pad small hooks by cutting the tips off knitting needle tip protectors. For large hooks,use the pads used for pencils at an office supple store. This is less expensive than purchasing the pads sold for this purpose. This works well for those with arthritis.
Wash your crochet hooks every so often in dishwashing detergent. This eliminates the built-up oils from your hands, making the hooks slide through the yarn easier.
Always check dye lot numbers when purchasing yarn, and purchase the full amount needed plus at least one extra skein.
(Now we all know how hard THAT is to do. )
To convert grams to ounces and vice versa, remember 100 grams equals about 3 1/2 ounces.
Multiply the number of grams by .035 to get the number of ounces you will need.
To convert ounces to grams, divide the number of ounces by .035 to find the number of grams needed.
Sock, Fingering, Baby B-1 to E-4
Sport E-4 to 7
D. K. 7 to I-9
Worsted, Afghan, Aran I-9 to K-10
1/2Chunky, Craft, Rug K-10 1/2 -M-13
Bulky, Roving M-13 and larger
Letter Hook Size Number MM
A ? 2
B 1 2.25
C 2 2.25
D 3 3.25
E 4 3.5
F 5 3.75
G 6 4.0
7 7 4.5
H 8 5
I 9 5.5
J 10 6
K 10-1/2 6.5
L 11 8
M/N 13 9
N/P 15 10
S 35 19
Starting a new ball or skein
Once you move onto bigger projects,there will be times when you need to start a new ball of yarn or skein of thread.
It’s best to do this at the start of a row.
This way, it will be easier to hide the tail of the yarn and keep your work looking tidy.
Take the new yarn and wrap it around the hook.
Draw up a loop and continue crocheting.
Leave a six inch tail and tie a loose knot to keep it in place.
When you’ve completed your item untie the knot and weave in the ends.
This method can also be used when you have to change yarn in the middle of a row.
If you are working to a deadline, don't forget to account for time to sew in the ends.
It can sometimes take a long time to finish a piece. When you sew in your ends, try to make it as invisible as you can.
Take your time. Make sure that whatever method you use it is secure.
If you are afraid your ends won't stay put, then wash the item.
Any ends sticking up can usually be clipped if you have left a long end and sewn much of it in. Here are some tips on how to deal with your loose ends.
Use long ends of six inches or longer and sew them in as much of them as possible.
Little pieces may stick out after washing and if you clip the pieces having only left a small strand, soon there will be little left and it may come apart.
Don't sew over two strands at once, because it gives a bulky look.
If you want to sew over both ends, then you could sew over one of the strands and then bring the other one up to the next row or round, and sew over it there.
Try to sew ends in on the wrong side of the work.
Don't pull too tightly as you weave or your work may pucker.
A yarn needle works best to weave in loose ends. For doilies,
a yarn needle will be too big and a sewing needle will damage your work. You will need to use the crochet hook. Weaving in yarn ends is necessary for neatness and to prolong wear. With the wrong side facing you, thread your needle with the end of the yarn. Carefully weave the needle along the back of the stitches about two to three
inches on a diagonal, gently pulling the yarn end. Weave the other yarn end in the opposite direction. When finished, gently stretch the fabric in all directions so the fabric doesn’t pull. Trim any excess yarn ends.
Gauge is the number of stitches per inch and the number of rows per inch produced when working with a particular size of yarn and a specific hook.
Gauge varies from crocheter to crocheter, even when they are using exactly the same yarn and hook. To get beyond this problem a swatch, or small sample piece is made in the stitch pattern using the size of yarn and hook.
A swatch will help you determine if you meet the patterns intended gauge.
For the best results, make a crocheted swatch of at least 6 inches square and then measure the stitches in the center of the swatch to determine gauge.
Often a crochet pattern doesn’t suggest a gauge swatch.
It may say instead 4 stitches and 4 rows = 1 inch.
To make a swatch, make about six inches of chain. Lay the piece flat on a table.
Count how many stitches there are in one inch. This is your stitch gauge.
Next, count the number of rows in one inch. This is your row gauge.
Row gauge becomes important, when complicated stitch patterns repeat after a number of rows. If the shaping must take place at a certain row and your row gauge is different from the pattern gauge, shaping won’t be done at the proper time and your garment may not fit properly. Usually, if your stitch gauge matches, the row gauge will be close enough for most purposes.
If your gauge is larger than the one described in the pattern, use a smaller hook try another swatch. If your swatch is smaller, then you'll need to increase your hook.
As hooks vary between manufacturers, you may find that switching hook brand can help you to reach the right gauge.
A swatch should be at least two inches square.
Always make a square swatch – it’s easier to make an accurate count
Try not to force your tension, but crochet just like you always do.
If you naturally crochet tightly use a size larger hook than recommended
If you naturally crochet loosely, use a size smaller hook than recommended.
If your foundation chain is too tight or too loose begin the pattern with another size hook.
Always measure the swatch on a hard, flat surface.
