5 Common Crochet Mistakes People Make When Learning How To Crochet

5 Common Crochet Mistakes Beginners Make

Avoid these 5 common crochet mistakes people make when they are learning to crochet! Start the right way and learn how to avoid them!


Crochet is becoming more and more popular. Modern designers keep bringing out new patterns and innovative ways how to crochet timeless pieces.

The days when crochet was referred to as an “old lady hobby” are long gone. Crochet is a versatile craft.

Whether you want to create quirky colorful pieces in a rainbow of colors or modern, classic, and timeless garments, crochet can do it all.

The variety of techniques and stitches is endless. And what is even better is, that it never stops evolving.

Ever heard anyone say “I’ve been crocheting for 50 years”… To me, it does not matter at all whether you have been crocheting one day or 50 years… We are all prone to make these common crochet mistakes.

There is always a new stitch combination or a technique that you have not come across… We all have something new to learn every day…

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5 common crochet mistakes people make when learning to crochet

Enjoying crochet and how to avoid common crochet mistakes

Using a hook and yarn is a great way to create beautiful items for yourself or others. Whether you are longing for that colorful granny crochet sweater you have seen or just want to make a little gift for others, crochet is the way to go!

It’s also a mindful and relaxing hobby that anyone can learn. Although, it takes patience and a keen eye for detail. Once you overcome these common crochet mistakes, crochet can be a great way to pass the time.

Whether you have made a few things or are only just starting out, this post should help you avoid the common crochet mistakes EVERY crocheter made when they first started.

Read on to find the most common crochet mistakes and what you can do to avoid them!

Common Crochet Mistake no. 1 – Not knowing what size hook to use.

If you’re just starting out with crochet, you might not realize that different sizes of hooks exist.

The basic rule of thumb is the thicker the yarn, the bigger the hook, and vice versa. The common crochet mistake that beginners make, is randomly picking the cheapest ball of yarn and the cheapest hook.

Which happens to be a ball of acrylic chunky yarn and a 2 mm hook… not a good combo!

Reading the yarn label

To create the perfect combination of hook and yarn, you will need to look at the yarn label. This is where you find a lot of information about your chosen skein.

reading yarn label and common crochet mistakes

As you are only beginning with crocheting, let’s ignore all the other information for now and concentrate on the recommended hook size.

Right next to the symbol of a crochet hook, you will see letters and numbers. There are metric numbers like 4 mm for UK hook sizes and a combination of numbers and letters for US hook sizes.

Essentially, these both refer to the same hook size. Crocheters just thought it would be too easy to have just one system… (insert eye roll here…)

In order to help you, I have included a conversion chart below. This will show you the variety of crochet hook sizes and the difference between the US and UK systems and help you avoid this common crochet mistake.

Crochet Hook Sizes Conversion Chart

Millimeter RangeU.S. Size Range
2.25 mmB-1
2.50 mm
2.75 mmC-2
3.125 mmD
3.25 mmD-3
3.50 mmE-4
3.75 mmF-5
4 mmG-6
4.25 mmG
4.50 mm7
5 mmH-8
5.25 mmI
5.50 mmI-9
5.75 mmJ
6 mmJ-10
6.50 mmK-10 ½
7 mm
8 mmL-11
9 mmM/N-13
10 mmN/P-15
11.50 mmP-16
12 mm
15 mmP/Q
15.75 mmQ
16 mmQ
19 mmS
25 mmT/U/X
30 mmT/X

Once you look up the hook size on the yarn label and convert it if necessary, move on to choosing your hook.

For a beginner crocheter, I recommend buying the size the yarn label calls for to practice with. After a few swatches, you will find out more about yourself as a crocheter.

Some crocheters have super tight tension, and some crochet very loosely.

Yarn And Hook Recommendations

For best results and to avoid one of the most common crochet mistakes, I would advise starting with a yarn that is not too thick or too thin.

Aran weight or worsted weight yarn is your best choice. This is a 10-ply yarn that is not too thick to work with that your stitches will melt into one.

For worsted weight yarn, you can choose a 5 or 5.5 mm crochet hook.

