anatomy of your work. Ideally, you’ll go with a medium color for your very first project and to keep on hand for practicing new stitches as you learn more.
That being said, don’t be afraid of using super dark or light colors as you get better. Just make sure you have a nice bright light to work in when using those colors.
What are the Best Brands of Yarn for Beginners
Everyone is going to have different brand preferences. You’ll have to take into account a combination of material, feel, colors, price, and how accessible they are to you.
One thing to be mindful of is avoiding the “off-brand” yarns you find online. You’ll want to stick with the more popular name-brand yarns that have been tested for quality, consistency, and dye-bleeding. There’s nothing worse than spending hours and hours on a big project like a blanket, and the very first time you wash it, the colors bleed and ruin the whole pattern.
Avoid that by choosing from one of these well-known yarn brands:
- Red Heart
- Lion Brand
- Lily Sugar and Cream (cotton)
Now that we’ve narrowed down fiber, size, color, and brand, hopefully you’ll be a lot less overwhelmed when picking out your yarn. But if you don’t want to pick through all the labels just yet, I’ve done the work for you:
Click here for Beginner Appropriate Yarn on Amazon
Best Crochet Hooks for Beginners
Talk about overwhelming – if you search “crochet hooks” on Amazon, there are over 10,000 listings to choose from. So let’s narrow that down for you.
Assuming you’re starting with a worsted weight yarn, like we just talked about, the first hooks you’ll need to have will be in the 4.5mm to 5.5 mm range. (You may also see hook size listed by letter, but try to look for a metric size if you can, because the letter scale is not always the same between brands.)
Next, let’s talk about the material. Almost all crochet hooks you will find in stores are going to be metal, wood, or plastic. This might be something you want to play around with later on, but for beginners, I recommend starting out with metal hooks. Yarn tends to slide a little better on metal hooks than wood or plastic, which makes stitching easier.
The last thing to consider is the shape of the hook. The very tip of the hook makes a difference in feel when you are pushing it through a previous stitch to start your next one. The width of the throat (the part of the hook between the handle and the tip) can affect the size of your loops and therefore your overall tension. And the size of the handle will affect your grip on the hook.
Unfortunately, there’s no good way to know which hook is going to be best for you without experimenting.
A good way to start experimenting is to buy a single hook from 2-3 different brands, all in the same size. But if you’re more of a “just tell me what kind to get” type of person, here are some popular hook brands for beginners:
Boye Crochet Hooks
Boye happens to be my favorite brand of inexpensive hooks, and the ones I always buy when teaching crochet to beginners. They were in the kit that I started with back in the day, and are still one of my go-to brands. I love the tapered head and throat style of the hook, and Boye hooks are just that.
They also make a set with ergonomic handles. This set is probably worth looking into if you have arthritis or carpal tunnel but need a more inexpensive option than some of the other ergonomic sets available.
You can find Boye hooks in most craft stores and even some department stores like Walmart if they have a yarn section. However, I’ve never seen the ergonomic set in store. That one may need to be purchased online.
Susan Bates Crochet Hooks
The other inexpensive brand of crochet hooks that I recommend for beginners is Susan Bates. The big craft stores like JoAnn’s usually have a huge selection of these hooks so they are very easy to get your hands on.
These hooks are an inline style, which means the hook is the same width from tip to handle. This can be helpful to reduce wrist movement (according to their description).
Susan Bates brand also makes ergonomic hooks, but as far as I can tell, you can only get them in singles, not in a set.
Clover Crochet Hooks
If you’re the type of person that would rather get a nice set of hooks right from the start and not have to spend the money to upgrade later, Clover Brand is the way to go.
They are a bit of a combination of the tapered and in-line styles of hooks, which makes them great for those who don’t know which style works best for them. The other big draw to these hooks is the handle. The ergonomic shape combined with the “elastomer” material makes them feel great in your hand, no matter your grip and prevents cramps from holding the hooks too tight.
Their full set is a bit pricey but the shape of the hook and the easy-grip handle is SO worth it.
Or, you can treat yourself to a couple of nice hooks at a time in the sizes you’re most likely to use.
Scissors for a Beginner Crochet Kit
Ok, yeah, I’m willing to bet you’ve got a pair ok scissors in your house, so you probably don’t need to buy a special pair just for crochet.
But if you’re taking up crochet for something to do when you’re waiting places (like on the bus or in a doctor’s office), you’ll want to keep a small pair in your to-go kit.
If you want to get a little fancy, you could opt for a yarn cutter pendant instead.
Tapestry Needles for Crochet
The last thing you’ll need to complete your first project is a tapestry needle. You’ll use it to secure the ends of each yarn strand into the project so that the project looks a little neater, and is far less likely to come undone.
You can get tapestry needles in metal or plastic, and I’ve never had a problem with either. Get whichever one is most appealing and accessible to you.
The only thing you DO need to be mindful of is that the one you pick will fit your yarn through the eye (you may need to get a needle threader to go with it) and that the tip of the needle is blunt.
You don’t want a sharp needle because it will pierce your yarn as you weave in the ends, and that can cause splitting and wonky-looking finished stitches.
Crochet is Much Easier If you Have…
Now that we’ve got the essentials out of the way, let’s talk about some of the tools you might want to have on hand to make your crochet journey go a bit smoother. None of these are completely necessary, but they are ones I would suggest picking up. Especially if you’re making a beginner’s kit for someone else as a gift.
First on the list is stitch markers. They’re small clips that slide in between the stitches and lock into place to help you keep track of where you’re at. They’re useful for things keeping track of stitch count in long rows. And once you start working in rounds they’re a lifesaver for keeping track of where each row starts.
Stitch markers come in lots of different shapes.
You can get these round rubber ones for pretty cheap. They just open up and slide under the yarn, then the ends click back together.
