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Learn How to Crochet: 10 Crochet Tips and Tricks for Beginners

So, you’ve caught the yarn bug and you’re officially “hooked!” Congratulations! I thought I’d share a list of the Top 10 Crochet Tips and Tricks for Beginners that I share with my students as I’m walking them through their first projects.

  1. Make sure your hands are clean. You won’t want to try to get grease and grime out of your finished product once you’re done. Having clean hands before you sit down to work is essential.
  2. Take frequent breaks to stretch. Often, when we are learning to crochet, we sit rigidly and hold our hook and yarn tensely. Stopping to stand and stretch will give your back and legs the much-needed break they deserve. Don’t forget to take the time to stretch your fingers. Trust me, your entire body will thank you for taking this time, and your finished project will look better!
  3. Have a dedicated spot for all your crocheting necessities. Have a special bag or box nearby with your scissors, stitch markers, tape measure, yarn needle, and extra hooks. This will save not only time but also your sanity. You’ll know right where everything you need is and won’t spend time digging through your junk drawer for a pair of scissors.
  4. Read through the entire pattern before you begin. If there is something that you’re not familiar with, take the time before you begin to ask someone and look up a lesson on YouTube. Use your gauge swatch as a place to practice the new technique, thus preventing frustrations over your larger project.
  5. Speaking of gauge swatches… TAKE THE TIME TO DO THEM! Trust me, there is nothing worse than finishing a project like a sweater or other wearable to find out your gauge was off and the piece does not fit. Be sure to carefully count your stitches and adjust your hook size if needed.
  6. Keep your tension consistent. Once you find a comfortable way to hold your working yarn, be sure to keep this consistent throughout the entire project. This will help keep your tension even from start to finish and your finished project will be prettier.
  7. If you are finding that your hands and/or wrists are hurting an awful lot while working, try a different brand hook. Believe it or not, they are different enough to make a difference, even if they do look similar. You can also find lots of great tutorials online to add polymer clay handles to your existing hooks to increase the ergonomics.
  8. When you are finished with a project, be sure to save aside a small ball of the yarn you used, place it in a plastic bag and include a small slip of paper with the project name and any special stitches you may have used.  This will ensure that you have yarn for any potential repairs down the road and you’ll know what stitches you need to make the repair.
  9. To help you find the last stitch of every row, place a detachable stitch marker in the last chain of your turning row chains. This will show you exactly where the last stitch of your row needs to go and you’ll have lovely straight edges.
  10. Finally, don’t give up! Even the most seasoned crocheter makes mistakes and has to rip work out. Just keep trying!

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Comments
  • Christine R.

    Thank you for sharing . I would like to learn how to read a pattern and then make it.

    Reply
  • I am having trouble keeping edges consistent when doing different stitches and color changes,doing a special throw for my lil sis, starts with sc, hdc, dc, arruga st,lg bobble st, sm cluster st, lil bobble, granny clusters, ripple, spike, and a primrose st, I am also using diff thread sizes for diff texture lol and as many diff colors it is a lovely throw but every time I chg thread and st I end up with twice as many st. as I started with

    Reply
  • Patti L.

    I consider myself an average crocheter; reading through the tips and tricks, tho, I found 1 I had not thought of; to save some yarn with the name of the project in case of repairs. I am making a Sunshine quilt for my grown daughter and will be sure to send her extra yarn with a needle in case she needs to make repairs. Thank you!

    Reply
  • Joan r.

    I am trying to do tunic with box stitch pattern. Can’t seem to get it right. Nothing on u tube 4 line pattern

    Reply
    • Sharon M.

      Watch you tube videos of tutorials. Write down pattern from you tube as it proceeds. When finished, crochet that project following instructions you wrote down, and keep video handy in case you need it. I did this a couple of times and it has helped me to learn how to read patterns. Also, keep in mind, to only read and work one row or round at a time. You can get confused if you read several rows or rounds ahead. At times I still get confused, but I don’t panic. I slow down and take it one step at a time, and if I am still confused, I set it down for a while. I did this when I was working on something for my great grandson, strictly by pattern. Also, go with simple, easy to read patterns (ex by Jayda In Stitches on you tube), from fellow crocheters.

      Reply
  • Chandra F.

    I would also like to learn how to read and understand the pattern and then crochet it. Thank you

    Reply
    • Sharon M.

      Watch you tube videos of tutorials. Write down pattern from you tube as it proceeds. When finished, crochet that project following instructions you wrote down, and keep video handy in case you need it. I did this a couple of times and it has helped me to learn how to read patterns. Also, keep in mind, to only read and work one row or round at a time. You can get confused if you read several rows or rounds ahead. At times I still get confused, but I don’t panic. I slow down and take it one step at a time, and if I am still confused, I set it down for a while. I did this when I was working on something for my great grandson, strictly by pattern. Also, go with simple, easy to read patterns (ex by Jayda In Stitches on you tube), from fellow crocheters.

      Reply
  • Debra

    Especially #10. After 30 years of crocheting I still make mistakes and rip out rows to make it right. Or I just leave the mistake in if I think no one will notice it.

    Reply
  • Laurel

    When crocheting (or knitting) rectangular projects, I often use a marker, such as a long safety pin, or yarn and mark the center stitch of an afghan or garment, then follow the center stitch upwards occasionally, This way when I count and find my stitch counts are off I can make an educated guess which side is missing the stitch and just add it in rather than ripping it all out. Count regularly! If you get stuck, go back to your gauge swatch and mess around with that instead of your project.

    Reply
  • I can’t master the camel stitch , it seems difficult but it’s supposed to be easy…Can anyone help?

    Reply

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