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Readers Respond: Top Tips for Helping Beginners Learn How to Crochet

Responses: 38

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Project Information

Some people use notebooks for project information. I keep all the information on my computer---project name, skill degree, size, hook size, type yarn used & ply & # of skeins needed, any special stitches, when started & finished, where pattern found (book & page or internet site), who project is for, any hints for later use, etc. I also try to "color" this page in colors as close as possible to the colors of the yarn being used. You could color each line or two as a background color. Hope this helps someone.
—ceci4951

Bow for the Right Side

Even though I have been crocheting for several years and knitting off and on since age 16 (and am now in my late 50's), I sometimes still have a had time telling the "right side" of a project.So to solve this problem, I take a short piece of 4ply w.w. yarn of a totally wild color that is very noticeable from the color of yarn that I am using, (no matter what type of yarn I am using in my project), take both ends of the "BOW YARN", put the ends through from "Right side" (or "Front") to wrong side (or back), several stitches apart, then fairly loosely cross over the ends of the "Bow Yarn" and bring these 2 ends from back (wrong side) to front (right side) and tie them together in a bow. That way, they cannot slip accidentally to the "wrong side". When I am finished with the project (such as putting squares together for an afghan), then I cut off all these little bows. You could also use the "second" color of your project or a contrasting color such as black/navy on a light colored pc
—ceci4951

~ Stitches Gauge~

Even though having to count stitches on each row(by using stitch markers) can be a complete bore, it is the most important thing a crocheter can do for themselves to keep a project even and helps prevent a lot of frogging. The second most important to me is following the recommended gauge on each pattern. Saves a ton of grief instead of a completed project being too small or too large. Ren in Az
—RenniC

Hook & Scissor Holder

I have found that a round pull apart travel tooth brush holder is good for holding several sizes of crochet hooks and also a pair of small "folding" scissors. This can be used at home or when you are traveling or on the go and take your crochet along (such as to a doctors appointment, waiting for the kids at dance class, etc). To keep very fine sized hooks from "slipping" out of the hole on the bottom of the case, either put a small piece of "cellophane" tape over the ends on the outside of the tube, or put a dab of glue on a cotton-tipped applicator ("Q-Tip") and swirl it on the inside end of each tube and then put a small piece of a cotton ball into the end of the tube.
—Guest ceci4951

Tying Yarn Ends

First, I always tie a knot in the end of the yarn of my beginning chain "yarn tail" , no matter what kind of yarn I am using. Then when I am finished with the project or piece (such a squares for a afghan) and don't have a pair of scissors with me to cut off the excess yarn, I put another "knot" a little ways up. When I get home or to where I can get to scissors, by seeing the "2 seperate knots", I know that this yarn tail has been woven in and is "ready" to cut.
—Guest ceci4951

nice sharp corners

When turning a corner on a square item, the pattern usually says to make an extra 2 or 3 stitches to allow for turning, but if you make the stitches one stitch taller, the corners come out really sharp! Like if you're single crochet-ing, make the corner stitches a double, or 1/2 double. Try it, it works!
—EllenSnyder

Sharing Tips

I have a paper towel holder which sat on a flat surface,I no longer used so when I started doing doilies I got it out to hold my balls of thread. Set it on the floor near me and it works just great. No more getting up to retrieve a ball of thread yarn that has rolled across the floor. It can old two different colors if you are using them, with the one in use on the top. Thus keeping your colors right there for you next time.
—Guest Gerry

count those stitches

when working, even though it may get boring, count your stitches. The result if you do this will be straight edges, rather then bulgy edges
—Guest briana

To Go Bag

I keep in a small tote all the "stuff" I need to crochet granny squares - pencil pouch with crochet hook, pattern, scissors, yarn needle, etc.), yarn, beeswax balm (my hands get dry from yarn) and a large resealable bag (2 gallon-sized). Just grab and go when you have a doctor's appointment or a long car trip. Since my husband does most of the driving, it helps to pass the time when traveling on the interstate highways and is more enjoyable than reading old magazines. As you complete the squares, store them in the plastic bag.
—Guest Susanne56

That Knotty Yarn

I use a large size plastic coffee can with a hole punched in the top, for my yarn. Saves tangles, and the skein doesn't roll away when I am crocheting.
—Guest goldenmead

Pets yarn

Put your yarn in a zip-lock bag large enough for the yarn to roll around. Then zip almost closed, with the end sticking out. While you crochet your yarn stays clean and easy to pull, and your fur babies have fun watching it. It will hold your hook too when stepping away.
—Guest Victoria

Crochet tips

when I take along my WIP, I use a M&M Tube to store my hook and needle to weave in ends. I put it in a zip lock bag with thread , pattern and scissors.
—Vikrivanec

Yarn Tangled and Check the Label

After rolling your yarn in a ball (which takes a little time but is well worth it later), roll up the yarn label and slip it into the center. Take it out while crocheting and slip it back in till the next session.
—Guest pmhenry

Hint

When I'm teaching someone how to crochet I make sure to use a big hook and soft wool .
—Guest Gloria

Bamboo Hooks are great!

Hi I am now onlyu using ergonomic and Bamboo Crochet hooks. These help me get things made with so much less strain on my hands and wrists. I get mine on eBay in sets and save bunch!!
—Guest deLadyBex

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