How To Fix A Missed Stitch in Crochet (and Other Common Mistakes)

Even the most experienced crocheters sometimes wind up with a missed stitch or another mistake. Although mistakes are not something we like to make, they will happen. The important thing to know are the tips to fix a missed stitch and other common errors in crochet when they happen (and to know the tricks to avoid mistakes in the first place!)

So what is the easiest way to fix a missed stitch in crochet? There are three choices: fix it again, ignore it or make it part of a design element. Each of the options have pro’s and con’s that will impact your project. You can make an informed decision about which option is best for you.

Read More: how to fix a missed stitch in crochet

Option 1: Go Back to The Mistake and Fix It.

The first option is commonly called “ripping back” or “frogging.” In this method, you unknot the stitches back the point where the missed stitch occurred, fix the stitch, and then continue crocheting. This method is best to ensure that your final project is exactly the right size and shape. It’s also the best option for complex patterns, and projects like lace or amigurumi where tight, uniform stitches are important.

Ripping back can be frustrating for beginners, especially for those just starting to crochet. You can’t keep going back to fix mistakes and it slows down the speed of your crochet. It can also be difficult for specialty yarns and exotic fibres to be untied and re-stitched. The location of the missed stitch will vary depending on where it is located (e.g. You may choose to ignore the missed stitch or fix it by moving to another part of the project.

Option 2: To ignore it.

It may seem odd to say, but one option when you miss a stitch in a crochet project is just to ignore it and keep right on crocheting. Unlike knitting where missed stitches can cause a project to unravel, missed stitches in crochet aren’t always a problem. With some types of crochet stitches (especially those with large open spaces), a missed stitch here and there may not be even noticeable in the final project.

You can find a missing stitch by taking a step back from your project to see where it was. If it’s not likely to change the eventual size or shape of the project, and it’s not in a conspicuous space, keep on crocheting! The unique characteristics and flaws that make handmade projects stand out are often what makes them special.

Option 3: Add It In As A Design Element

In some cases, a missed stitch might result in a unique shape or hole in the crochet pattern. Once you have noticed the missing stitch, your new pattern might be better than the one that was before. If you like the look of the missed stitch, instead of ripping back to fix it, continue with the missed stitch in upcoming rows as a design element. What was a ‘mistake’ might just be an improvement on the project!

The best way to fix a mistake is to catch it early. It is easier to identify a missed stitch early and make a decision about what to do. If you recognize a missed stitch just a few stitches or by the end of the current row, it’s much less time consuming just to rip back to that point to fix it.

It’s helpful for beginner crocheters to learn the common mistakes in crochet, strategies to fix them, and ways to avoid making those mistakes in the first place.

What are the other common mistakes in crochet?

  1. This project never stops growing in size.

This is a common mistake that every crocheter has made at least once. When you get to the end, your square-shaped pattern suddenly looks wider and more like a triangle. Projects that continue getting larger or wider happens from not properly counting stitches to the end of a row (and subsequently working more stitches in a row than are needed.)

The only way to correct this error is to rip back the row that you crocheted with the correct number and then continue. The better way is to not make this mistake in the first place. To Avoid it by counting stitches carefully as you create each row. When you reach the same number of stitches in your second row as your first, stop, turn, and begin again. Be sure to start your next row in the correct stitch (single crochet starts in the first stitch, double crochet starts in the second stitch, etc.) Keep track of your progress.

  1. The project gets smaller/narrower.

Reading: Fix the Sagging Deck

Just like the project that continues to balloon outward, it’s also possible to experience the ‘pine tree’ effect where your project continues to get narrower and narrower in a triangle shape. This happens from creating too few stitches in each row or continuing to miss multiple stitches in a row.

Same as projects that grow wider, if you catch the mistake early you can pick up the stitch a row or so later in the pattern. If you go any further than that, unfortunately, there is no way to make it right. You can only go back to the row that was correct and start crocheting again from that point. To avoid the dreaded ‘shrinking project’ be sure to always count stitches as you create your row and be careful to start your next row in the correct stitch.

  1. Crocheting only in the front loop

This is a common mistake, especially when beginning crocheters move from single one-stitch projects like scarves into more complex projects. This happens when you only gather the front stitch from one to the next, rather than picking up the back and front loops of each stitch. While this doesn’t impact simple projects, it will cause havoc later when you begin to experiment with more advanced projects.

If your crochet project’s front and back look different, this is an easy way to spot the error. It is possible that your project will be larger than planned. You may decide to finish a simple project and not adjust it if this happens. For a complex project, it’s best to start over (if the full project is done only with the front loop) or rip back to the last correct row and begin again.

  1. Forgetting which row of the pattern you’re crocheting.

I like to call this mistake ‘distracted driving’ your crochet hook. This is most common with complicated crochet patterns, such as those that require you repeat a series of rows in order to create a pattern. Rows 1-5 have a different pattern of stitch, so repeat these five rows repeatedly until you complete the project. In these situations, if you forget which row of the pattern you’re crocheting it can impact the final outcome.

Stitching the same row twice or forgetting to stitch a row in a sequence of rows can both result in stitch patterns that don’t look quite right. It also means to get the best-finished product you’ll either have to keep repeating the same mistake again for the rest of the pattern or rip back to the mistake and crochet it again.

