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I’m a completely self-taught crocheter, and most of it has come pretty easily to me (once I figured out the basics, which took YEARS), but I have always had trouble with treble crochet.
I recently decided to figure out why I was having so much trouble, and while I don’t know that my frustration will help anyone else, it’s a good lesson in taking the time to figure out why things might not be working for you.
My Crochet History
My grandmother tried to teach me how to crochet, a couple of different times, as I remember, around the same time I learned how to knit. Knitting was always pretty easy for me, but crochet I just could not figure out.
I finally got it as an adult, after I learned how to knit continental (which is a fancy way of saying holding the yarn in the left hand). Once I figured out how to manipulate yarn with my left hand, crocheting came easier.
The Trouble with Trebles
For some reason, though, I just couldn’t do treble crochet as smoothly, quickly or easily as I thought I should be able to. I’ve seen videos of people just tearing through trebles and I could not do that at all.
Treble crochet starts with a double yarn over, then you go into the stitch, yarn over and pull up a loop, then yarn over and pull through two loops (we’ll cover this in more detail in a minute). The second loop of that first pull through, which is the second part of the yarn over, is what gave me trouble.
I couldn’t pull the hook through that loop no matter what I did. I would have to use my left hand to open up the loop enough that I could slide the hook through. This made it impossible to build up any kind of rhythm, so I avoided treble crochet as much as I could as a result.
Learning to Treble Crochet
I finally decided that there had to be a better way. If other people could make treble crochets so quickly and easily, my technique must not be the same. (Though I had watched video of people stitching trebles and I couldn’t see a difference.)
I’m a firm believer that nothing in any craft is wrong so long as you’re getting a result you like, so while I won’t say I was doing it wrong I was sure I could do better.
So I decided I was going to make a treble crochet scarf, which would give me plenty of time to figure out what was going on.
How to Treble Crochet
What worked for me was a simple fix in how I made the yarn over. Let’s look at the steps to make treble crochet stitches and you’ll see what I mean.
To set up treble crochet, you chain the required number of stitches then add 3 or 4 extra chains to match the height of the treble crochet stitch. (I used 3 in these photos because the yarn I’m using, Bernat Blanket, is so bulky and the stitches are large.) If you’re working from a pattern it will tell you how many chains to use.
To make the treble crochet stitch, you’ll work into the fifth chain from the hook (or the first stitch on subsequent rows).
Yarn over twice. What I learned is that I need to take the hook under the yarn with the hook moving counter clockwise up behind the yarn and back around to make the second part of the yarn over. I had been wrapping the yarn in the opposite way, with the hook moving clockwise up over the yarn and around. That was what seemed to be causing my trouble.
Once you have your double yarn over, you’ll have three strands of yarn on your hook. Go into the chain or stitch you need to work in, yarn over and pull up a loop. Now you have four stands.
Yarn over and pull through two loops. Repeat two more times, until you are back to one loop on the hook.
You’ve competed one treble crochet stitch. Repeat this process across the row.
When you get to the end, work a turning chain of 3 or 4 stitches, as indicated in your pattern. The pattern will also tell you if the chain counts as a stitch.
The Lesson in the Trebles
I don’t honestly know why making the yarn over in a different way would make it easier to make the stitch, but it works for me.
But I do feel like there’s a lesson here if you’re having trouble with a technique or think there might be an easier way to do something. Dig a little deeper, try something different, ask around, see if there’s something else that works better for you.
All of crafting and life is a learning process, so it’s valid and vital to do this kind of learning. And if it makes your crafting life a little easier, so much the better.
My treble crochet scarf will now be flying off the hook, just as it should be. And I’m feeling a little more confident in my crochet ability, and my ability to figure things out in general, which can only be a good thing.
Need more help with crochet basics? Check out my crochet for knitters post on chains and single crochet!