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Crochet Tips and Tricks

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.

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Ball of blue yarn with crochet hook.
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September 23, 2015 Flag

Last winter, I decided to start crocheting again. I first learned how to crochet from a neighbor when I was a girl, but she was only able to teach me several stitches. I have never been able to read a pattern or make some of the delicate stitches that I have seen on some of the creations. My basic stitch consisted of single and double crochet. I could only do blankets. Sad, but true.

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A ball of turquoise yarn.

So my search lead to me to Hancock Fabric. I was able to purchase some skeins more on clearance, but found that the colors that I wanted and the yarn I liked cost more than I was willing to spend. Plus, I wanted to make items for my grandchildren and nieces. It was a little too much for my wallet. Having been out the game for so long, I did not realize how expensive yarn and hooks had become. Thank God for thrift shops. There I found my salvation and at the right price. Skeins for 50 cents, hooks for a quarter. I was in crochet heaven.

A bunch of different colored balls of yarn.

Armed with my yarn balls, hooks, I headed over to YouTube and started crocheting. Here is what I also learned about getting your yarn from the thrift shop.

  1. You are at the mercy of the color they have. I will mix colors and threads to get the right effect. I have on occasion dyed yarn, but for the most part, I use what they have.

  2. I find a lot of the yarn already in balls which I like, but you have to be careful. Sometimes, you might get two different colors in one ball and will not find out until you are almost through with your project.

  3. Take the smell test. I can't tell you how many times I have brought home a skein and I was wondering where that smell is coming from.

  4. I use a mesh bag to hand wash my yarn. My yarn tangles too much in the washer. No matter how many times I wash, smoke will not dissipate. I wash one skein at time. Dawn works best for me.

  5. I also buy knitting needles to hold my yarn balls together. I can usually get those for 2 for a quarter. I do know how to knit, but I like crochet better.

    Balls of yarn help together with a skewer.

  6. My hooks run from 25 to 50 cents. I love the aluminum hooks the best. The larger size hooks I have to buy at the store. I use the 40% off coupons from Michaels, Jo-Ann Fabrics or Hobby Lobby. Michaels has the best prices and take competitors coupons.

    A bunch of crochet hooks.

  7. If you continue to buy yarn through out the year, you will get some interesting threads, yarns, and textures.

  8. If you are lucky enough to get a skein intact, keep the wrap it comes in. It has valuable information, weight of the yarn, needle size, wash instructions, etc.
This year, I will be experimenting with home décor. I have already purchased jute, string and larger size hooks. My projects will include puffs, baskets. Wish me well.

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    Source: I picked up this tip from how to make hook grips. https://youtu.be/9Kucd1ulH0U

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    June 6, 2016 Flag
    4 found this helpful

    When you want to make an afghan with a different color in each square, but your stash doesn't stretch to that goal, you might want to try this.Stretching Your Yarn Stash
    You will need thin yarn of a contrasting color. When you have a color you like, add a thin white, cream, or contrasting color ensuring a different color square with a color you have already used in your afghan, but the outcome with be entirely different. You need nothing more than you already have.

    Approximate Time: Same time as any square you might make

    Yield: Same amount of squares as normalStretching Your Yarn Stash

    Supplies:

    • main and background color yarn
    • lighter weight yarn, such as baby weight
    • crocket hook

    Steps:

    1. Choose the primary color.
    2. Stretching Your Yarn StashStretching Your Yarn StashStretching Your Yarn Stash
    3. Select a thin yarn (less ply than the original color). Baby weight yard is helpful in this.
    4. Stretching Your Yarn Stash
    5. Crochet both strands together as if they were one strand.
    6. Stretching Your Yarn Stash
    7. Enjoy a look that isn't variegated, but isn't the color of another square.
    8. crochet square with blue and white yardStretching Your Yarn Stash
    9. You can also make only part of your main pattern using this method for an even different look.
    10. Stretching Your Yarn StashStretching Your Yarn StashStretching Your Yarn Stash
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    September 14, 2011 Flag
    15 found this helpful

    Granny square with bread closure attached, marked with a J.I usually have a half dozen or so crochet projects going all at once, and sometimes don't recall the size hook I was using. I've started keeping the plastic bread closing tabs and writing the hook size on it and attaching it to my project during construction. Should I stop that project for a while and pick it up again later, the correct hook size is noted right there; no guess work!

    By Maile from Onalaska

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    September 14, 2014 Flag

    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.glass jar with clothes pins behind crochet chain

    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

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      June 24, 2016 Flag
      0 found this helpful

      This is a guide about understanding crochet patterns and abbreviations. Knowing how to read a crochet pattern and the meanings of the abbreviations will help make your project move along faster and easier.

      Crocheted hippo baby hat next two three colors of yarn and a crochet hook

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      June 24, 2016 Flag
      0 found this helpful

      This is a guide about crocheting with one hand. Crocheting with only one hand can be a real challenge, but it is potentially possible.

      Close up image of crochet

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      March 22, 2016 Flag
      1 found this helpful

      This is a guide about basic crochet abbreviations chart. When working on a crochet pattern you will need to know a variety of crochet stitch abbreviations to follow the instructions.

      Crochet hook resting on striped crocheted blanket

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      September 8, 2013 Flag
      4 found this helpful

      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.

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        April 1, 2009 Flag
        3 found this helpful

        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.

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        December 3, 2015 Flag
        1 found this helpful

        I like to work on multiple projects when crocheting and would use the same hook for whatever I was working on. When I went back to the project I would forget what size hook I was using. I started using bread ties and wrote the crochet hook size on the tie and attached it to the afghan I was working on.

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        November 28, 2007 Flag
        0 found this helpful

        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

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        Anonymous Flag
        July 31, 20110 found this helpful

        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. :)

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        October 19, 2011 Flag
        0 found this helpful

        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.

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        October 20, 20110 found this helpful

        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.

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        May 18, 2005 Flag
        1 found this helpful

        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.

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        December 25, 2013 Flag
        0 found this helpful

        What does "spc' stand for in crochet?

        By Tina

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        December 27, 20130 found this helpful

        SPC stands for "space"

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        December 19, 2013 Flag
        0 found this helpful

        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

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        December 20, 20130 found this helpful

        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.

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        March 28, 2006 Flag
        1 found this helpful

        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 . . .

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        August 19, 2009 Flag
        1 found this helpful

        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.

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        December 8, 2009 Flag
        0 found this helpful

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

        By Wizzo49

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        December 14, 20090 found this helpful

        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.

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        August 26, 2014 Flag
        0 found this helpful

        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.

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