fbpx
Menu

You are attempting to print premium content. Please subscribe to have access to this content.

How To Crochet Faster: Tips for Speeding Up Crochet

Get real answers to the hardest crochet questions

Practice

First, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! I know that’s really a clichéd response, but it really is the truth. If I am about to start a project with a new stitch or technique I will work a small swatch. Admittedly, we are all supposed to swatch first to measure gauge, right? RIGHT! Use that opportunity to practice a new or less than familiar stitch. I will swatch until that stitch or pattern repeat gets committed to muscle memory. I find that having to continually stop to read the instructions for something that repeats annoys me, so it’s handy to have a repeat memorized before starting the big project.

Music

Second, try crocheting to music. Much like runners love to run with songs that have a beats per minute (BPM) that matches their stride, I find that music with a steady rhythm keeps me plugging right along to that beat. With some experimentation, I’ve found my “sweet spot” when it comes to my crochet BPM and I’ve made a set of playlists that I rely on. It’s a savior when I need that fast “The Deadline Looms” speed. Bonus: with headphones in, I can’t hear the kids trying to kill each other and might get a full half-hour of work in!

Environment

Next, set up your environment and work process. Make sure your pattern is ready and set up so you can see it without having to put your work down repeatedly. I use a clipboard for paper patterns and sticky notes to mark sections. Many patterns are now digital, so I’ll prop my iPad nearby and set the screen to stay on for a longer period of time. Using digital patterns initially frustrated me because I always had to stop crocheting so I could turn my screen back on, but once I discovered I could adjust the auto screen save, I started to really enjoy them. There are even great apps out there that will allow you to mark up your digital pattern so you can make note of where you left off or any changes you made.

Stitch Markers

Also, it can be very useful to use stitch markers even when the pattern doesn’t specifically call for them. Big projects waste tons of time if you’re always stopping to count stitches, so I like to mark every 10-20 stitches when working with a large item. Row counters are invaluable here. There are some really great free apps out, like Knit Counter Lite, that are made for counting rows and work with a simple tap of the screen.

Technique

Let’s now look at how we are holding things. My students prefer to hold the hook in pencil fashion for lighter weight yarns and more like a hammer if the yarn is very bulky. When setting up to work, pull out enough yarn to get a full repeat done if you can. Knowing how much will come with practice and from working a few repeats.  You’ll spend less time stopping and tugging the yarn from the ball. You may also find yourself working faster if you are not holding the whole weight of the project by your wrist. Use something to prop it up: a pillow in your lap or up on a table. Lastly, to get my hook through the next stitch quickly and with ease, I will use the thumb and ring finger of my non-hooking hand to gently tug my work away and down from the hook. Not far, but just enough to open up that next stitch and allow my hook and yarn to slide right in.

Materials

Finally, some yarns and hooks are just not friends to speed! For instance, alpaca and wooden hooks can really slow you down – their rough texture feels sticky. To help these non-friendly workmates get along, deploy my secret weapon: wax paper. Give your hook or knitting needles a gentle rub down before you start and any time you notice them grabbing the material. This will leave just enough wax on your instrument to smooth things over get your project moving again!

I hope these simple but effective tips will help your projects move along a little quicker. Do you have any tips to add?

Tags:

Comments
  • Patricia H.

    Am I the only person that is left handed?? All the tips are great. My daughter bought me a crochet bowl it has some holes to thread the yarn through and a couple hook areas to put the yarn through. It works great.

    Reply
    • Cindy V.

      I’m a beginner crocheter and a lefty ! You are not alone!

      Reply
  • I Have Loved Reading All Of The Great Ideal. Thank You Very Much God Bless You All ????

    Reply
  • What I do first is I make a ball, than I put the ball of yarn inside a middle bowl. I put the bowl on the floor on my right side because I am right hand. I don’t have to pull the yarn anymore because it will comes out sweepy when you crochet. Buying a salad bowl is cheaper, though.

    Reply
  • I sit side ways in the corner of the couch. I keep my yarn up on the back of the couch. This allows it to smoothly pull from the skein almost like magic. I almost never have to pull on the skein. I go so much faster this way. As someone commented above, I am a right hander so the yarn is on the left side.

    Reply
  • Rose B.

    That’s exactly what I do. My speed has diminished with carpal tunnel. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  • Pearl B S.

    I put my ball of yarn in a partially zipped plastic bag while crocheting. It keeps the yarn from rolling away, and/or not unwinding easily as I work my stitches. P.B. Spodick

    Reply
    • Hi Pearl, I put a comment up on top, so you don’t have to use a plastic bag. Try to use a salad bowl or something that looks like it. I got a salad bowl because is cheaper in price.

      Reply
      • Denise O.

        I use a ceramic colander in a smaller size and run the yarn through a hole. Works lovely

        Reply
    • Dede M.

