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Crochet Tips and Tricks

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Ball of blue yarn with crochet hook.

Crochet is a very versatile handicraft that can be used to create beautiful clothing, linens, toys, and more. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced craftsperson, there is always a new tip that might prove to be useful. This is a guide about crochet tips and tricks.

Solutions: Crochet Tips and Tricks

Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".

Tip: Keeping Track of Crochet Chain Length

glass jar with clothes pins behind crochet chain

Recently, I did a project where I had to count stitches to make sure the chains were all the same length. Well, they sure weren't. I often have to compete with visiting kids and their video games, radios, videos, dogs...you name. It is hard to find quiet.

When I realized the project would literally have to be started over, I came up with a system that has really helped. I hope it helps you too.

With some dollar store clothes pins and an old jar (cup, soup can, etc.). I marked one side of the pins with 10, some with 20 and 25 on the backs, then 50 and 75 on each side of 1 then 100.

My chain was to be 200 long, so when I reached say 25, I put that pin on the jar. Then when I did that again, I would take off the 25 and put up 50. When I got to 100, I took the 50 down. When I got to 150, I put the 50 back up on the right side of the 100. When I got to 200, I took them all down.

I know you can purchase stitch markers but that requires you stop and put something, even a little length of yarn in a stitch. I find this distracts me less and I can keep my hand on my hook, and my mind on the task at hand.

Hope this helps you as much as it does me.
PBP

    Source: Nope just frustration!

    Link: N/A

    By Sandi/Poor But Proud [407]

    Tip: Bread Closures for Marking Crochet Needle Size

    I had heard of using the tags/closures for bread packages to mark your projects while knitting or crocheting, but came upon another use for the little white tags while crocheting. I just started working on projects for Project Linus and usually have several projects going at the same time. I was using different size crochet needles and was switching back and forth on projects. I would forget what size needle I was using (I sometimes don't use what the pattern calls for because of the gauge). I decided to use the tags to mark the needle letter/number on them and attach to the project I am working on. That way I can start other projects using the same needle, but now I don't have to wonder was I using J or K, etc. It saves so much time instead of trying to figure out what needle you used.

    By

    Tip: Try Tobacco String Instead of Crochet Thread

    When crocheting things like a bed spread, you can buy tobacco string and use it like crochet thread. It comes on a cone and a lot cheaper then the crochet thread. You can buy it at the stores that sell seeds and feed for cattle. The thread is cotton.

    By Doris from Randleman, NC

    Tip: Crochet Squares In Waiting Rooms

    Whenever I know I'm going someplace (like the doctor's appt I have today!) I always take a small carry-all with me that has a small amount of yarn and a crochet hook. If I need a pattern I copy it on my scanner and print it out to take with me.

    Then, instead of sitting in the waiting room reading all those magazines that only make me hungry (they all have so many delicious looking recipes in them!), I crochet however many blocks as I can during my wait. When I get home I put the blocks all in a larger container to be kept until I have enough to make a new afghan with!

    By Cricketnc from Parkton, NC

    Tip: Avoiding Losing Stitches Crochet Tip

    Just today after about 45 years of crocheting! I was at the end of a row and was starting to pull the yarn up so it wouldn't easily pull out until I got back to working on my pineapple afghan that I was making; I saw my "clover" plastic safety pin that I use to mark stitches when knitting; and, I decided to put that on the last stitch I was working on and pulled the yarn down instead of up and it held fast and didn't go through the hole and kept my place with out unraveling a few stitches as it has sometimes when someone other than myself moved the item. I thought this was the neatest thing. I plan to tell my daughter whom I taught to crochet many years ago.

    By Sheila S from Leominster, MA

    Tip: No More... Getting Lost in the Pattern

    My mother is in her eighties, and was crocheting an afghan of cats. The pattern consisted of about 8 rows, each one different, and then a repeat of these 8 rows. She kept getting lost in the pattern, so I took index cards and printed each row of the pattern on a separate index card. This way she could work from the first card, slip it behind the others, do the second, etc. There were color changes after each set of 8 rows, so I used colored index cards and repeated the pattern rows on different colors for each color change. She was able to keep her place without confusion with these cards.

    By Harlean from AR

    Tip: Cake Cardboard For Blocking Crocheted Doilies

    I make a lot of crocheted doilies and when it comes time to block them I use the cardboard from cakes that I have purchased and saved. This cardboard has a shiny surface on one side so the doilies do not stick.

    By Barb

    Tip: Crochet Cluster Stitch That Uses Less Yarn

    I was making a hat using the cluster stitch, and I was worried that I would not have enough yarn. The regular cluster stitch uses 3 yarn overs then pull through 4 loops. We'll I left off 1 of the yarn overs and pulled through 3 loops. The stitch still looks great and I had enough yarn to finish. This could work for popcorn stitch and any other stitch that calls for multiple yarn overs or grouped stitches. Be careful if you change gauge when you alter the stitch. Be sure to still make a swatch if needed.

