Monday, October 27, 2014

5 Simple Tweaks to Crochet Faster

I think all of us want to crochet faster. After all, don't all of us have a crochet queue that goes around the block, like, ten times? Mine certainly does.

Here are 5 simple tweaks that will help you crochet faster and get around to the million projects you want to finish before you kick the bucket.

1. Start With Clean Hands:

This might sound obvious, but it's not. And I am not referring to licking off your chocolate-covered fingers (because, really, who does that?).

I am talking about the natural oils that your skin produces. Contrary to what you may think, oily, sweaty hands not only carries the risk of dirtying or staining your work; it will also slow the yarn flow through your fingers and, in turn, make you crochet slower.

So go ahead and take a few short minutes to get your hands nice and clean. Make sure to dry 'em before you start crocheting. Then wash again later, if your hands get oily or sweaty as you work.

2. Posture, posture, POSTURE!

I know it's tempting to lay back on a hammock and stitch away. Unless you want to crochet fast, that is.

If you are in for speed: sit straight up on a comfortable chair that allows for free elbow movement. I recommend one from the dining room or an office chair. Now relax your shoulders and hold your work comfortably around the height of your chest.

You not only will crochet faster, but can potentially do so for longer.

3. Let That Yarn Flow:

I bet it's no surprise that stopping to pull yarn from the skein, is a waste of precious crochet time. Though we can't avoid it altogether, there are some ways to reduce it's occurrence.

If the yarn flows out of the skein freely, then ignore me on this one. But when the yarn is tight coming out of the skein, pull a few yards a at a time and let them sit on your lap as you crochet.

Opt for pulling the yarn from the center of the skein whenever possible.

Also, place your yarn carefully near you. Don't let it tumble freely on the floor, where it will "find" places to get caught on, and stop you in your progress while you go and rescue it from it's trap.

The trick is: provide for its free flow.

4. It's a Matter of Rhythm

It's better to crochet at about 80-90% of your top speed and do it right, than going at 100% and make a lot of mistakes. Makes sense?

Don't rush it. Go at the highest speed that still feels comfortable. If you are making a lot of mistakes, slow down a little.

5. Don't Yarn Over

No, I didn't go insane. What I mean by "don't yarn over" is to "hook under" instead.

Usually, you hold the hook with your dominant hand, and the yarn with your other hand. With the "yarn over," you wrap the yarn around the hook using your non-dominant hand, which is really unnecessary if you are also, already, moving the hook to get the yarn. Hence, the "hook under," which puts the bulk of the movements with your dominant hand.

It's all in making your movements more efficient. The less amount of movements you use to accomplish a stitch, the less time it will take.

Just ry it and see for yourself ;)

Lastly...

Don't get the joy out of crochet. The beauty of this art comes from the care and the pasion that goes into the pieces that you make. So, please don't sacrifice quality over quantity. Keep an eye on gauge and tension. And, as always, have fun.