Crochet Trade Secrets! Got Any? Want To Share Any?

Hi everyone!

It’s been quite a while since my last blog post! How are you all? I’ve been busy with lots of little things, but I’ll save that for another day.

Today’s post is all about you! Your Crochet Trade Secrets, your little hints, tips, and words of advice that will help your fellow crocheter’s, especially those first starting out in Crochet. I asked this question on my Instagram page a few days ago, and was blown away by the amount of amazing advice from you all! So many helpful hints and tips, so many wonderful words of wisdom! I promised to write a blog post with all of your words. This is my 3rd draft, which will hopefully become a published piece! The reason I’m having such trouble is that I really want to make sure you all get the full credit for your comments. I want to make sure that each person who left a comment is named, and given the recognition they deserve. If it wasn’t for your comments on my question, I wouldn’t have a blog post to write about right now! So before I go on, I’d like to thank each and every one of you for taking the time to share your knowledge, I know it was extremely helpful to me, I learnt some new things, and I know you, who is reading this right now, might just learn something new too. I’ve decided the best way is to copy and paste your comments, I don’t want it to end up lost in translation. 

I hope you all enjoy reading the words of advice below and if you have anything to share, please be sure to leave me a message and I’ll add your words of advice to future blog posts. 

  • susie_crochets This may sound silly, but I recently got a yarn swift and until I watched a video I was clipping the little strings that held the skein together before I put the skein on the swift. So my tip: Don’t clip off the little holding strings until you have the skein securely on the swift. πŸ’

  • kal20m learn how to do standing sc, hdc, dc and trb – they are a great way to start a row without landing up with the gap between the 3 chain and the next stitch. Get some decent little scissors – I know it sounds strange but having them makes such a difference to how the cut yarn looks. Find hooks that work for you – whatever they are – don’t get hung up on a brand ‘because so-and-so said they were good’ – borrow hooks until you find what works for you. I LOVED the look of the Furls hooks – bought one and couldn’t crochet to save my life with it – it just didn’t work for me – thankfully they are a fantastic company and will accept hooks returned to them for a full refund including postage – seriously – the best customer service I have ever received. Make notes – whether in a book or an app (I use Knitting Buddy) because when you don’t finish a project and you come back to it – you will ALWAYS wonder what size hook you were using – EVERY – SINGLE – TIME. Give patterns a go – try them out – and don’t be afraid to get a little ways into a project and then decide to frog it – it’s better to frog it than continue with a pattern that just doesn’t do it for you because it will just become a d-r-a-g to get finished and you won’t be filling it with love (I am speaking from lots of experience on this one !!!)

  • stitchedupcraft I have two pieces of advise. 1) You don’t have to stick to the ‘rules’. Be creative and do what works best for you. (eg if I make a ‘mistake’ I may use the long ends that I sew in that just may happen to go over the part I don’t like to tidy it up πŸ˜‚). 2) So often we see on Instagram a gorgeous finished product photographed beautifully and to those in the early stages of their crafting journey you can feel inadequate or like your creations are not good enough to share. But even the best in the biz have to 🐸and start again or they think about how they could do something better/different next time. So try not to compare your work to others (I’m still trying to learn this one myself πŸ™ˆ) because you never know what journey someone else has been in to get that lovely product completed πŸ˜€

  • stitchfrogstudios I like @kal20m‘s comment about making note of pattern, yarn, and hook when starting a project! I have had to frog many a pattern because I couldn’t remember something about the project, thus rendering it useless! My tip would be to try new things! YouTube is a fantastic resource for learning new techniques!

  • kal20m Also – invisible join is a great way to end so you can’t see the end join.

  • kymmies_boutique Hmmmm not too sure I have much to offer. When I look back on when I first started. I think perseverance is a must. If I didn’t persevere I would have given up and wouldn’t have made all the creations I have made. I think it took me a good year for everything to really click and have a full understanding of crocheting. I also found back in my beginner days YouTube can be your teacher. So many amazing tutorials on there to help in any aspect of crocheting. Maybe my last thing would be, once you get comfortable with crocheting and you think you are hooked, invest in a good set of crochet hooks. It can make all the difference. πŸ’œπŸ˜ŠπŸ˜ŠπŸ˜ŠπŸ’œ

  • curandeiracrochetI definitely agree with not giving up! My first projects were indeterminable blobs πŸ˜‚πŸ˜… And don’t worry so much about sticking to patterns exactly. If you like the way something else looks, do it! Experiment! And if it turns out terribly at least you learned something πŸ˜‹

  • k_e_rr_y I’m not good at crocheting but i did learn to crochet on my own from watching @thecrochetcrowdon YT. Best crochet teacher ever. His videos are easy to follow and he even shows mistakes and how to correct them. He doesn’t edit them out.

