This is the beginner's guide to crocheting, which is practically pulling loops through other loops with a hook. No one knows when it exactly started, but they do know that in the sixteenth century French nuns had started crocheting. Crochet is also French for 'hook'.
To begin with, you don't need much except yarn and a crochet hook, and perhaps a yarn needle for projects. If you are practicing crocheting, expensive yarn isn't necessary. Yarn comes in many types; acrylic, wool, angora, mohair, etc., etc. Hooks come in a variety of sizes, so make sure the hook size matches the yarn.
First, you need to make a slipknot.
After you make a slipknot, insert the hook through it and catch the yarn around the hook. Pull through the slipknot. There will be one loop on the hook. Repeat until you reach the desired length of the chain.
Then, insert your hook through the chain stitch next to it and wrap the yarn around the hook. Pull it through the chain stitch. There will be two loops on the hook. Wrap the yarn again and pull through both. Continue with the rest of the chain. Turn the work once you have done all of the chain and continue until you have the desired height of the square.
When you want to end your crocheted square, leave the loop, and cut off the yarn, leaving an inch. Then pull the inch of yarn and pull it through the loop. Weave in the tail if you'd like.
There's a practical use for a really long crocheted chain: shoelaces!
To crochet shoelaces, start making a chain about the length of fifty inches, or the length of your regular shoelaces. This is good practice for making chains.
To add another color: Insert the hook as usual. With the end of another yarn, pull it through the loop so it has another loop of the second color. Continue crocheting and cut off the first yarn to form a tail. Weave in the tails if you'd like.
Once you get the hang of crocheting chains and single crochet, you can make a pouch, wallet, or even a simple bag by sewing on straps.
For a pouch, crochet a long rectangular piece of your chosen color. It should be about six inches or so. Then, fold up the piece about four and a half inches up, and with a yarn or regular needle, sew the sides. If you want to sew on a button, make sure it is small (or big) enough to insert between the crocheted piece. After you're done, weave in the tails by inserting the thread or yarn through the needle and insert it through the piece and pull through. To weave in the tails, you should preferably do it along the sides so the piece doesn't come out looking ruined.
For the next article: circles!