10 Mistakes Every Crocheter Should Avoid

10 Mistakes Every Crocheter Should Avoid
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If you crochet, no matter what skill level crocheter you are, chances are you’ve made a mistake or two along the way. These things happen, especially when you’re a beginner.

But don’t worry — we’ve all been there and we have plenty of stories too!

I can recall all of the projects I’ve had to frog simply because I wasn’t keeping count. Or my project ended up being very wonky because I used the wrong hook size with the wrong yarn.

In this post, I’m going to look at 10 of the most common mistakes crocheters should avoid.

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10 Mistakes Every Crocheter Should Avoid

10 Mistakes Crocheters Should Avoid

1. Not reading all of the pattern through before you start or not following the pattern exactly – especially if you are a beginner.

Patterns are very specific for a reason — they tell you exactly what to do so that your project turns out correctly! Some patterns can be very long and detailed. It can be really tempting to want to skip all of that extra info and jump right into the project in your excitement.

But crochet designers add all of that detail for a reason. They’ve tested the pattern and spent a lot of time making sure everything is as it should be. It can be tempting to deviate from the pattern here and there, but unless you know exactly what you’re doing, it’s best to stick with it. Most designers give information for customizations, especially with projects that have a lot of different parts and seaming and shaping involved.

If something goes wrong, you’ll have a hard time figuring out where if you decided to toss the pattern aside and freestyle it.

Of course, the longer you have been crocheting, the more you will learn about adding your own twists to the pattern and making it your own. These things come with time and practice. You need to be mindful of stitch counts and stitch multiples, which stitches do not play well with others, how your yarn choice can really affect the look of the finished item etc.

While it is much easier to ‘tweak’ patterns for scarves or blankets, I strongly recommend you try not to tweak garment patterns too much while you are a beginner or intermediate crocheter.

2. Not knowing your gauge or working a gauge swatch when needed.

One of the most important things to know when it comes to crochet is gauge. You will hear it a lot too. But what is gauge?

It’s the number of stitches and rows in a certain amount of space (usually 4 inches or approximately 10 centimeters).

Knowing your gauge allows you to measure your work and make sure it is consistent throughout.

It can also be very important when crocheting garments because the designer’s gauge may be different to yours. If your gauge is too big your garment will be oversized and not fit correctly. If your gauge is too small then you won’t be able to wear it!

Gauge helps ensure your finished product turns out just as you (and the designer) intended it to.

To check your gauge, use a ruler or tape measure and count the number of stitches in 4 inches or as the pattern notes. Remember – for each stitch you need to include the space before OR after too!!

There will be another blog post soon explaining more of the ins and outs of gauge.

Checking gauge
This ruler helps me figure out the gauge (inside the window)

3. Not counting stitches.

Counting stitches might sound tedious but it is one of those things that can make or break a project.

Losing stitches (often because you have not worked the very first or the very last stitch) will reduce the width of your project. Adding stitches will increase the width. Either way your project will look uneven and untidy. In some instances it may be unusable!

With bigger projects where you have to work row after long row, you can tend to ignore counting.

But by counting stitches, you’ll know when to move on to the next step of the pattern and you won’t accidentally miss stitches (including those last ones that prevent your project from looking wonky).

For larger projects, you can count every few rows. That way, even if you made a mistake, you won’t have to frog (undo) too much of your work.

Counting stitches ensures accuracy throughout your work and prevents any unwanted surprises down the line.

Handy Hint: Use stitch markers to mark the first and the last stitch of the row and help keep you right! Even I still have to do this sometimes…

4. Not checking tension.

Tension refers to how tight or loose your stitches are and how neat they look when finished (especially if using multiple colors).

Crocheters all have different tensions and this affects their gauge swatches too. That’s why it’s good to check with a sample and different hook sizes until you find the one that works best for you and suits the pattern as well. And another reason why you measure your gauge regularly during a project, especially a bigger one that takes a few days to complete.

Many designers give recommendations on the hook size adjustments you should make to achieve the look they have in their projects.

Another reason why reading the pattern is always a great idea!

5. Not paying attention to yarn labeling.

Many people underestimate the importance of yarn labels and don’t pay much attention when selecting yarn for their projects. When I first started out, I would toss away my labels thinking they had nothing useful to tell me. I soon realized this is one of the biggest mistakes crocheters should avoid.

