Crochet Tips & Tricks

This collection of crochet tips & tricks will make your crocheting easier and more productive.

How to read crochet patterns
Once you’ve learned the basic crochet stitches, you’ll want to start your first pattern. When you’ve chosen your pattern, sit down and look it over to make sure you fully understand what the project demands.

There are hundreds of beautiful designs available for you to make, but for a beginner, they may look scary because of incomprehensible symbols, abbreviations, and words.
That’s because crochet patterns are written using many abbreviations and terms, which save space and make patterns easier to read. So the first thing you need to do is become familiar with the abbreviations and terms. For example:

mr, sc n = magic ring (UK=magic ring) – crochet n single crochet stitches into
the adjustable loop.
st/sts = stitch/stitches
Cs or Ch = chain stitch (UK=chain)
sl st = slip stitch (UK=slip stitch)
sc = single crochet stitch (UK=double crochet)
inc = increase = 2 sc in one st
dec = decrease = two sc together
(sc 4, inc) x n = repeat the pattern between
parentheses n times
[n] = the number of stitches in the round
Notice the number of stitches given at the end of the rows or rounds. It is important to count your stitches just to make sure that you are on track with the pattern.

Reading crochet patterns takes practice, so don’t be discouraged in the beginning if you don’t understand all of the patterns you would like to crochet. The more you practice, the easier it becomes.

Crocheting in rows or rounds
Crochet patterns are worked in either rows or rounds. Each pattern will specify whether you are working in rows, rounds, or a combination of both. The main differences between crocheting in rows or rounds are as follows: for round crochet – crocheting is performed in a circle. In the case of row crochet – crocheting is performed in a straight line, turning over after the end of the row.
Right side of crocheting
Did you know there is a right and a wrong side of crocheting?
The picture above illustrates the right side of the fabric. It matters for amigurumi because toys looks better when the ‘right’ or front side is facing out.

So, how to figure out which side is the right one?

Primarily, when you are crocheting in a round, the right side is the side facing you. Single crochet stitches have a “v” shape. Each stitch has a certain shape that looks cleaner, straight and overall better on the right side. The flipped over side is the wrong side and will look fuzzier and messy.

In this video you can watch which side of crocheting is the right one (click on the link):
How to change colors in amigurumi
When you making amigurumi toys, changing yarn color is one of an essential skill. Many amigurumi patterns include colour changes – a step in which you need to pick up new yarn that is in a different colour than the one that is currently on your hook.

So how to change color ? This method shows quick and easy color change when crocheting single crochet stitches.

When working on the last round before your next color change work up until the last stitch of the round. Then insert the hook into the last stitch, yarn over and pull it through the stitch. Now you have 2 loops on the hook. Yarn over the new color and pull it throught these two loops on the crochet hook.
With this you finished the single crochet stitch and have successfully made a color change.
Crochet the next few stitches through the remaining yarn tails to secure them.

In this video you will learn how to make color change (click on the link):

If you really care about details, you should know how to make invisible color change.
With this method you will be able to create colorful amigurumis with many color changes.

When you need to change color, just finish your round (do not make a sleep stitch) and cut the yarn. We will start the next round with a new color 3 stitches back from the finish of the previous round.
Join your new color and make chain stitch 1. Crochet single crochet around using the new color yarn. You can hide the remaining yarn ends behind your stitches as you go.

In this video you will learn how to make invisible color change (click on the link):
How to finish amigurumi pieces
In amigurumi patterns, you’ll often see the instructions 'Finish off', ‘Fasten off’ or ‘Fasten off with a long tail’.What does it mean?

When you get to the end of your work, cut some extra yarn and pullthe yarn all the way throught. Pull out the marker. Thread the tail of the yarn onto a tapestry/yarn needle. Using your tapestry needle, weave the yarn through the front loop of each stitch in your last round. Once you have finished, gently pull the yarn taught. This will cinch the last round closed. Go through few stitches and remove the needle on the other side of the piece. Cut off the yarn.

In this video you will learn how to finish your amigurumi project (click on the link):
How to use yarn scrap stitch marker
The most common problem crocheters have when crocheting in the round is losing track of where the round starts and ends. Therefore stitch markers are an essential piece of kit for any serious knitter or crocheter!

Stitch markers are cute clips that can be used to mark where you start and end your pattern.

Like a stitch marker you can use a scrap piece of yarn (I always use it).
Use a contrasting piece of yarn, preferably something slippery and a lighter weight than your current yarn. This way you will be able to pull it out easily later, and it won’t leave gaps or affect your gauge. When you complete your first round, lay your marker yarn over your work before starting the next round. When you work the first stitch of the next round, the yarn will be trapped between the stitches.

In this video you will learn how to use yarn scrap stitch marker (click on the link):
How to embroider on amigurumi
Your amigurumi toys really come to life after embroidering the face.
Tip! Use a thinner weight yarn (This way your embroidery will look more neatly).

There are so many beautiful techniques for embroidering noses. I use this method very often. The video you can watch here(click on the link):
How to crochet eyes
I like plastic safety eyes a lot. And I use them quite often. They offer a very quick way to finish your crocheted toys. They come in different sizes and colors.
They are called safety eyes because once you place the washer on the back you cannot take them out so they are safe to play with!

But there are many reasons we look for an alternative to ready safety eyes.

Here is a tutorial on how to easily crochet eyes for you amigurumi projects (click on the link):
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