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6 Common Crochet Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

July 05, 2019 5 min read

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!

Let's take a look at the most common mistakes beginners make when starting out with crochet!

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 Project with Hemp and Recycled Silk Yarn

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.

Crochet Project with Herbal Dyed Recycled Silk Yarn

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!

Woman's hands making Lace Weight Yarn Rainbow Shawl Crochet Project

Keep it Loose

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.

 A Stitch in Time

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:

ch=chain

sc=single crochet

dc=double crochet 

st=stitch

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.

Circle Banjo Bag Crochet Pattern on a white background

 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.

Make No Mistake About It

6. Mistakes happen! Don't beat yourself up over it. As a beginner, don't dwell on what goes wrong. The only way to learn is by grabbing some fiber and a jook, and giving it a try! Yes, it will be imperfect. Yes, you may create some strange designs to start with. But, that's okay!

If you find yourself with a mistake, just pull the yarn and take out the section with a hole or strange stitches. It is going to bug you, so go ahead and pull the mistake out and start again. We all do it! After you rip it out, it's okay to put down your crochet work for today. There is always tomorrow!

Woman wearing our orange and yellow Sunburst Shawl.

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 just the end result, but the journey that makes us happy! We are here for you if you need help! 

Are you new to crochet and looking for a little encouragement? Then our Yarn of the Month Club is just for you! For only $10, each month you'll receive a skein of yarn, a crochet pattern, and a free gift! The patterns start with simple, easy projects and progressively build your bank of skills. It's a great way to get started and move your way into more tricky projects. Join us today!