Working crochet left handed is just as easy as working it right handed. The methods for forming the stitches and holding the hook and yarn remain the same, you simply use your left instead of right hand. Patterns and instructions are generally written for right handed people. Therefore, remember to substitute left for right and vice versa. This is the only adjustment you will need to make. The easiest way to learn crochet if you’re left handed is to sit opposite another crocheter and mirror their movements.
If you’re using a book for instruction, you can take the illustrations to a copier and ask thenm to make transfer image copies. This flips the images over. If looking at diagrams on the internet, keep a mirror next to your monitor. Position it so that you can view your monitor through it. The mirror will flip the images to make them left hand interpreted. Any image editing program, like Windows Paint, will allow you to reverse diagrams before printing out by doing a “horizontal flip”. Usually though, it can be easier to change the settings on your printer so that it reverse or mirror image prints.
Sometimes, you may have to take a few minutes to prepare if you’re a left hander, but the amount of effort is minimal and will save you hours that could be lost trying to figure out how to reverse instructions.
Not all tapestry needles are the same size. Generally, you should choose your needle based on the type of fabric you're using.
When Selecting a Needle
How to get the yarn to flow through your fingers
There are traditional methods of holding the yarn but when it comes down to it, the way you hold your yarn is up to you. You must be comfortable with the flow and be able to control that flow. This will come with practice. Usually, crocheters wrap the yarn around their fingers.
The best thing that you can do to make sure that your yarn runs smoothly is to make sure that your hands are clean and have no residue of hand cream or similar on them. You can experiment with guiding the yarn in back of your index finger, bringing it in front of your middle and ring fingers, and then guiding it in back of your pinkie.
The looser flow will help your gauge if your work tends to be too tight because your yarn pulls or drags.
If you’re working too loosely, hold and feed your yarn.
Pull strands halfway thru piece to form a loop.
Bring ends thru the loops.
Pull ends to tighten.
Find the center of the graph. For most patterns this is shown with arrows or a bold line. Next, find the center of your fabric. An easy way to do this is to fold the fabric in half vertically and "pinch" with your finger to make a small crease. Open the fabric, fold in half horizontally and make another "pinch". Open the fabric up. The two creases will mark the center of the fabric.
Knots on the back will show through, so do not use any knots to start or end. To begin stitching, bring the threaded needle up from the back of the fabric leaving about a 1" tail of thread behind the fabric. Stitch the next 5 or 6 stitches over the tail. Clip off extra thread. To end off, weave your needle back through the last 5 or 6 stitches and clip the thread short so as not to leave a loose tail.Stitching
There are two methods. The first method is to work a row of half stitches (////), then work back (\\) to complete the X's. Use this method for most stitching. The second method is to complete each X as you go. Use this method for vertical rows of stitches.
It is important that all the X's are crossed in the same direction. That is, the top thread of the X should always slant in the same direction (either or /). It does not matter which way they slant, but if they are mixed the finished piece will look uneven.
Relax as you stitch. Your stitches should lay flat on your fabric and not distort the holes or the fabric.Backstitching
Backstitching is a running stitch (not an X) used to outline an area or to form lettering. In the graph, the words "I Like You" and the strings on the balloons are done in backstitch. Normally you use one less strand of floss for backstitching than you use for cross stitching.Carrying Your Thread
Sometimes a color will have only a few stitches and then "jump" to another area. Most of the time you should end off and start again, other times you can carry the thread along the back. Just jumping from area to area is easier than starting and stopping, but sometimes the thread will show through. This can be a problem if you jump a dark thread over an unstitched area of light fabric. In general, you can carry the thread to another area if the jump is short, the floss color is light, and you are jumping over a previously stitched area.Finishing
When your stitching is complete, wash in cool water using a mild liquid detergent. Rinse well. Do not wring, but roll in a clean towel to absorb most of the water. While still damp, place face down on a terry towel. Place another cloth on top of the needlework and press lightly with a warm iron. Let dry. Then frame or finish as desired.
I have never had to wash my thread first, but if you think it might bleed, you should wash it first, before beginning to stitch. I use DMC floss and it has NEVER run.
I am teaching someone to knit this summer and I have been gathering some tips for him. Like wind your balls up before you start, store your yarn in plastic totes, but they have to easy to open, keep your gauges because you can make a blanket out of it.
Does anyone have any to share?
I always make a copy of the pattern so that I can highlight or write on it without spoiling the original. I do this for knitting patterns, crochet patterns and cross stitch charts. I use safety pins for stitch markers. Elastic bands on the ends of the needles to keep the stitches on in between sessions. I hope these are useful tips and good luck to you and your friend with the teaching/learning knitting. Debbie
This post was modified from its original form on 16 Apr, 8:06
Hi, thank you for the wonderful tips. I haven't thought of photocoping your patterns. It makes sense because if you are travel, you can bring the copy with you. And if you lose the copy, it may appear to be the end of the world, but it is actually not. Because the original is at home.
Which is good for him because he is a trucker and he is planning to bring his knitting with him on the road. (He will not be knitting and driving at the same time.) But it is a very good tip for him.
Thank you again.