Everyone’s a beginner at some point, no matter what they are doing. From the moment you wake up to the time you go to bed,
your mind is always busy, and it doesn’t stop until you close that last page of homework or open your next project.
So if you’re new to crochet, then you may be making all sorts of mistakes that will slow down your progress.
Luckily, we’ve pinpointed the most common beginner mistakes so that you don’t make them.
If you want to know how to avoid these errors, keep scrolling to see if any of this advice helps you!
Common Mistakes For Crochet Beginners
1. Starting A Project With The Wrong Chain
For many people starting, they want to be able to finish their first few patterns as soon as possible. It’s understandable, of course.
Being forced to cover the basics can frustrate a lot of people who are just picking up a creative hobby.
But it is the source of a lot of beginner crocheting issues that people will face. This first example is no different.
People will normally stick their crochet hook in the first chain in a project, which is not how you should do things.
The reason why this happens is that most people don’t understand what a chain is and where it fits into a pattern, especially when first starting crochet.
A chain is simply any number of stitches (or rows) that have been counted by using your crochet hook.
A chain begins at the chain after the base of the hook and goes up until the hook catches on the yarn or thread.
When you’re counting the chains, you’ll notice there’s usually an odd number of stitches on the hook when you start — one more than your stitch count.
The reason behind this is that if you were to keep going, you’d end up with 1 extra stitch hanging from your hook.
That extra stitch is called a “chain” stitch because it was made by pulling the loop through itself.
When you begin counting the chains, you have to remember that each time you pull the loop through itself, you make another chain stitch.
So if you started with 10 chains, then you’ve just created 11 new chain stitches. If you continue like this,
you’ll eventually reach something known as the “turning chain.” This is the point where you go back down one space and start over again.
2. Crocheting Your Front Loop Only
This is another easy mistake to make when starting. Often, when starting a project, newcomers can be incredibly nervous and focus on attention to detail, before falling into a rhythm for the rest of their project.
And whilst it is useful to develop that rhythm early on, it can also lead to some errors in your work. The placement of your crochet is just such a mistake newcomers make.
Very similar to the previous issue, this is an issue that will appear on non-chain crochet projects too.
But because these are often circular or spiral shapes, rather than flat pieces, it can be very difficult to get your head around the order of the loops.
So why does it happen? Well, if you look closely at the way we create circles, we use the front loop only, and forget to use the crochet for all the following loops we make.
There are two ways to get to the back loop: either you rotate 180 degrees and bring the hook under the back loop, or you move forward and add a slip knot onto the hook.
Whilst both methods produce the same effect, the former is faster since you don’t need to rewind the yarn.
Because of this, beginners tend to forget about the back loop entirely and just work the front loop only.
However, you must always return to the back loop once you’ve completed a round, so that you can see where you’re going next.
It may sound obvious, but making sure that every loop is worked to its full length means you won’t find yourself struggling to figure out how to connect rounds later.
3. Your Ever-Widening Project
Once you have finally finished one of your first projects, you may have stepped back and taken a good look at your handiwork, only to find that something isn’t quite right.
Does it look skewed in some weird way? Does it look like your crochet project gets wider as you have worked on it?
If this sounds like something that has happened to you, don’t worry: this isn’t some strange happening or even a massive error on your part.
This sort of occurrence happens for a lot of first-time crochet practitioners. Their project starts off the size that they want it all,
only for it to balloon out as more time passes and as they get further down the piece.
The reason for this is that the ball of yarn is not fixed to the hook when working; it’s simply held by the friction between the yarn and the hook.
As you make additional stitches, the amount of space between them becomes smaller, meaning that the yarn needs less effort to hold the weight of the project.
Because of this, the ball of yarn gets larger, and this can cause problems when trying to sew your fabric together after completing your crochet project.
To avoid this problem, you can try using a heavier yarn, which will help keep your project from getting bigger.
Alternatively, you could also attach the ball of yarn to your hook – this is called a ‘tulle’ (see here).
Tulle is a type of yarn that you need to wind into a small ball before attaching it to your hook, and it helps prevent the ball of yarn from increasing in size over time.
Another similar reason that this may be happening is also the reason why so many people will use crochet boards and blockers.
