Having Trouble Learning

Hi there,

I am a newbie to both knitting and crochet, although I seem to have picked up the basics of knitting and will be graduating from scarves soon. :happydance:

I don’t seem to be able to pick up crochet very easily though. My problems seem to be:

  1. I can create the foundation chain without a problem (although sometimes it is a bit tight so I play with needle size as recommended), but instead of being able to pull the yarn back through the loop as in knitting, I have to grab it with my left thumb and index finger and pull it through. On the NexStitch videos, it appears much easier and more fluid the way she does it. The way I am doing it takes a while and is not particularly enjoyable…and I’m hoping that’s just my technique because I’d like to become a proficient crocheter - I’ve got a basic bag pattern I’d like to make and a hat pattern too.

  2. My second row and beyond sometimes look like they should and sometimes not and I have no idea why - for example, it’s as though for the second row I hook through the correct stitches but when I go to further rows, I am not moving to the correct row.

Is there another resource you’d recommend or do you have some input for me? I have a few books on crocheting but so far they haven’t made much sense… :aww:


[COLOR=“Purple”]My crocheting looked (what I thought anyway) odd when I first learned. I learned to knit first, so I had a knitter’s mindset when it came to my crocheting. I think you just need some practice. I’ve been crocheting for 9+ years, and I did notice that the more I practiced, the better it looked to me. Of course, I’m saying that without seeing your work…[/COLOR]

I’ll keep plugging away at it and if I can’t figure it out, I’ll get a photo up here of my work. I think maybe I am overthinking how to do this…then again, I won’t tell you how long it took me to figure out the purl stitch! :aww:

For really great photo tutorials of crochet stitches, I recommend www.crochetcabana.com

If you like video tutorials, my favorite one is www.nexstitch.com

The videos take a little while to load, but they are every bit as good as the knitting videos here at KH.

sounds as if your tension is tooo tight.

http://www.anniesattic.com/ also has some great videos to watch per each stitch you learn an a free pattern to learn the stitch with.

maybe you need to try a larger hook and make up a few swatches for each size hook … say like coaster sizes first to get the hang of it??

You may be right, Judy…it seems as if after a few rows it gets much harder to put the hook through the next stitch.

I did have a minor crochet 101 epiphany last night :woot: in that I realized that when I created the foundation chain, my next row was not always being put onto the same side of the foundation chain.

Is it ‘normal’ in crochet that when you cast the foundation chain that it curls up a lot when you are done? I’m not sure if that is a yarn thing, a tension thing or a me thing?! By the time I am finished with that first chain row, it is all curly which makes it a big tougher to see where to put the next row.

Also, to make turning chains, I know you put whatever number matches the type of stitch you are doing - is it to create height for the NEXT row you plan to stitch (e.g. so for a single crocheted next row you would make 1 turning chain in the current row or the next one - whichever the pattern specifies)?

It’s funny you mention making a few coasters because I had a knitting swatch sitting here for a while and my hubby asked if it was going to be made into something and I said no, so he took to using it as a coaster and was missing it when it got moved - so voila! I can make him some nice coasters for his upcoming birthday!

Thanks mucho! :heart:

I don’t think I’ve had the foundation chain curl up on me, but I HAVE had the foundation + first row curl up. It usually uncurls as more rows are added. The hardest thing to crochet, IMO, is that first row into a foundation chain. That chain is a wiggly sucker - you don’t have much to hold onto to keep it steady, for one thing. Plus, if you’ve made your chain too tight, you’re fighting to get the hook in, and if you’ve made it too loose, you have a very raggedy looking row.

Yes, foundation chains usually include an extra chain to be the first stitch of your next row. I say usually because if you’re doing a piece crocheted in circles, you join your chains in a circle, and THEN do your chains to represent your first stitch in the next row.

Granny squares (and other square/circular motifs) make great coasters.

the chain row will sorta twirl on you or as you say curly …
and yes you do when working squares and retangles chain up for the height of the next row.
for me I chain up 1 and turn … for the sc and most times for the hdc also.
for the doubles and this is something that you will have to work out on your own. DC stitches … I chain up 2 and do my row… most all patterns say to chain up 3; I do NOT like the big hole it leaves for me (my problem)

Starting chain : for tight crocheters : if the pattern calls for a H hook … use the I or J hook to do the chain foundation then go to the H hook after turning for 1 st row.
For loose crocheters : same example only use the G or F hook for the foundation. then go to the H hook.

I have NO idea why the first couple of rows curls at the corners. No matter what I do I have always gotten that curl, even on the finished item. So I have learned to live with it.

Row 1 : when you have done the chain row. LOOK at your chain row. see the little LUMP ??? I put my hook in the lump and use that as my guide for that row.
Row 2 : I look at this one as if I am looking at the edge of a book; and insert the hook under the top loop, across.
I continue in this method.
When I first learned the book that was I had said to go thru that loop and keep the hook closest to your body … I didn’t like that … so I learned to do it as above for row 2. Today most will teach this way.

If you are fighting to get that hook into the yarn to make a stitch. THEN YOU ARE DEFINITELY PULLING WAY TOOOO HARD AND MAKING IT WAY TOOOO TIGHT !!!

