Tasha Margette Reynolds

9 Crochet Mistakes & How to Fix Them

9 crochet mistakes

Hello crochet world, it’s Tasha and I’m here to talk about crochet mistakes and how to fix them.  We all make mistakes right?  This can be especially significant if you are a new crocheter, but even intermediate and advanced crocheters make mistakes too.  They just happen and that’s okay right? 😊 Yup.  It’s okay.  But sometimes, it’s hard to figure out how to fix crochet mistakes.  We are going to make that a bit easier for you today.

 

If you have a tip or a trick to fix a crochet mistake, please leave a comment below, we would love to hear from you!

 

In this post, you will learn how to fix several types of common crochet mistakes, including how to fix wonky edges, tension issues, where to place your stitches, reading patterns properly, sizing issues, and more.

 

Let’s get to it

 

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9 Common Crochet Mistakes and How to Fix Them

 

Common Crochet Mistake #1:

Your project is getting bigger or shrinking

 

Most of the time, we are working a blanket, scarf, a panel for a cardigan, sweater, or other garment.  These are all squares or rectangles for the most part.  So, when a project begins to look more like a trapezoid, triangle, or is just all over the place, the most likely culprit is you are not counting your stitches, or not placing your stitch in the proper stitch to start your row.  This is a very common problem with an easy fix!

 

How to fix it:

Mark Your First & Last Stitch

Place a stitch marker in the first stitch you make of the row, then again in the last stitch you make of the row.  This helps for two reasons.

 

  • You will know where to place your first stitch for the next row.
  • It will keep your edges straight.

 

Count Your Stitches

Always count.  Yes, it’s a pain sometimes, especially when your project has 100-200 stitches, but here are a few tips on how to count stitches faster.

 

Tips for counting stitches:

  •  Count in 2’s, 4’s, or 5’s (or if you’re a genius, you can count in 10’s!)
  • Use a stitch marker to mark your counts in intervals (i.e., mark every 25th stitch).
  • There is a new hook out there that counts your stitches for you! (that’s pretty cool).

 

Common Crochet Mistake #2:

Keeping Straight Edges

 

As mentioned above, there are several factors that will keep your edges straight.  Counting your stitches and placing a stitch marker in the first and last stitches helps.  Another rule of thumb is to make sure you are using the proper number of turning chains at the beginning of your rows.  Chaining too many can cause bulges (especially when you’re making a double crochet).  Chaining too few chains can cause the edges to dimple.

How to fix it:

Make sure you are placing your stitch in the right stitch to start your row.

 If you are working from a pattern, it will tell you where the pattern calls for the stitch placement, either in the “same as t-ch,” which means same as the turning chain. Some patterns will not say where to place the stitch, but instead say “sc 1” or “sc 1 in each of next 2 stitches”  In this case, you will want to count the stitches on your current row to make sure it matches the stitch count for that row, work the next row starting in the same as the turning chain, then do a stitch count again.  Does it match the pattern stitch count?  If not, rip it back, and start in the second stitch.

  • Use a chain 2 as a turning chain instead of a chain 3 – this helps reduce the bulge at the side of a project.
  • Use a Standing Double Crochet.
  • Single crochet – 1 chain stitch.
  • Half double crochet – 2 chain stitches.
  • Double crochet – 2 or 3 chain stitches – both work great, but I’ve found that chaining 2 at the beginning helps reduce the bulge on the edge, keeping the edge straight.
  • Treble crochet – 5 chain stitches or 4 (to reduce the edge bulge).

 

Standing Double Crochet Tutorial by Heart, Hook, Home

Standing Double Crochet Tutorial by Heart, Hook, Home

 



Common Crochet Mistake #3:

Uneven or Unclean Line When Adding a Border

There are tons of tutorials on how to keep a straight edge, but not many that help us fix the uneven line that crocheting into the top of row creates.  You know what I mean, when you’re working a border and it just looks kind of messy!

 

How to Fix it:

The Felted Button has a solution for that.  We’ve all come across this problem and what a wonderful solution!

clean edge by the felted button

Crocheting a clean edge by the felted button

 

Common Crochet Mistake #4:

Using the Wrong Yarn Weight & Type of Yarn

 

This is so important, but easily fixed.  It is common, and sometimes unavoidable.  If you are working from a pattern, this makes a big difference in sizing.   If you are a designer, there is no wrong yarn weight or type of yarn, because you are the master of your design.  However, if you are following a pattern, using the right weight and type of yarn makes all the difference in the world in sizing.

How to fix it:

Use recommended yarn if possible.

 If you can’t use the same yarn listed in the pattern, try visiting yarnsub.com to see similar versions of the yarn.  It will automatically find very similar yarns and list a percentage match, which is very helpful!

 

Familiarize yourself with the various standard yarn weights.

The Craft Yarn Council is the best place to start.  They have some wonderful resources for learning about yarn weights, with handy tables and great graphics.

 

Craft Yarn Council Yarn Weights Table

Craft Yarn Council Yarn Weights Table

 

Wraps Per Inch (WPI) –  Are the wraps per inch the same?

