CROCHET TIPS & TRICKS:
Copyright 2004 by Georgiann Eikenbary
Things I've learned during many years of crocheting.
1. CROCHETING IN ROUNDS:
When you make rounds starting with 8 sts in the beg ring(or in the
2nd ch from hook), each round will have 8 more stitches than the
previous round, so Rnd 10 will have a total of 80 stitches in it.
If you beg with 12 stitches in the beg ring, each round will have
12 more stitches in it than the previous round and so forth.
2. MARKING ROUNDS without use of bobby pins or other things:
When making an item in rounds where the rounds are not joined
An easy way to mark the beg of each round is to use a yarn needle
with about one yard of a contrasting yarn. On ea round after you make
the first st of the round, pull up the yarn-filled needle down through
this stitch and leave a 2" tail. On the first st of the next round pull
the yarn-filled needle up through it. So it will look like you are
sewing from the center of the item to the outer edge in a straight
line. This makes it easier to count rounds of sc when the rounds are
3. WHEN ITEMS START TO CURL AND WON'T LIE FLAT:
If you are right handed and your stitching is starting to lean
toward the right, you need to increase, and if your stitching is
starting to lean toward the left you need to decrease.
4. NEW BALL OF THREAD:
When you first take the paper wrapper off of a ball of crochet thread,
stuff it down inside the ball of thread for safe keeping in case you lay
it aside and need to know what brand and size the thread is at a later date.
5. ONE WAY TO KEEP YOUR TENSION THE SAME WHEN CROCHETING WITH YARN OR THREAD:
Slip the beg lp of ea st just a little ways past the hook. This is the
shank part of the hook, and it along with the hook determines the size
of your sts. After you have done this for awhile it will become automatic,
and will not slow you down.
6. SINGLE CROCHET IN ROWS:
When single crocheting in rows, you always ch 1 before turning, then
usually you begin the next row in the first st after you turn. Sometimes
this very first st is easy to skip over accidentally. It is the st just
below your turning ch.
7. LONG DC CLUSTER STITCH:
Neat way to make a dc cluster is to use the long dc stitch: *yo, pull
up a loop, yo and pull through only one loop from your hook, yo and
pull through the next two loops from your hook, repeat from * two more
times, then yo and pull through all three loops on your hook.
8. SHELL STITCH:
When you make shell sts or numerous sts into one st, pay close attention
to the next unworked st as it is very easy to overlook and you may not
count it and end up having to FROGG and wonder where you went wrong. (The
next unworked st will be squeezed so much due to all the sts that were put
into the one st before it that it’s easy
9. Five DIFFERENT WAYS TO JOIN A DC Round:
A. Instead of a ch 3 at the beg of a new row or round, try joining,
ch 1, sc in same st as joining, and ch 1. When you finish the next
row or round, sl st into the ch 1 that’s on top of the sc.
B. Try the ch 3, and then this other way to see which one you think
looks the best for what you are making. Sometimes the ch 3 leaves a
little gap, but the other way kind of fills this gap up.
C. Ch 2 instead of the traditional ch 3. When you join the row or
round to the top of the ch 2 the sl st will raise it up to the right
height. So just experiment with these three ways to join a dc row
or round, and use the one you think looks best for the item you are
making; or try the fourth way.
D. When work dc's in rounds, after joining Rnd 1: begin Rnd 2 with
a ch 2 and dc in same st as joining ending Rnd 2 with a sl st in the
beg dc (not at the top of the beg ch 2 and do not count this ch 2 as
a dc); Join all rem dc rounds in this manner. The ch 2 will help
keep the 'ridges' of joinings from being so obvious!
E. Or after joining Rnd 1: begin Rnd 2 with a ch 1, sc in beg st, then
sc in the left post strand of this sc. (I think a good name for this
st would be 'double-single-crochet' or dbsc). This is also a good way to
end the rounds in granny squares, with the exception that you ch 1, and
sc in the beg st, then ch 1, sc over post of this sc, sc in left post
strandof beg sc, then make 2 dc in same sp, and work 3 dc between shells
and corners are 3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc, and end round with 3 dc in beg corner
sp and so on.
