The Do's and Don'ts of Crochet
How to Crochet Like a Pro
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Welcome to the wonderful world of crochet patterns! We all come from different backgrounds, but we have one thing in common - our love of crochet. Those thick and thin strands of yarn sliding through your fingers should make you smile from ear to ear, but if you're just learning to crochet then it can be quite frustrating.
When just learning how to crochet you can become tense, frustrated and easily lose your temper. To help make things a bit easier I've put together a quick guide of the do's and don'ts of the crochet world. If you have any of your own tips, feel free to add them in the comments section, below.
1. DO familiarize yourself with the basics
Take some time to learn about what you need to crochet (just a ball of yarn and a corresponding hook) and how to hold a crochet hook. There's a standard "correct" way to hold a hook, but everyone has their own variation. Experiment and find the position that's the most comfortable for you.
2. DO take time to learn about yarn.
Depending on the project you're making, you might prefer lace-weight yarn instead of worsted weight, or you might want pearl cotton instead of a wool blend. Be sure to read about the standard yarn types to learn more.
3. DO know how to choose your hook wisely.
Crochet hooks correspond with different yarn weights, so what you'll need depends on what you want to make. As you might expect, chunkier yarn needs bigger hooks, and lacier yarn needs the smallest ones. There's also the question of crochet hook type - do you prefer plastic hooks or bamboo? Or maybe you like working with aluminum. Check out the video below on the types of crochet hooks, or check out our guide on choosing the best crochet hook sizes for more information.
4. DO learn the standard crochet abbreviations.
5. DO learn the basic stitches.
No matter how complicated the finished pattern might look, it can most likely be broken down into the most basic of crochet stitches: the chain stitch, single crochet, double and half double crochet and treble crochet. Everything else is placement and technique. Check out our guide on basic crochet stitches to see step-by-step videos and written stitch tutorials.
6. DON'T get cocky.
Once you know how to crochet the basic stitches, don't immediately jump into an intricate lace pattern. Like in all things, you have to walk before you run. Work up a few smaller, simple projects (think scarves or hats) with basic stitches before moving onto more stylistic crochet stitches and designs.
... but DO allow yourself to experiment and try new techniques!
7. DON'T start a pattern before practicing a new stitch
Practice makes perfect - this is true for all things. Read through how to work a stitch, watch a few videos to visualize it and work up a swatch to make sure you understand how to crochet it.
8. DO read the pattern through before attempting it. "One thing I have learned over the years is to read the whole pattern and read the comments if there are any. Not just part of it or look at the picture and jump into the project. There are times I think "oh this one will come out great in no time". Only to find out that the pattern has errors or I don't understand how to do a few rows. Then I'll read the comments to see if any one made the item and make sure it came out right. The worse thing to do is spend the money on yarn and spend time doing it project and not have it work." - Cheryl Y.
9. DON'T give up.
Crocheting can be tricky for a number of reasons: your yarn is too small, your yarn is too bulky, you crocheted too tightly, you keep dropping stitches, your hand hurts from holding your hook, etc. No matter the excuse you're trying to make, don't give up! Just keep practicing - you'll learn how to hold your hook in the best way (or you'll buy a more ergonomic crochet hook), and how to work with the chunkiest and thinnest yarns. You'll also get a better handle on how to work in each and every stitch and not skip or drop any AND how to keep a consistent gauge. Trust me.
10. DO know how to care for your finished pieces.
11. DO take the time to weave in all your ends.
Weaving in your ends gives your final piece a more finished and polished look - you'll be glad you did!
Do you have any other dos and don'ts for crochet? Leave a comment below and let us know - we'll work your comment into this article!
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