Without an easy way to keep track of how many stitches you have used, it can be very easy to simply keep adding stitches as you continue stitching each layer.
10 can become 11, 11 can become 12, 12 can become 13, and so on.
So, make sure that you’re sticking to the number of stitches that you started with, and try not to add to that number too much!
4. Using The Wrong Stitching Measurements
This is a particularly easy mistake to make, especially with the advent of the internet and the massive amount of crochet designs and patterns out there.
Many of these patterns will be using measurement standards that are used in other countries, but not in your own.
And since there is no standardized crochet measurement system that is widely used across the world,
the numbers that different recipes will give you for your project may not translate well into your home country’s measurements.
Using a UK-based crochet recipe might look a little odd when using the same number but in the US system that you are aware of.
The best way to avoid this, or at least to counter this, is to keep an eye out for crochet terminology that you aren’t familiar with.
For example, if you see a pattern that says “5 cm” crochets, then you know that there will probably be 5 centimeters worth of work, and not any sort of measurement that relates to inches.
If you see something written in metric units, such as meters or centimeters, then you should assume that the designer meant the traditional US standard crochet measures to be applied.
Another clue that you might be looking at a UK design is the term ‘crochet’ when used in instructions.
If you see a recipe using ‘crochet’ as a singular, then chances are that you’re working with a US stitch design.
5. Stitching Become Too Tight
As a newcomer, it can be easy to feel like your normal crochet patterns and stitches are too large and wide, and that they look sloppy.
To compensate for this, many amateurs will instead try to pack their crochet stitches as tight as possible, to avoid the widening and ballooning effect that we mentioned in an earlier mistake.
Unfortunately, this has the effect of making your crochet stitches packed too tightly, making the project pretty much impossible to work with,
as there is now no way for your crochet to continue making more stitches. It can also lead to some pretty unattractive results within the finished item.
To avoid this issue, you can simply try to remember that those wide rows and loose stitches are what make beautiful crocheted pieces of art.
So don’t worry about cramming them together too tightly – just enjoy yourself while you crochet, and let your stitches naturally fall where they want to go.
6. Losing Track Of Your Rows As You Stitch
This one is something that pretty much anyone who crochets does, even plenty of experienced crocheters.
Sometimes, your mind just starts to zone out in an almost meditative way, where you are focusing on nothing by the crochet project in front of you.
Whilst this can feel like a great way to tune out unwanted distractions, it can also cause you to lose track of just how many rows you have worked on whilst you have been crocheting.
If you’ve done two or three too many rows than you intended to do for your piece, that’s a lot of time that was wasted by simply losing track of your work.
So, how to Fix This? Simply take note of how many times you think you’ve completed each row – either through counting or measuring along the edge of your work – before continuing to the next row.
When you reach the end of that row, stop stitching so that you can count back up to find which row you were supposed to be working on.
This will help prevent you from wasting time crocheting the wrong number of rows.
7. Not Using A Good Enough Yarn
A good yarn choice is important, as it affects many aspects of how your crochet will turn out, including its ability to absorb water and heat,
the durability of the finished product, and the ease of handling and wearing.
While cotton and acrylic yarns are the most popular choices for beginners, other materials include wool, bamboo, silk, rayon, linen, and others are also options.
If you are using a yarn that isn’t strong enough, or if it doesn’t suit your needs, you may need to change your technique or go shopping for another option.
8. Forgetting About Blocking
Crochet blocking is a way of setting your yarn fibers into a certain shape by using water to help give them some form.
Some people, seeing their wool or cotton yarn, and fearing for its integrity, may choose to ignore blocking altogether,
instead of focusing on doing the forming of their projects by hand, or by some other loose means.
Whilst this isn’t guaranteed to ruin your crochet project if you do decide to not use a crochet blocker, you should probably do so if the guide you are using recommends doing so.
You may find that, without the experience to know how to otherwise keep your threads and stitches in place, the shape of your crocheting will start to distort and look strange.
This isn’t to say that you should always use blocking. There are many times when it might be wise to not use this technique,
such as when using a material that doesn’t keep its original shape well once it is wet when you want to maintain the softness of a fabric that has already been blocked.
In these cases, you might prefer to use pins or tape instead, depending on your preference.
