10 common knitting or crochet mistakes

Christelle Knitting

In this article, I will discuss 10 common knitting or crochet mistakes that we all make, experienced knitters/crochers or not.

This is not a listing of technical mistakes but mistakes that we can easily avoid if we pay a little attention.

10 common knitting or crochet mistakes

1. Mistake #1: not blocking your FO

As many of you know, I learned to knit with my grandmother and to crochet with my mom.

So I knew the Bergère de France era with the famous yarn catalog that we received once a year. I regularly leafed through this catalog and read the instructions of the patterns.
Never once did I see mention in the instructions that you had to block your knitting.
It wasn’t until I got interested in the knitting world on the internet that I discovered this technique.

And it was a revelation! Since then, I never forget to put the finishing touches on my projects by blocking either with the “wet” method or with an iron with a pattemouille.

Why is this so important?
As you all know, no matter how experienced we are, there are always little irregularities in our projects, so blocking will unify the stitches, distribute the tension, smooth out the little irregularities and shape for example a sweater, a hat or a pair of gloves.
This goes even further for lace. Without blocking, no magic! Lace can only be expressed by a good blocking.
Try it and you’ll see how your project takes on a whole new dimension! And how it reveals all the beauty and technicality of lace knitting.

If you want to know more about blocking, you will find a video in French on my YouTube channel, where I explain how to block with the pattemouille technique.

Mistake #2: Not taking care of your knits properly

We are knitters, aren’t we? And we particularly appreciate wool, animal and vegetable fibers for what they bring us: warmth in winter, coolness in summer.

These fibers have the advantage of being durable, resistant to time. So how to give them the longest life possible?

By refreshing them between two uses for example, by cleaning the stains immediately and if you wash them, by using the most adequate products, by storing them correctly away from light and possible parasites (moths and silverfish) …

All this, I had detailed in an article published a year and a half ago: How to care for your handknits?

how to care for your handknits
3. Mistake #3: not making a swatch!

Making a swtch is one of the most important things to do when you start a large knitting project or a knitting project where measurements are really important, such as a sweater, socks or a hat.

This will allow you to familiarize yourself with the yarn you are using, to know how it behaves during blocking, to know if it corresponds well to what is expected in the pattern you are going to use, it also allows you to know if the result obtained pleases you or corresponds to what can be expected for a sweater or any other knitted piece.

This will save you a lot of trouble and hours wasted unraveling a sweater that doesn’t really fit because the measurements are not correct or simply because the result is not what you expected!

Do you need more arguments to convince you to make samples? Yes ? Check out the article: Why swatching is important!

4. Mistake #4: not taking enough time to choose the right yarn

Sheep’s wool, alpaca, cotton, silk all have different qualities and are suitable or not depending on the project you want to make.
For example, silk is not really highly twisted and has a fluidity that you will not find in a 8-ply yarn made from sheep’s wool..
Cotton will not have the fire retardant and water repellent qualities of sheep’s wool.
Mohair and alpaca will have a halo that sheep’s wool will not have.

Not only is it important to choose the wool for your project according to its composition but also according to its color!

There is currently an attraction for indie dyers speckled yarns, the result is splendid, it gives an intensity and a depth to the yarnthat a solid color will not have.
On the other hand, depending on the colors used and the intensity of the speckles, this yarn may not be absolutely appropriate for knitting a large piece or lace shawls, while on the contrary, it will express all its beauty on stockinette or simple garter stitch.

5. Mistake #5: Not using a good light for knitting

It’s tempting when you’re a hardcore knitter to knit anywhere and anytime.
For example, you’ve probably knitted on the bus, on the subway, in the car or in front of the TV. Day and night! And sometimes with very low light levels so as not to disturb your neighbor (especially when he is watching TV!)

What happens the next day? In most cases, you realize that you made mistakes, that you separated the strands of yarn and you can start again one, two, ten or twenty rows!

Therefore it seems very clear that it is really important to invest in a good light to be able to knit in all circumstances.

Personally, I invested in this reading light:

6. Mistake #6: Not knowing when to stop

You’ve probably already said this: Wait, I’m finishing my row! Wait, I have three rows left!

Big mistake!

Often it is the row too many! Because it is often very late, much later than our usual bedtime. We often lack concentration at this time, we are distracted, tired but at the same time in a hurry to finish.
But the next day, we realize that these few tens of minutes, this extra hour are lost because we made mistakes!

I speak from experience: when I made my first shawl, I was in such a hurry to finish it that I finished it at more than 2 am and I quickly BOed it!

Only to realize the next day that I could do it all over again (and I assure you that I won’t be fooled twice because unraveling a BO is far from easy!)

7. Mistake #7: not weaving the ends!

I’m sure you have a knitted fabric lying around in your basket, with the ends not weave. Or a sweater whose ends you subtly hide so that no one knows it’s not quite finished!

Because yes, it’s not quite finished because weaving the ends is part of the knitting process! It’s what gives the final touch to the knitting!

Personally, I admit that I sometimes dawdle on weaving the ends, but I often do it after blocking the piece in question and before the photos are taken.
I must admit that there are a few pieces where you don’t need to weave the ends: for example, the fair isle tubes that you are going to graft, you don’t need to weave the neds, you just have to cross them and tie a knot and that’s it! (this is what knitters in the Shetland Islands do for Fair Isle pieces where there are many yarns to weave in).

8. Mistake #8: not taking a break while knitting!

Be careful, your hands are your working tools!
Just as your hands are the working tools of the IT engineer, the housekeeper, the surgeon.
You must therefore take care of them.

Don’t forget to take regular breaks when you knit, every half hour, every hour, to get up, to stretch your legs and why not do some physical therapy for knitters?

9. Mistake #9: not daring to unravel your current projects

I know, nothing worse than unraveling hours of work!
But as my grandmother used to say, doing and undoing is still work.
So don’t hesitate to unravel a piece you don’t want to wear, a sweater that’s too small. Or the beginning of that shawl you started and that you don’t like after all!
Yarn is a noble and sometimes expensive material, so it’s worth spending it on something else!

And then, you’ll see, nothing is more liberating than unraveling!

10. Mistake #10: not taking a step back from your knitting

Take your measurements! Try it out while you’re knitting! Put your knitting down and look at it!

To make sure you haven’t dropped a stitch, for example, to see if the sweater fits you and has the right size, to check if you have not made a mistake. Because if you hate doing the previous point, taking a break and stepping back will save you the trouble of unraveling!

So here are a few mistakes that every knitter or crocheter has made at least once in her creative life!
Tell me in the comments what mistakes you’ve already made and if you want to know more, you can find this topic in French on my YouTube channel.

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See you soon,