10. AFGHAN WITH FRINGE AT BEG. AND END OF EACH ROW:
When making an afghan with fringe on the beg and end of each row,
where you fasten off each row: If after leaving enough yarn on the
end of each row and fastening off turn your work after each row to beg
in the next row your afghan will not end up being out-of-shape or slanted
from one end to the other. Just don’t forget to leave enough yarn at the
beg of each row too for the fringe. This kind of an afghan ‘makes’ its
own fringe. ;o) You can make these with the fringe on both ends of the
afghan or with the fringe on both side edges of the afghan just by
determining how long or wide you make the first chain, and how many
rows you want to make.
11. YARN ENDS ON SCRUMBLES:
If you do not want to tuck in the yarn ends on a scrumble, just separate
the plies on the end pieces, then cut to lengths you think look ok. They
don’t have to be all the same length, as you might want some of these very
long and others very short etc. This gives an added look to your scrumble.
12. GRANNY SQUARES A much neater way to begin and end rounds: (Your
joining of rounds are hardly noticeable when working granny squares
Work Round 1 as for regular granny square (that has a ch-2 sp at the
corners) but end it with ch 1, sc in beg ch 3. (If you prefer to make
ch 3 at the corners, then end the round with a ch 1, hdc in beg ch 3).
Next round of the same color will start with ch 3, 2 dc in same corner
sp, and continue and end with 3 dc in last corner sp, and begin and
end each round this way except if it's the last round of the same color,
then end the round with 3 dc in last corner space, ch 2 (or 3) and join
to beg ch 3. Attach new color to any corner sp, ch 3, 2 dc in same sp,
shell between next two shells and so on ending and beginning rounds as
13. SEWING GRANNY SQUARES TOGETHER:
If you plan to sew your sq's tog, after fastening off ea sq leave an
ending piece of yarn long enough to sew it to another sq, approximately
14. YARN/THREAD TAILS:
When making sq's or other shaped motifs to use in a larger project,
it's faster and easier to tuck in all yarn/thread tails as you finish
ea sq or motif.
15. EMERGENCY STUFFING:
If you need a small amount of something to stuff a small item such
as a pincushion, you can use the lint from your clothes dryer, but
make a little cushion out of either pellon or fabric softener sheets
and stuff the lint in it, sew shut, and place inside your pincushion!
(I like to use the lint from a wool blanket for pincushions. I'm not
sure, but I think the wool helps to keep the pins/needles sharp.)
Save tiny yarn/thread or small pieces of sewing thread to stuff
pincushions, small toys for children or pets, and small crocheted
things that are sometimes part of a doily or jar lid cover, such
as holly berries, strawberries, little balloons,etc.
16. CROCHET HOOK CADDY:
Use one of those small desk organizers that has at least four different
heights of round can-shaped containers (normally used for pencils, paper
clips etc). The tallest container will hold several long afghan hooks
plus a few knitting needles. The shortest one for yarn needles, yarn
markers etc. (Or make a caddy using round plastic containers glue them
to a sturdy base made from wood/plastic or set (or glue} them down into
a small straight sided container or small box. The plastic containers
can be cut to the different heights you want.
17. BEGINNING SLIP KNOT:
If you are a beginner crocheter and have trouble making the beginning
slip knot on your hook, you can start any crochet project that's worked
in rounds by just wrapping the yarn/thread around your finger approx-
imately 3 times, then insert the hook underneath all the yarn/thread
that's wrapped around your finger, yarn over (YO),and pull up a loop,
YO, and pull yarn/thread through loop on hook, and you are ready to
begin your project starting with stitches made into the 'ring' you
just formed. (The yarn/thread you wrapped around your finger
represents the 'ring' that is usually made by making a slip knot,
chaining a few stitches, joining the chain together, and then working
stitches into the 'ring' that was made with the chain.)
18. STARTING THE CENTER OF SOMETHING MADE IN ROUNDS WITHOUT USING A
RING MADE OF CHAIN STITCHES:
(\O/) 2004 Georgiann Eikenbary
This is the way to start the center of something that is made in rounds
without starting it with the usual beginning slip knot. This works well
if the first round contains many stitches, but not a center that has
a combination of sc's or dc's along with chain stitches between the
sc's or dc's.
Instead of making the usual beginning slip knot (or just make the slip
knot 3 inches down from the end of the thread/yarn): start about 3
inches from the end of your thread/yarn wrap the thread/yarn around
your pointy finger on the left hand if you are right handed (or on your
pointy finger of your right hand if you are left handed) at least two
times, but usually no more than three times or it will be too thick.
(The 3 inches of thread/yarn is to be used after you finish making the
first round of stitches to pull the center closed.)
