If you’re new to crochet, it can feel like a big leap from the level you’re at now, to the level of crochet mastery you dream to achieve.
Or, maybe you’ve been crocheting for a while now and wondering why you aren’t progressing as fast as you want to be.
Wherever you are in your crochet journey, if you’re hoping to get better at crocheting, here are some tips to consider.
1. Dream Big, but Work Practically
It’s important to have big crochet dreams to keep you motivated, while working towards those dreams strategically and practically.
When I first picked up a crochet hook, I wanted to create intricate amigurumi right out of the gate. It looked like SO much fun!
Well, I hadn’t even mastered the basic stitches yet.
So, I kept my intricate amigurumi goal as a motivator while I created simpler projects and mastered the basics.
Overtime, my skills grew and I was able to start tackling the intricate amigurumi of my dreams.
Now, I can pick up an amigurumi book and feel challenged, but not overwhelmed. I feel confident about completing the projects in them, which is something I didn’t feel before taking the time to learn the basics and strategically level up my crochet skills.
By the way, I’ve had a LOT of fun with this Aquatic Amigurumi book!
Here’s my version of the seal. Isn’t he adorable?!
What I learned from my own crochet journey is that it’s really important to learn the basics. Yes, have a stretch goal to keep you motivated, but don’t tackle that stretch goal too quickly.
Learn the basics, master various stitches, and progress strategically. This means choosing projects that match your skill level.
This doesn’t mean you have to create crochet projects you find boring. While it may not be your dream project, it’s possible to find crochet projects you enjoy at every level of ability.
For example, when starting out, I found simpler amigurumi patterns that were at my skill level.
These simpler amigurumi projects weren’t always my dream projects, but they were SO much fun! They helped me learn the foundational skills of amigurumi while letting me still explore the amigurumi world.
Having a goal of where I wanted to be with my crocheting in the future was a great motivator. But, I didn’t leap to that goal without working towards it first.
In the end, this made me a better crocheter.
Have a goal in mind, but make sure you work to it strategically. Choose projects that are at your skill level and will progressively challenge you towards the crochet projects of your dreams.
2. Make Swatches of New Stitches
If you need to learn a new stitch, it can be helpful to make a swatch of it prior to using it in a project.
That way, you’re getting a LOT of practice with it.
When you learn a new stitch within the context of a project, you might find that the project doesn’t use the stitch enough for you to build confidence with it.
For example, a project may only use your new stitch for a few rows. That may not give you enough practice with the stitch to master it.
Also, it can be stressful to learn a new stitch while you’re working on a project. If you’ve put so much hard work into a project, it can feel like a lot of pressure to suddenly introduce a new stitch into it. What if it doesn’t look right? What if it screws up the rest of the project?
Hey, crochet mistakes just add to the character of it. That said, I understand the feeling of wanting to create a beautiful crochet project with as few mistakes as possible.
Suddenly introducing a new stitch isn’t a great recipe for that.
If you have a new stitch coming up in a project, make a swatch of it first. That way, you can gain a lot of practice with the stitch before you need to use it for your project.
This will not only prepare you for the current project you’re working on, it will also help you cement these new crochet stitches into your mental repertoire, making you a better crocheter overtime.
But, in order to know whether your project requires a new stitch, you need to read your pattern first. This leads us to the next tip.
3. Review Your Patterns Before Starting
It can be really tempting to fall in love with a crochet pattern and jump in with the first row. Things are going well, but you suddenly reach a point in the pattern you don’t understand. Maybe it’s a new stitch, a new abbreviation, or a new technique you’ve never seen before.
I don’t know about you, but this happened to me ALL the time when I first started crocheting.
It left me frustrated, unmotivated, and without a plan for moving forward.
Now, I’m intentionally about reviewing a pattern before I even pick up my crochet hook. I want to be sure that I’ve reviewed every stitch, every abbreviation, and every technique.
I want to feel like I can envision myself working on the project from start to finish, without any surprises.
If there are any new stitches that are required, it’s a great time to make a swatch to master them.
If there are any new abbreviations or techniques, look them up and make sure to understand what they require.
Reviewing a crochet pattern ahead of time can make you a better crocheter by making sure you know what to expect, tackle any new challenges ahead of time, and feel more confident overall.
4. Take a Class
When I first started crocheting, I felt overwhelmed by patterns. They were filled with instructions and abbreviations, which were great. That said, what I was craving was someone to walk me through each step as they created the project alongside me.
Following a pattern myself, while watching someone execute on that pattern, was invaluable to my learning.
It was like reading a foregin language, but having a translator with me.
Luckily, there are a lot of tutorials and classes to check out!
Skillshare has a great group of crochet classes. Their crochet snowflake class was one of the first classes I took when I wanted to dive into crocheting shapes. It was awesome!
I also used YouTube. I used the video below to make a bunny, which I really enjoyed. This bunny project was extremely helpful in building my confidence.
So, if you’re hoping to get better at crochet, look for a class! Not only will you have a guide as you build your skills, you might have more fun doing it than using a pattern alone.
5. Practice Regularly
This is the tip that people skip over because it sounds boring and overused. Practice, practice, practice. We’ve heard it before! Where’s the magic tip to make you better with no time or effort?!
Well, practicing may seem like a boring and overused tip, but that’s because it’s so important!
Crocheting is one of those things that feels really awkward in the beginning, but slowly starts to feel more and more natural.
This only comes with practice.
Practice isn’t always flashy or exciting. There are times when it can feel slow and boring.
That’s ok! Always have your dream goal in mind and intentionally map how all of your practice will lead you to that goal.
Can you work in time to practice regularly? What goals do you have? Being intentional about practicing your crochet can impact how fast you learn to crochet and improve at it.
Practice. Practice. Practice.
6. Find a Crochet Group or Buddy
If you want a more enjoyable way to practice your crochet skills, finding a crochet group or buddy can be great! Not only can it be fun to crochet with others, it can be a good motivator.
Also, having other crocheters around can be a really great way to learn. When I first started crocheting, there were times I would have issues with my work and have no idea what was going on.
Was it my technique? My yarn? My hook? The alignment of the planets? Who knows. I would get so frustrated trying to figure out how to fix a crochet problem on my own.
If you have a crochet group available to you, it can be really helpful for gaining that support you need as you level up your crochet skills. Also, being able to nerd out about crochet with other crochet lovers is always fun 🙂
7. Focus on the Fun
At the end of the day, make sure to have fun with your crochet projects.
It can be so easy to focus on the skills we haven’t gained yet and the frustrations of learning something new.
At the end of the day though, we’re crocheting for fun. Every funky stitch and “creatively” done technique is all apart of the journey.
Try to keep that in mind and have fun as you get better at crocheting!
Diana has been an artist for over 26 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.