Five Common Crochet Mistakes and Tips for Beginners
Common Crochet Mistakes
Learning to crochet is hard. When you’re first starting out you can be so focused on making the correct stitches that you don’t notice your projects turning out a bit wonky.
This article will go over the most common crochet mistakes for beginners. Many people make one or more of these beginner crochet mistakes for years without realizing, thinking they are just bad at crocheting. Don't get discouraged! Correcting crochet mistakes is easy.
Crochet Troubleshooting: Only Crocheting the Front Loop
The most common mistake made by beginners is to only crochet using the front loop.
People can do this for years without realizing it, having no idea why their crochet projects don't look right. It’s especially hard to notice if you only make scarves or one-stitch projects, but the mistake becomes obvious when doing amigurumi (stuffed animals made by crochet), granny squares, or more complex patterns. Things just won't line up, and the project turns out larger than expected.
Once you fix the problem, you will also realize that the stitches themselves look different. If the front of your crochet projects looks slightly different from the back, you probably are using only one loop.
The image above points out the front and back loops. You need to pick up both of these on every stitch. Stick your hook in under both and you've fixed the most common beginner crochet mistake.
Now, some patterns say to only use one loop, and that's just fine. Those patterns account for the extra give and the look of front-loop crochet.
Crochet Troubleshooting: “Why is My Crochet Blanket Getting Wider?"
You might have noticed when crocheting a scarf or blanket that the number of stitches per row just keeps growing until it looks like you're trying to make a trapezoid. When this happens, you likely already know the problem: you aren't stopping or starting on the correct spot. Here are some general rules:
- Single crochets start in the first stitch of the row, directly next to the chain.
- Double crochets start in the second stitch of the row, one stitch between it and the chain.
- Count your stitches!
I know counting your stitches can be really tedious, but count the number of stitches you made in the first row, and then when you hit that number on the second row, stop and turn. If the edge is still uneven, that means you’re likely starting in the wrong stitch. Review rules one and two. Eventually you won't have to count so carefully, but it takes a while to get a feel for when to stop.
Crochet Troubleshooting: Overly Tight Stitches
Okay, we all get a little attached to our crochet projects, but holding on too tightly only leads to impossibly tight stitches that are difficult to work with. Remember when you're making your first row: you have to fit another row into these loops later! Making too-tight stitches may not be a "mistake" but it sure is common in crochet! Practice these simple steps to loosen your hold on the yarn and hook:
- Remind yourself that the yarn cannot run away.
- Practice building self-esteem. The project will work. You are a good crocheter.
- Take a deep breath and count to five.
If you have to loosen your grip to allow the yarn through for the next stitch, you are holding on too tightly. If your hands ache after only a few minutes, you are holding on too tightly. LET IT GO. The yarn tends to unfold as it should.
Crochet Troubleshooting: Is Your Amigurumi Inside Out?
This mistake is the most difficult to diagnose but the easiest to fix. Fixing it only takes a second and doesn't require ripping out any stitches. If your finished project looks too blocky, or the rows are too pronounced, or something about your stitches just doesn’t look right, then it’s possible your amigurumi could be inside out. First, rule out the single-loop problem discussed above and then try flipping the amigurumi and see if it looks better.
If you switched directions halfway through, either live with it, or rip out the part after the switch. Sorry.
Crochet Troubleshooting: US/UK Term Confusion
Check whether your crocheting instructions come from the US or the UK, as the terminology differs slightly. For instance, the term “double crochet” means something different to crocheters in the UK than it does to crocheters in the US. Check out the table below to see the UK equivalent to US stitching terms.
US/Canada Stitch Names
UK/Australia/Europe Stitch Names
Slip Stitch (sl st)
Slip Stitch (sl st) (or just stitch)
Single Crochet (sc)
Double Crochet (dc)
If You Need More Help, Check Out These Sites
And we're finished! I hope you've learned a bit about correcting crochet mistakes, and managed to get your project back on track. Now that you've conquered common crochet mistakes, don't forget to check out my page on getting free yarn! Leave a comment if you have a question :)
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