  • sumathi_latch Dear Cathy I admire you for attempting to come with some new designs! πŸ‘ I would think while you are working towards to coming up with new patterns on your own it important to enjoy crocheting! Sometimes when we keep frogging we actually wasted a lot of time. While I have no intention to design new patterns in both crochet and knitting what I am doing is continuously learning new knitting techniques like brioche knitting, intarsia, Fair isle etc which are timeless. Similarly in crochet there is many techniques to be learnt. For an example when joining granny squares there many techniques. For me I like sewing the Victorian way. The way it was done hundreds of years ago. There was no quick short cuts but patient sewing together to give a timeless lacy effect! I am a strong believer that there is no short cut to anything but a learning journey where one will breakthrough and be able to design something unique

  • yarnmugs I love the magic knot for some projects but also would encourage the various YouTube tutorials. I learnt how to knit a whole sock that way. Learning the skills of knitting or crochet develops over time and I continue to love learning new aspects of these lovely crafts πŸ‘

  • harold_and_claude Learn to read patterns and charts! I’ve read many different patterns and there are neat little spins each designer put in their work and I’ve learned a lot that way. Also, cut a small piece of yarn and tape it to the information band and keep in a notebook. That way you have color, dye lot, brand, hook size, yarn weight and length all in one handy spot!

  • the_purple_iris Not sure if it’s a trick or not, but when doing amigurumi I use a bent paper clip instead of a stitch marker that needs to be clipped and Unclipped. I find its so much easier!!

  • jubileecreations my small piece of advice is like someone mentioned, don’t give up! It takes time but before you know it, you’ll be creating beautiful things that you never thought you could! It’s fun! πŸ˜‰πŸ˜ great post btw, and I’d love to read your blog or webpage when you have all this put together! Oh and one more, if you’re working on a blanket or at least not “in the round”, and some patterns say to chain 3 and double crochet, but chaining 3 always leaves a gap, if you chain 2 and then double crochet, it looks much neater! That’s my two bits.πŸ˜ŠπŸ’–

  • thecheekyhedgehog My tip is a bit similar to others, but if I have to put aside a wip, I use a zip lock bag , you can buy jumbo ones if you need a big one 😊 and I have a sheet that I can write all my info on , hook size, pattern source, Cal name, etc and store it all together, sometimes it’s a while before I can get back to some of them, all that info is all at hand 😊

  • creating_time my biggest tip is to learn about the anatomy of the stitch before you take on big projects. It’s very helpful to know exactly which post belongs to each stitch, and how to identify different types of stitches in a project. It will save you so much heartache and frogging in the future! There is a great blog post about it on lookatwhatimade.net 😊😘

  • hendraharbour I loved this post, and totally agree that the crochet community is awesome 😊 for me, the thing that makes the biggest impact is thinking about colour combinations. I definitely can’t afford to buy all the gorgeous yarn that I’d like, so I use a fair amount of less expensive yarn for big projects. But these often give you a fairly wide range of colour choices, and it’s worth taking the time to educate yourself about balancing colour, tone, etc. This can make something made from less expensive yarn look high end. Following people on IG who focus on using colour effectively is a good place to get inspiration for crochet colour choices.

  • irene_still_learning I also love how open and supportive this community is. I don’t know if this counts as a “trade secret” but Jan Eaton’s book “200 crochet blocks” taught me soooo much! I did most of the blocks in the book and each one taught me something new, or reinforced a technique.

  • hookalookacrochet Back then when I first learned to make amigurumi as a gift to a friend’s little ones, I found this idea from pinterest that solve my concern if the baby chewed the amigurumi and the stuffing kinda leaking. Just use a cheap sheer tights as the liner of your amigurumi! 😁

  • crochetingbycarolannsdaughter when I first started crocheting a couple years back… all I did for almost a solid year was make baby blankets for everyone I knew using only the single crochet..yes I got finally got bored and thought to myself there’s got to be more to crocheting then this.. YouTube became my best friend learning new stitches and off I went creating beyond my wildest dreams.. variety is the spice of life…. I only wish I would have started by learning to read a pattern.. to this day almost 3 years later.. couldn’t read or understand one if my life depended on it… love your story❣

  • mariaf2215 I try to do a sample of the yarn, colours and pattern that I want to use to see how it will look. I’ll try different stitches to see what I prefer. Get feedback from family on what they think and like. There’s no I in team. If still no idea I’ll leave samples for a few days then come back and usually work it out. Also the internet is full of inspiration.