When you’ve corrected the mistake, it’s best to use a stitch counter or a row counter going forward to help you keep track of where you are in the pattern. If you have to set a project aside for a period of time, jot down where you are in the pattern and safety pin the paper to the project. You can then pick up from where you left off again when you return.

  1. The wrong size hook.

Although this can be an intentional choice for a specific pattern, it’s a common mistake made by beginning crocheters. Often it happens when you decide to use a different yarn than the pattern calls for, or when a beginner crocheter might not own particular hook size in their kit and decides to sub another size rather than buy the recommended size.

Changing the hook size can change the final look of a project in many ways. Upsizing and downsizing hooks can result in projects that are larger or smaller than intended. You can slow down your crochet speed by using too big or too small a hook.

Always make a gauge swatch before you decide to change the size of your hook. This will help you to predict the final project’s gauge and adjust your design accordingly.

  1. Mixing crochet terms.

Just like hook sizes can vary depending on the country where the crochet hook was made, so can the terminology used in a crochet pattern. Sometimes the same stitches can be abbreviated in very different ways depending on where the pattern was manufactured. For example, a slip stitch is abbreviated “ss” in both English and American patterns. However, a single crochet (sc) in US terms is actually a double crochet (dc) in a UK pattern. If you continue to carefully complete a pattern but the size or shape seems off, double check what terms the pattern uses and make sure you’re converting appropriately.

Good quality patterns will note whether or not the pattern is written in UK crochet terms or US terms. It is important that the terms are consistent throughout. Once you have identified how the pattern was written, you will be able proceed as intended. To avoid this mistake, it’s best to always, always, always read the pattern and make sure you understand each element before you begin.

  1. Not leaving enough yarn to properly bind off

Reading: Broken Braces Coil Spring: How To Fix, Why This Happens

There’s another point of panic for beginning crocheters when you arrive near the end of a project only to find you don’t have enough yarn to properly bind off the finished project. While there are options to help make yarn stretch further, it’s important to make a decision about binding off well before it’s time to do so.

If you find yourself without enough yarn to bind off the project in the right place you have a few options to fix the mistake. You can go back to your yarn store to get the yarn you need to bind where the pattern directs. It might not be ideal but it may be the only way to create a professional project. To finish the project earlier, you can rip back a few rows. Although the project might be smaller than suggested, it can be quicker or cheaper than using another skein.

It’s also important to not just leave enough yarn to bind off the completed row, but to also leave at least a 5-6 inch tail of yarn to weave into the project. This gives your project a professional finish and is your guarantee that it won’t break down later. A short tail will make weaving difficult and could result in a small piece of yarn hanging.

  1. Crocheting stitches too tightly

Another tricky spot some beginning crocheters (or anyone having a bad day!) Crochet stitches are often too tight. You will learn to crochet with more practice. If you constantly find yourself fighting to work the stitches in your next row because it’s too difficult to insert the hook in the stitch, you’re likely working your stitches too tightly. You can loosen your grip on the yarn and hook, and relax. The goal is to keep stitches uniformly secure, but not too tight so that they don’t move freely when the hook is inserted.

Another sign your crochet stitches might be too tight? Hand pain. If you’re experiencing cramping during crocheting or aching pains a few hours after you finish a crafting session, you may be putting too much tension on the yarn.

  1. Not finishing the project

In all of the situations above, it’s important to note that mistakes happen. Even the most skilled and experienced crocheters make mistakes. The biggest mistake in crochet is to give up on a project.

Leaving a project behind because you’ve made an error is the worst way to experience the relaxation and fun of crocheting. Take a short break and then return to your project. It may be easier than you think to correct the error. If you’re still unsure how to fix it, call a friend or search online for a solution. If you’re still unsure, bring your project and pattern to a local yarn store where a staff person may be able to help you.

Whatever you do, don’t create a large pile of unfinished projects in your yarn stash. Those ‘unwanted’ misfits might just be your favorite projects if you just keep going!

Related Questions

  1. Is it harder to fix mistakes in crochet or knitting?

The basic technique for fixing mistakes in crochet and knitting is the same. Both techniques require you to go back to the spot where the error was made and correct it before you can move on. While neither is “easier” to fix than the other, there are differences in how obvious mistakes are and how imperative it is to fix them. In knitted fabrics, missed stitches can cause the yarn to unravel in the middle of the project and deteriorate the look of the project over time. It’s much more critical to fix mistakes because the integrity of the full project is at risk.

As mentioned above, often crochet mistakes don’t require any fixing at all. When a stitch is crocheted it’s no longer ‘live’ like in knitted projects, so there’s little or no chance that a mistake will unravel when a stitch is missed. Crochet You have more options to determine if a mistake should be fixed.

  1. What are the best tools for keeping track of crochet stitches and how do they work?

To avoid making mistakes with many of the strategies above, it is essential to keep track crochet stitches. It is vital to count stitches, and how easy it can be to forget! there are tools available to help crocheters keep track of where they are in a pattern. Crochet stitch markers and stitch counters are two tools that help with counting stitches in a project.

Crochet stitch markers are used to indicate an individual stitch in a pattern (or mark the end of a row). These are helpful when there are a large number of stitches in a row to count or when crocheting in the round. Crochet Stitchers can be used to count each row as it’s completed. These are useful for projects with many rows to count or sets of repeating rows.

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