Are you new to crochet? Would you like to get better at it? We're here to help with our list of the 6 most common crochet mistakes and for some advice for how to avoid them!
1. One of my favorite mistakes that people make is mixing up crocheting with knitting. Many people do not know the difference. That sounds basic, sure, but my husband who I have been married to for years always will ask "How's that knitting project going?" while I dangle a crochet hook in front of him! It has no bearing on my opinion of him, and I leave well enough alone...At least he asked, right?
Crochet is done with one hook as shown above. Knitting is done with two or more needles with points on the ends. So now that we have that out of the way, let's talk about a few more of those silly crochet mistakes and see what we can do to avoid them the next time around! But remember - mistakes are how we learn, and learning and being creative is at the very core of working with all fibers.
2. We're big on keeping things basic here at DGY and, while we love our experts and professional crafters, we really love to encourage our beginners. We know that it's not easy to jump into a new craft, so I am going to give you another really basic thing to be aware of with crochet: Size does matter!
If you use one of our crochet kits, you don't need to think about size. If you are making something like a scarf, size is not a big issue. However, if you have a pattern that requires a certain size yarn and hook, you need to follow those directions. Once you become a pro, feel free to play with fiber and hook size. But for now, stick to using the hooks and yarn mentioned in patterns so that your project comes out the size you anticipate.
Once you really get the hang of crocheting, you can be more adventurous. If you want to play with the size or gauge of something, a good thing to remember is that, if you have a larger hook, you are more than likely going to want bulky yarns, too. Generally speaking, larger hooks and yarn will give you quicker results in your crochet project!
3.Tension. We all have it! We live in a stress-filled world and believe it or not, we show it in our fiber tension, too. I tend to knit and crochet tightly, though I profess to be a mellow person! I think my inner stress comes through in the way that I tension my yarn. This is not good at all. Do not - I repeat, DO NOT - crochet tightly. It makes it difficult to work in the stitches in the next row because you have to wrestle the hook into your previous stitches. Think loose and even when it comes to your tension.
4. Does it make sense to pick up a book if you don't know how to read? Would you look under the hood of a car if you have no idea how to change the oil? Well, the same applies to crochet! If you don't know the abbreviations for some of our patterns, you aren't going to crochet them correctly! Here are a few simple abbreviations to get you started with crochet patterns:
Here is a list of more crochet abbreviations courtesy of craftyyarncouncil.com. Don't rush into learning lots of abbreviations. Try a few and save the rest for when you are ready for a bigger challenge.
5. Another very common problem that occurs in crocheting is when your project gets bigger or smaller as you work it up. Yikes! You may have added a stitch, commonly happening at the end of the row which will make your project larger. Or in reverse, you may have skipped a stitch that you want to crochet in to, making this the incredible shrinking project.
The solution is simple! Keep track of your stitches. I sometimes keep a piece of paper so I can keep track of what row I am on, when I changed color, etc. You may think this is boring, but getting into the habit of keeping track of your stitches will mean success with your crochet pattern.
Additionally, sure to end a row or start a row in the correct stitch!
If doing single crochet(sc), you normally chain 1 at the end of the row you have just finished, and then turn and crochet in the first front and back loops, immediately after the chain 1 you just did.
If doing double crochet(dc), chain the number of chains called for at the end of a row (usually either 1 or 2 chains), then turn your work and crochet in the second stitch of the new row. In other words, skip the chain(s) you just did, as well as the first stitch after that.
Practice makes perfect, or so they say! So when you learn to chain, Single Crochet, or Double Crochet, keep at practicing. These basic stitches will lead to a few more complicated ones, but for now, repetition is a wonderful thing. If you think it is boring, buy some recycled sari silk yarn (one of my favorites) or some other unique yarn to make it more interesting! And, just remember once you are good at the simple stitches and confident with even stitches and rows, you can take on something more complex like this sunburst shawl!
At DGY, we know what it's like to make mistakes. We also know what joy fiber hobbies can bring. Sometimes, mistakes can bring a new, innovative creative feel to your crochet project. So enjoy the process because we all know it's not about the end result, but the journey that makes us happy! We are here for you if you need help!
Interested in learning more about Darn Good Yarn and our mission to provide ethically sourced, sustainable products for creatives and fiber artists? Check out our website!