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5 Tips for Common Mistakes from YarnCraft #20

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5 Tips for Common Mistakes from YarnCraft #20

In the July 15th episode of YarnCraft, entitled Oops! Common Mistakes and How to Fix Them, we shared our mistake stories and the stories of our listeners. We also offered pointers on how to fix (and also avoid) some common mistakes.

Dropped StitchHere are a few pointers:

1. For knitters, dropped stitches can be a real issue. Follow the directions in our Learning Center to pick a stitch back up. More advanced? You can even purposely drop a stitch that is a knit instead of a purl and vice versa and pick it up in order to fix it.

2. Another tip for knitters is ripping back stitch by stitch so as not to drop any stitches in between. Directions can be found here in our Learning Center.

3. Crocheters, if you made a mistake and need to rip back, use a safety pin or a stitch marker to hold the stitch that you want to rip up to, that way you don’t rip back too far. Putting them on a stitch just before a section of pattern that you’re a little unsure about can give you some sense of security–it’s a little bit like on the show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”, where once you reach the $1,000 and the $32,000 marks, you know that you can’t walk away with less than those amounts. That’s basically what the markers will do for you.

4. Knitters, you can achieve a similar effect as #3 by using a lifeline, thread a piece of waste yarn (in another color so that it’s easier to see) through the stitches on a line just before a difficult part of the pattern, so that you know that if you rip back, you won’t rip behind this row.

5. Check your gauge! Both knitters and crocheters often have problems that can easily solved by checking gauge before starting the project–see my previous post for more info on gauge and its uses.

For this episode, which also includes a segment on great online resources, listen here [MP3].

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  • I don’t know if this is where I should add something that doesn’t really relate to common mistakes, but I do have a problem.

    I would really like to make an afghan from all the knitted blocks that you supplied to us readers to learn new stitches etc. Also, the crocheted blocks. But, I find that some blocks are large and may not contain how many cast ons I need, or chain stitches I need. Is there any way that this can be accomplished? I was even crocheting the two color block square where it asked for 34 chains, but that didn’t work out for the rest of the pattern. I had to use 38 chains. Also in this square no mention was made that in making the chain, you needed to do so in two different colors as the picture shows. I was really disappoined in the instructions. However, I would still like all the blocks to be six inches wide or nine inches wide. Is there any way other than trial and error that I can accomplish this. Thank you. Mrs. LEH

  • Hi Mrs. Hoffmann,

    First of all, we have crochet blocks in our stitchfinder as well as crochet stitch patterns. The crochet block patterns are for a specific square, and therefore give you the number to chain. The crochet stitch patterns are for generic patterns that will work over any number of stitches, and therefore you need to decide how many to chain.

    These generic patterns will work with any yarn, so we suggest you try the pattern with the hook size suggested on the yarn label and, if necessary, adjust up or down depending on how tightly or loosely you crochet. If you want all of your blocks to be a certain size, you WILL have to crochet gauge swatches in order to know how many stitches to chain for each pattern, as every pattern will pull/stretch the yarn differently.

    For more information on using the StitchFinder, please visit my earlier post. For more technical help, please e-mail

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