You may have noticed that I haven’t been writing much lately. Between (a) all of my editing projects going sideways at the first opportunity and being extended way past their original deadlines and (b) the fact that 2021 was a jet-fuelled trashfire, I just couldn’t do the word-making. Instead, I learned crochet. Mostly from YouTube, of course.
I plan to write more this year, both on my blog and on my second novel, but for the moment I’d like to share some of my favourite yarn wizards with you.
When I first started looking up ways to use the miles upon miles of yarn I had inherited from a friend—who had inherited a metric shit-ton of yarn from her mother-in-law, as I recall—I was surprised to discover how many men and masculine-presenting folks were sharing their yarncraft. (Maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised, but we all have our personal and culturally constructed biases, don’t we.) Fiber Spider was one of the first channels I discovered and remains at the top of my list. From the very basics of yarn art (such as how to unwind a hank of yarn without turning it into the Gordion knot) to more advanced stitches and patterns, the host’s explanations and demonstrations are simple, clear, and easy to follow. He also shares recipes for delicious treats that will make you doubly glad you learned how to crochet stretchy clothing.
Hooked by Robin
I love this channel. You can learn to make all manner of fun and colourful items, from baby blankets to hats and scarves to amigurumi brussel sprouts, and the demonstrations are thorough but quick. Additionally, if you’d prefer to read the pattern or stitch guide rather than skipping back and forth over a video, you can find most of Robin’s written guides on her blog.
TL Yarn Crafts
Toni demonstrates Tunisian crochet, which is a bit like knitting with one needle as you hold entire rows of loops on one long hook instead of creating individual stitches one by one. She also reviews commercial yarn brands and apparently has her own line of gorgeous yarns. On top of that, she has created a playlist for running a small business in case you’d like to craft for a living or at least make your hobby pay for itself.
If you’re looking to make some funky-ass clothes, you need to check out TCDDIY. From crop tops to duster cardigans, you can learn how to make sweaters with unique patterns, textures, and structural features. If nothing else, these videos will inspire you to try some new techniques.
Tinna Thorudottir Thorvaldar
Tinna focuses on mosaic crochet, which is kind of what it sounds like. The techniques used here create intricate, colourful patterns that would look fantastic as tapestries, blankets, coats, and other clothing and decorative items. (And yes, she is Icelandic. How did you guess?)
This is a fun channel with lots of unusual crafting projects, including crochet necklaces and sandals (yes, sandals!), as well as yarn and gadget reviews, interviews with other creators, and even some historical content.
When I first tried knitting, I was absolute trash at it—all of my attempted blankets were uneven and riddled with holes. Also, I was five. However, more than three decades later, my knitting skills are still non-existent, so I prefer crochet. That said, two of my favourite knitting channels are Drowning in Yarn and NimbleNeedles as both are excellent resources, especially for beginners.