When working on a crochet project–especially one that you have never done before–it’s very easy to make a mistake. Here’s a list of mistakes that I and others have made while crocheting. Hopefully, after reading this, you can learn to avoid them instead of making yourself go crazy.
- Not using the correct hook or yarn: I like to make most of my patterns so that those who use them are free to use whatever hook size or yarn they’d like. Most of the time, however, you need to use the same hook and/or yarn used to create the pattern. If you do not, the end result of your project may have holes that are too big, or it may just turn out looking funny. If the pattern mandates that you need to use a specific hook or yarn, do it. You’ll be happier with the result than you would if you tried making something differently and had to take it apart because it didn’t come out nicely.
- Not chaining to begin the next row: Some people often forget to chain once when they finish one row and start on the next, which can drastically skew your results. Turning chains, as they are called, help to make the project sides more even. They are sometimes used as the first stitch of the new row, though in single crochet, they are often just an extra stitch that needs to be made. If you do not use them, your project will likely be rounded–you should see the edges of the first blanket I made!
- Not creating an additional chain when creating your first row of chains: When you are working on a project, you will often skip the first chain from the hook to begin your first row of stitches after you have made your chain. For example, if you are making a scarf that needs to be fifteen stitches wide, you would have to chain sixteen times because you will be skipping a chain when you begin your first row.
- Not crocheting in the last stitch of a row: With most projects, it’s often hard to tell where the last stitch of the row is, which can also skew your results. This can be avoided by taking the advice from the next mistake:
- Not counting stitches: If you are working on a project you have never done before, it would probably be a good idea to count your stitches. I often forget my place while crocheting, so I like to keep a pen and paper next to me to keep a tally every time I reach a milestone. Otherwise, you may be left counting (and often miscounting) the stitches you’ve already made to see where you left off.
- Holding on to the yarn too tightly: I do this all too often. I like my stitches to be very tight, so I’ll often hold on to the yarn as if it will save me from falling off of a mountain. This often leads to hand cramps and prevents me from continuing my work. If you need to make the stitches tight, I’d recommend holding off from pulling it until after you’ve made the stitch. Then you can tighten it before going on to the next stitch.
- Not having enough yarn: This was actually the inspiration for this blog post. Most of the time, I’ll tell people to buy an extra skein of yarn needed for a project JUST IN CASE. The “just in case” can be that you have cut the yarn too many times and ran out, or maybe used a different hook size and the project requires more yarn. Sometimes, I like to buy one skein of a color I like just to see how it looks. I’ve realized that this isn’t a good idea if you actually plan on using the yarn. Just yesterday, I was working on a project and realized that I’d need at least one more skein. After going to a couple of stores, I found that the yarn I used is no longer in stock–even online. My advice to you is to get at least one more skein than what you think you may need. You can always return or exchange it if you wind up not using it.
- Using one crochet hook for everything you make: This is good if you keep making the same project over and over again, but if you plan on making something different, you may need to use a different hook for a better outcome. Some things, like baby blankets, require smaller hooks. That way, the holes will be smaller and the baby’s fingers won’t get caught in the blanket.
- Tying loose knots (for those who do use knots): I used to be one of those people who used knots when I crocheted to connect two pieces of yarn together. All too often, you’ll be told not to, but I was pretty good at hiding them. However, if you do this, you need to make sure that the knot is tight. I’ve made this mistake numerous times, which left me with a project unraveling in the middle or wherever I had to make the knot.
- Giving up: If you started a project, chances are you actually did want to create whatever you started making. It can get frustrating at times and you may think that you can’t continue, but don’t give up. I’ve felt this way with projects where I couldn’t get the hook through the holes, but you’ll find a way. Not only will you find a way, but you’ll be happy that you continued once you have finished the project. I’ve been working on a single project for over a year now because it is so frustrating. I even had to take it apart because I wasn’t happy with the result. Although I have been making smaller projects here and there, I will not unravel what I have accomplished with that project. I work on it here and there and when it gets frustrating, I put it aside for some time. Someday I’ll finish it, just like you’ll finish your pain-in-the-ass project. On that day, we’ll both be happy and relieved.
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