      By Cynthia [6]

      Tip: Mix Different Types of Yarn

      In a knitting blog, I read about acrylic yarn being a low-cost option. Well, it is - and to make it more interesting in small projects you can mix it with other yarns, even wool ones. I have been using very fine yarn in combination with worsted acrylic in my scarves, and adding novelty yarns as accents. The color combination of the yarns on a fairly big (15) knitting needle, is tweedy and very interesting. You can also use up all sorts of odds and ends of yarn. Everyone is getting scarves from me this Xmas!

      By Pamphyila

      Tip: Working with Dark Colored Yarns

      I am the owner of a Yahoo craft group and help to lead a local community craft group in Frankfort, Kentucky. In our area group and on our web site, we always try to help each other make projects become a little more enjoyable to make.

      I discovered many of my group's members were having the same troubles crafting hand-made yarn projects. Those who are visually impaired and even some of our seniors find that it is very difficult to see where to place the next stitch while using black and other darker colored yarns. One day, I took on the task to try and find a remedy.

      I eventually discovered that if a crafter places a white towel or pillow case under the project being worked, the white shows through the small holes previously made, thus making it easy to see where those next stitches go.

      Another problem faced was similar, the difficulty seeing where the stitches go while using thick yarns to knit or crochet. I found that if I use a second strand of lighter weight yarn in a contrasting color, along side the thick fluffy yarn strand, the light fingering weight yarn becomes a guide to where I need to place the next stitch.

      Overcoming frustrating obstacles like those mentioned, makes all the difference between a work in progress (WIP) and a completed hand crafted project, made with pride and satisfaction.

      By Lora from Frankfort, KY

      Tip: Basic Crochet Abbreviations Chart

      Here are some basic crochet abbreviations:

      alt = alternate
      approx = approximately
      beg = begin(ning)
      bet = between
      BL/bk lp = back loop(s)
      BLO = back loop only
      bo = bobble
      BP = back post
      BPdc = back post double crochet(s)
      BPsc = back post single crochet(s)
      BPtr = back post triple crochet(s)
      CA = color A
      CB = color B
      CC = contrasting color
      ch(s) = chain(s)
      ch- = refers to chain previously made/worked
      ch-sp = chain space
      CL(s) =cluster(s)
      cm = centimeter
      cont = continue
      dc = double crochet
      dc2tog = double crochet 2 stitches together
      dec = decrease
      dtr/dtrc = double triple/treble crochet
      ea = each
      est = established
      FLO = front loop only
      foll = follow
      FP = front post
      FPdc = front post double crochet(s)
      FPsc = front post single crochet(s)
      FPtr/FPtrc = front post triple/treble crochet(s)
      FL/ft lp = front loop(s)
      g = gram
      grp(s) = groups
      hdc = half double crochet(s)
      hk = hook
      inc = increase
      lp(s) = loop(s)
      lp st = loop stitch
      MC = main color
      m = meters
      mm = millimeters
      oz = ounce(s)
      pat(s) = pattern(s)
      PC(s) = popcorn(s)
      pm = placemaker
      prev = previous
      rem = remain
      rep = repeat(s)
      rev sc/reverse sc = reverse single crochet
      rnd(s) = round(s)
      RS = right side
      sc = single crochet
      sc2tog = single crochet 2 stitches together
      sk = skip(ped)
      sl st = slip stitch
      sp(s) = space(s)
      st(s) = stitch(es)
      tch/t-ch = turning chain
      tog = together
      tr/trc = treble/triple crochet
      tr tr/trtrc =triple treble crochet/triple triple crochet(s)
      WS = wrong side
      X-st = cross-stitch
      yd = yard(s)
      yo = yarn over
      yoh = yarn over hook

      Tip: Remembering Yarn Colors

      When making something where you have bought more than one skein of a given color, save one of the papers wrapped around the skein, and write on it near the color name, what you made with that color. If you should run short of yarn or want to make another item in that color, you won't have to try to remember what the color was.

      By Linda L from Bloomington

      Tip: No Lost Stitches When Crocheting

      Another readers tip reminded me of this, when putting my crocheting down, I enlarge the loop that was on the needle and tie a loose knot with the yarn hanging off the needle. Keeps me from losing stitches when moving the item around.

      By Linda from Bloomington, IL

      Give a "thumbs up" to the solution that worked the best! Do you have a better solution? Click here to share it!

      Questions

      Here are questions related to Crochet Tips and Tricks.

      Question: Question About Crochet Instructions

      I'm trying to make a beanie and I'm having trouble following the pattern:

      Here is one row of the pattern: 1 dcfp around next dcfp. 1 dc
      in next dc. 1 dcfp around next dcfp. 2 dc in
      next dc.

      I know how to do both stitches, but I'm getting confused as to where to enter the hook for the next stitch. Anyone could help me ? I tried to look for videos, but can't find any :(

      Many thanks!

      By Magali

      Question: Crochet Stitch Abbreviations

      What does "spc' stand for in crochet?

