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When you begin crocheting, it’s easy to make mistakes, just like in any other new hobby.
Making these mistakes will make you feel frustrated, make you lose motivation, make you want to quit, and so on.
But as they say, mistakes are part of learning; they make you grow.
In today’s post, we’ll discuss the most common crocheting mistakes beginners repeatedly make and helpful tips on how to avoid them.
Mistake #1: Not reading through your pattern first.
One of the biggest mistakes that beginners make is jumping straight into the project without first reading through the pattern.
The excitement of starting a new project convinces you to grab your hook and yarn and get working rather than spending some time reading the project.
But if you want to lay a good foundation for your new project, always take time to understand what you’re to work on.
Honestly, this does not take much of your time…and it’ll ensure that when you finally begin crocheting, you’ll not get confused and stuck midway simply because there’s a complicated step you don’t understand.
Going through your pattern first will also enable you to learn a new stitch in advance.
And as you’ll all agree with me, understanding the pattern before starting it will enable you to start working on it with greater confidence.
TIP: If you don’t know how to read crochet patterns, this beginner guide will show how to do it.
Mistake #2: Miscounting the starting chain.
The backbone of any crocheting project is the starting chain. As a matter of fact, this is one of the basics you’ll learn when you start training how to crochet.
If you don’t count the first chain on your hook or don’t know how to do it correctly, you’ll end up stitching your hook in the wrong chain when you begin your project.
And this will result in insufficient or not too many stitches. An even bigger mistake is not counting the stitches (see mistake #8) which make your project doomed from the start.
If you want to avoid this mistake, make sure you learn how to chain correctly and how to count the chains.
TIP: The first fully formed stitch should always be the first chain from your hook, the one next to it becomes the second and so on. NEVER count the loop on the hook!
Mistake #3: Failing to create gauge swatch.
Beginners have a habit of skipping the gauging step, thinking it doesn’t really matter.
Unknown to them, however, failing to create a gauge swatch or not working it when following your pattern can give you a hard crocheting time.
The simple square will not only save you a lot of time when following a pattern but will also make the pattern flow easily.
It’ll help you define the right tension to work with, ensuring that your final product will have your expected size and fit.
Mistake #4: Confusing between UK and US stitches.
Many beginner crocheters have openly admitted translating the crochet terminology incorrectly when reading the instructions of different patterns.
The most common mistake is…confusing if the author refers to the double crochets US or UK.
And it’s easy to see why newbies confuse these terms…
Take this example: what is referred to as single crochet (sc) in the US is referred to as double crochet (dc) in the UK.
Isn’t that mind boggling?
Unfortunately, diving into crocheting without understating the US/UK terminologies will lead to a waste of time and a mountain of frustrations.
Don’t worry though!
By checking any pattern before you start working on it, you’ll be able to know what terms you’ll need to use.
And if the pattern doesn’t have this info included, consider reaching out to the author for clarification.
Mistake #5: Working on patterns beyond your skill level.
As a beginner, you might be so eager to start all the patterns you come across, including those that are clearly beyond your skill level.
Believe you me; this will lead to nothing but frustrations and discouragements.
You should never be in a rush in the world of crocheting.
We always advise starters to take time to learn the patterns in their skill levels before moving on to patterns that require higher skills.
Working on patterns you understand will build not only your skill but also your confidence to face the more complex patterns.
Mistake #6: Not learning new crocheting patterns.
Because we’ve said that you shouldn’t try patterns that are beyond your skill level, it doesn’t mean that you should stay just where you are.
You should aim to grow in this fantastic crocheting world and try out new techniques. When you’ve mastered one technique, don’t fear to move to the next because it looks so hard.
If you already know most the crocheting basics like the single stitch, double crochet, chain stitch, treble crochet, and slip stitch, you can handle most of the patterns—including the ones you think are too hard for you.
So, grab that project you’ve been fearing, follow the pattern, read the instructions carefully, and you ultimately succeed!
Learn more about crochet types here - https://www.milanclothing.com/types-of-crocheting-techniques/
Mistake #7: Using the wrong crocheting supplies/equipment.
