6 ideas for your first crochet and knit projects

So many posts for first projects just involve scarves and blankets. While these are not bad ideas, and are in fact great for practicing the basic stitches, you might want to try something different.

Here is a list of a few alternative ideas to try. No scarves, blankets or hats in sight.

Bonding Squares

I saw a campaign request for a London hospital for people to make and donate ‘bonding squares’. The basic idea is to assist the bonding process for babies who are so premature or ill that they cannot easily be handled by their parents.

Bonding squares are a pair of 5×5 inch squares, either knitted or crocheted. The two squares should both be created in the same wool and pattern. One is placed with the baby and the other with a parent. These are then swapped every so often so the baby can be comforted by the square which now smells like their parent.

I thought this was such a great idea, and although this particular hospital no longer needs any donations as the response to the request produced thousand of squares, your local hospital might need something similar. Just make sure you pick a yarn that is machine washable.

Cushion Covers

Another easy one, and in a similar vein to the scarves and blankets options. Early on I recovered several cushions that had started out as cream and fluffy, but after inheriting them from a previous flatmate were now dirty and greying. Lovely.

I picked an aran weight yarn in a bright colour and just got to it. I chose to work in what would be called half treble crochet in the UK, or half double crochet in the US. It gives a slightly looser fabric than UK double/US single crochet without being so loose that you can see the cushion through it. It’s also easy to add buttons etc for a more decorative look.

You can even do this without a pattern. Just pick your stitch and start crocheting. The only thing I would advise, boring as it is, is to make a gauge swatch so your finished project matches the size of the cushion you are covering.


I’m all about brightening up my living space, and I had an equally greying old rug that was not such an attractive welcome to the hallway. You would likely need to put some backing on it, or lay a non-slip base underneath, but it’s an option that could easily be amended to show your personality in a new way. Pick a yarn that can take some wear and tear – definitely better with acrylic or fabric yarn than wool.

Mug Cozies

A good project for a beginner – it’s a smaller option and won’t take long for you to make it. There are loads of free patterns around for these. If your workplace is anything like mine your mug goes walkabouts fairly often. No longer!

Phone Case

I find that mobile phone covers are often either boring or very cheesy. Make one that suits you with your favourite colour combinations. You can customise it in any way you want – stitch your name or initials into it after completing, use buttons to decorate it… The possibilities are endless. Check out some patterns here.


Yes, this is less exciting, but still a good way to practice basic stitches. It will also let you complete something that might actually be useful. Particularly if your first projects, like many first attempts, are slightly wonky and uneven. Completing a project is something to be proud of, no matter how it turns out. Something like this is one you can keep, use, and later compare to newer projects. With time and practice I’m sure you will enjoy seeing the improvement you have made.

The general idea…

Have a think about your home, what could do with freshening up, and what should perhaps be replaced altogether. There’s almost always a project you could pick to improve your home.