As you gain experience in this hobby and skill, you will start to learn what methods work best for you, so don’t worry if you aren’t sure exactly how to block or keep your project’s shape without water at first.
9. Crocheting Your Amigurumi Inside Out
Amigurumi is a specific form of crochet knitting, which is using crochet or your other preferred knitting method to make small stuffed animals.
It’s a widely practiced hobby and trade, and it makes for some adorable stuffed set pieces and toys for your loved ones!
However, when making their first amigurumi, many crocheters will find that as they continue to work on their little project,
they see that they have accidentally made their crocheted creature inside out! This is a simple fix, however.
Before finishing the main body of your animal, make sure that you turn your animal inside out. That way, the outside (crocheted) side of the animal will face outwards, rather than towards you!
10. Misusing Hooks
Hooks come in all shapes and sizes and vary in terms of thicknesses, types of wire used in construction, and whether they have points or not.
They can be found at different prices, too. The more expensive hooks often have a smoother finish and feel, but they also tend to be larger, thicker, longer, and heavier.
When choosing a hook for any purpose, you should consider the type of yarn and material you plan to use with it.
If you’re going to be working with something like thick, heavy yarn, then you’ll likely need a hook that can handle that sort of workload,
but if you’re going to be using thinner, lighter materials, then a smaller, less robust hook would be better suited for your needs.
The size of the hook should also depend upon the size of the piece you’re making. A hook that will fit comfortably into the palm of your hand should be fine for beginners,
and even intermediate-level crocheters, while a large hook might be needed for more advanced works.
When you buy your hook(s), you should try to get one that feels comfortable in your hands.
It shouldn’t be overly hard, nor should it be too easy to pull through your yarn — it should just be right in between those two extremes.
Try to avoid buying a hook that has sharp edges, because you may accidentally snag your yarn by mistake and ruin your work!
11. Expecting The Same Result With A Different Weight Yarn
It can often go overlooked when compared to other issues that newcomers to crochet face, but the weight of yarn has a surprisingly big effect on the result of any project that you decide to start.
If you choose to use a yarn that is much heavier than you’d usually use for a given project, you may expect to see certain results,
such as larger stitches than you intended, less tightly curled strands of yarn, a looser outcome with your fabric overall, or even sometimes a denser look than you intended.
Now, when you encounter these problems, remember that you are not alone! Many people who begin to crochet do so because they want to create things that look beautiful,
rather than because they want to produce functional items. And since they’ve chosen a heavy gauge of yarn, this isn’t surprising at all!
One important thing to take note of is how much yarn you need to complete your project; this number varies depending on the size of the object you are trying to create.
12. Not Using A Magic Loop At The Start Of Your Loops
So, there are a few ways that it is possible to crochet round patterns. The one that most crocheters will turn to is creating several linked chains, and then joining them in a circle by using a slip stitch.
The other method is by making what is known as a magic circle, which can be done by slip stitching 4 chains together into a loop.
In truth, there isn’t necessarily a wrong way of starting your round crochet pattern. Both of these techniques will serve you well.
But you may want to consider the pros and cons of each technique before starting your project.
The circles you can create with a magic circle will generally be smaller and will also be slightly quicker to make.
But the first method, the longer method of adding chains together, is a great technique to start learning the ropes (or yarn perhaps)of crochet,
which is why it is generally taught to beginners before the magic circle technique.
13. Your Hook And Your Chain Are The Same Sizes
Often, when working on a project, your eyes will pick up that there is an issue with your crochet project before you even consciously realize what exactly is wrong.
For instance, you may have noticed, once a project is finished, that the start chain that you began with looks way too tight when compared to the rest of them,
causing the pattern to skew in one direction, rather than looking straight, which will likely be your intention when starting.
Chances are, this is because the hook that you used was just a little too small, even if it was the size or shape recommended by the guide you are using.
This is very common with newbie crocheters, and it’s easy to spot when you examine your finished projects.
This is because the majority of the loops within the final product will have about the same number of petals, and those petals will appear to form a solid circle around the center of your work.
But if you use an incorrect hook size, especially when starting, you’ll find that the loops will have a different number of petals, which means that the pattern will look distorted like it does below:
To fix this problem, you’ll simply need to either get a bigger hook. Doing so will probably do the trick, and yield you a more accurate piece.
