When my crochet stitches get too tight, it’s usually because I’ve created too much tension in my yarn by holding it too firmly. But this isn’t always the case. Tight crochet stitches can be a result of the type or size of hook or yarn, the technique you’re using or even in some cases the stitch style itself. Today I’ll share my top tips for working out why your project is so taut, and how to adjust your crocheting to make sure it’s looser next time around.
- Why is my crochet so tight?
- Hook size vs stitch style
- Yarn thickness and type
- Tension is key
- Are you using the wrong technique?
- Are some stitches tighter than others?
- How to keep your crochet stitches loose
Why Is My Crochet So Tight?
Some people seem to work at a million miles per hour, others get bogged down by increasingly small stitches. In my experience, crushed crochet is usually a result of the wrong tension in your yarn. But there are other potential reasons too. Small hooks, fine yarns and fiddly stitches can all play a part.
Is My Hook Making My Crochet Too Tight?
I know that they say a poor workmen blames their tools, and I don’t want to point the finger at something unrelated to me. But in this case, it’s true! The tools you use make a huge difference.
Thinner yarns require finer hooks. However, you might be using a hook that is too narrow even for your delicate yarn type. Very small hooks are harder for most people to manipulate, and their narrow heads make little stitches a certainty.
Thinner Yarn Can Mean Tighter Stitches
Filet crochet and other very delicate work is incredibly complex to produce, due to the tiny nature of the equipment involved.
Fine yarn can make some amazing projects, but it’s also hard to work with. When you use very thin strands of yarn they can easily be stitched so well that they appear to be knotted. The trick to avoiding this is to make sure that you use the right sized hook. Just because your yarn feels microscopic, doesn’t mean your hook should be too. Keep that tension fairly soft too.
Some Yarns Are Tighter Than Others
There are yarns with no give at all, and others which are elastic in the way they feel and behave. If you use a very rigid yarn that doesn’t extend slightly when you pull it, your crochet will be tighter than if you use one that has some elasticity to it.
Is Your Crochet Tension Too Firm?
I go on about tension a lot when I’m teaching someone to crochet. It’s proved to be the last and hardest stumbling block for my pre-teen daughter too. When she relaxes and stops getting in her own head she nails it, but as soon as she re-focuses she pulls too much and gets stuck. And this is totally not a unique situation to her, and one that is resolving with time and trying to relax.
It can be really tricky to work out how hard to hold your yarn as you work. My best advice here is to just keep practicing and adjusting your hand positions. Look at how tightly the yarn is wrapped around your hand, where you are wrapping it, and how often you adjust your positioning as you crochet.
Why Is My Crochet So Tight For Certain Stitches?
Basic chain stitches, double or triple are lovely to work with when you’ve grown in confidence. However, more complex stitches that involve going back on themselves can become tighter even if your tension was perfect and you were confident in your hooking when you started.
Stitches that i’ve found can feel more condensed than others include:
- Puff stitches
- Shell stitch
- Popcorn stitch
- Bobble stitch
How To Stop Your Crochet From Getting So Tight
To keep your blanket as loose as you want it to be, make sure that you have a big enough hook, yarn with a little bit of give and adequate thickness and you keep your initial stitches looser than usual if you know you are going to work back into them later.
When holding your yarn try to keep your hands a little more relaxed and wrap the yarn more loosely around your fingers. And remember, a lot of this is down to that dreaded word – practice. Keep it up, you will absolutely get there in the end.