9 Common Crochet Mistakes & How to Easily Fix Them
We’ve all been there. Maybe without realizing we’re doing it, we’ve all made these common crochet mistakes. When you are learning how to crochet, you end up messing up at least half a dozen times in the first row of your first project. Don’t worry, it’s completely normal, expected even!
Sometimes the mistake you’re making isn’t known until four rows later. (if that’s the case, I foresee some frogging in your future!) Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us. And other times the mistakes you’re making can be totally avoidable if you know what to look out for.
Today I am going to share nine of the most common crochet mistakes, and some solutions I’ve found that help me easily fix the problem.
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Crochet Mistake #1:
I’m starting off with this one, because this is the most common crochet mistake that I see in new hookers. Your project starts to get smaller and smaller as the rows go on. You start with your appropriate stitch count, but somehow towards the end of the pattern, you’re left with a project looking something like this:
Reason: You aren’t stitching into the final stitch of your row, causing your work to decrease by 1-2 stitches per row.
Solution: Make sure to keep an accurate stitch count as you go along. I’ve found that if I could each stitch as I’m putting it in, it helps me keep track. So when I get to a confusing end of row conundrum and I’m not sure which stitch is my last, my count will always tell me.
(Unless someone interrupts your count and you lose track. If this is the case, that person must be forced to clean the shower with a toothbrush! No, really! It’s the perfect punishment!)
Crochet Mistake #2:
Your project starts to curl in on itself, so you’re not working so much in rows, but in a tube.
Reason: Your tension needs some attention. (Hey, I rhymed!)
Solution: It’s hard when you’re first learning how to crochet to know what your tension is, or even how to correctly do it. The only thing I can say to this is practice makes perfect.
Try to be very aware of your tension as you’re working. Is your hand gripped over the yarn so tightly your fingers are cramping? Loosen your hold a little and see if this improves the tension. (And your painful grip! Ouch!)
Whatever tension you start out with, try to remain aware as your project grows of what you were doing when you started. This should correct the tension problem on its own.
Crochet Mistake #3:
You end up with some weird bumps on one side of your project, and you’re not sure what they are, or how they got there.
Reason: You are only crocheting through one loop in the “V” that forms each stitch.
Solution: Pay close attention to where you’re inserting your hook in each stitch. Are you looping it through both strands of yarn that form the V? Or are you just doing one? Pay close attention to your hook placement, and you’ll have this one taken care of.
Crochet Mistake #4:
Confusing US and UK Terms.
Look, I try to love all people from everywhere. I love my Ireland friends and family, I adore my LGBTQ best friend. My black husband is my favorite human on planet earth. I try to embrace all cultures and have a healthy respect for all the unique qualities they each have.
But what in Sam-hill do those UK nitwits think they’re doing coming up with other crochet terminology!? 🤣🤣🤣 I mean it’s confusing enough when they call a cookie a biscuit. (Because it’s clearly a cookie!) But mixing us all up with their terms in crochet patterns can be mind-boggling.
Reason: Because it’s strange, and I’m not sure why they do it. I have been caught in this trap one time too many myself!
Solution: Double and triple check your pattern to make sure you understand which set of terms they are using. If it’s UK terms, you might want to use this handy little conversion chart to help make sense of the differences.
Crochet Mistake #5:
Using A Different Weight Yarn And Expecting The Outcome To Be The Same As The Pattern
This is likely one of the most confusing things I ran into when I first learned how to crochet. I thought all yarn was created equal, and I would buy a skein of worsted weight #4 yarn when the pattern called for a thick chunky brand.
I would work my way through the pattern, and end up with something significantly smaller in size than the pattern said it would be.
Reason: All yarns are not created equal. Each yarn is in a different category as far as how thick/thin they are. Yarn is categorized in thickness from a 1-7. Everything from lace to super jumbo bulky yarn. The standard (and recommended for beginners) weight of yarn is the #4 worsted weight. This chart on Crafty Yarn Council’s website explains it very clearly.
Solution: Make sure you’re checking your pattern’s recommendations on yarn thickness. Double-check that you are using the correct weight for what you’re trying to make. A lace thickness won’t do well for a blanket, and a jumbo thickness yarn isn’t going to translate well into a delicate shawl.