  • doodledogcrochet I do love this crochet community πŸ™‚ My tip is: always leave tails of at least 20cm and sew them in four different directions, the last being directly backwards over the piece you’ve just sewn. And make sure you see through the actual fibres of the yarn. That will help hold it in place (even though it feels really wrong). If you follow this formula you’re ends will never unravel!

  • doodledogcrochet Also, finish rounds with an invisible join, it makes your work so much neater especially when making madalas etc. All you have to do is finish your last stitch, cut the yarn and pull it all the way through. Skip the chain at the beginning of the round and insert your hook into the next stitch from back to front. Pull through your end. Then go back to the last stitch of the round and insert your hook in the back loop from back to front. Pull through your end. Sew it in and you’re done! It looks just like a stitch rather than leaving that annoying little knot πŸ™‚ (if that’s confusing then there’s probably some great youtube tutorials!)

  • vickys_handcrafted_designs Write the pattern out with each step on a separate line. This is especially helpful when dealing with patterns with multiple stitches in one row. For instance if Row 2 said to dc, in the first stitch, 3 trebles in the next stitch, dc in the next stitch write it out like this Row 2: *double crochet in first stitch. *3 trebles into the next stitch. *double crochet in the next stitch. You can tick each stage as you go along so that you don’t miss any of the stitches in that row.

  • mycrochetmakesI agree with @kal20mabout standing stitches to stop that gap, and another trick I use is chain 1 less e.g. ch2 instead of ch3 to count as the first tr (US dc) πŸ‘Š

  • kal20m https://youtu.be/8MsVeIId2UY here is the standing sc by @mooglyblog– Tamara has a bunch of you tube videos to show sc, hdc, dc standing stitches which are different to foundation sc or dc which are excellent for starting blankets. Saves trying to crochet into the chain stitches.

  • hooksandhills What an amazing thread!! I cannot add to the above except to say agree v much re magic loop, standing stitches and invisible joins. I learned these by attempting blocks beyond my skill level, using youtube by Tamara @mooglyblog– always my go-to when I’m stuck – and persevering persevering – I’m stubborn lol. Agree with @irene_still_learning hello Irene 😊 #janeaton200crochetblocks – I’ve recently made 30 of them and learned heaps! Love love the instagram crochet community! Thank you for introducing this topic Cathy ☺☺☺

  • hooksandhills Oh and good hooks make *huge* difference – for me, clover amours, but open to trying different ones too. I’m reading Dora Ohrenstein’s The Crocheter’s Skill-Building Workshop and she talks about different types of hook working well on different projects, so don’t get stuck in a hook rut I guess, even if love a certain brand / model. Totally recommend this book too, sooooo much fabulous knowledge shared ☺

  • deblyna The 1st thing I thought of when I read your post was something that I’ve only recently become really comfortable with. I always had trouble with counting stitches. It sounds silly when i put it into words 😊 If I lost count when chaining I dreaded having to recount the sts. Same with other sts. The single most helpful thing for me has been learning to recognize the sts so you know what does and doesn’t count as 1. I don’t think I’m explaining this very well. When I 1st started crocheting the patterns said not to count the slip knot when chaining so I would skip the 1st ch thinking that was what they meant. Then trying to get the right count on the upper rows was so frustrating! Not only was the ch count off, but I thought the ch up for the next row was a st. I couldn’t visually tell the dif between a ch 2 and a dc. Geez! Talk about a long post!

  • thekrankykrocheter I only suggest to have fun and don’t be afraid to try something a little different. Once you know the basics you am figure most things out.

 

If you’ve read this far, thankyou, I really appreciate it and I’m sure each of these wonderful Crocheter’s appreciate it too! The big messages here are, don’t give up, don’t compare your work to others and have fun! And lots of other great tips that will make crocheting easier!

Click on the names of each of the Crocheter’s and you will be taken to their Instagram pages, let’s show them a little Insta love!

Hugs to you all

Cathy x

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