Five Common Crochet Mistakes and Tips for Beginners - FeltMagnet - Crafts
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Five Common Crochet Mistakes and Tips for Beginners

Beginning crochet mistakes

Beginning crochet mistakes

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

Make sure to crochet both the front and the back loops.

Make sure to crochet both the front and the back loops.

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?"

Does your crochet look like this?

Does your crochet look like this?

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:

  1. Single crochets start in the first stitch of the row, directly next to the chain.
  2. Double crochets start in the second stitch of the row, one stitch between it and the chain.
  3. 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?

For those who don't know, amigurumi refers to stuffed animals or objects made by crochet.

For those who don't know, amigurumi refers to stuffed animals or objects made by crochet.

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 NamesUK/Australia/Europe Stitch Names

Slip Stitch (sl st)

Slip Stitch (sl st) (or just stitch)

Single Crochet (sc)

Double Crochet (dc)

Double Crochet

Treble/Triple Crochet

Triple Crochet

Double-treble

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 :)

Comments

Laura on July 06, 2020:

I have always had problems when I went fro USA crochet terms to UK terms It has been a real hassle and even their video wouldnt really explain ell They end up crocheting to fast for beginners to learn And Im not a beginner so if it is hard for me then its just plan hard.

Zal on May 27, 2020:

Thank you, the problem am having is my work seem to tight and it is really hard to work with. So I will try and follow the rules you give.

Penny on March 21, 2020:

I’ve been crocheting since I was in middle school

But I would love to learn more

jade on February 18, 2020:

i am making a crochet bralet .... but my cups(triangle shaped) are rounding out at the bottom. i am using a single crochet method! why is it rounding out

Ellen on January 21, 2020:

crochet a afghan with pipsqueak yarn and one side when do one sc and turn goes even and straight whereas the other gets uneven

Tealparadise (author) on December 09, 2019:

Try using single crochet instead of double.

Lisa on December 04, 2019:

When I crochet a row it’s not even and I don’t know what I am doing wrong

Tealparadise (author) on October 21, 2019:

Hard to know since you switched stitches so many times. Use a stitch marker and be mindful of using wider stitches- when you go back to SC you must count carefully not to slip more in.

Amber Rishel on October 16, 2019:

Help!!!! I have gained 6 stitches in the last 10 rounds andi don't know how. Nor do i know how to fix it, nor keep it from continuing.

For background i am working on a bag in the round. I am not following any pattern, just winging it with stitches that i find interesting. The bottom came together well as a flat "circle" ( 6 sided spiral) in single crochet. I made the corner to start up the sides. Did 2 inches in single crochet up the side, got bored with the stitch. I then did 3 inches in a "moss" stitch. This went well. Then did 4 rounds of the "star" stitch, and 2 rounds of half double stitch. It has been in these last 10 rounds that i have gained 6 stitches, and i don't know how i did that.

evelyn on October 11, 2019:

i'm trying a new project popcorn ripple crochet afghan and after very hard time just getting the 1st row going it just doesn't look right is there a video i can watch or a place i can go for help

Marilyn Ballard on September 27, 2019:

When I first started crocheting I had a problem with crocheting my starting chain too tight. To solve this problem I would crochet my chain with the next size up and then switch back to the correct size hook the pattern called for. This really helped me in the beginning.

Faith wood on August 02, 2019:

Thanks. Really helpful

tahira qadri on July 24, 2019:

very informative suggestions .It has helped me a lot.Thanks

TMRoss from WV on May 23, 2019:

I have a ripple afghan that some of the holes are to large and need to repair to make smaller holes on only 5 throughout the afghan. How to make the holes smaller and unnoticeable?

Francisca on April 07, 2019:

Hi! So, I'm trying to make a baby sweater and I keep having this problem:

It's 50 chains, 1 row of double crochets where 2 go in one loop, then 1 un the Next, etc. Next row the same.

This should be the neck of the sweater.

Around half of first row of double crochets, it becomes a full circle (instead of half) so by the time I have the full row and I try to see how it will look like, you can clearly see curls. It worsens with the second row.

What am I doing wrong?

Ibcsk on October 05, 2018:

Sharon and Carolyn....you are making your beginning chain too tight. It needs to be much looser than you think it should be.

