Self-Proclaimed “Crochet Doctor” Gives Unsolicited Crochet Advice

By Caissa "Cami" McClinton – 21 Comments

Well, you never asked for it, but I’m going to advise you anyway! Read on, because maybe these are problems you’ve grappled with, or perhaps these are problems you didn’t even know you had! I am not only pointing out crochet problems, but offering solutions as well!

I got my Ph.D. in hook theory with a concentration in yarn.

I got my Ph.D. in hook theory with a concentration in yarn.

Crochet Problem: You Can’t Find Your Unfinished Crochet Projects. It happens! If you’re like most of the United States, you’re finally able to see the light at the end of the tunnel of this vicious winter. It is juuust getting to be time to pull out your lighter clothing and do your spring organization! Why not make this a time to find all of your lost and buried crochet projects as well?

Remember that half-worked hat you were going to make for your cousin for Christmas??? It’s time to find it, finish it, and stow it away for next year, honey. What about that summer sweater you’d been working on? Don’t you think it would be the perfect transition garment for spring? Well, since you only have a few rows left, it’s time to get it done and flaunt your talent by wearing it all over town!

Solution: The solution can be divided into three steps: Gather, Organize, and Finish.

Gather: Since you may already be in the throes of your yearly spring cleaning, designate a special drawer, bin, or shelf to house your unfinished projects. As you come across them during your spring organization, make a decision to “frog or finish” these projects! Throw the frog items into a bin to rip apart later. You can later use the recovered yarn for another project or give it away. Once you have all of your “to finish” items in their designated place, you need to organize them!

Organize: Place all of your “finish” projects into their own clear project bags. Large Ziploc bags will do the trick. Add in all of the materials you will need to complete the project so that you can make progress easily. Store the projects in their designated drawer, shelf, or bin and be sure to visit them at least once a week! The idea is to get these projects done!!

Finish: This is the best part! Make sure you have a project with you at all times. Work on one project at a time, and be sure to get at least a few stitches done each day if possible. If you are focused and persistent, you will have many finished objects before you know it!

So what do you think of this crochet problem and solution? Do you have any tips on finding and finishing your crochet projects? What kinds of crochet problems would you like to see solved here on Crochet Spot? Please leave your ideas in the comments below.

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  1. Great ideas. Makes me feel better about my stashed projects 🙂
    Out they’ll come, one by one. I’m in South Africa. Since we’re heading into Winter, there are sure to be some snuggly evenings working on old dreams 🙂

  2. Jodiebodie says:

    Hi Caissa,
    I love the attitude in your writing. You are the ‘crochet doctor’ giving unsolicited advice – I always tell my neices and nephews that because I am an Auntie I will give them advice whether or not they asked for it because that is an auntie’s job! hehehe
    It doesn’t have to be spring cleaning to drag out the old WIPs and sort them out but I can certainly relate to your article because I am currently going through the process at the moment.

    My problem requiring your advice is this: I have a half finished hat and its yarn but no recollection of which sized hook I was using or to what size I was going to make the final rounds of the brim!

    Most unlike me not to have documented it at the start but that’s what a busy crochet life will do – one gets over-confident “Yeah, quick, simple project, will have it done in a jiffy, be finished before I even write it down…” and then the interruptions arrive! Learn from me – either keep that hook together with its project or write it down if you want to steal that hook to work something else.

    Now, Cami, what do you reckon – frog the beautifully evenly stitched hat and undo all that work to start again or trial and error with various hooks to complete it? Any ideas for easy identification of which hook it was?

    Can anyone else relate to my plight? 🙂

    Cheers, Jodie

    • Jodiebodie says:

      woops! excuse me -typo: should be ‘nieces’!

    • Cami says:

      I hesitated to answer because I need to research this one a bit. I will cover it in a future “Crochet Doctor” post. :). Glad to hear about your solution detailed below but I think there is more to say about this topic. 🙂

  3. Deedee says:

    Hi Cami! Love your advice. Very well presented and lots to relate to!