      By Tina


      Most Recent Answer

      By William C. A.12/27/2013

      SPC stands for "space"

      Question: Help With Crochet Afghan Instructions

      I have been stitching an absolutely gorgeous afghan by Terry Kimbrough. I am not understanding how the edging instructions translate. The sentence is [sc, ch7, (sc, ch5) twice] in corner ch5 sp. Does this mean repeat everything in brackets and parentheses twice or just what is parentheses? Help please.

      By Susan


      Most Recent Answer

      By Myrna [13]12/20/2013

      I played with the directions to see what it looks like both ways. I would conclude the directions mean to do all twice; otherwise, there is only one long petal while all others remain same size and it looks odd. But if you are making squares to join together, then the one longer chain loop is probably to join the other squares with. If it isn't a square to join with others, then I would create all as a repeat inside the [brackets/parenthesis) two times which gives a floral pattern and a fuller one.
      This is the best I can do for you w/o seeing the pattern/directions. Hope it helps you.

      Question: Help with Crochet Instructions

      The pattern reads "work shell of 1dc, ch1, 1dc" in next stitch. I am confused as to into what stitch I am crocheting the last dc.

      By Rita S.


      Most Recent Answer

      By Mistie [21]10/20/2011

      Absolutely right. In the next stitch work 1 dc ch 1 1 dc. These three steps are what is going to create your shell look, that's why they must be in the same stitch.

      Question: What Does the Crochet Abbreviation "ss" Mean?

      What does the crochet term "ss" mean? I have a pattern I am working on and the ss term is used with no explanation. My pattern did not provide a guide. It has something to do with the popcorn stitch, but that is all I know.

      By Kate H.


      Most Recent Answer

      By Cathy Yeater05/24/2011

      slip stitch

      Question: Understanding Crochet Patterns and Abbreviations

      What does this mean: Ch1, sc in end of next row, *2sc in end of each next 2 rows?

      By sumr from CA


      Most Recent Answer

      By Cricket [201]03/30/2011

      Since you didn't mention knitting, I'm assuming you aren't knitting. These instructions are not uncommon in a crochet pattern. Here's the translation.

      At the end of the next row you work, chain 1 then single crochet one stitch.
      At the end of each of the next 2 rows, work 2 single crochet in the last stitch.

      If you're still confused send me a message via ThrifyFun and I'll try to explain it better.

      Have fun!

      Question: What Glue Can I Use on Yarn Ends When Crocheting or Knitting?

      What is the best "glue" to use to secure yarn ends when crocheting and/or knitting? Thanks for your response.

      By applesauce from Alexandria, VA


      Most Recent Answer

      By applesauce [8]08/26/2010

      Hey everyone thanks for all the hints. After watching the video on "ends" I guess I've been doing them almost correctly all the time.

      Question: Casting Off a U Stitch

      How do you cast off from a U stitch on an afghan?

      By Wizzo49


      Most Recent Answer

      By Lee Taylor [10]12/14/2009

      I don't know what a U stitch is, but I was always taught to cast off "in pattern"....so whatever you would do if you were going to knit that row, you cast off the same way. Hope that helps. I'm just a newbie knitter.

      Question: Advice For Round Crochet That Buckles

      Need some help from crocheters please! I've just started to crochet so I don't do complicated stuff. Just finished making a round rag rug which wasn't difficult BUT the whole thing has buckled and looks frilly round the edges. I've undone it and tried working looser but that didn't work so I undid it again and tried working tighter but still no joy! please could anyone tell me what I'm doing wrong? It's so disheartening when you are new to a craft and you try so hard to get it right and nothing works! I love my new craft but if I'm incapable of doing a simple round, then I may as well give up, which would be a shame! Any suggestions, please? I got the pattern from Yarn Lovers Room on the internet. It said it was easy, so if I cant do an easy pattern, then I cant do crochet!

      Cettina from Malta, Europe


      Most Recent Answer

      07/31/2011

      I find it easier to relax and not make anything tight unless it calls for it. Just keep practicing and soon you will be a master. :)

      Question: I Ran Out of Yarn Making a Scarf

      If you could help me with my scarf, I would appreciate it. I started my scarf and I have ran out of yarn. How do I attach more yarn to the end?

      Erica from NY


      Most Recent Answer

      By Andee in AZ (Guest Post)02/02/2007

      I often just run two pieces of yard together if it doesn't look like it will cause too much bulk. Otherwise, I pull out some stitches and go back to an edge and tie in there or run two threads form there.

      Question: Crocheting With One Hand

      I can embroider, knit, quilt, needlepoint, but cannot crochet. My problem is I have one hand. My left. I have a thumb on my right. I am normally left-handed. I want to learn to crochet. Does anyone have any help for me?

      Diane from Milwaukee, WI


      Most Recent Answer

      07/31/2011

      Buy a hand brace came to thought. attach the crochet hook to it with duck tape or some sort of something to secure it. I am right handed and do most the work with my left and hardly move the right at all. the hand brace you can get at any pharmacy store.