You may be asking if it is possible to crochet without looking. Yes, it is totally possible. It just takes practice for you to be able to do it. Once you get the hang of moving your hook through your yarn, you will be surprised that you can already crochet without looking.
For you to be able to crochet without looking, you have to know the basics of crocheting, first.
Crocheting for Beginners
Here is the step-by-step process on how to crochet for beginners. You have to master these steps for you to be able to do them without looking.
Make a Slip Knot
Making a slip knot is simple, and most people already know how to do this. Start by laying your yarn down and then looping it. Make sure that the short piece (tail) is on top of the long one. Flip the whole thing down toward the longer yarn. Using your thumb and forefinger, grab the middle yarn between them and then gently pull the middle yarn out. Hang on to the tail and then pull the loop tight.
Tighten the Loop
Using your left hand, pick up the loop, then slide the hook through the loop, and then tighten the loop around the hook. However, do not make it too tight.
Holding the Yarn
You can turn the long side of your yarn around your pinkie finger and then twist it around your index finger. Using your middle and ring fingers, grab the tail (short side). Hold your hook with your dominant hand. Holding your yarn and hook this way will allow you to have enough space for you to move the hook and maintain tension on your yarn.
You can also try different ways of holding your yarn and hook. You have to find out what will work best for you.
Starting the Chain
Make the starting chain stitch. Twist the yarn around the hook and then pull it into the loop.
Finishing the Chain
Do not make the loop too tight. Continue to the 2nd loop by pulling the yarn into the 2nd loop. Continue until you create a chain.
Beginning the First Row
To be able to begin the 1st row of single crochet, insert your hook in the 2nd chain, and now there are two loops around your hook.
Crocheting the Chained Row
Catch the yarn with your non-dominant hand with the hook and then pull it into the 1st loop. You will have two loops again on your hook. Again, catch the yarn with your hook, then pull it into both loops. Repeat the steps until you reach the end of the chained row.
For you to finish, cut the long side of your yarn and then pull it through the loop.
Helpful Crochet Tips for Beginners
When you are new to crocheting, you will find these tips helpful so you can get the most out of your crocheting.
Before you start crocheting, turn your skein of yarn into a ball
You might be tempted to just rip off the label of the skein of yarn and start working if you are impatient to get started with a project. Technically, you can work with skeins of yarn. However, you can attain better outcomes if you just take the time to wind your skein of yarn into a ball first. This is particularly true for beginners.
Having your skein of yarn wound into a ball have its advantages:
- Improves tension – If you’re having a hard time maintaining your tension, you can try to work from a ball of yarn instead of a skein.
- Avoid tangles – Skeins can easily tangle, unlike balls of yarn.
There are ball winders available in your local craft store to help you with the task. However, you can also do this by hand.
Remove any obstacle before you crochet
- Jewelry – You may want to remove jewelry, especially bracelets, and rings before you crochet. Yarn tends to catch on jewelry and it will surely hamper your progress.
- Long hair – If you have hair that is long enough to get in the way of your crocheting, make sure to comb it and then tie it back before you start working. This will help avoid getting your hair tangled in your work.
- Cats – We all know that cats love to play with yarns. If you have cats, keep them out of the room first before you start your work. Cats can ruin a project as well, without much effort.
Position your yarn properly
Positioning your ball of yarn properly will allow it to easily unwind as you crochet.
- If you are at home, crocheting in a comfortable chair, you can place your yarn on the floor at your feet or in your lap.
- If you are in a moving vehicle or an airplane, you can tuck your yarn inside your tote bag. This will keep your yarn from unwinding and rolling around.
Change crochet hooks when needed
Beginners in crocheting tend to work either too loosely or too tightly.
- Change to a larger hook if your work is too tight.
- Change to a smaller hook if your work is too loose.
- The hook size indicated in the yarn label is just a suggested starting point, it doesn’t mean that it is the only hook size you have to use.
- Before starting a project, it’s better to do some experimenting with hooks first. You can do this while you make your gauge swatches.
Do not change hooks in the middle of a project
Your stitches must be consistent throughout the entire project. When you change hooks, you will risk creating inconsistency. Even switching to another brand with the same size can also be problematic.
- Remember that hook size may not always be consistent between brands.
- Even the slightest differences in the shape of the hook might change the way you hold it or form your stitches.
Try ergonomic hooks
Ergonomic hooks are made to be super comfortable. It can make your crocheting much more enjoyable, as well.
Make gauge swatches
You might think that making gauge swatches is a waste of time. It’s not. It is actually a critical part of a project, especially if you are making a garment. When you skip making the gauge swatch, your piece is likely to end up the wrong size.
Unraveling stitches is not something to be afraid of
This is an advantage of crocheting over other yarn crafts. Making a mistake can be easily fixed by unraveling just a few rows back and then try again.
Right and wrong sides
It won’t matter in items that are flat and worked in regular stitches, but it makes a difference when you are crocheting in the round. The stitches on the right side will go vertical and will make little V’s, while the stitches on the wrong side have a horizontal bar at the bottom of the stitch.
When working in the round, use a stitch marker
When you’re going around in a spiral, you will likely lose count which row you are on. That is why it is helpful to use a stitch marker. What you do is insert the marker to the last stitch of each row. When you get back around the marker, you can take it out, make the stitch and place the marker in the new stitch. Continue doing it as you move up each row.
