Friday, March 6, 2009

losing shape... losing stitches

Okay... this is a really common problem for those learning crochet...

I know, because I have experienced it first hand. Working row after row of regular crochet... just trying to make a square or a rectangle, but the shape goes all wonky - and you realise you are losing stitches. Sound familiar to anyone?

Well... I know that some of you are struggling with this... because you have told me!


Stop reading right now...
Go and get yourself a hook and some practice yarn...
and we will work through it together!


The place where you are most likely to run into trouble is where you work the FIRST and the LAST stitches of each row... and the part which can trip you up is that the 'rule' changes depending on which stitch you are working in.

To keep it really simple for today, let's use single crochet (US)

chain 6:

sc into 2nd chain from hook, sc into next 4ch:

ch1 and turn work

work your first sc into the first stitch as shown in the diagram:

sc into next 4 stitches... 5sc in total:

ch1, turn work

sc into first stitch:

sc into next 4 stitches... 5sc in total

count in your head as you go:
ch 1, turn... 1... 2... 3... 4... 5...
ch 1, turn... 1... 2... 3... 4... 5...
ch 1, turn... 1... 2... 3... 4... 5...
over and over again until you have the hang of it... it won't take long

see the way the sides are even and I am not losing stitches? yours will look like this too...

so... that's the way to start and finish your rows when you are working in either sc or hdc...

next time I'll show you what you need to do differently if you are working in dc or tr - it's not hard - you just need to know the rules!


Sicilian said...

I am awful about turning and keeping everything square.
I think it will be a big help because of the pictures.
I will let you know.

Sam said...

Those are lovely, clear pictures - you really show what to do next. I find the books are great at showing the first row, but no use after that :-)

My problem has always been with joining to make a tube. I either lose, gain or miss the end of the row completely and just keep going round!

SunJune said...

My mother is good at it too. She can make any kinds of flowers. Thanks for sharing.

laughing purple goldfish said...

sicilian - let me know... hopefully this makes things clearer for you

sam - I'll deal with that issue for you soon ;)

sunjune - thanks for stopping by

Anonymous said...

I have found when I have a long run counting will not work if I am watching tv, so I place a stitch marker in the first and last stitch to make sure I don't miss them. It does take some time but once I am into the pattern I can generally go 2-3 rows with out marking the first and last stitch. While it make take a bit longer because I do pause every few rows to move the markers up, in the end it saves me time because I am not ripping it out and re doing it. Which makes me a happier crocheter. :)

Everyday Housewife said...

Thanks for the pix. Going to try out soon. Now if I can train my dumb left fingers to control the tension and the height of the stitches. My stitches always come out shorter than my friends.

Puglette said...

thank you so much for the new tutorials! i really appreciate how nicely they are done. Yay! I will give this another go!

Anonymous said...

this is so helpful! thank you C:

Anonymous said...

i stumbled onto your blog the other day looking for scarf patterns. this post is very helpful! thank you

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