View Full Version : Practicing basics & still can't get it

03-30-2009, 05:28 AM
I have some acrylic yarn and an I/5.5 m hook (I bought this hook and yarn type because they are the type needed for the pattern I am practicing for). I've looked at all the videos and I've got some of the stiches down pretty well. I've been practicing single crochet, double crochet, and tried a circle (need way more practice there).

My problem is when I look at swatches of a completed square in books and online, the stiches are really tight (teeny little holes in between). Not only do my stiches look nowhere near this, but I can't seem to make them any tighter. I usually have to work the hook through the loops (doesn't just slip through) but that's as tight as I can get it and it still looks super loose compared to the photos I've seen. If I stich any tighter I'm not sure I'll be able to get the hook through the stiches at all - or even be able to tell one loop in the chain from the next.

For technique, I've been using the tuts on hookedonneedles and others similar. I also have a Vogue On The Go book for crochet.

Hints? Tips?

03-30-2009, 07:51 AM
It shouldn't take work to get through a stitch in a row. (Stitches on the beginning or end of a row may take some work.)
You probably need a smaller hook and are using too tight of a tension.

Just like knitting the suggested hook sizes are only suggestions.

03-30-2009, 08:46 AM
I have found that how a stitch looks depends a great deal on the type of yarn you are using. I've had to use yarns such as Caron Simply Soft, which some people love but personally I don't like much at all. It doesn't seem to have much substance to it and it makes the stitches look very loose and shapeless. A smaller needle with this type of yarn might help.

A yarn like Red Heart worsted, either the classic or the new soft type, has substance and shape to it which remains after it is stitched and even after it is washed over and over again. Stitches seem to hold their shape and you can frequently get away with a larger size needle and still have nice even good looking stitches with a more substantial yarn like this.

I would say to try a different yarn and a smaller hook. Also practice keeping tension on your working yarn so you can eventually get nice even stitches.

As with anything, practice practice practice! It's worth it in the end!


03-30-2009, 09:22 AM
Try looking at the crochet videos by Teresa on youtube.com Just type in crochet videos. She has fantastic videos on just about everything, and a lot of them include doing the stitches in slow motion. I agree that you may need a smaller hook. I started with an H, it's only one size down from your I hook, but you'd be surprised at the difference. I taught myself to crochet, and it does take a lot of practice, especially working in the round LOL but it is so worth it. Good Luck. Keep trying. Bring your questions here, or pm one of us, we'll be glad to help.

03-30-2009, 09:48 AM
I do need to get some other hooks. I live in Israel and found a yarn store, but they only had plastic hooks and I figured since I was just practicing that would be fine. I bought Teddy's Wool acrylic, one of the only yarn brands locally available.

Anyhow, I'm pleased to say my stitches all look the same (after ripping out and starting over 12 times). Just kind of large. I'll get one or two more hooks and see if it helps (yah me!) or looks the same (boo me!).

I will conquer in the round...ooommmmm...I will conquer in the round...oommmmmm...might take a year.....

03-31-2009, 10:09 AM
You will conquer in the round, I did!! When you do, you'll be amazed at how simple it really is. I use a small safety pin to mark my first stitch because that's what I had the most trouble with, knowing where to join after completing a round. Sounds as if you're doing well. Looking forward to seeing your first completed project. Please don't give up, You Can Do This!!!!!

04-02-2009, 10:02 AM
I would also recommend to take a look at YouTube. You can find many tutorial videos and other stuff related to knitting. YouTube is a place where you can get good knitting advice but of course it's not as a great community as this site.

04-04-2009, 03:42 PM
This ladies videos on youtube is how I learned. She has 450 + videos now.


04-21-2009, 12:36 PM
Whatever you do, dont get aggravated and give up. You will get it! It took me a while to get the hang of crochet.. For some reason, knitting came natural to me, but it took me several attempts to "get" crocheting, I had always heard knitting was more complicated to learn, so I was really perplexed for awhile and almost gave up, but I am soooo glad I didnt!! I agree with the others, to watch the videos on youtube, that is how I learned. The more you practice, the better your stitches will become! Once you learn the technique, you can work on your tension. I am still learning, but I have finished several projects, and with each one, they are looking better and better...

Best of luck to you!
Angie :)