Tealparadise (author) on August 28, 2018:

If it's consistently peaking too soon or too late, add or subtract a stitch at the start.

diane nash on August 25, 2018:

I am working on a ripple stitch blanket . Everything is fine until I switch color and then, even though I'm counting the stitches, the places where it dips and peaks don't line up any more. Not sure what I'm doing wrong?

Thanks

Christy on June 05, 2018:

I have a Doilie pattern that has parenthesis and it says do that around but before that-after the parenthesis it has these symbols [ ] with more instructions in it so what do I do

Rebecca on April 01, 2018:

Hi. Just recently taught myself to crochet. My edges r curling a bit on one side. Y? CAn I just dampen it cix?

Mary Calderone on March 31, 2018:

Wonderful site. I will be using it often...Thank you.

Cloeen on March 27, 2018:

My Corchet pattern say from 13 and next 8 uneven rounds work as round 11 having 1ch more between shells than on previous uneven rnd- 10ch staying between shells on 29 rnd.any one can help me out.

Janine on March 21, 2018:

I am on my fourth row and I keep having to straighten out my blanket. It keep twirling up. It's not straight. Not sure what is happening??

Nancy on February 05, 2018:

My solid granny square is coming out with sides that aren't straight. They are curved. I make sure to go through both loops. I'm using half double (US) stitches. Not sure what I am doing wrong.

Jeanette on January 28, 2018:

Mariane, if you want your project smaller, use a smaller hook. Bigger, use a bigger hook.

Mariane on January 27, 2018:

My finished product always turns out bigger than expected how can I make them smaller, do I use a larger hook or a smaller hook?

Fran from MD on January 26, 2018:

Really needed a little extra help and you pointed me in the right direction

Thank you very much for the useful and user friendly tips. Kudos. Keeping up. on January 25, 2018:

Thank you very much for the wonderful suggestions.

Pat Underwood on January 24, 2018:

O have been crocheting since I was about 7 years old. My grandmother said all southern girls should know how to do these things. The 5 tips on crochet mistakes really are helpful.

Thank you.

Dorlis Grote on January 20, 2018:

instead of getting wider, my scarves get narrower, i keep loosing stitches.

aqilah on January 19, 2018:

thanx

to

you!

Annette kumar on January 15, 2018:

I found this beginners crochet article helpful, if I want to get my project done quickly I sometimes go through only one layer and more importantly, I think I'm going to start counting stitches across because alot of my work still turns out like triangles and not 90o squares. Thanks for the useful tips for a relaxing and enjoyable craft.

PJ on January 11, 2018:

Thank you for all the great tips. I’m definitely pinning this!

hills on January 02, 2018:

Thank you so much this post was actually very helpful to me. I am new to crochet about one year in and I needed to read this! Thank you for the needed info and also the encouragement.

Ellen Fisher on December 30, 2017:

great info especially regarding stitches front back etc... thanks a lot

Lorenzaemanuelavella@gmail.com on December 29, 2017:

Thank you for the help!

Carolyn on December 28, 2017:

Happens all the time to me too Sharon. Would love tips to avoid this!

Sharon morris on December 26, 2017:

The bottom row of my first blanket attempt is tight and the rest of the blanket is curved out I have too many skeins of yarn done to start over

Yvonne Green on December 21, 2017:

Hi I’ve completed a corner to corner crochet blanket but the 1st corner isn’t right and needs to be redone with different yarn do u have any advice as to how I can do this without undoing it all ?!? Thanks

lynnebeggs50@gmail.com on November 21, 2017:

I crocheted teddy but i ve done it to loose ,but now its all sewn up . Wish i could close up the holes abit. Any hits.

Debra on November 19, 2017:

I've been crocheting for years making several of these mistakes for years and wondered why. Now I know why. Thank you for the help

Sharon on November 15, 2017:

Good to know the differences between America and the UK

Its really get confusing when it comes to sc /dc

Angie K on November 04, 2017:

Thank you

Jackie on October 05, 2017:

My circle crochet is turning inwards , do I need to increase a stitch somewhere????

Swendra on June 13, 2017:

I am beginner. Thanks for your information because I made 2 mistake: too tight and chroceting only front loop. But for the next project I believe I will get a great result!

Maria on June 13, 2017:

Thank you for the helpful hints x

meggsy on June 09, 2017:

I have started crocheting a double stich blanket and it has started to go wonky, it has started going away from its original row length making it go in towards the middle of the project.

can anyone help me out with fixing this problem please

Julie on May 13, 2017:

This was helpful, thanks for the tips!!