Crochet Mistake #6:
Using the wrong hook size in your pattern. This one is an extremely common crochet mistake so don’t feel bad, you’re definitely not alone! Just like all yarns are not created equal, neither are crochet hooks.
Reason: Hooks come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Everything from tiny little delicate lace hooks, to huge jumbo sized ones. Each hook is measured in millimeters in the circumference of the shaft. In layman’s terms, that just means each one is slightly bigger than the last one, and they make bigger or smaller stitches depending on which one you’re using.
Solution: I know I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, but the importance of this cannot be overstated. Make sure to check your pattern for the recommended hook size in your project. If you use something different your project will not turn out as the designer intended.
If you ever need clarification on something in a specific pattern, just reach out to the designer. Speaking from personal experience, I love hearing from the people using my patterns, so brighten up the designer’s day and give them the opportunity to help clear things up.
Crochet Mistake #7:
Not reading through the whole pattern first. I have gotten into many a sticky situation that I could have avoided had I read the whole pattern before I started. It’s something I am still loathed to do, but I do it anyway.
Reason: You want to read through the whole pattern first to get an idea of what the designer is trying to have you do. If you get halfway through your pattern and it suddenly tells you to switch to a different hook and you didn’t read through it first an know to expect it, you could end up with a vastly different project than you started out with.
Solution: Take a few minutes before you start your project to familiarize yourself with the outline of the pattern. Are there any special stitches you need to be aware of? How about a hook or yarn change? Are there any color changes to watch out for?
Taking an extra couple of minutes in the beginning and front-loading that info into your brain can be well worth the effort in the end.
Crochet Mistake #8:
Not Leaving A Long Enough Tail Of Yarn. When you get to the end of a project most designers instruct you to leave a long tail of yarn. Why is that?
Reason: Well, you’re going to be securing that working yarn into your project so that it doesn’t come undone. Because if that tail of yarn ends up unwinding itself, your whole sweater can unravel, and you’ll cry. A lot. (Been there!)
Solution: Make sure that you’re leaving at least 12 inches of yarn at the end of your project. Sometimes you need to leave more because you’ll be sewing with that end. (Attaching eyes to a hat, or sewing two parts together, etc) Even if you’re not going to be sewing anything you want to have plenty of yarn to work with when you weave in your ends.
There’s nothing worse than trying to thread a yarn needle with a tiny little tail of yarn. Save yourself the headache and give yourself some wiggle room. You don’t need to weave in the entire length of yarn that you leave for yourself, but it’s easier to work with.
Crochet Mistake #9:
Ending up with the wrong stitch count on the first row. I know that sometimes I’ll get to the second row of a pattern and it calls for a different stitch count than I have in my project. I’m left to wonder how it happened because I KNOW I chained the correct number to start with. (Sound familiar?)
Reason: Not being aware of, or knowing where to place the first stitch in your beginning chain is critical. If you don’t start your work in the correct chain it will completely throw off your count. In some patterns, it doesn’t matter so much but in others, they live and die by the stitch counts.
Solution: Make sure you double-check your placement of the first stitch. Did the pattern say to start in the third or fourth chain from the hook? Do you know how to count those beginning chains and where to start that all-important first stitch? Make sure you check in with yourself in the beginning and be confident in where your stitches are going. Otherwise, it’s frogging time for you!
I know that it can be intimidating at first to keep track of all of these things. Dangit, all you want to do is stick your hook in yarn and make pretty things! But I promise you that if you pay attention to all these tips, your projects will start coming out the way you envision them.
- Make sure to keep an accurate stitch count as you go along
- Try to be very aware of your tension as you’re working.
- Pay close attention to where you’re inserting your hook in each stitch
- Double and triple check your pattern
- Double-check that you are using the correct weight for what you’re trying to make
- Make sure to check your pattern for the recommended hook size in your project.
- Take a few minutes before you start your project to familiarize yourself with the outline of the pattern
- Make sure you double-check your placement of the first stitch
I hope these tips helped you as you are learning how to crochet. If you ever have any other questions, or if you just have a comment, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
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