14. Not Checking Your Crochet Pattern Instructions Before You Start
Look, we’ve all been here at some point. Whether it was crochet, sewing, drawing. Even with a construction toy!
You see an amazing new pattern or design that you want to try for yourself. And because you are so eager to start,
you decide that you’ll read the instructions for the piece as you go, only for it to quickly spiral into a complete disaster.
We’re human after all; mistakes happen. It doesn’t mean that the pattern is bad, though.
If you carefully follow the instructions given to you, you should be able to create something beautiful. But, you do have to check them.
You know that you should check them, right? Well, you’d better believe it! Check everything from the hook size to the number of stitches per row.
Do not feel pressured to start a project if something seems off, even if the exciting part of your brain is begging you to just get started!
Simply take time to review your work, and if anything needs adjusting, make the necessary changes.
Sometimes, you might find that something really simple needs fixing, but other times, you may need to adjust a larger section of the pattern.
Either way, it’s always good to double-check things, even if you’re sure you followed the directions correctly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is It Difficult To Get Into Crochet?
From this list of mistakes newcomers make, it can feel like it’s incredibly difficult to get into crochet in the first place and can make a lot of people feel like they should spend their free time elsewhere.
But don’t let your inexperience put you off this satisfying pass time. Everyone is a beginner at some
point when it comes to picking up a new hobby, and newcomers are going to make mistakes, no matter what skill you are practicing.
These mistakes that we have listed aren’t to poke fun at newcomers but are there to let people know that these are all perfectly normal steps on the road to improvement.
We are simply shining a light on them to show people how normal they are, whilst also perhaps saving
you a little extra time by showing you mistakes that are easy to make. So you can spend more time improving your skills.
If you pay attention to these tips and learn how to avoid making the mistakes listed above, you’ll soon be crocheting like a pro!
So why not give it a whirl today? Grab your hook and yarn, and start learning how to crochet today!
How Do I Get Started In Crochet?
This is going to vary from person to person, depending on the kinds of items and patterns that you want to start working on.
If you’re looking to get a grasp of the basics before moving on, then you should start with tutorial patterns, or by purchasing starter kits and beginner-friendly projects such as this.
Other people may simply want to jump headfirst into a project, and learn the ropes (or yarn rather), then you should start with a pattern or design that catches your eye.
There are plenty of online resources available to help you choose one, whether it’s from a well-known brand or a homemade masterpiece.
Whatever method you use, remember to keep an open mind and enjoy the process. And, as we already mentioned, don’t worry about making any mistakes.
Just focus on getting to grips with each step of the process, and you will eventually master the art of crochet.
How Do I Crochet If I Am Left-Handed?
One thing that many beginners often struggle with is crocheting left-handed. This doesn’t mean that you cannot crochet using your dominant hand;
it means that you need to think outside the box and adapt your technique for your style.
The best way to approach this is to try and copy the way you would normally crochet right-handed, then just swap over when you are ready.
It’s important to note that you don’t need to work with both hands during the same row or round,
so you can continue crocheting with your non-dominant hand while using your dominant hand to hold down the stitches that you’ve created.
It might take some practice to get used to the different way that you work, but once you find your rhythm, you’ll find yourself crocheting much faster than when you were doing it the traditional way.
How Do I Change Colors When I Am Crocheting?
One of the things that can throw newcomers off when learning how to crochet, is how to change yarn color in the middle of a project. Whilst it may seem simple enough, it isn’t.
When changing color, most people tend to forget about their previous stitch, and simply switch over to the new color. However, this can cause problems.
For example, if you are currently crocheting a chain stitch, you must keep your hook inside the loop until after the first half-chain has been completed.
When switching colors, make sure that you pull through the last stitch of your old color, and insert your hook into the next stitch, pulling up a loop.
Then, continuing with your new color, you need to pull through all three loops at once.
As you can see, these beginner crochet mistakes can cost you dearly, whether that’s time, yarn, or even ruining some of your equipment.
Luckily, there are many ways to avoid making any of these mistakes, whether it be by reading instructions carefully,
getting help from a friend who has the experience, or working on practice pieces before actually attempting to create a real item.
We hope this list has helped clear some of the mist away from your crocheting experience!
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