Crocheting is one of those relaxing activities that we imagine doing while we watch TV, chat with friends, or even read a book. Keeping our hands busy while our minds are focused elsewhere. That said, this relaxing bliss requires an important skill – being able to crochet without looking at it.
To crochet without looking at your work, make sure you’re familiar enough with your crochet stitch that you develop muscle memory for it and can complete it with little mental effort. It’s also a good idea to choose a large crochet hook and a loose crochet stitch.
Being able to crochet without looking is something that naturally happens overtime. One day you’re staring intensely at your work. Suddenly, down the road, you’re captivated by the latest episode of Survivor while finishing off a row of your project.
But, what if you want to speed up the process? How can you learn to crochet more quickly and easily? Let’s dive in!
Choose a Crochet Stitch and Stick to It
The fastest way to learn how to crochet without looking is to choose one type of crochet stitch and stick to it. This will allow you to build up your muscle memory for that stitch more quickly, which will ultimately allow you to look away from your crochet work more quickly.
In my guide about learning to crochet as a beginner, I talked about the importance of muscle memory.
Muscle memory is the ability to perform tasks, even complex tasks, automatically and without thinking (source). Within the context of crochet, muscle memory kicks in once we’ve practiced a stitch so many times that we’re able to complete it without a lot of thought or effort.
This muscle memory is key to crocheting without looking. Once we get to a place where our crochet stitches are natural, effortless, and easy, it frees up brain space to focus on other things.
Once we develop muscle memory for a certain crochet stitch, our hands already know what they’re doing. This allows us to think about other things and look elsewhere while we work. Viola!
The key to developing your muscle memory faster within the context of crochet is to choose a stitch you can stick to. Practice this stitch over and over again until it becomes effortless.
Don’t let yourself get distracted by the fun of learning new stitches. For the purposes of learning how to crochet without looking as quickly as possible, sticking to one stitch will speed up your learning process and muscle memory development.
Choose Projects with No Variation
It’s easier to crochet without looking if you’re working on a project that doesn’t have a lot of variation. If you’re working on a project that requires you to count, change, or alter your stitches or yarn mid-row, you’ll need to constantly look at your project to ensure you’re doing things correctly.
If your goal is to crochet without looking at your project as much as possible, you’ll want to pick the most monotonous project possible. Ideally, you’ll want a project that uses the same stitch, color, and sizing for the entire project.
Zero changes from start to finish.
If you need to count stitches, change your yarn, decrease/increase your stitch count, or change the type of stitch you’re using, you’ll have a hard time not looking at your crochet project as you work on it.
You’ll need to look at your work so that you can keep track of what you’re doing and prevent mistakes. The amount of thinking and planning involved with complicated crochet projects doesn’t lend itself to being able to look away from your project for long periods of time.
I love when I’m working on something like a simple pillow that’s basically a chunk of boring stitch work. One stitch, one ball of yarn, and no changes in stitch count. Ah, that’s the perfect situation for zoning out on a movie and not having to look at my crochet work as I complete it.
Aim for simple projects if your goal is to decrease the amount of time you’re looking at your crochet project.
Use Larger Crochet Stitches
It’s easier to crochet without looking if you have larger holes within your work that make it easy to know where to place your hook for your next stitch. To have larger holes in your crochet work, try using a larger gauge or a looser type of crochet stitch.
When your crochet stitches are small and tight, it’s challenging to place your hook into the next stitch without looking. You might accidentally place your hook into the wrong part of the stitch, or into the wrong stitch altogether.
If your goal is to crochet without looking, choose larger and looser stitches that are easy to navigate by feel. If you can easily feel the hole that you need to place your hook into, this will increase your accuracy when completing each stitch.
Choose Yarn that Doesn’t Separate or Fray
If you want to crochet without looking, avoid yarn that easily separates or frays. When you aren’t looking at your work, it’s easy to accidentally snag parts of your yarn without realizing it. Instead, choose a yarn that stays together well and can’t be accidentally separated by your crochet hook.
There’s nothing worse than frayed or separated yarn. Wait, there is something worse. Having frayed or separated yarn that you don’t realize is frayed or separated because you aren’t looking at your work.
That’s a messy disaster for your crochet project.
If your goal is to crochet without looking, choose yarn that holds together well and doesn’t easily come apart. That way, if your crochet hooks snags it in a weird way because you aren’t looking at your project, it’s less prone to coming apart and messing up your project.
Crocheting is a fun and relaxing pastime. Not needing to look at it only adds to the fun. With enough practice, and the right tools, you could be crocheting without looking in no time.
Diana has been an artist for over 25 years and has training in drawing, painting, digital drawing and graphic design. Diana’s latest obsession is digitally drawing with Procreate and creating t-shirt designs with Canva. Diana has experience selling her art across a number of platforms and loves helping other artists learn how to make money from their art as well.