Crochet Troubleshooting: The Edges of the Fabric Are Shrinking
You’re crocheting along when suddenly you realize that your work is getting skinnier — something it’s not supposed to do. This problem is a common one for those who are still getting the hang of crocheting. If your project is growing narrower as you work, then you probably lost one or more stitches somewhere along the way.
To fix this problem, count the number of stitches in the last row. If you’ve lost stitches, hold up the fabric and look for any spots where you may have skipped a stitch. If you can’t easily see where you began losing stitches, carefully pull out the last row and count the number of stitches in the next row. (To pull out a row, simply remove the yarn loop from your hook and then gently pull on the tail end of the yarn to unravel the stitches. Be careful not to pull too fast though, because you may end up pulling out more stitches than you need to.) Continue to pull rows out one by one, counting as you go, until you’re back to the correct number of stitches, and then try, try again.
Alternatively, if you’ve lost just one or two stitches, you can simply add the same number of stitches to the next row by working two stitches in the same space until you’re back to the correct stitch count. When you’re done adding stitches, hold up your work to make sure the edges still look even.
Stitches are commonly lost at the beginning or end of a row because it’s hard to tell where the first or last stitch of the row is due to the fact that both are typically turning chains and therefore have a different appearance than a regular stitch. To help you distinguish where different rows start and end, place a removable stitch marker in the first and last stitches of a row. When you work your way back to the marker, you’ll know exactly where you need to place the stitch.