  4. Sandie says:

    Jodie, I have BTDT. I started attaching little tags to my work to remind me what hook and yarn I was using, but often I forget to do even that. I know that I most often use an H and I hook for certain projects so I would try the hook you most used for that type of project with the particular yarn. Do you always choose the suggested hook on the label? That might be a place to start. If it’s a small project with no deadline, I might decide to frog it, but one hates to lose all those hours.

    I also keep some ongoing projects in ziploc bags with the yarn I’m using (and the hook if I have more than one of that size which I almost always do), if it will fit in one. I did not think of putting finished projects that are going out that way. Thanks for the idea. I think they make 2 gallon bags that might work for larger projects.

    • Jodiebodie says:

      Thanks for the support Sandie and for your sensible ideas. I did have the project in a zip lock bag with its hook originally – I think what happened was that I needed my hook of that size for a different project and must have taken it out! Your suggestion about considering my most used hooks is a good one and you already have me feeling better that I will be able to work it out. It was likely a favourite size. The yarn labels in Australia do not give recommended hook sizes, just knitting needle tensions and sizes.

    • Jodiebodie says:

      Well, I eventually worked out exactly the hook I used and went back to continue what my memory thought had been a beret, but when I took a closer look at it, it was just an ordinary beanie! After working another round or two, I was losing enthusiasm. I already had three other things on the go. After all that fuss, trial and error, I ended up frogging the hat after all! Sorry everyone for sharing my agony with you for nothing! 🙂
      Lesson learned and I will happily follow your advice Sandie – my latest swatches are all tagged with yarn, hook size and gauge measurements for easy future reference.

  5. Darlene says:

    A drawer, bin or shelf! Wow imagine that. If I had one I wouldn’t be in the predicament. Things get tucked into nooks and crannies, because that’s the only place empty to put something. I guess that is what happens when you live in a small apartment rather than a house. I know I uncovered a few WIPs the last time I moved and at the time I was too busy to do anything about them. They got buried again or I looked at them and wondered what this was, what was I doing with it and what hook was I using? And next thing I knew it was buried too!

  6. Ann Melamed says:

    I love your newsletter and please consider all of your advice solicited by me! Many thanks.

  7. Lizzie says:

    Great tips, Cami. Thank You!!

  8. pat m says:

    Love the earring!! What timely advice! just in the middle of sorting projects from yarn and have to move stuff to get into bed at night!!!
    Love the idea of zippered bags–those of you with arthritis will find bags with actual tab type zippers are worth the extra cents to avoid the frustration of lining up those darned lines!!; there are some situations that money can fix!

    Have started a way to use up yarn/thread/ribbon trimmings as you neaten up your edges;
    just lay out a bunch of leftover pieces-; tie once across the middle and just keep untying to add on as you go along. When you think it is the right size, put into a bag and start another one!! this will give you some neat tassels to use as trimmings on projects such as scarves or on gift packages; they can also help if you have used up all your yarn and can’t remember the exact shade. Leave ’em long or trim up as desired! hope all enjoy this!

  9. pat m says:

    If you haven’t made tassels, just look at one already done or tie round and round with a separate piece of yarn of thread-tuck un the end after tying a knot with the beginning end.

  10. Eva Burroughs says:

    Hello Caissa, it was a pleasure meeting you Wednesday night, I feel like I know you for a long time, looking forward to come again next week and bring my own crochet. Not an expert yet but I will get there..:)

  11. Clarissa says:

    Thanks for this!

    I have an “anniversary blanket” I’ve been working on for my husband and myself (our anniversary is 2/1!), a few of the Reddit CAL items from February, and all of the items from March and April!!

    I also have received three orders for viking hats, and a classmate gave me two skeins of yarn to make a baby blanket. School ends for me on May 8th and it will be time to get my house and crafting in order!

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