- When working flat – On the stitch prior to the color change, you have to yarn over in the new color, and then you can continue crocheting with the new color.
- When working in the round – On the stitch prior to the color change, you have to yarn over the new color then slip stitch to the next stitch. You can now continue to crochet around with the new color.
When you have a steady gauge, your stitches are the same tension and size. This will take time and practice, and your gauge will eventually even out. Gauge is also affected by stress and moods. If you are in a bad mood, better let go of that hook and yarn first and relax.
If your experiment fails, there will be no “crochet police” to arrest you, and nothing tragic will happen. Experimentation and practice are the best ways for you to break out of the novice status. You can consider simple experiments.
- Choosing different yarns.
- Substituting colors in a pattern
- Adding or subtracting details. For instance, a pattern calls for fringes that you really don’t like, you can substitute edging, or add a flower to a plain pattern.
As you learn, you can also try more complex experiments.
- Adding stripes to plain patterns
- Use different stitches
- Improvise customizations. For instance, making long sleeves rather than short sleeves, or modifying the neckline.
Expect some of the experiments not to work out, but it will still teach you something new.
Make friends with other crocheters
Now that you have figured out that there are several possible approaches to crochet, you can make friends with other crocheters so all of you can share your unique experiences and expertise.
You can join a local group or search for a forum where you can learn more from those who have already been crocheting long before you started doing the craft.
Mastering crochet methods and techniques are so much easier when crocheting is stress-free. Who knows, you will be surprised that you’re already crocheting without looking without even noticing it.
If you are a novice crocheter, these tips will make your crocheting even less stressful.
It is easy to give up or get frustrated when things go wrong or when working on a new pattern. Instead of self-pitying, you can step away for just a few minutes and take a break. When you come back, you will feel recharged, and your brain refreshed. Now, you are ready to take on even the trickiest patterns.
Whether you are a newbie or have been crocheting for years, making swatches is important. When you begin a new crochet project, it is better to test it before diving in. When you are working with a pattern, you have to make sure your gauge will match with the pattern’s gauge. Making swatches is also a good opportunity to test out a new stitch. If your swatch turned out pretty well, your project will turn out to be excellent, too.
Count the rows
You can use a row counter to help you count the rows of your work. It is helpful in keeping up where you are. If you choose not to buy a counter, you can use paper and pencil instead.
Count the stitches
When you are new to crocheting, you are more likely to gain or lose stitches every row, which can cause your piece to be uneven and wavy. Counting the stitches will be helpful to keep your piece even. It can be tedious, but it is worth the effort.
Join a group for crocheters
Having friends who are into crocheting can definitely help you improve your craft. They can help you out with tricky patterns and stitches. You can even swap yarn every now and then.
Take a class
If you are having problems with crochet and you cannot seem to get the hang of it, taking a class will be helpful. You can check with your local crochet group. They probably know where to take crochet classes near your area.
Store your stash properly
Your yarn and tool stash will eventually grow, and you have to store them properly. You can ask your crochet friends or search the internet for storage ideas, which can keep your stash organized. Seeing your crochet materials organized can be relaxing, making crocheting stress-free, as well.
Check your posture
A lot of crocheters complain about wrist and back pain. Having a good posture habit can help minimize the pain crocheters often experience. Do not slouch and make sure you take breaks when you feel your hands starting to hurt. You can also do hand stretches and exercises first before working on your piece.
Fitting Crochet into Your Everyday Activities
There will be times when you’ll have less time to crochet because you are busy with other things. You can fit your crochet into your daily activities, so you can continue practicing, which is helpful when you want to master crocheting without looking.
Do a portable and small project that you can take with you anywhere
While running errands or just going somewhere, there will be lots of times when you have 5 to 10 minutes of free time that you can use to crochet.
- While you wait outside in the car for a takeaway, picking up your kids, etc.
- Waiting for the train or a bus.
- Waiting for your tea to brew or kettle to boil.
- While on your lunchbreak
- When travelling and someone else is driving.
If you’re doing small projects such as socks or Afghan squares, those few minutes can really add up, and you won’t even notice that you’re nearing the end of your project.
Learning to crochet without looking
It will take a lot of practice to achieve crochet without looking. It may sound scary, but it will eventually come with practice. When you are able to do this, it can free ups a lot of time for you, because you are able to crochet faster. You can crochet while watching your favorite TV show and do it during commercial breaks.
Motivate yourself with quick projects
When you are working on a big project, it is hard to stay motivated because it seems like there is still a lot to do to be able to finish it. Try making a summer shawl, a pair of socks, or a bobble hat. They finish faster and will spur you on to finish other things.
Stop daydreaming on your free time, you can crochet instead
While it’s pleasant to daydream in your free time, it would be better if you get creative, do something productive, and work on your crochet project.
Stop printing all these patterns just to lose them
If you plan on printing patterns you like, you have to keep them organized. Keep them in one place where you cannot lose them. If you are terrible at organizing, you can just keep soft copies on your phone or your pc and just print one project that you plan to do.
You can try to learn to crochet while walking
It does sound hard, but some are able to do this. Well, there’s no harm in trying it. Just make sure you walk on an empty street, not on one full of vehicles. You will never know if this can be your secret talent.
Crocheting without looking is definitely not impossible, and several seasoned crocheters are already able to do this. You can also achieve it, once your hands get used to the movement of crocheting because of constant practice.