In today’s mass-produced world, crochet offers the freedom to indulge your individuality. With nothing more than a hook, yarn and a little skill – and maybe the right yarn winder – you can create a nearly infinite variety of things. Learning to crochet allows you to produce soft, delicate baby blankets that delight the eyes and thick, toasty afghans that are perfect for snuggling under.

You’ll be able to produce clothing like scarves, hats, shawls and sweaters. You can even make cheerful holiday ornaments, unique stuffed animals and a wide array of accessories. Best of all, you get to choose the color, the pattern, the yarn and the design.

Ready to get started with crochet but not sure how? Crochet isn’t hard to do. Once you learn a few basic stitches, it’s really just a matter of repeating them in the right order. There are four ways to learn what you need to know to get hooked on crochet.

Find a Teacher

One way to learn to crochet is to find someone who’s experienced and willing to take on a student. If you don’t know anyone, you may be able to find a crochet circle that donates baby booties and hats to a hospital or shawls and blankets to a nursing home.

Teachers can answer questions and point out mistakes, but they aren’t always on available, which may be frustrating when you hit a snag while trying to work independently.

By the Book

Many stores carry various learn-to-crochet sets that come with a few hooks and a book that explains how to get started and the steps involved in making the basic stitches. Most even have a few patterns suitable for beginners.

The disadvantage to learning from a book is that you have to figure everything for out yourself, but you always have a reference on hand if your yarn or fingers get tangled. You can also check out Amazon to see their extensive book selection online.

Watch on the Web

Many crafters have taken to the internet to share their passion via tutorials about the projects they love, and crochet videos aimed at beginners are readily available. If you can’t understand how to do something after watching an online crochet tutorial, don’t panic.

Just try one by another crafter who may explain it a new way or use a different camera angle that lets you see their fingers and the hook more clearly. Once you find a video you like, you can watch it as many times as you need to, and you can always return to it later.

You can also find online crochet classes from sites like Craftsy, which offer easy-to-understand courses aimed at the beginning crafter.

All of the Above

The best way to learn to crochet may be to combine all of the previously mentioned methods. Having input from an experienced crocheter can be invaluable when you have a question or are making a mistake that you can’t figure out.

Being able to refer to a book for a quick refresher is definitely handy when you are working by yourself. Pulling up a video allows you to actually see the motions in a way that a two-dimensional drawing or photograph just can’t match.

Once you learn to crochet, the possibilities are almost endless. A wide array of patterns are available in craft stores and online, so the hardest part of finding a crochet project is often selecting just one. You can even learn to design your own patterns. With crochet, your imagination and a little ingenuity, you can create amazing things.

After you’re more comfortable with your craft, you can improve your craft goods by getting better supplies, like ergonomic crochet hooks. Best of luck everyone!