When you do this … if the pattern calls for the H hook then use the J hook and work with it til you can get it to stay tooo loose.
I taught myself when I do this … what I will do is : notice the flat spot on your Crochet Hook?? when you make a stitch: slide the hook where the yarn will flow over that flat spot OK???
When you can keep it that loose all the time then go down a hook size.
It does take practice and alot of patience with it … for sureeeeeee
But you should NEVER have to fight with getting the Hook into the yarn…
The first row will alwaysssss be the hardest to do cause you have nothing to hang on tooo … infact sometimes the first 3 rows can drive ya crazy … it gets easier by the 4th row usually …
when ever you find that it is getting tight … go back to where it is getting tight and start from there with a size bigger …
but make some coasters first … chain up about 15 only then practice the sc … then when your comfortable with that do a few in hdc, dc and treble …
I know some will disagree with me on this but thats what I ended up doing so that I could not only get the tension correct but also to get used to the stitch too … I ended up NOT just jumping right in and making anything but coaster sizes for about a month…
Then make some that is done :
row 1 : sc
row 2 : hdc
row 3 : dc
row 4 : tr
row 5 : tr
row 6 : dc
row 7 : hdc
row 8 : sc …
this will teach you also to mix stitches … and if your fast ?? hmmm
you could do 4 coasters of each of the stitches …

From the sounds of it, I am DEFINITELY creating a super tight foundation chain, so I will use a larger hook and make up some coasters to get the hang of it all. I really appreciate your thoughtful help - you gals are great!

Thanks again…and my cats thank you in advance because although they really want afghans, they are happy to nap on coasters too!!! :teehee:


knit4fun : you can always use either the slip stitch or sc and put the coasters together to make the cats their own little blanket … lol Like that you can practice on the joining of pieces tooo … lol
and your very welcome …


I switched to a larger hook and started over - and I’ve got a slightly larger than coaster size swatch of sc’s done! I think I see now how the rows grow in height - I didn’t understand that before with the turning chains and all. I haven’t decided if I am going to do a sampler crochet scarf or what yet, but I THINK I’VE GOT IT!!! :woohoo:

Thanks much…and yes, the cats are already testing out the swatch - I set it down for a minute and came back and there was a cat laying on it…I was gone for about a minute so he must have been plotting his move. :cool:

Hugs to you and THANKS MUCH!

Oh, I forgot to mention before (and maybe this will help any new crocheters reading this)…

My stitches were W A Y too tight. Don’t tighten them before doing the next one - just let the stitches flow so that you can pull the hook back and actually have the yarn follow to make the new stitch.

My initial stitches were so tight that I had to fight the hook to pick up a new stitch AND complete it. :aww: If you have to fight the yarn, it’s too tight!

Lets try this again ?? hmmm dont’ know what I did wrong …
anywaysssssssss …
GREAT that your getting it…
now that your making the coasters you can always join them together and either make a scarf outta them or a small blanket depends on you, since if you made the 4 of each you should now have 20 squares OK?? hmmmm … haha …

now heres one to mix 2 stitches together on the same row … ok…
ch up odd numbers all the time with this one cause you will end up working even after the chain row … ok …
ch 15 … turn …
row 1 : sc - dc - sc - dc - sc - dc across … ch 1 turn
row 2 : sc - dc - sc - dc - sc - dc across … ch 1 turn

repeat this row til you have the length that you want … then finish off as normal …
REMEMBER THIS :::: you will be doing a sc into a dc and a dc into a sc every row.
YOU will KNOW that it is correct because : the rows all start with a sc and last stitch is a dc …
This can also be done with sc - hdc … or sc - treble … OR just do 4 of each of these as you did with the others …
this one makes a really nice blanket / afghan … when your ready to work on a larger piece than a coaster … it depends on the size you want with this one …
have funnn …

I found a really good site check it out it’s very good and i don’t know how to crochet and learning from it:


yiziee… thanks for posting that … I cked it out and love the way they have the pics set and sooo clear to see also … that is a very helpful site in that respect for sure !!!
like the way they showed the increases alsoooo … that is neat …
again thanksss for finding and posting that site … :cheering:

for any that are having a hard time … just click on that in yiziees post and it will show you … great site … yeppersssss …

Thanks Judy and Yiziee…I am starting to see why crochet is a lot of fun just like knitting! :happydance:

Just a word of encouragement… I, too, felt the way you do when I started to crochet – and that is even after being taught when I was younger.

Practice makes perfect! I agree about making your foundation chain a bit more loose. That foundation chain is tricky to work into. Once you get past that, however, you will probably start to get the hang of it.

Also, I recommend doing a big swatch of all the different stitches before you try to begin a big project. If you really want to make a blanket/afghan, you can always make lots of little squares and sew them together rather than one big blanket. It might be a little easier to make lots of little squares.

Good luck!

From what I can tell, the key is really to keep the stitches loose. In knitting, I tighten the stitches a bit more so I think that is why I was doing that with crochet work too, but as long as I don’t tighten things up initially, the projects seem to flow better and I can get the hook back through the loop(s) without any trouble and if it starts to get hung up again, I know why - too tight! :stuck_out_tongue:

You definitely don’t want to tighten up your stitches after you’ve made them. Just keep your tension even on your working yarn.

Something I haven’t seen mentioned is the position of the hook. Most people when they’re first starting try to use the hook with the hook facing up (away from the WIP). It’s actually much easier if the hook is facing down (towards the WIP), as then it doesn’t get hooked on the stitch you’re working in. I keep it facing that direction, wrap it around the working yarn, insert it into the stitch, wrap it again, pull through… it’s much faster than rotating the hook (which I used to do).

I made a whole set of coasters for my living room (we eat on the coffee table most nights)… all of the same yarn, but each one is a different shape. I have a square, a circle, a hexagon, a pentagon, a triangle and an octagon. Then a large triangle trivet and a large square pot holder. I did it because I wanted to use up this skein of yarn and I needed coasters, but it would be a great way to practice your stitches.