10 Common Crochet Mistakes (And How to Fix Them) - Darn Good Yarn

10 Common Crochet Mistakes (And How to Fix Them)

Whether you are just learning to crochet or have years of experience, we are all capable of making the same mistakes. There is no shame in falling for these common crochet blunders! It is best to be aware of these time suckers now, so that we can be proactive in avoiding the things that can make a mess of our projects.

Here are 10 common crochet mistakes and some suggestions on how to fix them or avoid them.

1.  Only Crocheting In The Front Loop

Wooden crochet hook with 'darn good yarn' engraving with a yellow ball of yarn on a white background

When you are new to crocheting it can be easy to make this mistake. Learning where to place your hook in each stitch is VERY important; it is the basis of this craft. This mistake might happen because you didn’t fully understand the way you were taught to crochet or it’s because your hook slips from time to time and you aren’t seasoned enough to notice the mistake right away.

An effective way to fix this mistake is to spend some extra time analyzing each row that you work. It might feel tedious but now that you know the golden rule of crocheting under both loops (unless specifically directed not to) then you should make double sure that your stitches are worked properly until it becomes second nature.

2. Your Project Keeps Getting Wider And Wider

Wooden crochet hook with engraving that reads 'Darn Good Yarn' sitting next to a yellow yarn ball and a black pair of glasses on a white background

This is a mistake that everyone makes at least once. I bet you can remember the exact time that you started that project and thought “This is going to be so easy, it’s just repeating the same stitch back and forth!” and then an hour later you realize that your rectangle blanket is now a hexagon!

This issue occurs when you are not counting your stitches and you end up working more stitches than needed. You could be doubling up into one stitch or unintentionally working a stitch in the turning chain. The only way to stop this mistake from happening is to count those stitches! You could count each rowas you finish them, or you can keep a close eye on the shape of your work. Don’t waste valuable time working quickly and then realizing that 10 rows back you added an extra stitch. Welcome to frog town!

3. Not Counting Your Rows While You Work

Wooden crochet hook with engraving that reads 'Darn Good Yarn' sitting next to a yellow yarn ball and a black pair of glasses on a white background

This point and the point above are all about not wasting your ever-so valuable time. Just like you need to be counting your stitches when you are working, you also need to be counting the rows. I don’t know about you, but I have been working on a project that only required an easy stitch repeat and then after 20 minutes of mindless crocheting I realize that I have just made 5 extra rows!

If you repeat that mistake multiple times then you have basically just made and then frogged a whole second scarf. The easiest solution to this problem is to use a row counter. That could be a fancy digital row counter that counts each row with a simple click or you can get back to the basics and use a pen and notepad tomake a small tick after each row that you complete.

4. Confusing U.S. And U.K. Crochet Terms

Pink and white text box chart explaining the meanings of multiple basic crochet abbreviations
Source: Mollie Makes 

I am going to be honest with you guys, when I first started crocheting I didn’t even know that this was a thing. I never came across this issue until I started writing crochet patterns of my own. I had released one of my first patterns to the world and a lovely customer from the UK messaged me asking if the terms I was using in my pattern were US or UK. With a quick search on the internet I figured out whatshe was referring to.

For example: What is known as a single crochet (sc) in U.S. terms is known as a double crochet (dc) in U.K. terms. (Mind = Blown) With this in mind, it is VERY important to check the pattern before you start. If it is not written on the pattern, then I dosuggest contacting the author for clarification. On the flipside, if you are a designer, then it is also VERY important that you make it obvious to everyone which terms you are using.

5. Using A Different Weight Yarn And Expecting The Outcome To Be The Same As The Pattern

Wooden crochet hook, yellow ball of yarn, white mug of coffee, and a crochet pattern sitting on a white surface

The weight of the yarn is very crucial when it comes to following a crochet pattern. If you are wanting to make a chunky scarf from a pattern that requires a #6 yarn but all you have is a #5 then you should expect your gauge and your finished item to look different.

