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

Responses: 47

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Post-it Notes

I keep a tablet of tiny post-it notes in my crochet bag. Placed upside down, you can stick it above the row you are working on so your eyes go right to that row. It can be moved over and over as you go thru your pattern. And when i put my work away, I jot down "finished row XX" on that post-it note so I know exactly where I left off. The post-it notes are inexpensive and very useful.
—tugboatgrandma

Top Tips for Helping Beginners Learn How

I think its very important learn to read graphics and patterns symbols
—ccremo

Storing Hooks

I have a little case that my hubby received a fancy ink pen in that made a great hook & supply holder. I have several hooks, a pair of cuticle scissors, yarn needles & a nail file in it. Great protection & small enough to keep with me all of the time. I like it because opens in half & allows me to see just what I need.
—Guest Kathy

teach someone to crochet left handed

To teach someone how to crochet left handed, have them watch you crochet in a mirror. It reverses the crochet to left handed. Find a mirror that you can set on a table and start crocheting!
—Guest Linda B

Dont Go Tip Down

When using bamboo or another wooden crochet needle(s) dont put them in your ball of yarn tip down. When I went to pull my bamboo needle out it got caught on the yarn in side the ball and broke :)
—kdizne

Scrapbook for crocheted items.

I am into creating bed dolls, afgans, decorater dolls, etc. I sell them as they are ordered. I have a picture of most of the dolls and afgans I have sold or given as gifts. People over the years have used these pictures to order for gifts. Always keep track of successful items you create. I just created a hat made out of strips of plastic shopping bags. Cool!
—Guest Syndee

Share crochet tips

When crocheting with the bedspread thread, I use a black marker to write the color number and size number on the inside of the yarn holder, which is generally a cardboard roll. This way if you lose the papers that come with it, you still have the important info needed if having to replace or use more of the same color.
—Guest Gerry

Scrapbook

To add to the info on Crochet Scrapbook. I always (now) take a picture of any project, it's amazing how many things you make over the years and how many things you forget you made. Definitely a must do.
—Guest Pam

BLDeBushe

When making crochet gifts, I save at least one label from the yarn to enclose with the gift to show the care instructions. I save a label to store with a photo of the project with the info about who I gave it to and when it was made. I also make notes on crochet patterns in instruction books about who I made it for and when. My crochet photo book goes back only 25 years. Wish I had started sooner!
—Guest BLDeBushe

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

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