      I use ziplock bags also. They are great! Not only does it keep your yarn from escaping but it keeps it clean. When I am done crocheting for the evening or whenever (depending on how big my project is) I can sometimes put the work in the bag with the yarn. Otherwise the ziplock bag of yarn will go in my project bag. I can keep my hook in there and scissors and stitche markers too. That way I’m ready to go with everything I need for that project.

      Reply
  • Phyllis G.

    Thanks for the great tips. I especially liked the one about putting the yarn left side a few feet away. I tried this and it helped immensely with my speed. I also invested in a yarn bowl so that I wasn’t always pulling the yarn closer to me each time I gave a gentle tug. The wax paper idea is also wonderful! Thanks again everyone.

    Reply
  • Debra A.

    For people with arthritis, try ergonomic crochet hooks. I use to have pain in my hands and wrists when I crocheted for a long periods of time with the standard metal crochet hooks… but after I switched to Clover Amour crochet hooks which have padded handles, I can crochet all day without any problems.
    Debra Arch (a designer for I Like Crochet magazine)

    Reply
  • I have arthritis and fine motor deficits, and I wouldn’t advise anyone to do things other than whatever makes them comfortable. If you’ve slowed down due to things like the above, keep on doing it for whatever time it takes as long as you’re not in pain.

    Reply
  • Marylou O.

    Thank you for the wax paper idea. I have often used the inside of my shirt but this sounds like it might be better.

    Reply
    • Eddie D.

      I never heard of this trick, but it sounds very useful! I have a similar problem with plastic hooks; my yarn seems to rub and not move smoothly across the hook, after a while of crocheting. Wonder if this trick would work with my plastic hooks?

      Reply
  • Good tips but as I crochet for the tranquility & joy it provides, I’m quite fine w/ the relaxed pace……understanding of course, that this is a luxury age & retirement brings.

    Reply
    • Thomas w.

      I try to crochet to improve movement in my hands. Years of heavy industry work and bus repair left them pretty damaged

      Reply
  • Keeping the yarn ball on the left side for right handers and right for left handers at a distance from where you sit (some feet should work) would help avoid pulling out yarn from the ball. The distance helps improve the speed of crochet with lesser stops in between to get the yarn needed for each st or row. Has worked all the time for me.

    Reply
    • What I do first is I make a ball, than I put the ball of yarn inside a middle bowl. I put the bowl on the floor on my right side because I am right hand. I don’t have to pull the yarn anymore because it will comes out sweepy when you crochet. Buying a salad bowl is cheaper, though.

      Reply
  • Reader L.

    My personal advice for being able to crochet quickly?
    Don’t have advanced arthritis in your hands.
    I used to be quick but now I’m pretty slow!

    Reply
  • Melody H.

    Love the wax paper tip! Can’t wait to get home to try it I finished 3 of four scarves for Christmas. Found out you can’t take a crochet hook on the plane.

    Reply
    • Lezlee R.

      Yes, you can take a crochet hook on the plane. I flew to Hawaii in April and to Florida in August and I crocheted in the terminal and on the plane. TSA told me my crochet hook was fine. I also had a small pair of scissors which they told me were ok also.

      Reply
    • I’ve also been able to take crochet hooks and small scissors on a plane. Maybe it was just a very particular TSA agent. I keep it in a little kit in my carry-on and I’ve never even been asked to take them out. Sorry you had a different experience.

      Reply
      • Arlene K.

        Dental floss holder works with that little sharp edge that cuts the floss!!

        Reply
  • I sometimes run the hook through my hair – a trick modified from days gone by when using nappy pins and cloth nappies.

    Reply
  • Karen P.

    Thanks for the advise. I see some crocheters loop yarn around pinky finger to regulate the tension on the yarn.

    Reply
    • I do this and I only have to spread my figures to bring more yarn from the ball/skein. Doesn’t interrupt the flow of my crocheting.

      Reply
      • Eddie D.

        Yes, I also do this, you can also pull your project/yarn while your fingers are still wrapped around the yarn when the yarn gets stuck or snagged, and that will keep you going also.

        Reply
    • Carolyn K.

      That’s how I was taught. Around the pinky and up over the forefinger. Similar to sewing machine tension.

      Reply
  • Penny G.

    I appreciate the wax paper tip for a sticky hook. I use metal but I notice and was aggravated at my hook getting sticky. Now I have a solution. Thank you!

    Reply
  • Heidemarie B.

    When I crochet, people can’t keep up with my hands I am a speed crocheter

    Reply
    • Eddie D.

      I have found that I’m also pretty speedy, but certain yarns cause you to lose speed like metallic, fuzzy, bulky and dark yarns. I have trouble seeing the stitches on black yarn ????!

      Reply
      • I use a flexible neck led reading light for those dark yarns or darker settings. Works great and rechargeable

        Reply
      • Brenda H.

        I have low vision with macular degeneration. I bought a headlamp light – like you might think for cave exploring, but not that big. It is just an adjustable lightweight fabric band around my forehead with a bright light in the center; it works so good!

        Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Enter Your Login Credentials
This setting should only be used on your home or work computer.