Type of
Yarn
Fingering
10-count
crochet
thread
Sock, Fingering, BabySport,
Baby
DK,
Light
Worsted
Worsted,
Afghan,
Aran
Chunky,
Craft,
Rug
Super Bulky,
Roving
Jumbo,
Roving
Recommended
Hook in Metric
Size
Steel***
1.6–1.4
mm
Regular hook
2.25 mm
2.25—
3.5
mm
3.5—
4.5
mm
4.5—
5.5
mm
5.5—
6.5
mm
6.5—
9
mm
9—
15 mm
15
mm and
larger
Recommended
Hook U.S.
Size
Steel***
6, 7, 8
Regular
hook B–1
B–1
to
E–4
E–4
to
7
7
to
I–9
I–9
to
K–10 1⁄2
K–10 1⁄2 to
M–13
M–13
to Q
Q
and
larger

Although this is the basic rule, once you get a few projects under your belt, you will see that sometimes you can mix things up.

By experimenting with different combinations, you will see how the finished fabric behaves and changes if you switch hook sizes.

For sturdy items like baskets, bags, rugs, placemats, or coasters, you can combine a thick yarn with as small a hook as technically possible. This will result in super thick and sturdy fabric which is desired for these types of projects.

On the other hand, for light, airy items where drape is the priority you can choose thin yarn and a large hook. This combination will create light fabric perfect for summer tops, shawls, and crochet dresses.

Common Crochet Mistake no. 2 – Confusing US And UK Crochet Terms

This is one of the most annoying common crochet mistakes beginners make when they learn…

Again insert eye roll here, crocheters thought it would be fun to have two sets of crochet stitches – US and UK crochet terminology…

You would think “okay, it can not be that bad”… well if the names were actually different, yes I would agree…

However, the names are the same… they just mean different stitches in the US and completely different stitches in UK terminology.

Most good patterns will indicate at the beginning of the pattern, whether it has been written in US or UK crochet terms.

Once you know this information, it will be much easier to follow the instructions. I have also included a handy conversion chart below.

This is a handy chart that should help you to convert the stitches into the terms you are more comfortable with using.

UK and US Crochet Terminology

U.S./CanadaU.K.
slip stitch (sl st)slip stitch (ss)
single crochet (sc)double crochet (dc)
half double crochet (hdc)half treble (htr)
double crochet (dc)treble (tr)
treble (tr)double treble (dtr)
double treble (dtr)triple treble (trtr)

One of the most important things to remember with stitch terminology is to stick to the same set of terms within the pattern!

Of course, you can switch between terms and work on one project in US terms and the other project in UK terms. But to avoid the common crochet mistake of mixing them up, make a note and concentrate on which terms you are using.

A little funny story… my first amigurumi pattern I made and followed was written in UK terms… however, I thought it was US terms and ended up making a very oddly shaped crochet bunny…

Common Crochet Mistake no. 3 – Struggling to hold the yarn and hook.

Finding a comfortable way to hold a hook and yarn can be hard. It can be as tricky as rubbing your belly with one hand and patting your head with the other. (I see you are trying… lol)

Just to clear one thing up – there is no right or wrong way to hold your hook and yarn! Just the fact you are holding them is awesome and super cool!

It boils down to the individual finding a comfortable way to hold a hook and yarn and avoid this common crochet mistake.

Pencil and Knife Hold

However, it would not be crochet if it was not a bit technical… There are two (recognized) different ways you can hold a crochet hook – pencil hold and knife hold.

If you are expecting me to say that with pencil hold you hold it like a knife and with knife hold you hold it like a pencil… sorry to disappoint…

In this case, it is exactly what it says on the tin.

Pencil hold means that you hold the hook like a pen or a pencil as if you are about to write a novel. Instead of writing you will be poking crochet stitches and creating magic.

pencil hold of crochet hook

Knife hold means that you hold the crochet hook like a knife, about to cut a big fat slice of a chocolate cake with chocolate fudge icing with those colorful sprinkles and strawberries dipped in white chocolate just resting on top…. (insert drooling face here …)

common crochet mistakes- knife hold

Snap… back to reality!

However, as I mentioned above… it is entirely up to you how you want to hold your hook. The best thing is to play around with it and see what feels the most comfortable and produces the neatest results.

Secondly, you need to also get comfortable with holding the working yarn. The best way is to hold it with a little tension on it as you work with it.

