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

Responses: 46

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From the article: Crochet Tips for Beginners
If you've been crocheting for awhile, you've probably picked up some valuable crochet tips along the way. Why not share them with other crocheters? If you have helpful hints or time-saving tips, please post them here. Thanks in advance for sharing your knowledge! Share Crochet Tips

Keeping place and thread ID

tiny post-it notes are best for keeping your place on an instruction sheet. When it calls for sets of repeats, I will use the post-it to mark a tally after completing the repeat and not mark my pattern. Another thing I've used is when opening a new ball of bedspread weight or finer thread, I save the paper or plastic outer label and stuff it into the center of the cardboard roll to identify the size, color lot, brand, etc., for later or to give laundering instructions with a gift. It remains there just fine.
—Guest Eva Anderton

Help

Just stay calm and keep crocheting. If you get frustrated put it down and come back to it later. The worst thing you can do is continue after you make a mistake.
—Guest Cocoa

My tips

I type the instructions for my projects and leave spaces between instructions. This is much easier to follow. I also use a makeup bag with four pouches that hold my supplies. This came from Target.
—Guest Patricia Pilipuf

tension

Learning to control tension is very important. It is what makes your stitches even. Learn how to wrap your yarn or thread around your fingers and using it to control the tension is awkward at first, but is a very valuable thing to making it look good. Although I couldn't find anything on this site to show you how to do it, I'm sending this link to a friend because she wants to learn to crochet. Great site!
—Guest robin

Learning Stitches, etc

Sometimes it helps to watch a tutorial online if you're having trouble learning from looking at pictures or illustrations. There are tons of online resources for crochet. Also, don't be afraid to create your own patterns...just start small, build your confidence and then try bigger projects. Really pay attention to not only the look of each stitch but how it feels and how it looks when you set it down between stitches or if you pull out each part of the stitch. Basically, know each step of the stitch: not just the finished stitch. Hard to explain why but it helps. And don't be afraid to try new things!!! I've had a tremendous amount of fun with Tunisian crochet and I loved it from the first stitch!!
—Guest Tonya

Sewing in ends

I wish someone had shared this with me years ago....use a dental floss threader to thread yarn needles. Thay are cheap, come in multi-packs in case you lose one, and are very durable. Makes threading needles a breeze, especially if ends are frayed.
—Guest DneeceE

Tool Storage

I was running out of room in the pencil case for the many tools I have accumulated. Especially hooks because I think I lost one and buy another. So I put everything in an empty tennis ball container and it is clear too.
—twinksgma

yarn holder

I use a plastic beverage pitcher with a lid to hold the yarn I'm using. Skeins stay upright and balls don't roll all over (also prevents the cat from "helping")
—Guest MindyeM

Jules

I always cut a length from the yarn I'm using & tie it around a label from the batch in use. I keep photos of each project with the appropriate yarn labels & references for the patterns in separate plastic slip covers in an A4 folder. Fold the top of each cover over and secure with a paperclip to keep everything inside.
—Guest Tryff

Make note of colors

When I start a new project, I make sure to write down the yarn I am using. I put the manufacturer, color (with lot number), and weight. Also, when changing the colors in a pattern to suit my tastes I note what I substituted (i.e.- Color A green, Color B purple). That way I know what colors I substituted when I come back to the project later!
—Guest Beckie

Make note of colors

When I start a new project, I make sure to write down the yarn I am using. I put the manufacturer, color (with lot number), and weight. Also, when changing the colors in a pattern to suit my tastes I note what I substituted (i.e.- Color A green, Color B purple). That way I know what colors I substituted when I come back to the project later!
—Guest Beckie

Little things add up

I've been crocheting for 40years and anything that makes your life easier or more enjoyable is fair game! Until you are used to the abbreviations and terms, write yourself out a "cheat sheet" on an index card.For keeping count of rows or rounds a pedometer will do just fine as a stitch counter.A handy and free yarn holder can be made by cutting the bottom off a 2litre bottle,putting the yarn in and threading the end thru the pour spout. Duct tape the cut edges to keep from snagging the yarn.When using a ball of thread or yarn a metal bowl will keep it from getting away from you. The plastic or metal tubes some cigars come in are perfect for holding steel {size 0 thru 15}hooks. For sore or tired hands a padded grip can be made by cutting a piece of foam rubber or foam spongeinto a 3 or 4 inch long that is of a depth that feels good to you. Put a hole thru the center lenghtwise with a knitting needle or a piece of wire then insert the crochet hook. adjust the size to suit you.
—Pat.P

crochet hook holder

I used to be in the medical field. We used 60-cc syringes, and the case they come in has a nice cap that can hold a hook, small pair of scissors, pencil/pen/highlighter and folded up directions pretty well. I keep it in the bag with the project I am doing. This way if I have to leave it for a week or so, I don't have to remember which hook I was using, or what pattern I was using.
—lifeguard_911

Pencil boxes

A school pencil box ($1 when school sales oare on) works great for putting hooks, scissors, counter, etc. in. There is plenty of room for most items you need when doing a project and they are all handy. I buy the small plastic carrying cases with lids (different sizes for different projects) and put all items needed in it and I am ready to grab it and go anytime. I usually have more than one project in waiting. If you are new to this hobby please ask any crocheter for help and hints. They love to talk about their craft.
—Guest Sharon

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

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Top Tips for Helping Beginners Learn How to Crochet

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