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Trying to pick up crocheting again...really need help with counting stitches!


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Hi all.  My mom taught me the basics of crocheting when I was a kid.  She loved to crochet and I learned the granny square.  I can chain, single crochet, double crochet and do a treble crochet.

12 years ago I started a MAMMOTH single crochet blanket.  I worked on it off and on for 12 years and finally finished it.  High on my success...I googled easy and quick afghans.  I found a pattern that is really pretty simple and beautiful...and they say should only take 3 hours!  I figure, heck I can knock that out in like 6 months then.

I worked the blanket on some junk yarn just to see if I could do it.  It seemed to work out, so I went to the store this evening and purchased some bulky yarn.  it is Bernat Blanket yarn.  I am using a 10 mm hook. 

Here is my question.  Sorry for all the yammering before hand.

I chained 57. 

First row I was supposed to sc in the 2nd chain.  I did that or I hope I did as this chunky yarn is hard to see detail.  I then did a sc in the rest to the end.

I was counting and when I got to the end, I had counted 55 sc.  So...is that right? OR did I miss a chain?  The pattern doesn't really say how many you should have in this row.

I don't want to continue to the next row if I messed up this row.  So I am sort of stuck.  My mom is no longer here with me and I don't really have anyone to turn to.  I tried googling the answer but not sure how I would even word it.

Thanks in advance if you made it this far through my gobbeldy gook

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You should have 56 sc if you chained 57 and started in second ch from hook and didnt miss working into a chain. I despise working with chunky fuzzy yarn because its hard to see where to make your stitches and its often hard to pull it out to start over.  If you can pull it out it often damages the yarn.   Make sure you count your stitches in each and every row.  My problem is I seem to always mess up counting my chains if its much past 20 so I always make a few extra, make the number of stitches I need and undo the extra chains.

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Welcome to the 'ville!

For SC, you (example) chain 10, skip the first chain, and SC in the remaining 9 chains - the skipped chain does not count as a stitch (for SC), so for SC you chain 1 more than the # of SCs you want to have across the row (assuming the first row is straight SCs).  So if your pattern said "chain 57, SC in the 2nd ch and across to the end", and you did that, you should have 56 SCs--in other words, the pattern count isn't a typo.  Either you chained 1 fewer than you thought, or accidently missed 1 of the chains, that might have been harder to 'see' with the bulky yarn.

I know what I'm doing (or should after crocheting for decades, I hope!) and I find bulky yarns a nuisance to work with/hard to see what I'm doing--as you also found.  I choose not to use them.  If I were teaching a beginner to crochet, I would discourage using  bulky yarn for the first few projects, I'd have them use something like US 4 weight, example Red Heart Super Saver and maybe a US H or I hook--in a light or medium shade (dark colors are also hard to 'see' what you are doing).  And especially not variegated, that's a visual cacophony .  Unfortunately beginners tend to gravitate to bulky or variegated displays at the yarn store.

So back to your piece.  You may have miscounted your chains (miscounting happens even with 'plain, unvariegated, not bulky ' yarn, too).  A tip, which may not work as well with bulky yarns since many tend to be 'not sturdy' -- if it says chain 57, throw in a couple of extra chains.  If you miscounted and needed 1 more, hey it's there waiting for you.  If you didn't miscount, you can unpick the unused chains from the knot end, it won't unravel (but might fray with some bulky yarns; but you will normally be weaving the end in invisibly so that's not a big concern).

edit, replying late, I'd typed all of the above and had to run off to tend to the oven buzzer and just came bac, I see BGS beat me to it!

Edited by Granny Square
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Brenda,

Thank you for the reply.  I pulled it all out and am restarting.  I think my other big problem is it's a dark color and that is making it more difficult as well.  On my 12 year afghan, the sides are ALL wonky, so I am sure I added and subtracted stitches all over the place on it.  My mom tried to warn me that I was biting off a LOT but of course, we never listen to our moms.  I think she smiled in heaven though when I finally finished the last stitch in the boarder.

That is one reason, I thought this pattern would be more bearable. Not so big.  But I'm starting to doubt choice.

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Thank you Granny Square!  Yes, I am starting to doubt my choice as my "first" project.  I am not counting the Frankenstein blanket as a project. ha ha

I have a TON of acrylic yarn that my mom had...do you have any pattern suggestions for something that would go quickly?  I think with my first afghan, with it being so wide...it took me so long to go across and it was all just single crochet, that I got bored and it didn't seem to ever want to end.

I really appreciate all your suggestions.  I can always set this bulky yarn aside until I get something else under my belt.  My biggest area that I truly need help with is where in the heck you start and end each row.  I wish we had some place around here that did classes.

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Another option I use sometimes when I'm struggling with the count is to mark every 10 stitches.  When you are working on the next row and get to stitch 10 you take out the counter make the stitch and replace the marker in the 10th stitch, 20th, and so on and it can help you make sure you haven't lost stitches.  It also means you tend to notice if you made a mistake before you get to the end of the row.

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Dark is harder for me.  I have to use my readers working on it at night.  You might find this helpful.  I am also not good at large afghans.  I am better with doll blankets, lapghans, shawls, scarves or smaller afghans (40x60 inches) granny square join as you go.  When working with fuzzy yarn  I use at least a K hook double crochet and after first row I work between the stitches.  And I only do scarves with it working widthwise so not many stitches to keep track of.  I have better luck using it to make scarves on my knifty knitter long loom.

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Brenda,

Thank you.  That was helpful!  I have decided that I am going to return the 3 skeins of yarn I haven't touched and get something light and not so bulky.  I don't want to get discouraged again.  I really want to try and master this darn pattern.  I am hoping that if I can find less bulky yarn, it will help. 

I do have a question though from that link...why wouldn't you ever want to count the turning chains?  That doesn't really make sense to me.  Also, will most patterns tell you if you are going to ignore it?

I'm sorry for all my questions.  This is just like trying to learn a new language. :)

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Study the chart listing the various stitches like

Using sc the ch 1 turning stitch does not count as a stitch

Using dc the ch 3 pretty much always counts as a stitch

There are always exceptions to the rules and the pattern should tell you

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The problem is that the ch 3 can leave a gap because its not as bulky as a real stitch and some people really hate that gap.  They have come up with various work arounds and in doing some of the work arounds is when I have seen to not count a ch2 or 3 as a stitch but the patterns explained what to do.

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