3 Crochet Tips for the Visually-Challenged

By Tameko Barnette – 18 Comments

According to the National Foundation for the Blind, in 2012, there are over 6 million people (men, women, and children) in the U.S. who have a vision disability. I, too, am considered visually-impaired or legally blind.

However, I have found that this does not mean that you stop living and stop enjoying favorite activities. Quite the contrary! It is still possible to be visually-impaired and still get your crochet on!

Through this life-changing event, you can still find joy in creating crocheted items for yourself and others. Have no fear! Below I am going to share three great tips that can help anyone who is visually-challenged to be able to continue one of their favorite activities: crochet.

Tip #1 – Use a crochet hook that is a size or two bigger than a crochet pattern may suggest. Now, of course, this will change the look and feel of the pattern as you complete it, but it will help you be able to see the crochet hook, so you can navigate the stitches of the pattern easily.

Tip #2 – To get back in the crochet groove again, you should go back to practicing with chaining to boost your confidence. This is an important key to returning to crochet. In the midst of this life-changing event, we step away from our usual activities and may even feel as though we can’t participate in them any longer. So, go back to the basics!!! Start chaining for a day to get back in the swing of things. Then, the next day, do some single crochet stitches, and so on and so forth.

Tip #3 – Make enlarged copies of the crochet patterns you intend on working with for future projects. Go to your local library or office supply store to make enlarged copies of crochet patterns. If you’re using a computer, please utilize the Internet browser tool to enlarge the fonts on the sites you visit for crochet patterns, so you can see them better.

Life is all about change. And yes, sometimes those changes are challenging for us, but the miracle is that we can continue to enjoy life. If you are visually-challenged and love crochet, the good news is that you can still do it. Crochet is therapeutic and fun! Don’t give up on yourself! Don’t give up on your life! Never ever give up on crochet!

So…do you have any cool ideas for the visually-challenged? How about some feedback on this post? We would love to hear from you!

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18 Comments

  1. Kim domingue says:

    Lay a white piece of fabric across your lap while you crochet. It helps you to see the spaces in the stitches more easily. I will also place my android tablet on my lap and set it to a screen that has a white background. The light from the screen as well as the whiteness of the screen helps me to see the structure of the stitches more easily. It’s especially helpful on a dark, overcast day or at night in a less than well lit area.

    • Emma says:

      What great ideas! I’m going to try that! My eyes are aging, and I do wear trifocals. I am not impaired too bad…yet…but it’s hard for me to crochet very dark colors or with a very small hook or fine thread. I tend to stick with #4 worsted and hook sizes no smaller than 3.75. Like the bigger ones even better (H is my favorite). Anyway…these tips should be a BIG help for me! Especially with Halloween and Thanksgiving coming…and all the projects that want dark browns and black and such!

    • Tameko says:

      Thanks Kim for this excellent suggestion. I can see how that will work. I will try that also. Having a lot of good light is very helpful.

  2. Norma says:

    Put a small “bump dot” (anything with a texture) on your hook that indicates which way the actual hook is facing. Less likely to pull the hook out backwards and lose your stitch. Thank you so much for this article (I’m VI also).

  3. Lynne says:

    I found the lighted crochet hooks at Hobby Lobby and bought all the sizes. Although I am not blind, I do wear very thick glasses (even the ‘thin’ kind are thicker than most!), I sometimes have trouble seeing the stitching in the yarn. I have found these lighted hooks to be most helpful. They’re also kind of nice to use when the light is low and you want to get some hookin’ done!

  4. Diana says:

    Thanks for the suggestions and encouragement. Having a lighter background of some sort on my lap even if it’s a white cloth is something I have found useful. Something I use especially if working with thread or fingerling weight yarn is one of those handsfree magnifying things that hangs around my neck. Mine is just a basic one I got years ago. If you go to a site like JoAnns you can find several magnifying options even lighted ones.

  5. Timi Higdon says:

    Thanks for the comments for the VI crocheter! My mother has Macular degeneration and has always loved to crochet. She is also in second stage Alzhimer’s. I work with her to continue crocheting because her fingers know what to do even though she says she can follow patterns or remember what to do. Crocheting has always been therapeutic for both of us and I remember when she sat patiently with me and corrected my stitches. She makes many white pot holders with colored borders and each one of us who receives one of these pot holders considers them precious because we all understand her limitations and at 94-years young we will take whatever she can give us.

  6. cheryl stanley says:

    my mother and father were both born( they are in their eighties now) with 0% vision and is all they have ever known. my brother and I (who they have never had the privilege of seeing, or their grandkids) have great sight, but blindness has always been a part of our lives, too. when mom was carrying me 61 years ago she taught herself how to crochet. she never worked with yarn, but instead worked with the thread and tiny hook. she did the most beautiful and delicate work. she made a bedspread with roses all over it. each rose stood about an inch high. I am also a crocheter, but I have never been as talented as my blind mother and never will be.

  7. Robin says:

    Thank you so much for the suggestions. I will keep them in mind. I consider my self to be an avid 46 year old crocheter. In 2008, I lost my vision. It came back 11 days later, but has not been the same. I am still being tested for a form of MS. When I regained my sight, the first thing I did was make my mother a hat. That was my first and best one ever! Dark colors really bother me but i still press forward. I love to crochet and will not let my vision deter me from my craft!

    • Robin, I am so glad you were able to get most of your sight back. And i am even more glad that you are taking a positive approach and continuing your craft. Just be patient with yourself and have fun. 🙂 Blessings.

  8. Maryann says:

    Hi, although I am not blind (do wear glasses) but I am still fortunate to see clearly what I am doing, But thought I would let you know that all my charity work is for our Blind Society in Durban, South Africa, as their disability pension is not very much, a bunch of us crochet/knit to sell to improve their living conditions, as they dont get government assistance except for their pension.

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