*DISCLAIMER* I am a beginner, with so much to learn. I have learned a few tips and tricks. Also I found some really great informative sites that I would like to pass on.
First, be aware of the type of pattern you are choosing. Make sure when you are starting you pick beginner patterns. Most patterns start at beginner then go to easy, then easy+. I haven't tried much above an easy+.
If you are working on a pattern that calls for a stitch/row marker you can just use a safety pin. No need to buy something fancy.
Don't be afraid to play around with different yarns. When just starting out or trying a new pattern it is a good idea to use the yarn listed in the pattern. But it can be fun to try a pattern again with different yarn and see the difference it makes.
If it is your first project find something small, preferably with only one stitch. That way you can finish quickly and keep your morale up. Here is a easy, quick pattern to try.
Knotted Crochet Headband
The pattern and tutorial comes from Maybe Matilda. Rachel who writes Maybe Matilda is amazing. She is a master crocheter. I love her blog for inspiration. She also just had a crochet along. I unfortunately didn't find out about it until it was almost over but she has said that she is going to have another one soon. I am defiantly signing up for it.
Of course you will need to learn the crochet stitches.Crafty Minx has her crochet school going on now. It is one of the most informative crocheting series I have ever seen. She starts at the very beginning even going over the parts of a crochet hook. I have learned things I didn't know I didn't know.
Speaking of things I didn't know. I had never heard of Tunisian Crocheting. I found it on pinterest a couple of days a go.
Crochet the Day Away just started a series of tutorials on learning how to Tunisian Crochet. This style of crocheting is a interesting mix of knitting and crocheting. It is really cool! I am really looking forward to continue to learn more about it.
All of the above blogs are great for inspiration. Maybe Matilda has patterns and crocheted items for sell. Pinterest is also a great place for inspiration. I started a board just for yarn and crocheting. You can find it here. Ravelry is a site just for knitters and crocheters. It is free to sign up and you can find tons of inspiration and free patterns. I just started there but look forward to learning more about it.
Of course you can google a crochet stitch, if you happen to come across a stitch you don't know. It is best to write out the entire name of the stitch not the abbreviation. You tube is also great for finding stitches. If you are a visual learner like me it is very helpful to be able to watch someone do the stitch.
I have used Lion Brand site for free patterns several times before. You can check out those projects here, here, and here. Their patterns are free, well written and easy to follow. They also have a good library of crochet stitches.
With all the places to find free patterns, I don't buy them very often. When I have bought patterns I like to go though Esty shops. Yarn Blossom Boutique is a great place for patterns. She has mostly hats and slippers. They are so cute. Cherished Bliss also has great patterns mostly for baby's. If you check out her Esty shop you might notice some familiar photos. :) The patterns found in both of these shops are very reasonably priced.
So what about you? Do you have a favorite site for crocheting? Have you found a great instructional series going on that you love? If so I would love to check them out. Please leave them in the comments.