What am I doing wrong, and how do I fix it?

I just started taking crochet classes, and I’m happy to announce that it’s all coming back to me from when my grandma tried teaching me about 25 years ago. :happydance:

The problem that I had then–and am unfortunately still having now–is that my work always curves. I [I][U]think[/U][/I] it’s a problem with my base chain being too tight…is that a correct “diagnosis”? If so, what can I do to fix that? Should I chain with a hook a few sizes bigger? I chained a project with a hook one size bigger than the project recommended (but went back to the size the pattern called for once I began the actual crocheting), but it’s still curving.

You’re probably right. If you pull on your work sideways and the work gives but the chain doesn’t, you’re on the right track with the bigger hook. It’ll even out eventually and you won’t even think about it.
In the meantime, have you ever tried a chainless foundation? It’s only a little tricky, but I love it and it makes a beautiful edge:
Chain two. Single crochet into the first chain BUT…pinch the loop at the bottom ofd the stitch. Now single crochet into that, and pinch that sc to hold the loop at the base of it. Keep going right across your first row. You’ll have to experiment with a piece of waste yarn to get the idea, but once you do you’ll see–it’s super-easy and saves a step in patterns where you can use it. You’ll end up with a row of sc with loops all along the bottom. If you want a braided-looking edge to your piece, flip it over and use the loops to start the project. If not, the loops will tighten up as you toss the work around. By the way, it’s a neat way to cast on knitting, too!

Hmm another reason I can think of for the curving is incorrect number of stitches?

I would try a couple sizes bigger. I have to do the same thing and it works just fine. One size bigger isn’t enough. Plus it makes that first row much easier.

I only know that this isn’t the case for this particular project because I asked my crochet teacher to check my stitches (I didn’t trust my own counting! :oops:) Otherwise I’d say it’s a good possibility.

You know, I was going to try going up [I][U]two[/U][/I] sizes, but I thought my teacher might scold me. :teehee::oops: I didn’t think that one size would be enough (there isn’t enough variation between each size from the other); I know that when I do my knitting, I almost always have to go up one needle size, and I figured with crochet, it would probably be the same. I guess I figure the yarn has been bad and needs punishing of some sort with the way I “strangle” my yarn! :rofl:

[COLOR=red]So cranberry, do you use a bigger hook for your chain and then use the recommended size for the rest of the project?[/COLOR]

If you’re doing a long, narrow piece in a single crochet it will curl. That’s why I never crochet scarves unless it’s on a huge hook and very wide.

One little trick that helped me was instead of chaining one at the end of the row and then turning I turn, chain 2 and then proceed with my crocheting. That keeps that edge stitch from twisting and also gives it one extra stitch which allows the edges to give a little bit.

I’ve just started trying to teach myself crochet too. I’m a VERY tight knitter, and usually have to go up quite a few needle sizes. (ex: I’m trying out the baby kimono from Mason Dixon, and I’m having to knit on a size 8 addi needle, because I knit so tighly.)

My first few attempts at crochet, I didn’t have a curve, but my fabric had NO “give”. I took it to an experienced crocheter and she said, try to go up a needle size. Well, I already had.

Right now I’m in the process of crocheting a baby blanket and I had to go up 3 needle sizes to get a fabric that had any give.

Cookworm–Going up a hood size or two or even three to do the beginning chain is perfectly fine. It’s all about making it work for you. Your teacher shouldn’t scold you. Everyone does it different. You may find that as you become more comfortable with crochet that you will loosen up. Be confident and know that you are doing a great job!!:woohoo:

Jenn–Thanks for that tip. I have been crocheting for 15 years and had never heard of that. :thumbsup:

Letah–I’m glad that you found a hook that works for your blanket. Just remember that if you are working on something that requires correct gauge, like a sweater or booties, to always do a swatch, just like in knitting. The crochet hook used in a pattern is just a recommendation. Adjust hook size to get correct gauge. Sounds like you’re on the right track.:cheering:

Congratulations on learning to crochet. :yay: