So you like to crochet? Or perhaps you’re just learning the ropes. Either way I’ve got 7 unique tips and tricks to help you out today. I know in the time I’ve been crocheting, I’ve searched the typical phrases “crochet tips for beginners” or “top crochet tips and tricks” more times than I can count. But the thing is I always end up with the same tips every single time. Some of them are useful, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t want to read the same 5 tips on every page I visit. So here are my 7 crochet tips, that are a little unconventional, but will totally help you out; and you definitely won’t have seen these ones before!
Number One: Start BIG...but not too big!
When you start something new, everyone is full of advice and crochet is no different. “Start small!” is one of the things we’ve all heard before, but here’s the thing, with crochet it’s actually MUCH harder to do a small project than a big one! I don’t mean you should rush in and decide to make a new king-size blanket for your bed, but I DO mean, don’t start with that adorable bunny from Pinterest that balances in the palm of your hand.
For your first project or a new start after a break from the hobby, I’d suggest working with a 4mm hook. This size is my personal favourite. It’s not so small that it’s fiddly, but not so huge that just handling the thing is a nightmare. It’s also a great choice because it’s a size used in so many different projects. You could go straight in to a simple baby blanket with a 4mm, or if your heart is set on amigurumi (as mine was!) go for a larger bear or animal. These things are what I would call medium projects. They use a handy size hook and yarn, make a decent item at the end but don’t take weeks and weeks to finish. Thus providing you with a great sense of achievement when it’s done, you’ll be hooked in no time (pun absolutely intended!)
Number Two: Get Distracted
What was I saying? Oh yes, when you’re crocheting something large it helps to get distracted. Repeating the same stitch over and over again can become tedious even for the most enthusiastic crocheter and so my next unconventional tip is to find yourself a distraction.
When I’m crocheting, I usually have the TV on, music in my ears or our old favourite Netflix at the ready. My Mad Fat Diary on channel 4 is the ONLY thing that got me through 49 identical granny squares for my sofa blanket!
You might be thinking, “well, if I’m absorbed in my favourite Netflix saga, I’m going to start missing stitches and mess up my project” and you know what, you might be right. I thought that too and eased myself into the art of distraction with music. This way my eyes could stay on my project but I still had something else to keep me occupied. I don’t recommend you watch your favourite TV soaps or classic movie (mainly because you’ll get no crochet done at all!) just something to keep you interested, it really makes those several thousand stitches go by a lot faster.
Number Three: Have More Than One WIP (work in progress)
Something most crocheters won’t struggle with: having more than one project on the go at once. You know what it’s like, you’ve just started those cute booties for the imminent arrival of your cousin and you’ve logged onto pinterest and seen an adorable rabbit lovey, you just HAVE to make. Some people may wait and finish one thing before starting the next but not me, I’m all about running with my inspiration. I actually find it very useful having more than one WIP on the go at any one time and you can see why below.
Very simply, it means I can swap up what I’m working on depending on my mood. At the time of writing, I have 3 projects ongoing, something easy, something I have to concentrate on and something very difficult. Having this range of projects means that when I’m tired I can pick up my easiest project and still relax with my favourite hobby but also I am working towards completing my bigger complex project when I’m energised or when it’s the best light.
Number Four: Go to Specsavers, no REALLY!
When I first started to crochet, I absolutely fell in love with it and wanted to spend every waking hour, hook in hand, creating something new. This wasn’t possible though as I found I got really painful headaches after short periods of crocheting and it upset me so much! It was on the advice of my mother (good old mums, eh!) that I took a trip to the opticians. Low and behold I needed reading glasses to wear during my crochet sessions and they solved my problems! Now, when I actually remember to put my specs on, I can crochet for hours on end, headache free!
So that’s my fourth tip, get your eyes tested! I did promise 7 Crochet Tips That are a Little Unconventional but Will Totally Help you out so don’t say I didn’t warn you about their unique and out-there ness. Glasses might be just what you need to increase your crochet productivity ten-fold.
Number Five: Procrastinate
Probably the only time in your life when you’re going to be TOLD to procrastinate so make the most of it. I find procrastinating really helpful when it comes to crochet because seeing all the beautiful projects online is the best way to get my bottom in gear and start working on my own yarn creations! Nothing gets me hooking away quicker than being jealous of someone else’s lovely work on my crochet Facebook group, Instagram feed or Pinterest dashboard.
An unusual tip but use it to your advantage! When you’re just about getting tired of that blanket you’ve been crocheting away at all afternoon, switch on your mobile device and dive into Ravelry. You’ll be so inspired, (or jealous, I won’t tell!) that when you turn back to that ball of yarn, you’ll be a totally refreshed crocheter, banging out those triple crochets like there’s no tomorrow!
Number Six: Don't Follow the Pattern
Disclaimer: Please DO follow the pattern! This tip is not all about free stitching your way to something glorious. Some of you may well be able to do that and if you can all well and good, but what I’m trying to say here is; If you mess something up on the pattern, DON’T WORRY, WING IT! I do this all the time, probably every project I’ve ever made has something in it that I’ve made up on the spot.
I think this is one of the most important things that you can be told as a beginner or just as a crocheter who is lacking confidence. If you get to the end of the row and you’re missing a stitch, yes you can unravel it all and add it in the correct space, and sometimes I would recommend this, but it’s just the most disheartening thing in the world. I’d much rather have a slightly wonky finished project than a perfect 3/4 of something I became too demotivated to finish. I know this will bother some of you so you have to crochet your way, all I’m saying is, it’s absolutely okay if you made a mistake and fixed it in an unconventional way. Most likely, you’re the only person who is going to notice anyway. Consider it a secret between you and the yarn.
Number Seven: Surround Yourself With Crochet; LITERALLY
My house is full of crochet. There is literally an on the go project hanging around in all of the rooms I spend a decent amount of time in. I know what you’re thinking; “How does that help you?” or “That just sounds like a mess!”. And yes, you’re right, it IS a mess, but a HELPFUL mess.
It’s helpful because it means I always have something to pick up. If I’m watching TV in the living room, I can grab the hooks, yarn and started project I’ve left on the table and do a few rows in the ad break. If it’s late but I’m not sleepy yet, I can reach under the bed and, oh look, it’s that present for Nan, I could finish that before I fall asleep.
Now for some of you, this might not be helpful at all but for someone like me, who uses crochet as her main source of income, it’s very important that I maximise productivity to earn as much as possible. You might have Christmas gifts to finish before the big day and leaving them around the house will get you working on them I promise! Of course, don’t crochet in the bathroom, soggy yarn is a nightmare to dry out!
That was my 7 Crochet Tips That are a Little Unconventional But will Totally Help You Out. I hope you enjoyed reading through and it inspired you to change something about your crochet routine to make it a little more productive or enjoyable. Keep a look out for more crochet content coming soon.
Much Love Crochet Friends, Emily (The Crochet Creature)