Each pattern is written with a specific yarn in mind and even a single change up or down in weight can vary your outcome. If you want to use up the yarn that you have on hand, then I suggest working your gauge swatch. This will determine what adjustments you might need to make to the pattern to get it as close as possible.

6. Using The Wrong Hook Size

3 Wooden crochet hooks standing in a glass jar, a yellow ball of yarn, a white mug of coffee, and image of artisans, all sitting on a white background

This point and the point above are also very similar mistakes. Using the wrong hook size can dramatically change the outcome of your project. Again, each pattern is written with a specific hook size in mind and changing that will either make yourstitches way too tight or much too loose.

Make sure to read your pattern closely to make sure that you are using the correct size. As well, make sure to make your gauge swatch! You may not even realize that you have the wrong hook in your hand and once you see that your gauge swatch is off then you have just saved yourself a lot of wasted time frogging a whole project!

7. Not Reading Through The Whole Crochet Pattern First

Woman's hand holding a wooden ombre crochet hook and a white mug of coffee on a white background

When starting an exciting new project, the last thing you want to do is spend time reading through each line first. You just want to grab your yarn and your hook and begin! After some experience working with crochet patterns I do feel that it is a mistake if you don’t read the pattern first. It may not make a huge difference every time, but I can remember finding myself confused by a more complicated step simply because I didn’t read ahead to understand the context.

Reading the pattern first can also give you a chance to learn a new stitch ahead of time. You don’t need to memorize each step but reading through a pattern is like studying for a test before you write it. It’s always best to begin a new crochet project with confidence!

8. Not Counting The Starting Chain Correctly/Not Knowing Where To Put The First Stitch

Wooden ombre crochet hook and navy blue crochet chain with numbers indicating stitch count and text that reads '8 Chains'
Wooden ombre corchet hook and blue crochet chain with text that reads 'For Example: Double crochet in third chain from the ook and all the way across. 6 double crochets. Begin your first DC in chain #6'

The backbone of each crochet project (and probably one of the least enjoyable parts of each project) is that starting chain. Learning to chain is one of the first things you will learn when crocheting and it can be one of the most confusing.A very common mistake when chaining is not placing your first stitch in the right chain. This will result in too many or not enough stitches and if you aren’t counting those stitches (see mistake #2) then your project is doomed from the start. The best way to avoid or fix this problem is to become very familiar with how to chain and how to count the chains. 

9. Not Creating A Gauge Swatch/Not Working The Gauge Swatch When Following A Pattern

Purple wooden ombre crochet hook holding a navy blue crochet chain with a white mug of coffee sitting on a white background

The gauge swatch is something that should be learned early on. This simple square can save you loads of time and effort when following a pattern and can make your own designs much easier to follow. The gauge will determine the tension needed to create the pattern correctly.

I personally crochet more on the tight side so if I start following a pattern written by someone who has a looser tension then my final project will be much too small. What a waste of time! Make sure to make those gauge swatches (and include them in your own designs) and if you find that your tension is different then spend a bit of time adjusting by increasing or decreasing your hook size,

For example:

10. Not Leaving A Long Enough Tail Of Yarn

Yellow crochet project, wooden purple ombre crochet hook, and a potted house plant on a white background

Weaving in the ends is probably everyone’s least favorite part of crocheting. No, unfortunately you can’t just cut the yarn and hope nobody notices - and then struggling because your strand is too short.

There is no difference between binding off a project, adding a new ball of yarn, or switching between different colours of yarn; you need to make sure that you leave a healthy length to weave in. I suggest leaving at least 5-6 inches of yarn so that this process can be as painless as possible.I hope that this list has been helpful to you and your crochet journey. Always remember that you are not alone when making these crochet mistakes and that over time you will be able to look back and smile at how far you have come!

Information provided by: Jennifer Stewart of @jmshandmade

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