However, these labels contain important information about yarn weight, fiber content, yardage/meterage per skein, recommended hook size, care instructions, and more.

This information can help determine what would be best for each item.

It can even help you avoid allergies, save you from running out of yarn mid-project, and give vital washing information so you don’t lose a handmade garment.

yarn label
The label gives you all sorts of helpful information, including yardage and weight.

6. Not keeping track of your hook size.

It’s common to have a few works in progress (or WIPs, for short) and you might be struck with inspiration while you’re already crocheting something. So you put your older project away in a basket and get started on the new one. After a while, you decide to get back to it. But you forgot which hook you were using and now you’re left scratching your head.

Of all the mistakes crocheters should avoid, this one can result in a lot of heartache!

If you aren’t following a specific pattern which you can refer to, it’s always a good idea to note down what hook size you’re using for which project (especially those buried deep inside the half-done basket) because you never know when you might want to get back to it.

7. Not buying enough yarn.

I’m not sure if all crocheters notice this but yarn colors can vary, even if they’re the exact same make and colour you bought before.

A lot of designers recommend looking at the dye lot number to ensure you’ve got the same shade – it’s easy to do, just make sure that they dye lots are the same.

This can be avoided if you buy enough yarn for your project in the first place. The amount of skeins/balls or yardage is nearly always mentioned in a pattern and you can be extra careful by buying a bit extra.

If any is leftover, you can always use it for your next stash busting item or make something quick like a hat or scarf to donate!

8. Not weaving in ends properly.

This is something everyone has a different way of going about.

Some crocheters prefer to weave in their ends as they go while others wait until the very end to do so. You can use a tapestry needle or a smaller hook to work the yarn ends in.

This step adds both stability and structure to any crochet item by securing loose ends so they don’t unravel over time. It also ensures tidiness too!

It’s also a common mistake to not leave enough yarn for weaving which can cause the small ends to slip out and poke through. Always leave a long enough tail to weave in those ends!

To weave in ends properly, simply thread the loose strand through the stitch loops in at least 3 directions, and snip off excess thread tails left behind. Alternatively, you could also crochet over these strands, hiding them as you go.

weaving in ends
Before I can declare this project finished, I need to weave in this mess of yarn tails!

9. Not blocking at the end.

Blocking is one of those steps that adds finesse and really opens up the flexibility of your crochet.

This is not only highly recommended for garments, but is absolutely necessary for lacy projects and shawls that might scrunch up and look shapeless.

Bigger projects such as blankets may not need blocking but afghans made out of squares in a specific size would need that extra blocking to achieve a symmetric look.

Investing in blocking tools is a one-time thing that could really take your crochet to the next level.

10. Not being willing to learn new things.

Last, but not least, crocheters can tend to draw up their comfort zones and stick to them. There’s nothing wrong with that but it keeps you from learning so many cool new things which is why I’ve included it in this list of mistakes crocheters should avoid.

Even being an experienced crocheter, I learn new tricks about the basics such as how to start a project without a foundation chain or how to attach a zipper seamlessly to my crochet pouch.

For instance, there are numerous colorwork techniques out there, including fair isle, mosaic, tapestry, and more. All of them achieve a unique look of their own and you might have a preference but dipping your toes into new waters can help you discover all of the amazingly different ways to crochet!

I was intimidated by the corner to corner technique for so long… but look at me now! It is one of my favourites and I miss it if I haven’t done a C2C in a while.

This is a hobby that people all over the world have and contribute to. So be willing to try new things and keep learning!

10 Mistakes Every Crocheter Should Avoid


No matter how many long hours you’ve put into your crochet, there are always chances of mistakes happening, especially when you dive right into a project without a bit of strategizing.

Some mistakes crocheters should avoid are bigger than others but the key is knowing which ones are commonly made so they can easily be avoided next time around!

From not knowing our gauge and following patterns exactly to underestimating stitch counting and yarn labels, every crocheter should take note of these 10 tips listed above when working their next project. I’m sure this will save you a lot of time and plenty of headaches down the road!

I will be delving into some of these issues a bit more over the coming weeks and months, so stay tuned for that!

Happy crocheting everyone!