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DFarrell

First project- Double crochet baby blanket, can't get even edges

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I am working on my first ever crochet project after a friend showed me how to do a simple double crochet last week. I am working on a simple baby blanket with all double crochets chaining 3 before I start the next row. I thought I was doing good with even tension etc but he edge is turning out far from even. I know that when I get to the end of a row I never know for sure where to stop. In the close up photo you can see where I am at now, not sure what to do from here? Any advice is greatly appreciated! 

Thanks :)

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You are losing stitches.  Don't feel bad, this is right at the top of the list of beginner issues I think.  

In your photo, the top 3 rows have 1 less stitch than the row below.  An easy way to tell is to pick a stitch in your current row that is 1 or 2 stitches 'in' from the edge, and follow it down the column of stitches below.  

I've taken your photo and drawn a vertical line from the second stitch on the left, down thru the stitches below, and you can see that suddenly there's a switch from 1 stitch to the left, to 2 stitches,.  Also, I'm not sure if I'm 'seeing things', but the circled area looks like you are making shorter stitches there?  Maybe it's a way the fabric is draping.

It's a good idea, until you get more projects under your hook so to speak, to put a stitch marker in the top chain of the turning chain.  It's easy to miss.  Also, to try to make that last chain slightly loose, to be easier to see/stick your hook into when you come to it again.

Edit - re: stitch markers, no need to go out and buy them, I use bobby pins, they are cheap and they stay on pretty well.  You could use a bent paper clip, or a safety pin, but those might be a bit snaggier.

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Edited by Granny Square
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Welcome to Crochetville! 

^ what she said. 

That chain 3 at the beginning of a row has two purposes. First, it gets your hook to the height of the next stitch. Crochet stitches start at the top of the previous stitch. When you turn, your hook is at the bottom. So you chain up to get to the correct height.

Second, the chain up counts as a stitch for taller stitches, like double crochet  (dc). 3 chains look similar to a dc stitch. 

When you look at the top of a stitch, it's 2 strands of yarn that look like  <. When you start a row, the chain 3 is stitch #1. The first actual dc is stitch #2 and goes in the 2nd <.

At the end of a row is the previous row's chain 3 stitch. The topmost chain of the previous row's chain has a <. For the last stitch in the row, insert your hook under the  < in the topmost chain. It's sometimes difficult to see. If you're having trouble inserting your hook in the chain, try loosening it with your yarn needle....move the needle around, pulling up to create space for your hook. As granny square said, try to make the chain loose and use a marker to make it more visable.

It's really important to have the same stitch count every row. When you're a beginner, take the time to count your stitches at the end of every row. That way you only have to fix one row, when the count is off. I'm experienced and I count every row at the beginning of the project, then switch to counting every few rows.

Unfortunately, there's no way to fix your blanket, other than ripping back to where your stitch count is the same as row 1. This probably means going back to row 2. We've all had to rip out stitches before. Don't give up!

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I remember my Mom making me rip out rows and rows of crochet because I dropped 1 stitch.  As frustrating as it was, I did it and it taught me to be very careful and count my stitches.  Now 50 years later, I still count and still rip out even though I have told myself that nobody will know if I fudge, but I WILL KNOW, so I rip out, fix and start again.

Count your stitches and every so often, lay your project out on a flat surface to look for mistakes.  They will stand out when you get a little distance on them.

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