If you started with a slip knot three inches from end of thread/yarn:
To begin the first round of stitches: insert your hook underneath
these wrapped strands that are still on your finger and pull up a
loop from your thread/yarn source and through the slip knot, ch 1,
then proceed to work the first round of stitches into the 'ring'
you just formed.
If the first stitch of the round is suppose to be a sc, then the ch 1
is ok, but if the first st of this round is suppose to be a dc, then
ch 3 instead of ch 1. In other words, the number of chains you start
the first round with needs to be appropriate for the first stitch that
is to be made for this round.
If you did not start with a slip knot: To begin the first round
of stitches: insert your hook underneath these wrapped strands that
are still on your finger and pull up a loop from your thread/yarn
source, yo and pull through loop, ch 1, then proceed to work the first
round of stitches into the 'ring' you just formed. If the first stitch
of the round is suppose to be a sc, then the ch 1 is ok, but if the
first st of this round is suppose to be a dc, then ch 3 instead of
ch 1. In other words, the number of chains you start the first round
with needs to be appropriate for the first stitch that is to be made
for this round.
NOTE: I say usually no more than three times due to the fact if you
make a chain and join it to form a ring like doilies etc are made, you
would be making the beginning round into this ring, and a chain consists
of three strands: the top two strands and the bump or bottom strand.
If you are making something such as a potholder that calls for one of
those round plastic rings which you crochet around and it's used to hang
up the potholder, you can use this method of wrapping the thread/yarn
around your finger many times to form this ring without purchasing the
plastic ring if you want to, and crochet the stitches into your 'thread/
yarn ring' according to the pattern you are using. (I prefer the 'thread/
yarn' ring due to the plastic rings may eventually break. I have an
old vintage potholder where the plastic ring was used and it's broken,
so I plan on mending it sometime by running some thread through the
stitches that are on the broken ring and then remove the plastic
19. BOBBINS MADE FROM PLASTIC LIDS:
Make all the bobbins you need for yarn/thread from plastic lids. Use
the smaller leftover plastic to make smaller bobbins to use with
embroidery or crochet thread.
20. ORGANIZE PATTERN NOTEBOOKS:
Number your notebooks of patterns, plus give each notebook a name
as to what patterns are in there; such as Kitchen Stuff etc. Write
the number of the notebooks and the name of the notebook (Kitchen Stuff
etc) on separate index cards and list what patterns are in each notebook
on the corresponding index card. Store the notebooks in numerical order
in a bookcase, and the index cards in alphabetical order according to
the name of the notebook in a file box. Then when you want a pattern
it will be much easier to find.
21. MARKING ROUNDS or STITCHES:
Keep bobby pins handy for marking any rounds or stitches. You might
want to have a package of black ones and a package of the silver ones
to enable you to mark certain stitches differently than all the others,
such as marking a center stitch along an edge or a certain stitch where
you want to make an increse/decrease etc. (Can also use the little tiny
cotter-pin looking thing that the sleeves of men's shirts are
fastened together with.)
22. BALLS of THREAD/YARN:
To keep these from raveling all over the place and getting tangled up,
put a bobby pin through the tail end and through several strands below
it, or take a contrasting color of thread/yarn and pull it through
several strands on the ball of thread/yarn in question and tie in a
loose knot over the tail end of the ball of thread/yarn.
23. BEADS or SEQUINS:
All beads and/or sequins needed for item must be strung onto your
thread before starting a project. Sequins need to be strung with
thread going up through the back concave side of the sequin, unless
you prefer the concave side showing. Beads and/or sequins need to be
added as you work with the wrong side of project facing you as you
crochet. If you are using dc's the beadsor sequins can be added or
pushed down at any time during the constructing of the dc, but each
one should be added the same way unless you want them to have a
24. FOUR WAYS to fasten the bead/sequin to your work while making dc's:
A. yo, insert hook, push down bead/sequin, yo, and pull up lp and finish
B. after pulling up lp then push down the bead/sequin and finish making
C. yo, push down bead/sequin and finish making the dc;
D. push down bead/sequin before or after you make a dc, yo, insert hook,
pull up lp, and finish the dc.
To make an oval, first make a length of base chain equivalent
to the length of the completed oval minus its width. First round, work
along the base chain as you would if working in rows. Into the last
chain work enough extra stitches to make a semicircular fan shape,
bringing the hook round to the un-worked side of the base chain.
Continue working stitches into the chains, and at the other end work
a number of stitches into the last chain, making a fan shape as before.
