If you’re impatient to get your project started, you might be tempted to rip the label off your skein of yarn and get to work. Technically, you can crochet with skeins of yarn, but it many cases you can achieve better results if you take the time to wind the skein into a ball first. This is especially true for beginners.
Balls of yarn have a couple of advantages over skeins:
- Avoid Tangles. Center-pull skeins of yarn can tangle easily towards the end. Balls of yarn are less likely to tangle.
- Improve Tension. If you have a hard time achieving even tension, try working from a ball of yarn rather than a skein.
- Long Hair: If your hair is long enough to get in your way, be sure to comb it and tie it back before you start crocheting. This helps to avoid getting hair tangled in your work.
- Jewelry: You may wish to remove your jewelry, especially rings and bracelets, prior to crocheting. Yarn can catch on jewelry and hamper your progress.
- Cats: If possible, keep cats out of the room when you are crocheting. A cat can't seem to resist a moving ball of yarn. A cat can also ruin a crochet project without much effort.
Position the ball of yarn so that it can unwind easily as you crochet.
- If you are crocheting at home in a comfortable chair, you can keep the ball of yarn in your lap or on the floor at your feet, whichever you prefer.
- If you are crocheting on an airplane or in a moving vehicle, tuck the ball of yarn inside a tote bag to keep it from rolling around and unwinding.
Novice crocheters tend to work either too tightly or too loosely.You want your stitches to be consistent throughout your entire project. If you switch hooks, you risk creating inconsistency. Even same-size changes from one manufacturer's hook to another's could be problematic.
- If your work is too tight, choose a larger crochet hook.
- If your work is too loose, choose a smaller crochet hook.
- Keep in mind that the hook size indicated on your yarn label is no more than a suggested starting point.
- Do your experimenting with hooks prior to starting a project. The ideal time to do this is when you are making your gauge swatches.
- Hook size is not always consistent between manufacturers.
- Slight differences in hook shaping might change the way you hold the hook or form your stitches.
Ergonomic crochet hooks are designed to be comfortable. If you can find an ergonomic hook you like, it could make the time you spend crocheting more enjoyable than it would otherwise be.
Take the Time to Make Gauge Swatches
You might be tempted to think that crocheting gauge swatches is a waste of time. It’s actually the most critical part of the project, particularly if your project is a garment. If you skip the gauge swatch, your project is likely to end up being the wrong size.
Don’t Be Afraid to Unravel
If you notice that you made a mistake a few rows back, rip out the stitches up to that point and try again.