Gin Bell on May 09, 2017:

Thank you. No one ever tells you exactly where to place the stitch or sometimes it is unclear. Recenty I was on the second row of a dishcloth. The designer stated to dc in the next two dc. She meant to skip the next two dc and dc in between two doublecrochet that make up the first shellfish. It took me forever to figure it out. So thank you again . Any help like yours is appreciated. Just learning, Gin

Linda Johnston on March 23, 2017:

I am always interested in the new ideas and suggestions on crocheting.

Joyce on February 08, 2017:

Making booties for the first time.

The pattern get to the instep and at the end of the 3rd row it ends with SC2tog (which I did) then it just goes on to the next row with no direction to turn. Just says

4th and 5th rows: Ch1; 1 sc in each of next 5 sts

6 row: Ch1 Sc2tog. 1 sc in next sc Sc2tog. Turn

It just doesn't look right. Maybe I just should not be trying this.

Judy Wolfe on February 03, 2017:

How do I know when I am at the end of a row so I can stay straight and be slantedand?

Kaja on January 26, 2017:

What to do, when i do the usual 6 row granny square double size (12 row) and it goes wavy? Are the stitches somewhere too loose or too tight?

GreenMind Guides from USA on January 18, 2017:

Another great hub! You have a great way of explaining the creative process.

Jo Scott on January 14, 2017:

Hi, I just finished a baby blanket with lots of color changes. I'm worried that I can feel the knots. Am I being overly sensitive to that or is that a big problem?

Susan Ramsay on January 05, 2017:

My sis-in-law is a pretty good crocheter, but her afghan kept getting smaller. She asked my mom, a great chrocheter, for advice. The pattern had an error. Mom fixed the problem. So don't always blame yourself. Mistakes are made by everyone, even those who print patterns. Happy crocheting!

PS Is crocheter a word?!

Tealparadise (author) on January 03, 2017:

Veneta and Anne- if it's actually shrinking as you go, it's the trapezoid problem in reverse. If it is just ending up too small when you finish, you're likely holding too tightly (makes smaller stitches) or using the wrong gauge of hook. The pattern should size it for you. If it doesn't, trial and error or find a new pattern. But if you KNOW your stitches tend small, just size up the hook.

jelun on January 01, 2017:

Just to chime in after viewing a few vids it is obvious that a class is needed. It is something I just can't pick up without an instruction in person. Thanks for the heads up.

Veneta Gonsalves on December 25, 2016:

Very useful tips. Thank you. Can you please guide me on how to take correct measurements when crocheting a top. Though I take the stitches according to the body measurements and the stitches seem right in the beginning but by the time I am half way through my project the top looks smaller. Where am I going wrong with the stitches. Please advise. Thank you.

Debbie on December 08, 2016:

I am a beginner and trying to make a blanket. Some of my rows will be on a bit of an angle like / and when I fold my blanket in half lengthwise the ends don't meet. One end will but the other is off on an angle as well. What am I doing wrong? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Anne on July 15, 2016:

When l crochet blanket and put bottom edge to top edge bottom edge is shorter, what am l doing wrong, tried doing chains looser, but still the same, getting very frustrated now, hope you can help xx

Martha on April 18, 2016:

The diagram showing both loops is not pointing to the correct two loops. One arrow needs to be moved.

DeniseI on March 14, 2016:

I just started to crochet about a year ago

And believe me I love it!!! There are some questions that I have now. I hope that you come out with some more common mistakes tips in the future

Tealparadise (author) on February 14, 2016:

Hi Karen- yes, both loops at all times! And if you are getting ripples Kristina, you may just need to block it. Google "how to block crochet."

Karen on February 14, 2016:

So in understanding these mistakes. My question is this: Unless indicated to only pick up up in back loop, always stitch through both loops on each piece we work on?? Am I right or wrong on this. Some directions do not come with specific directions. I am working on a new project, does not indicate to me which loop to use. Back loop or both. I'm a beginner again.

Laura Beaudin from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada on February 02, 2016:

Thank you for this! I've been making many of these errors for ages, especially #1.

Michelle McKiernan from Madison, WI on January 06, 2016:

This is a great find! I'm going shopping for yarn tomorrow to start learning to crochet from a book I've had for years. All this probably isn't in there. Thanks.

