Not got crochet game? Here are 6 possible reasons why.

by Hanna Gough

"I just can't crochet" 

"I am impossible to teach"

"The fabric is too stiff" 

"My tension is wrong" 

"I can't count the stitches" 

"My circles don't lie flat" 

There are several reasons people cite for not being able to crochet. Would you believe me if I told you that they are fixable? 

A lot of crafters I have spoken to (knitters in particular) insist that crochet is too difficult or not for them. They can't read patterns, their fabric is too dense, they lose track of their stitches, their edges don't look right... the list is endless. 

I'll talk you through 6 common reasons why you aren't learning to crochet as well as you had hoped. 

1. You aren't using the right hook. 

If your fabric is too dense, your chains are too tight or too loopy, you might be using the wrong hook. No one can expect to be able to use one hook size every time and achieve success. Matching gauge is not as simple as matching hook and yarn size. There is more to it than that. I cover this with my crochet classes, as it is quite important for garments in particular. 

2. You don't know your terminology.

There are many terms used to describe the same stitches and techniques in crochet. Double crochet in US terms is very different to Double crochet in UK terms. Learning the terminology is key to understanding patterns and ensuring success. Your work is going to look very very different to the YouTube pattern you just followed if you have been making US trebles instead of UK trebles. This is why I give all of my crochet students a cheat sheet with terminology on. It is worth learning. 

3. You are not impossible to teach. You are unwilling to learn. 

In my experience of teaching (nearly a decade of teaching both adults and unruly teenagers), most students who say they can't be taught are not unteachable, they are simply unwilling to learn. Learning is not impossible but it can have barriers. 

Being open and receptive to learning is not something that just anybody can do. I find that those lacking in confidence use the "I can't be taught" approach and shut everything down before giving it a chance. They doubt their own abilities and it can be for several reasons, but most commonly because they have compared themselves to others. 

Another possibility is that you have attempted to crochet, got it wrong and decided "never again". In this age of instant gratification, we are too quick to decide something isn't for us after just one hour of trying. 

Learning is a journey. Techniques can take years to perfect. Skills require time, practise, perseverance and set backs. That is how it is. There is nothing out there that instantly grants you a new skill. I'm sorry but that's the truth. Once you accept that, you can learn anything.

Do not let one negative experience of learning close doors for you. 

4. You are holding your hook in a way that is wrong for you. 

Just because the designer, teacher or friend showing you how to crochet something is holding their hook like a pencil in their right hand doesn't mean that this is how you should be doing it. They will most probably be teaching you in a way they they were taught. That doesn't mean that it is the only way. 

We are all unique. Did you know that it's estimated that 10-12% of the world's population are left handed? Are you one of them? Do you have decreased mobility in your dominant hand? Do you prefer to hold your hook like a fork? There is no way to do crochet incorrectly. The right way to crochet is the way that feels right for you. 

I work with my students to find a way that is most comfortable for them. I do not care how you hold your hook as long as it is comfortable for you. We are here to do crochet! Get it done no matter how. 

5. No tutorial is perfect. 

As awe inspiring and mind blowing as a YouTube tutorial can be, don't forget that the person demonstrating is a human being and therefore susceptible to error. These people are incredibly talented but I bet if you watched ten videos on double crochet, no two are the same. This is because we have various expressions, we hold our hooks differently and describe techniques differently. If the video doesn't make a good fit for you, chances are you are not at fault, you just haven't found the right rhythm.

This is why I advocate a tailored, customised approach. I am here to teach you to crochet your way, not mine. 

6. Knitting and crochet are not the same, nor are they similar in the way you want them to be. 

Stop comparing them. You may have been knitting for 30 years but that does not mean you will take to crochet like a duck to water. It is a different skill set. The sooner you learn to let go of the comparisons and learn crochet with a clean slate, the happier you will be during your crochet practice. Treat yourself like a beginner and you will be open to new things. Learning doesn't stop.

 

If you would like to learn more about my crochet classes, please have a look at the class page on my website or email info@germandercottagecrafts.com for more information.