By Leah Buist (she/her)
Gone are the days of asking our mums and grannies to crochet us some winter leg warmers to go with our Ultra Mini Uggs, because this year, a lot of young people are picking up the crochet hook themselves.
A new obsession for crochet has emerged on the scene in the last year and has gained great momentum, as young adults have become completely infatuated with the craft. The sustainable trend has young people spending weeks constructing hats, scarves, jumpers, halter neck tops, blankets, skirts… the list really does go on.
The possibilities of what you can create from a ball of yarn and a crochet hook are almost limitless: which is why I think it has young adults in a yarn-induced choke-hold.
Clothes and accessories that are unique, out there, and stand out from the crowd are hard to come by or are heavily overpriced. This means that with the cost-of-living crisis especially, it’s not always an option to dress how you want to because the clothes are far too expensive.
Yasmin, a 19-year-old student says, “it’s one of my less expensive hobbies, and you can do it anywhere too! I often take my granny square on the bus or train when traveling home”.
Crocheting is not only a hobby you can do literally anywhere as Yasmin mentions but it’s also a craft you can do anything with. Yasmin says, “there is so much creative choice and the possibilities are definitely endless. So far, I’ve made a blanket and I’m hoping to move onto a cardigan soon”.
Wearing clothes that you feel comfortable in is important, but wearing pieces that you feel represent who you are and tell the world what you’re all about is just as equally important.
20-year-old Larna from Northampton says, “I enjoy the freedom of being able to make whatever I’d like and it helps me with my identity because I love to express myself. I crochet to make clothing and to express myself artistically”.
Strathclyde student Mia says, “It is so satisfying to make a clothing item you can wear out and about and get complimented on. It’s great being able to make stuff in colours that I like and styles that suit me as its sometimes difficult to find items like that in the marketplace”.
Crocheting enables people like Larna, Mia and Yasmin to express themselves and showcase their identities. The freedom to make your own clothes grants you complete power and authority over how you want to present yourself to the world: a power that no one can take away.
The girls also all find that crocheting benefits their mental well-being. Mia says, “I find it quite relaxing and feel like it distracts my brain for a while from the stresses of the day”.
Crocheting is a really affordable, sustainable, and easy hobby to get into and there are three key steps every beginner needs to follow in order to get started.
Firstly, you need to choose your yarn. Thinner yarn such as DK is one of the easiest types to use as a beginner. You can find yarn by searching online or going into your nearest Hobbycraft, I recommended doing the latter as it’s good to get a feel for the yarn and see the colour in person.
Secondly, you’ll need a corresponding crochet hook for your size of yarn, you can usually find this information on the back of the label on the yarn ball. Common hook sizes that are easy to use and go alongside thinner DK yarn are 4mm and 5mm.
Lastly, you’ll need some form of pattern or tutorial to follow (don’t worry you aren’t expected to just know how to crochet). There are a lot of written patterns that exist online for you to purchase, but personally, I find these difficult to follow.
The best way to get started with crochet is to watch videos on YouTube. There are so many different tutorials on the video streaming platform that are free to watch and contain clear visual demonstrations on how to create pretty much anything: I have created halter neck tops and even hanging garlands from watching videos online.
Once you get familiar with techniques and the different kinds of stitches, the world of crochet opens up for you to make anything you want.
Crocheting is a really creative, sustainable, and enjoyable craft to get into and once you start, I’m certain that you won’t be able to stop.