This will make your crochet project look more uniform and neat.

You need to wrap the yarn around your fingers to tension it. However, it needs to be loose enough for the yarn to flow through smoothly so you can pick up a rhythm as you work on your project.

Below you can see a few examples of holding yarn.

Common Crochet Mistake no. 4 – Not reading instructions properly.

It’s easy to become frustrated when you’re trying to learn something new. The best thing is to use this frustration and be determined to succeed.

A lot of beginner crocheters learn from video tutorials and visual materials. Although, this is the best way to start and learn the basics, reading written instructions is a whole new level.

Written crochet patterns use what are called abbreviations. These are shortened versions of the stitch names.

I have included the basic and most common crochet abbreviations in the table below. These are the basics that every designer uses.

Common Crochet Stitch Abbreviations

AbbreviationDescription
BL or BLOback loop or back loop only
bobobble
BPback post
BPdcback post double crochet
BPdtrback post double treble crochet
BPhdcback post half double crochet
BPscback post single crochet
BPtrback post treble crochet
chchain stitch
ch-spchain space
dcdouble crochet
dc2togdouble crochet 2 stitches together
dtrdouble treble crochet
edcextended double crochet
ehdcextended half double crochet
escextended single crochet
etrextended treble crochet
FL or FLOfront loop or front loop only
FPfront post
FPdcfront post double crochet
FPdtrfront post double treble crochet
FPhdcfront post half double crochet
FPscfront post single crochet
FPtrfront post treble crochet
hdchalf double crochet
hdc2toghalf double crochet 2 stitches together
pcpopcorn stitch
ps or puffpuff stitch
scsingle crochet
sc2togsingle crochet 2 stitches together
sl stslip stitch
trtreble crochet
tr2togtreble crochet 2 stitches together
trtrtriple treble crochet

Every good crochet designer should produce patterns and tutorials to the industry standard which is set by Craft Yarn Council.

Their website is also a source of a lot of useful information when it comes to crochet.

There are also special abbreviations to name special stitches and stitch combinations put together by the designer.

These should be clearly explained in the pattern with thorough instructions on how to work that stitch.

My best advice for a beginner crocheter is to take the time to read through the entire instructions before starting to work with the materials.

You might think this is a waste of time and just want to get stuck in. However, looking quickly through the different parts will allow you to understand the pattern better.

Common Crochet Mistake no. 5 – Giving up too soon

This is one of the biggest and most common crochet mistakes beginners make.

The most important thing I have learned myself is not to compare your beginnings with someone else who has been crocheting for a while.

It is easy to fall down the rabbit hole of comparison, but we have all started with that wonky granny square that looks nothing like the picture.

You can look up to people and admire their makes, just do not compare your first attempt with their 100th project. You will get there eventually too!

If you feel frustrated and feel like giving up, my advice would be to take a break and try again later.

And trust me when I say, EVERY crocheter, even designers, has a naughty corner for the projects that are just not playing nicely.

Many people are hoping to pick up a hook and start making amazing projects. However, this is a skill that takes time, patience, and a lot of practice.


Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed this herringbone double crochet stitch tutorial. I have more free crochet tutorials that you might enjoy right here on the blog. 

Another article you might like 7 things you need to know about Tunisian crochet that nobody told you.

If you think your crochet crew would like it too, share the pattern link with them! You can also shout from the rooftops, however, it would be more effective if you share this pattern on your social media…

Apparently, that’s what today’s kids do, it’s the “cool” thing!

I also send out a fun and free newsletter that is packed with crochet goodies! It is full of free crochet patterns, hand-picked round-ups, and stitch tutorials.

You will also become one of my VIPs and receive exclusive discount codes on newly released patterns that I do not share anywhere else! 

So, my crochet newsletter is THE place to be! Sign up below today for a free PDF delivered straight to your inbox right after you sign up!

About Veronika Cromwell

Hi, I’m Veronika! I design modern and wearable crochet garments, accessories and homewares. Grab your hook and find your next project!

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2 thoughts on “5 Common Crochet Mistakes People Make When Learning How To Crochet

  1. This is an excellent article filled with great information, not only for beginners, but for anyone who has a question.

    Thank you.

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