Monday, November 18, 2013

Eight More Essential Crochet Tips

Once you begin crocheting and have mastered the basic stitches there is always little problems that crop up inhibiting your progress and ruining the finish of your work. By following these crocheting tips you will ensure a neater and more even finish to your work each and every time you crochet.

Tip 1: Not enough space when working in the round.

Sometimes when working in the round there does not seem as if there is enough space to work all of the appropriate stitches into the centre ring. If you have this problem DO NOT work over the top of the previously worked stitches, instead do the following:

1. Enlarge the last loop on your hook and remove the hook from your work.
2. Starting at the beginning of the round gently push your stitches up together creating a space at the end of the round.
3. Re-insert your hook, tighten the loop and continue crocheting.
4. Repeat this process until you have finished the round.

Tip 2: Unexpected holes in your work or stretched stitches.

Sometimes you may find that you have a few holes in your crocheting that should not be there, or that some of the stitches seem to have stretched as the next row seems to be pulling them. The reason for this is usually simple; you are not crocheting into the correct part of the stitch in the previous row.

To rectify this always ensure that after inserting your hook into the stitch on the row below that you have gone through both loops of the stitch, unless the pattern tells you otherwise, as in loopy holey patterns.

Tip 3: Split Stitches.

Should you notice a split stitch, do not just leave it. This makes your work look very unsightly as it leaves little parts of stitches across the pattern, which are very noticeable and detracts from the true crochet pattern. The time it takes to rectify these split stitches will be well rewarded in having work look neat and tidy.

Should you find a split stitch remove your hook from your crocheting, undo everything up to and including the split stitch, reinsert your hook and recommence crocheting again. It really is worth the extra effort!

Tip 4: Finding it hard to crochet into the foundation row.

The first row of any crochet project is always the hardest. It can be very difficult to crochet into a line of chain stitches especially if you are using thin yarn and a small hook!

If you are finding it hard to crochet the first row, try crocheting the foundation row with a hook one size larger than the one required for the pattern. This will make the chain foundation row a little looser and the stitches a little larger. This will not show on the end result but will aid you when trying to insert your normal hook into the correct part of your many chain stitches.

Tip 5: Crocheting beginning to curl.

If you find when working the straight line technique that your work is beginning to curl after working the first couple of rows, it is due to your tension. You have crocheted the foundation row tighter than you have crocheted the rest of the pattern. To solve this you have two options:

1. Use a hook one size larger to crochet the foundation row than the hook required to crochet the pattern.
2. Use the same sized hook but make your work (foundation row) a lot looser.

Tip 6: Trouble seeing where you should be crocheting.

When first learning to crochet it can be difficult to see exactly what part of the stitch you should be crocheting into, especially if you use dark coloured yarn. So when first learning to crochet use light coloured yarns and threads, which makes the stitches so much easier to see. Progress onto darker colours as your knowledge and confidence grows.

Tip 7: Losing stitches.

Counting your stitches is one of the most important tips to crocheting successfully. It is also one of the most common problems to find that after crocheting a row you have less stitches than the pattern says you should have, or with which you started with if not following a crochet pattern. The very most common mistake is to lose stitches at the beginning and/or ends of rows. This is due to omitting working in the first or last stitch of a row. So if you find yourself in this position check your beginnings and ends of your rows before looking at the body of the row itself!

Tip 8: Rectangular work tapering inwards or outwards.

This problem follows on from the one above and is due to either increasing or decreasing stitches without realising it! You should count your stitches regularly to ensure that you have not missed any out or inadvertently increased any. Again losing or adding stitches at the beginning or end of garments is the most common error and should be checked before preceding to check the body of the row.

Hopefully some of these tips will be useful with your next crochet project. Just keeping these pointers in mind next time you pick up your crochet hook will in itself help your crocheting to look more professional and neat.

Ana Smith is a highly skilled crocheter with over thirty years experience and author of

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