During the fall and winter I enjoy making simple crochet throw blankets. The blankets are very simple to make and keep me occupied (and warm), while my husband is watching hours of football, on Sundays. However, I have decided to expand my knowledge of crocheting and try to figure out crochet patterns - with all their crazy two and three letter notations.
Crochet patterns in the past, have always looked too scary to me, to even attempt. I thought I would start with a simple crochet baby beanie hat as my first project. I used About.com and their pattern for my first project. I really enjoyed the pattern because the author provided a key with links so that I could figure out each stitch style.
I made the beanie hat four times before I got it right! The first two hats were absolutely awful and the other two there was just minor imperfections but I had put so much effort into this pattern, I wanted it to be right. Luckily, the project was very easy to take apart and I just kept reusing the same yarn. The final hat took me less than hour to make and it was so easy and "simple" once I got the hang of reading the pattern.
Once, I figured out the pattern I decided to just make a few changes. I so surprised that just a few little tweaks and the hat could look entirely different. For my original beanie hat I used Light #3 Worsted Yarn for a wide-brimmed hat I used both Medium and Light worsted yarn. I changed the color pattern, medium worsted yarn at the top, light worsted yarn at the bottom, finished with a little yellow ribbon.
If you are a beginner crocheter and are nervous about following a pattern, I highly recommend starting with something easy like a beanie hat. Also, Crochet About.com was a wonderful resource for crochet instructions and a free pattern!