Make sure your yarn substitute matches the wraps per inch (WPI) of the suggested yarn in the pattern.  You can do your own wraps per inch test.

  • Take your yarn and wrap it around your hook, gently.
  • Gently close the gaps and measure how many strands per inch.

 

This will give you the WPI.  If the WPI is the same as the recommended yarn, you will most likely not have an issue with the sizing.  If it doesn’t match, you will want to check your gauge carefully and try to match the one in the pattern.

 

Here is a handy tool you can use if you want a fancier wraps per inch tool.

 

 

Katrinkles Mini Tools - Wraps per Inch

Katrinkles Mini Tools – Wraps per Inch

 

Common Crochet Mistake #5:

Not crocheting under both loops.

 

This one seems obvious to a novice crocheter, however, if you are a beginner, this is a very common issue.  Learning to identify the stitches makes a big difference.  All crochet stitches have a > look to the top of them.

How to fix it:

  • Learn to Identify Your Stitches Loops
  • Each stitch has a front loop (one closest to you) and a back loop (one farthest from you).
  • Unless your pattern or design calls for working in the front or back loop, you work into both loops. Working into both loops is the default stitch placement if none is listed
  • Common abbreviation for back loop only is (blo)
  • Common abbreviation for front loop only is (flo).

 

Crochet Stitch Identification by Loopy Patterns

Crochet Stitch Identification by Loopy Patterns

 

 



 

Common Crochet Mistake #6:

Crochet Terms & Abbreviations, U.S. vs U.K. Terms

 

Did you know a single crochet in the U.S. is different than a single crochet in the U.K.?  This may not seem like an issue that will cause mistakes, but it sure does!

 

How to fix it:

  • Find out if your pattern written in U.S. or U.K. terms?
  • If the pattern is written in a terminology other than your own, you can message the designer to see if they have a version of the pattern that matches the terminology you are familiar with.
  • Check out the translations to make sure you can recreate the pattern as you work it. For instance, a single crochet in the U.S. is actually a double crochet in the U.K.  So, it is important to know the difference, especially if you are working a pattern.

 

Common Crochet Mistake #7:

Crocheting Too Tight or Too Loose

 

Tension = Gauge.  When you see a pattern that provides a gauge or tension, it means the designer took the time to create a swatch to help you match her or his own tension.  Every crocheter has their own tension. Tension is important when working a pattern to get proper sizing, so learning how to control your tension is very helpful.

How to fix it:

  • Do a gauge swatch – yes, yes, yes, the dreaded gauge swatch! If you are working a pattern, tension means the world.
  • Compare your swatch to the gauge listed in the pattern.
  • Most patterns will list a 4” x 4” (10 x 10 cm) gauge size, and how many stitches and rows you need to achieve those dimensions. However, some patterns will just list a length (i.e. 12 hdc = 4”).  The second method of gauge is a little less detailed and usually used for patterns where gauge and tension are not as important.
  • Adjust your tension or hook size to accommodate for the sizing differences.
  • I recommend doing a full gauge swatch because it is more accurate.

 

Crystals & Crochet has a wonderful article on what tension is, and how to control it.

 

Crystals & Crochet Tension Guide

Crystals & Crochet Tension Guide

Common Crochet Mistake #8:

Not weaving in the tails of yarn securely.

 

We’ve all been there.  You finish a project, weave in all the tails, and throw it in the wash.  Tragedy strikes!  A tail came out and now there is a giant hole in your blanket, and all those hours you worked on your project feels lost.  It’s okay – that blanket may be a wash (no pun intended), but we can prevent it from happening again right?!

 

How to fix it:

  • Get a sharp (not blunt) darning needle with a large eye.
  • Leave at least 6 – 7” tails for weaving in.
  • Weave in first through the base line of the stitches, up through the middle of the stitch, over through the next row base, and back down through the next stitch, in a Z pattern.

 

and last, but certainly not least…

Common Crochet Mistake #9:

Not Reading Through the Whole Crochet Pattern First

 

This is such a common problem among beginners and advanced crocheters.  Why?  Because we just want to crochet!  Forget about the other stuff, right? 😊.  Well, this can be a problem for stitch placement, sizing, and creating the proper stitches.  Most patterns will list the gauge, stitch guide, pattern notes, and abbreviations.  These can change from pattern to pattern.  Despite best intentions, there are no real steadfast standards for how to write a crochet pattern.  This is why it’s important to read the designers notes.  She or he may have modified a standard stitch or counting the turning chain as a stitch.  Although I don’t need to really make a list, I have to, just because 😊

 

How to fix it:

Read the pattern, pattern notes, abbreviations, and stitch guide – you won’t be sorry!

 

These are likely the most common mistakes we make crocheting.  If you have any other tips or tricks, please leave a comment below, I would love to update this!  Also, I just love tips and tricks 😊.

  

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Thanks for stopping by and Happy Crocheting!

 

 

 

9 Crochet Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Tasha Margette Reynolds

www.happilyhooked.com

I am a crochet blogger & designer, so happy to be a part of the Happily Hooked Team! In my spare time, I love to roller skate and spend time with my family, and crochet my heart away.

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