Another mistake that starters have been making over and over again is using the wrong crocheting tools and supplies and expecting the same results as in the pattern.
One particular thing you should not mess around with when following a pattern is the weight of the yarn, else your finished item will look different from what you expected.
Remember that each pattern is written with a specific yarn in mind and switching to a different yarn will significantly affect your results.
If you must switch yarn, then be sure to work your gauge swatch to help you know which adjustments to make to get something as close as possible to what’s in the pattern.
While still on it, using the wrong hook size can significantly affect your crocheting results. The pattern you’re working on is written with a specific hook size in mind, and you should stick to just that.
Read and READ your pattern carefully before getting down to work to ensure you use the right hook size and weight of yarn and also the best crochet hooks.
Mistake #8: Your crochet piece grows wider or smaller.
Another mistake you’ll realize when you’ve worked on your piece for a pretty long time (say an hour or so) is the project losing its shape and bigger or even smaller than your expectations.
Immediately you see this mistake, STOP…because something is wrong!
The main reason behind this issue is failing to count your stitches, so you end up working more stitches than your piece needs. You might unknowingly be doubling up into a single stitch or even working a stitch into the turning chain.
The only way you can fix this issue is counting the stitches. Consider counting each row after finish it and even keeping a close eye on the shape of your piece (you already have a clear mental picture of how it’ll look like).
It doesn’t make sense working on your piece quickly, only to realize very late into your work that you added an extra stitch.
Mistake #9: Dwelling too much on small mistakes.
When you begin crocheting, it’s easy to make mistakes. For your first few projects, you’re not guaranteed that they’ll be great.
And there’s nothing long with that; it’s part of learning!
Remember we said that at the beginning of this post that the more mistakes you make, the more you learn. If you skip a stitch, you don’t have to kill yourself over it.
Every pro crafter you see around started somewhere…they’ll tell you that they used to suck in their very first projects.
Mistake #10: Quitting too soon!
You buy a tutorial or book about crocheting, or you enroll for a crocheting class. You start learning with GREAT expectations. You convince yourself that with your very first stitch, you’ll create an amazing project.
Then things don’t go your way and disappointment settle in…this thing isn’t working. It’s not for me. I can’t be a good crocheter. It’s time to quit.
But DON’T just QUIT!!
As with any other skill you’ve ever undertaken to learn, crocheting requires patience and time.
You don’t start today and become an expert tomorrow. Take the time to learn all the ropes of the game. Intoxicate your teacher/instructor with as many questions as you can.
Try as many times as possible and fail (as we have said above)—that’s the only way you can learn.
Not too long, you’ll get a breakthrough in your new skill set, and you’ll be happy you didn’t quit when things got tough.
Powerful Tips To Avoid Common Crocheting Mistakes:
- Make use of stitch markers to count rows. While counting might seem easier than fiddling around with these markers, remember that your rows will become larger with time and increase the possibility of losing your count.
- When working on larger projects, e.g., blankets, cushion cover, etc., taking notes is advisable. This is especially true if the item is patterned. This will help you keep a tally of the row number as well as hook size you’re using for the pieces you’re using.
- Work on projects you love. By working on something you dearly love and genuinely want to create, you’ll give your all to it, and the outcome will only get better!
- Ensure your work area is well-lit. There’s no way you can crochet something you can’t see and review along the way and expect an amazing outcome.
- Pay your full concentration to crocheting when you’re just beginning. Work in a distraction-free environment, switch off that TV and wait until your kids go to bed. Avoid crocheting when sleepy, sick or tired. All this will minimize the mistakes you’re likely to make on your first projects.
If you’re a beginner crocheter, the road to creating breath-taking handmade items might not be smooth. You’ll make many mistakes along the way which will bring about frustrations, discouragements, and thoughts of quitting.
By getting to know the common mistakes that newbies usually make, you’ll be able to avoid them. And this gives you a better start as you know the pitfalls to avoid.
Overall, our advice to new crocheters is that you should never be afraid of mistakes as they’re part of the game and will make you grow.
Wish you luck on your newly found hobby!