I make the most crochet mistakes when I’m a) in a hurry or b) sick, and lucky for me, both conditions are true this week! It inspired me to share with you 5 common crochet mistakes and tips to help you locate and fix the problem or ignore it completely.
1. I can’t get the hook in the starting chain
FIX IT: As a founding member of the Tight Crocheters Club, I know it’s hard to just relax and go with the flow on your starting chain, but seriously, you gotta chill. Frog the original chain and try making even, looser chains. If your chains are too tight or sloppy, chain with a hook one size larger than the one required for the pattern, then use the smaller (original) hook for your first row.
FORGET IT: If size doesn’t matter (say for a yarnbomb or applique project), use a hook one size smaller than the one you used for the chain to complete your first row. Better yet, you can always summon your angriest thoughts and drill that hook into the starting chain whether it likes it or not. Why does your sister only call when she wants something? Why hasn’t your husband taken out the recycling already? Why are your favorite yarns always being discontinued? Use that anger for good!
2. This hat is too big/small
FIX IT: I know you’re tempted to tell yourself that your mother-in-law won’t mind having her head continually squeezed during every wear, but she really will – plus, she’ll tell you about it every chance she gets. If you haven’t yet woven in your ends, measure the final hat and try it on (if it’s for someone with a similar head size). Mark any ill-fitting places with safety pins and take notes on the row and location. Then remove all the pins, frog that bad boy, and make a perfect hat.
FORGET IT: If you’ve already woven in the ends, wash and block the hat to see if it can be pulled to a better size/shape. If it still won’t work, send it to an organization that accepts new, handmade hats. If it’s too big/small for any human, look around your downtown for statues with a shrunken or inflated cranium.
3. My edges are a disgrace
FIX IT: There are plenty of reasons why the edge of your rows look like garbage, and I’m guilty of every one. You may be missing the last stitch of each row, forgetting your turning chain, failing to skip the first stitch if you’re doing double crochet, and on and on. The best way to figure it out is to count each row and see if you are adding or subtracting stitches.
FORGET IT: If it’s not too terrible, add an edging to cover everything up. If it’s just ridiculous, consider your frenemy’s Christmas present finished ahead of schedule.
4. My circle is not…circular
FIX IT: If your circle wobbles or turns in on itself, you may have too many or too few stitches in each row. Check your pattern to ensure you are increasing correctly, and try a smaller hook for ruffling circles and a larger hook for turning in circles. If you’re not following a pattern, try increasing or decreasing the number or stitches in your starting round or try a larger (dc instead of sc) or smaller (sc instead of dc) stitch for each round.
FORGET IT: You might be able to do a row of even decreases or increases around, or simply a row without increases, to get your circle back on track. Or maybe you can just squish it down with your hand until it’s flat-ish.
5. I hate weaving in ends
FIX IT: Beautifully woven-in ends will make your finished project look polished and will ensure it lasts a long time. Try weaving in your ends as you go (and remember to have a long enough tail so ends remain secure). You may also want to splurge for some cute bent tip darning needles that make weaving in a lot easier. Maybe you need pretty glass needles from Moving Mud (are you listening, Craft Husband?)
FORGET IT: Don’t bother and pretend it’s intermittent fringe.
Bye and Happy NyQuilling,
Some photos courtesy Erin of Folks Collected. Thanks, Erin!