Marlene. on January 01, 2016:

Thanks for help. I was using wrong loop it keep getting larger

Krystina on December 31, 2015:

My issue is that when I am crocheting a mile a minute afghan, my strips end up having a rippling edge whe i dont want it to. For the life of me i cant find what i may be doing wrong. If someone has had this issue and has found a solution, please let me know! - Thanks :)

tripta on December 29, 2015:

Thank you very much, I was never able find my mistakes.

DeeDee0074 on December 27, 2015:

I love this! I've only been crocheting for a few months now and have been watching for common mistakes as I go. I do have a question, though. Is there a different term for half double crochet? It is my most used stitch and I wouldn't want to mix it up in a pattern for a different stitch.

Slmc17 on December 23, 2015:

After making the UK/USA terms mistake I now always check patterns now for reference to single crochet. Not a mistake you want to realise halfway through a project! Thanks for the article.

Jenn Dixon from PA on December 17, 2015:

I mostly knit, but I do enjoy crocheting on occasion. It's a nice break. Thank you for your great tips!

janetevans007 on November 28, 2015:

Thank you! I have been crocheting for 8mths and have been having most of these issues... finally it makes sense and I can enjoy it more! Bless you

Mari on November 15, 2015:

Another easy solution to the overly tight stitches would simply be to use a larger hook.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on November 11, 2015:

I have to admit that I have been crocheting for years but never knew these problems. Thanks for bringing these to my awareness.

Sucharu70@gmail on November 08, 2015:

Very helpful tips. Thanks

Tealparadise (author) on November 03, 2015:

Amber- if you notice it getting flat, skip a stitch.

Amber on November 02, 2015:

This was helpful. I do still have a question, though. Every hat I've ever attempted to make ends up with a flat top. I've tried many different patterns, and every time the top is flat and then then sides seem to go straight down. How do I keep the hat round?

Michelle on October 14, 2015:

This was helpful

Jamie Kent on September 01, 2015:

Now I have a new understanding... I will go back to my current project and see if I can find when and where I went wrong. I am still hoping to find someone in my locate area to look at me work and help me see where I need to make changes/improvements. Thank you for your trouble-shooting instructions.

Sofi on May 21, 2015:

Thank you so much for this! I m from Argentina and I have been looking for some crochet advices but here the magazines and books are really basics.

poetryman6969 on May 04, 2015:

Some beautiful photos and good instruction.

aprilsemogan on April 08, 2015:

Great article. I've really enjoyed reading it, and this would be a big help for me because i'm just a beginner in crocheting. I'm hoping to read more from you. :)

Ila Castro on August 05, 2014:

My amigurumis always look wonky. Now I know why! Thank you!

RTalloni on February 09, 2014:

13 months/762 pins and I'm just now finding this? Thanks!

Sacha Mike from Washington on January 27, 2014:

I'm with Torrilynn, I hope to get back to crocheting. When I do, this will be a huge help. So much to remember, so without a guide like yours I think I would be lost and frustrated.

torrilynn on December 20, 2013:

thanks for the article. I hope to one day to get back into the work of crotcheting.

Karie on November 26, 2013:

Thank you so much! I was confused as to why my work either got bigger or smaller and couldn't figure out why some patterns call for crocheting in the first stitch vs the second. And the difference between UK and US crochet terms - drat! Why can't we have a universal language of crocheters! =D Thanks again for putting that together!

Dianne Hunt from Maryland on May 18, 2013:

Great article. I was making the mistake of crocheting in the front loop only until I realized that you could crochet in the front or back loop only to make specific designs.

diplorging from Serbia on May 07, 2013:

Thanks for your wonderful work, it's a real help to any beginner. One of my biggest mistakes was that I didn't want to use row markers.

Moira Durano-Abesmo from Sagay, Camiguin, Philippines on April 28, 2013:

Very great article on crochet! I must admit, I think I did most of them. It took more than 10 years to correct. LOL!

Amber Vyn on March 28, 2013:

I agree with Mama Kim 8. This article covers the most common mistakes for beginners. My first 'big' project, a placemat, looked like a rhombus because I wasn't counting right. Voted 'up' and 'useful'!

Sasha Kim on January 04, 2013:

Great crochet hub for beginners. Only crocheting the front loop... they were almost doing a rib stitch and didn't even know it ^_^ lol. I'll be linking to this hub in my Crochet Stitches hub ^_^

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