Some people love the idea of developing a new skill or perhaps, they’re just looking for a new hobby. If you happen to be one of them, why not try crocheting? While it may look intimidating at first, it can be an enjoyable and stress-relieving activity that you can do just about anywhere.
Whether you’re at home watching TV, outside the park, or even while inside your car in a parking space – crocheting is something that you can do. And once you get the hang of it, there are countless crochet projects and patterns for you to try and make.
To learn more about crocheting and different pattern projects that you can do, read more about them below.
What is Crocheting?
The word “crochet” is a French word that means small hook. This is a process of interlocking loops of yarn and other strand material to create a textile with the use of a crochet hook. These hooks are typically made from plastic, metal, or wood.
Crocheting as well as knitting is a popular hobby not only for the elderly to keep their arms, hands, and fingers exercised. But it has also drawn attention from the younger generation because of its mood-lifting capabilities. Some studies prove how crocheting could reduce depression and anxiety, as well as slow down the onset of dementia.
Crochet vs. Knitting
Some people often mistake crocheting and knitting as the same thing, however, they do have some obvious differences. Although the textiles they produce might look the same. The process is somewhat different.
In crocheting, you are only using one crochet hook while knitting requires two knitting needles. And when it comes to how the stitches look, the ones formed when you crochet look more like little knots, and the ones made from knitting form a “V” shape.
As far as the quality of textile that these two methods produce, the one made from knitting tends to be thinner and lighter while the one from crocheting is thicker and heavier. Compared to knitting, crocheting is faster to dp but requires more yarn.
Crochet Blanket Ideas for Beginners
For those who want to do crocheting and give it a try, here are some pattern ideas that are simple enough for any inexperienced beginner.
If you’re a beginner who is new to crocheting, you might want to try some easy patterns just to get yourself the hang of it first. Make your first project as simple as possible like a single color and easy patterned baby blanket. This is something achievable, regardless of your experience level.
Once you’ve learned the basics of crocheting and made some simple projects on the side, you can now explore different kinds of patterns. But if you’re still a little intimidated and want to start slow, you can begin with a simple striped blanket. You can choose two or three colors for this one or add more if you’d like.
Another simple but a little more advanced crochet blanket idea is one with a checkered pattern. Since you’ll be alternating two or more colors to make the squares, you need to know how to skip from one color to another. If this is something that you already know how to do, then go ahead and have fun making different color blocks.
Granny Square Blanket
A granny square blanket is quite similar to a checkered pattern but with a little twist. Granny square crochet comes in many different patterns and if you’re interested to learn more about it, there are a lot of videos and free patterns that you can follow online. For those who want to add a bit of challenge to the traditional checked crochet blanket, you might want to try this one.
Ripple Crochet Blanket
A ripple stitch crochet pattern is more complex but definitely not impossible to do. This is a fun design to do if you’re after using different colors. Another idea is to add some texture to the blanket by adding post stitches.
Chevron crochet patterns never go out of style. Plus, it’s quite easier to do compared to doing ripple crochet. A chevron pattern uses fewer stitches between its peaks and valleys. The difference between the two can be seen in the peaks. A ripple pattern has more of a curved peak while a chevron pattern has more of a solid, pointed peak.
Shell Stitch Blanket
If you’re looking for something more advanced, then you can try and learn the shell stitch. Although this kind of pattern is commonly used to decorate the trims and edges, it can also be very pretty as the whole design for a blanket. Use colorful yarns if you want to make them look cuter and more fun.
Bright Afghan Blanket
Afghan stitches are basically shaped like squares. It looks simple but you can definitely make unique blanket designs using this kind of method. If you want to keep it basic but somehow still looking unique, you can use brightly colored yarns to create your blanket.
Ombre Afghan Blanket
Another interesting idea is an ombre blanket using the afghan stitch. Before you start your project, be sure that you have loads of different colored yarns in a similar color pallet. If you’re planning to do ombre, have at least three shades of the color of your choice. In this way, you can see the transition of colors from palest to the most vivid.
Linen Stitch Crochet Afghan
The idea for this kind of blanket is to crochet around instead of horizontally to make a square blanket. With this kind of method, the blanket can grow bigger in size as much as you want it to. For those who are a little intimidated by this stitch variety, it’s simply doing single crochet and chain stitches.
Healthy Benefits of Crocheting
Regardless of whether you are knitting for fun or to create some do-it-yourself project, crocheting offers many benefits. Aside from the fun that you can get from crocheting, there are also health benefits that come with this hobby.
Stress and Anxiety
When you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed with your daily life, you can divert your attention to something therapeutic like crocheting. By doing an activity that is repetitive in motion, you shift your focus from something that might be nagging you to something more relaxing.
Helps People with Insomnia
Crocheting can also positively help people who suffer from insomnia. For those who have difficulty falling asleep at night, just pick up your kit and start crocheting. This soothing activity can help you relax, and eventually bring calmness to your mind and body to help you fall asleep.
Reduces the Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease
There are scientific studies that prove that doing cognitive exercises that stimulate the brain helps in preventing memory loss. It was found that crocheting can greatly reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease from about 30-50%. So, not only will you acquire a new hobby but also improve your memory.
Many people take up crocheting because of how effective it is in helping with depression. It was found that doing crafty and creative things stimulates the release of serotonin which is known as your body’s “happy hormones”. Serotonin also helps with sleep, digestion, and overall well-being. Aside from being a natural antidepressant, it also acts as a pain reliever which is helpful to those who are suffering from chronic pain.
Keeps Fingers Supple and Nippy
Crocheting can also help people who have arthritis and joint pain. When crocheting, you’ll have to do repetitive motions which then helps keep the mobility of your hands and fingers. As a result, you’ll have fingers that are supple, nippy, and happy to take on more projects.