There are thousands of choices when it comes to choosing crochet patterns. You can find wearable projects for any member of the family or decorative projects for any room of your home. Patterns can be as simple as a kitchen dish cloth or as complex as a large afghan or antique shawl.
Choose a pattern that you will feel comfortable making. Patterns are usually categorized as beginner, intermediate or advanced, so when choosing a first project, consider something simple and appealing. There are many easy projects from which to choose, such as crochet hat patterns, and these can provide both a sense of accomplishment and a good beginning.
Intermediate patterns such as a scarf or a blanket can combine different types of stitches, such as the chain, single crochet or double crochet. Many of these patterns can be completed with just these basics. With advanced, and therefore more difficult, patterns, expect to be following more steps, dropping stitches and joining pieces. More complicated patterns may also require more crochet supplies, such as several different-sized crochet needles.
Before getting started, review the instructions and break them down, one section at a time. The introduction will review how the project will be assembled and indicate any special skills required. If the project also calls for sewing skills, such as making a lining for a crochet purse, for example, you may decide to choose another pattern. It's also helpful to understand the steps -- the terminology and abbreviations used in the instructions. Even the most daunting pattern can become less complex once the instructions are broken down to more manageable steps.
A good selection of free crochet patterns can be downloaded from the Internet. There are also online guides that will convert crochet and knit patterns. These may seem daunting now, but you can look forward to tackling these with some practice.
Consider making a dish cloth or an afghan square as a first-time effort. A pattern with less than six different rounds is considered a beginner project, and it's possible to teach yourself how to crochet a simple pattern. Not only are pattern books available at craft stores, but the Internet is a treasure trove of instructions, photos and videos to assist you.