A lot of people love to crochet scarves and blankets, as they are some of the easiest of patterns to follow. However, some people notice that as they go into it further, their project ends up with one end wider than the other when it shouldn’t be the case. You will know this is happening when your stitches seem to grow for each row you are stitching. And this can only mean that you are not starting and stopping on the correct spot per row. The only solution to this is to count your stitches. Your pattern will tell you which spot you need to start and which spot you need to stop per row when stitching. Counting stitches can be a tedious task but as you go along the pattern, you will be able to tell where to start and stop without having to count so carefully. As a general rule, when doing the single crochet stitch, you will have to start in the first stitch of the row directly next to the chain. For double crochet stitches, you will have to start in the second stitch of the row, one stitch between it and the chain. As for when you need to stop, count the number of stitches you made on the first row and when you do the second row, stop when you hit that number, turn and continue doing the third row.
Another common mistake in crochet is when one crochets only using the front loop. Normally, this makes the project look larger than expected and makes it look like the project is somewhat uneven. For simpler projects, it looks like something is amiss. But for more complex patterns such as stuffed animals done using crochet called amigurumi, it’s more noticeable. If your project looks slightly different from the front and the back, that is the most telling sign that you are only crocheting using the front loop. Unless the pattern explicitly tells you so, you have to crochet every stitch with both the front and back loops. Doing so will ensure that your project won’t turn out bigger than it’s supposed to. The key is just to follow the instructions of the pattern and you will never go wrong. Otherwise, when that is not indicated, always create your next stitch using both the front and back loop.
Sometimes, even if you follow all the instructions indicated in the pattern, your work still isn’t the right size. Even if you counted your stitches and you crocheted using both the back and front loops, it can still happen. So, what seems to be problem? Oftentimes, crocheters either forget to make gauge or choose to skip this step altogether. But gauging is an important step in crocheting for a reason. This is basically your trial round so that you get your stitches done right. Just because you are doing the single crochet stitch as indicated in the pattern doesn’t mean nothing can go wrong anymore. The size of the stitches may not be the same as what is necessary. The purpose of the gauge is for you to ensure you get the right tension and stitch sizes so that your finished project will be the same size as indicated in the pattern. When creating a gauge swatch, make sure that the finished gauge size is the same as indicated in the pattern. If you find that your swatch is too big or too small, try to troubleshoot by changing the size of your hook. Create a new gauge until you are able to create the perfect swatch. And when you do, proceed to actually starting with your project.
Another issue beginners most often deal with is overly tight stitches. When you do your first row, keep in mind that you will be fitting another row into the loops you have first created and you want it to have enough space for accommodation. Too tight stitches will give you a hard time to fit your next row in it and this may cause a lot of frustration. When you begin, take deep breaths, shake your hands a little and loosen up. Gripping your wares too tightly will create really tight stitches. If you notice your hands aching after only a few minutes of crocheting, that means you are gripping to tightly. The key is to loosen up and go easy. Yarn tends to unfold itself, as it should, so you don’t have to be anxious about it. With practice, you will eventually be able to learn the correct tension you need without having to remind yourself that you need to go easy.
Patience is one of the most tested virtues when doing crochet, as well as perseverance. Keep in mind that it is common even for the most seasoned crocheters to commit mistakes. After all, we are all just human. Give yourself some leeway, and if you see your pattern not ending up the way it’s supposed to, you can always try again. There’s no need to beat yourself up for it. Figure out where you went wrong and see how you can rectify it. If you have to start over, so be it. It’s not the end of the world, is it?