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Tips 'n Tricks

Do you have a helpful hint or handy trick that will make any aspect of crocheting easier? Share it! Post ideas on scrap yarn usages, stitch markers, starching, hook organization, color changing, maintaining your sanity while following a difficult pattern, etc. There is most probably someone out there that will benefit from your help. Need ideas yourself? Read others' comments--we all live and learn!

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Friday, June 01, 2012Name: Marjorie

Subject: Yarn holders

Comment: I like to wind my yarn onto an empty paper towel cardboard center, then place it on the paper towel holder while crocheting, instead of rolling it into a ball. Then i put it into one of the plastic bags that newspapers come in, for storeing. And i use tissue paper centers for scraps. i cut a slit in one end of the centers to pull the end of the yarn through for storage this keeps it from unrolling too.

Friday, June 01, 2012Name: jan

Subject: wrist problems

Comment: I've found that sometimes my wrist gets tired while I'm crocheting with bulkier yarns. If I switch to finer yarn or thread, I can crochet longer without causing pain.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012Name: Janette

Subject: Thank you

Comment: I have read the first page of these helps and I must say I have gleaned a wealth of ideas just from the first page....The hat box idea is priceless and rolling the yarn into a ball from a skein (which I did last night) really makes it easier and I found out it doesn't tangle like leaving it in skein form....

Thank you so much for these ideas....your site is a keeper.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012Name: Sarah

Subject: Storing work

Comment: I find a decorative hat box that you find at any JoAnn's or Micheal's works really well for storing work and still matches decor of the home any shape or size of your project

I also found that a small hole in the side or lid to pull yarn through keeps yarn from rolling around.

The box I have has a floral pattern and the hole in the top of the lid can only been noticed if you are looking for it.

I use a smaller box of the same pattern for holding my hooks and a box shaped one for storing patterns or graph paper for jotting down ideas as I come up with them

Tuesday, May 22, 2012Name: Jule

Subject: place markers

Comment: I use hoop earrings as place/row/stitch- markers. You can place them any where, at the end of a row, in the middle... they make great stitch holders, too. When you need to pause your work, slip the loop from your crochet hook onto the earring, then attach the earring to the last worked stitch.

Saturday, May 19, 2012Name: Krissy

Subject: Skein to Ball

Comment: My grandmother taught me that the first step is to transform the skein of yarn into a ball. I find it easier to unravel the skein if I stick a knitting needle in through the middle lengthwise and hold the bottom of the knitting needle as I unwind the skein. I unwind a long length, wind it into the ball, and do this back and forth as the skein becomes a ball.

I also use a Clorox Wipes container to keep my working yarn ball in as I crochet. It keeps it clean and stabilizes it, keeping it from wandering the floor beneath me.

Friday, May 11, 2012Name: Georgia

Subject: Yarn holders

Comment: Stores that sell wine often have an "eco bag" that has 6 dividers to hold 6 bottles of wine. I use these for project bags and put up to 4 or 5 skeins of yard in them with my hook, pattern, scissors, etc in the last pocket. If the bag is plain, you can decorate it and it makes a great gift for a "yarn craft" friend.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012Name: Audrey S.

Subject: Yarn Softener

Comment: Whenever I want to soften yarn I wash it in baby shampoo with conditioner. Place project in clothes dryer with a fabric softener dryer sheet.

Also if you want to make the inside of a hat or mittens warmer and softer, turn the item inside out, take a small brush and brush the yarn to desired softeness. Turn item back to outside side showing.

Thursday, May 03, 2012Name: sandystarr28

Subject: Hooks DO Matter!

Comment: When I was a child, I taught myself to crochet from a "how-to" booklet I picked up at KMart. I always thought most crochet hooks were pretty much created equal, but boy, was I wrong.

I didn't crochet for many years. Then I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. The thought of losing the use of my hands terrified me more than the cramping. So, with a "Use it or lose it" attitude, I started crocheting again.

There are a lot of ergonomic hooks available now; look around. Personally, I liked the lighted hooks by CrochetLite. They have a rubber grip that helps me hang onto the hooks.

Pencil grips will slide on most hooks to make them easier to hold. I've also seen on this site tips to use modeling clay to build up the grips as well.

Bamboo and wood are warmer than aluminum. Cold aluminum makes my hands cramp. Plastic hooks are not bad either.

Another thing I like are Susan Bate's hooks, with the sharp throats. If I am having trouble catching the yarns, I find if I switch over to one of these hooks using a knife grip for a little while, I can crochet longer.

Since starting back crocheting, it has helped my hands a lot: less cramping, decreased pain, and increased flexibility. Now I know why so many seniors crochet! Hope this helps.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012Name: Amy

Subject: Setting work aside

Comment: I hate losing stitches from set aside work, and the way I was taught to prevent it (sliding hook thru previous stitches & pulling working loop tight around it) can cause holes. Instead, I chain 1, pull loop tight, hold yarn against the hook & wrap a rubber band around it about an inch from hook tip. Then when I pick it back up I can just pull off the rubber band, remove the chain & get right back to it.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012Name: Amy

Subject: Crocheting in the dark

Comment: I do most of my crocheting at night but the light bothers my bf (& DS when all sharing a hotel room) but I found out that if I keep my pattern pulled up on the netbook right in front of me either in Word or my browser, the light is enough to see by & no one is woken up!

Sunday, April 29, 2012Name: Barbara Tungate

Subject: Row Counter

Comment: Tip

I purchased a counter which is used in store inventories. Each time I finish a row of crocheting or knitting, I click it. I hang it around my neck with a ribbon.

Saturday, April 28, 2012Name: Kara

Subject: Travelling with scissors?

Comment: TSA will allow you to carry scissors on the plane as long as the blade is less than four inches from the screw. Just make sure you present it to the TSA agent along with your liquids when going through security.

Friday, April 27, 2012Name: Amy

Subject: Stitch/row markers

Comment: I have been crocheting since I was 8. My gramma taught me, as she was left-handed & my mom couldn't figure out how to teach me. My mom used store-bought stitch markers, which I don't--why spend money you don't have to? Gramma used safety pins, but I find they can fray yarn easily. So here is what I do:

Take a ponytail holder (I use the kind with no metal but really any will do, just be careful not to pull too tight if it has the sparkly bits). Pull through stitch you need to mark, fold the ponyholder in half so you have two loops. Pull one loop through the other. Tada! I usually mark every 10th row so I don't have to keep recounting.

Friday, April 27, 2012Name: Amy

Subject: Storage

Comment: Gift bags are great for storing WIPs. Many sizes, cheap (or free if you're a packrat like me), & the blank tag is a great way to label the project, hook sizes, etc. I fold the tops down & tape them shut to avoid dust & keep my son out of them.

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