Join the last stitch to the starting chain with a slip stitch.
26. 'CROCHET IN THE DITCH': This is my term which means to crochet
between the stitches. I've learned when you make an oval shape,
it turns out much neater if you 'crochet in the ditch' and making
the increases on the end curves turn out better and no guess work
as to where to increase and where not to!
27. How to keep HPL loops going the same direction when you
want them to be in the same direction:
After making a strip of HPL and before removing it from the loom run a
separate length of contrasting thread/yarn thru ea lp on ea side and
keeping each facing the same direction and not twisting. This makes
it easier to crochet without incorrectly twisting any lps. (Remove
the contrasting thread/yarn as you crochet or weave the loops tog.)
28. How to connect the ends of HPL strips when making a
round/oval or rectangular shaped item:
First of all when you make a strip of HPL make sure you leave a
beginning and an ending tail of thread/yarn at least 2 inches, then
use these ends to tie the strip ends together in a knot. Work the ends
in going in opposite directions. This knot will look so much like a
sc, it will not be noticeable at all!
29. HAIRPIN LACE Panel Sweaters or HPL Strip Sweaters:
When making a sweater you should begin the weaving of the loops on one
side of the rib of the hairpin lace of a panel and begin all of the
panels for one side of the sweater the same exact way, but on the other
side of the center of the sweater whether it is the back or the front
start the weaving on the opposite side of the rib of the hairpin lace.
This way both sides of the sweater on the back and on the front will
30. On a HPL shawl or HPL afghan each panel could be made all the
exact same way or alternate the beginning way of weaving for each
panel. Or make the panels all exactly alike until you reach the
center of the shawl or afghan and then do the other entire side
weaving from the opposite side of the rib of the hairpin lace panels.
31. How To Finish the Ends of Hairpin Lace Strips:
A. One way is to make Solomon Knots (also called love knots) evenly
spaced along the ends of each strip working into the loops and the end
of the ribs on the strips.
B. Sc along the ends of the strips working the same number of sts
in the loops and one st in each rib, or a combination of sc's and ch
sts. Then add fringe to the sc's if wanted.
C. Follow instructions for any kind of an edging you like to finish
the ends of the strips.
32. SECURING ENDS of YARN/THREAD:
Try separating the plies of the yarn and weaving them in opposite
directions, plus tie a small knot in each of the plies near the base
of the strand to help keep it from working itself out. Then weave
each end back through the same place, but skipping over the very last
yarn strand you wove it through to begin with or you will just undo
what you just did. You can tie several knots along the ends as you
weave it if you want. This works for thread crochet too, and it makes
it more difficult to ravel out if you happen to need to ravel some of
it out later! AND/OR after weaving the tail in, use matchinig sewing
thread and tack down the very end of the tails if you want. This works
33. Crocheting in back loops and/or front loops:
To make your work stronger, instead of just inserting your hook down
through the back or front loop only, also insert it in the loop that's
just below it. This way you will be going under two loops instead
of just one.
34. To keep a long chain from twisting which you want to join tog
when you make the chain as long as you want it:
A. To keep the long beginning chain from twisting: after making the
chain as long as you want, take your thumb and finger of your left
hand (if you crochet with your right hand) and gently move it along
the chain until you get to the beginning of it. Then without removing
your right hand turn the end of the chain clockwise, and insert hook
underneath both of the upper loops of the first chain. Continue
making the stitches going underneath both top loops of the chain.
B. Or after you make the chain several inches long, pin the beginning
end securely to your clothes making sure the chain is not twisted and
then proceed to finish the long chain, then turn the beg end
clockwise and insert hook underneath both of the upper loops of the
first chain, and continue making the stitches going underneath both
top loops of the chain.
35. Substitute stitches at beginning of rows or rounds instead of
making ch stitches:
\(O)/ 2007 Georgiann Eikenbary
A. Instead of a beginning ch 3, *you ch 1, sc in first st, then insert
hook in the left strand of the sc, yo, pull up loop, yo and pull loop
through both loops on hook. (This equals a dc at the beg of a row or
a round.) This stitch is called a sub-dc.
B. For a beginning ch 4 (to beg a row/round with tr's), ch 1, sc in
first st, then repeat from * once more. This stitch is called a sub-tr.
C. For a beginning ch 5 (to beg a row/round with tr tr's), ch 1, sc in
first st, then repeat from * two more times. This stitch is called a