Are you a new crocheter who finds yourself unintentionally losing stitches during every row? This drove me crazy when I first started crocheting, and almost every new crocheter I’ve spoken with shares the same experience! This could be caused by several factors, so newbies – take note. We have a few tips to help you save your stitches when you’re working even (not increasing or decreasing) in rows of either single or double crochet. I wish someone had spelled these things out for me when I started my obsession with crochet!
Stitches almost always get lost at the beginning or end of the row. This could happen if you miss the last stitch in your row, which is easy to do because it likes to fold over a bit onto the edge of your work. To avoid this problem, you could place a stitch marker in the first stitch of every row to remind you that this will be your last stitch of the next row. Remove the marker before working into that stitch, and replace it in the first stitch of the following row.
If you are working in double crochet, your turning chain (chain 3 at the beginning of each row) usually counts as a stitch. Read your pattern carefully because it will tell you if it does or not. If it does, and you forget to stitch into your turning chain at the end of the next row, you will end up losing a stitch. Use a stitch marker to mark the 3rd chain of your turning chain so you know where your last stitch of the next row should go. This is essentially the same as placing a marker in the first stitch of your row, like I mentioned above.
If you are working in single crochet, you could also lose a stitch by missing the first one in your row. In single crochet, your turning chain (chain 1 at the beginning of each row) typically does not count as a stitch. After you chain 1, you will single crochet into the last stitch you made on the previous row.
Crochet patterns vary a lot, so always follow the instructions carefully as you work. Whether or not your turning chain counts as a stitch, marking the first stitch (either the turning chain or your first actual stitch) will be a big help! Also, by counting your stitches after every row, you can avoid having to rip back a chunk of fabric after realizing you’re crocheting a triangle instead of a rectangle!
When you move on to more advanced patterns, you may find yourself breaking these “rules” to achieve a certain look or effect. However, these general guidelines can save you from losing your stitches – and you marbles – as you learn.
New crocheters – we’d love to hear about your experiences, and we’re always here to help! Veteran crocheters – do you have any other tips for saving your stitches? Share them with us here on our blog or on Facebook, and help a new crocheter out!