I’ve had the occasional issue with them opening back up while they are in my project. But I’ve never actually had one fall out.
What you really want are these locking stitch markers that clasp shut the same way as a safety pin. They are more of a hard plastic and don’t accidentally open up nearly as often.
Flexible Tape Measure
Odds are your first crochet project is going to be something where gauge doesn’t matter too much. So a gauge measurer probably isn’t an immediate necessity.
A flexible tape measure on the other hand is going to be pretty useful. If you’re making a blanket, you’ll need to measure your starting chain to make sure you’re finished project will be the right size.
It’s also helpful for making a set of something that should all be the same size. Like washcloths, for example.
And trust me, a long flexible one (like the kind used for taking body measurements) is the way to go.
Something cheap like this is all you need. (PS sometimes it’s called a soft tape measure or sewing tape measure)
But if you don’t want to keep rolling it back up every time, I highly recommend a retractable one like this.
Crochet Hook Organizer
I don’t know what I lose more, my crochet hooks or my stitch markers. (That’s not true. Stitch markers disappear like cookies in this house. But the hook I wanted to use at the time is a close second.)
Anyway, one ‘bigger’ accessory you might want to invest in right away is a hook and accessory organizer.
They keep everything in it’s own place so it’s easier to find what you need when you’re looking for it. Most of them will have individual slots for all your different sized hooks, and usually a zipper compartment to store all your other supplies.
Having one of these is especially great for taking your work on the road. You’ll have everything you need in once case and can just pop it in a tote with your yarn.
Don’t get me wrong, you can always use a cheap zipper pencil case, but if you feel like treating yourself, this is the first “nice” thing you should be getting, for sure.
Crochet Supplies That Are Just Nice To Have
I can’t pretend that any of these accessories are something you even remotely need. But once you establish crochet as a part of your personality (or is that just me?), here’s some of the luxury items you might keep an eye out for.
Do I need a specific bag for bringing my current project with me everywhere I go if there’s a chance I’ll have some down time? No, of course not. Do I have several? Um, yeah.
I mean just look at these…
Ceramic or Wood Yarn Bowl
A Yarn Bowl is a specially made container with a slot for the working yarn to slide out while the skein rolls around inside. It is nice for keeping your yarn in place and prevent it rolling away or onto the floor.
And if you have pets, trust me, your biggest struggle is going to be keeping the yarn off the floor.
Even seasoned Crocheters are going to have projects turn out unevenly shaped or curled up. It’s just the nature of fiber arts. But the difference between them and total beginners is that they block their projects when they’re finished.
Blocking helps a piece lay in its proper shape and size, and creates nice, smooth edges.
Or nab a nicer wooden set with built in holes and pegs.
Forget counting in your head… (no really, you’re going to keep forgetting to do it.)
A row counter (or stitch counter) helps you keep track of where you are in your pattern without having to remember it yourself. It’s a lifesaver if you live with kids.
Pinterest has no shortage of pretty yarn storage ideas. As your collection grows, you might want to show it off in a pretty display like this.
Or hide your stash in a closed container like this.
Everyone has their own preferences on shape of skein they like to work with, but personally, once I started using center-pull cakes, I’ll never go back.
Grab one of these yarn winders to make your own yarn cakes and never have to deal with the dreaded yarn barf again.
Where to Find Beginner Crochet Supplies
There’s more places selling yarn and crochet supplies than you would expect, actually. There’s obviously the big craft stores like JoAnn and Michales. But you can actually find most of what you need at places like Walmart, Target, and even the dollar store.
If you’re looking for a huge selection shipped right away,, obviously look on Amazon. Just be careful to pick out a tried and true brand for your yarn.
To take a look at the full selection of yarns from the good brands, check the brand’s website. (And don’t forget to sign up for the coupons!)
Crochet Kits for Beginners
If you don’t want to go and pick out each item on your own to get started, think about grabbing a kit for your first project.
Most stores that sell yarn will have at least one beginner crochet kit. Most of the time it will be the Boye “I Taught Myself Crochet” Kit. (This is the one I learned on, by the way!)
A good kit will come with an instruction book, at least a couple hooks, a tapestry needle, and a few stitch markers. Then you pick out the yarn separately.
OR I’ve seen a lot more project kits recently that come with one hook and tapestry needle and the amount of yarn you need for a single project.
Both are great choices.
Here’s some of the ones I would try out if I was learning to crochet today.
Beginner Crochet Supplies and Tools FAQs
I promise, you’re not the only one who has these questions.
What are the Best Crochet Patterns for Beginners?
It’s tempting to skip straight to the pretty looking complicated projects like stuffed animals and items with intricate stitches. (But hey, if that’s what you really want to make, I’m not going to stop you!)
But most beginners will want to start with simple flat projects like hot pads, scarves, and washclothes.
Then once you get the basics down, it’s much easier to learn the more difficult stuff.
What Type of Crochet Hook is Best for Beginners?
It seems to be the consensus that aluminum hooks are the best for beginners. The yarn slides easier on the metal than on plastic or wood hooks. And if you’re already learning a new stitch, there’s no need to complicate it even further with a hook that;s harder to work with.
How Many Crochet Hooks Do I Need?
Knitting uses two needles at a time. But crochet only uses one hook.
So really, you just need the one. But you may want to try out a couple brands to see what works better for you, or grab a few different sizes so you can experiment with your tension and try out different sized yarns.
What Size Crochet Hook is Best for Beginners?
Remember, your hook size is dependant on your yarn. Check the back of the yarn label for size recommendations and stick with something within .5mm of that.
If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading! I hope I’ve helped narrow down search for the right beginner crochet supplies and that you’ll be on your way to loving crochet as muc has I do!