Why Your Crochet Rows Get Shorter


While you’re working on your project and you discover that its rows are significantly getting shorter and it keeps narrowing as it goes up, although it’s quite frustrating you should know that this kind of issue is what you come across along your crocheting adventure, it happens to both the experienced and beginner crocheters. To make things easier for you, we will be discussing the reasons why this is happening and how you can fix it. Let’s get into it.


Why Do Your Crochet Rows Get Shorter?

Your crochet rows get shorter due to certain reasons ranging from wrong tension, using the incorrect crochet hook, or making fewer than normal stitches per row. Let’s discuss this extensively.


Missing stitches: One of the reasons why your crochet rows can get shorter is missing stitches. To know if the cause is missing stitches, all you’ve to do is to count the number of stitches you’ve on the shorter rows and see if it matches with the number of stitches you’re meant to have according to the crochet pattern. 


If it doesn’t then you should know it’s most likely going to be the cause of your shorter rows. Usually, the stitches are either missing at the beginning or the end of the row and it can be caused by counting or not counting the turning stitch.

The turning stitch is a series of chain stitches made at the beginning of a crochet row or at times in the end. It’s made to raise the hook to the level of stitches to be created on the next crochet row so the row can look neat and even. 


 If it’s single crochet, the turning stitch will be a single chain stitch, if it’s half double, the turning chain stitch will be two and if it’s double crochet, the turning chain stitch will be three, and so on. So you can end up having missing stitches when you count your turning stitch as a crochet stitch and instead of working a stitch on top of it on the next row you don’t, it will cause a missing stitch situation in this new row and if this mistake is recurring your rows keep getting shorter. 


On the other hand, missing stitches can also occur when you don’t count the turning stitch as a crochet stitch so you don’t need to work on it and didn’t work on it. But you also unintentionally skip working on the base of the turning stitch causing you to miss a stitch on that same row and if you keep the mistake up your crochet rows will keep getting shorter. So it’s important to know whether or not your turning chain stitch counts as a crochet stitch.


Problems With Tension: Tightening your tension along the line while working on crochet can also cause your rows to get shorter. This is because the tension tightening makes your stitches come out smaller than they were at the start of the project causing the new rows to appear narrower than the previous ones. Beginners often have problems with maintaining consistent tension while working and distraction too can cause a crocheter to tighten tension more than before.


Working with the wrong hook: If you notice your crochet rows are getting shorter, it might be because you’ve mistakenly picked up a smaller-sized hook or a different style of crochet hook than the one you were previously using. The sizes and style of crochet hook you’re using matter and it must be consistent all through the project duration to get even rows.


Loose Foundation Chain: When the foundation chain is very loose, the crochet will look narrower as it goes up, this is another reason why your crochet rows get shorter.


How To Fix Crochet Rows Getting Shorter.


Once you’ve identified the reasons why your crochet rows are getting smaller, the next thing is to know how you can fix the issue. The solutions will mostly take your time but it will be worth it if you want a perfect crochet finish. If the reason for shorter rows in your crochet is a result of missing stitches, you don’t have any choice but to frog your crochet back each row and make sure you’re counting the stitches to know where you skipped the stitch till you get to the row with the right stitch count. After frogging, you then redo the crochet stitches.


If it’s a problem with the tension that caused the shorter rows, you’re more likely to get by with just blocking your work especially if it’s with a project that doesn’t require perfection, like a washcloth you’re making for yourself.


Tips On Preventing Your Crochet From Getting Shorter.

Listed above are tips you can adopt to prevent your crochet rows from getting shorter.


  • Count your stitches from time to time. Since it’s known that one of the reasons why crochet rows get shorter is skipping stitches to avoid this, make sure you’re counting your crochet stitches at the end of every row. Don’t think you’re wasting the time you’re using to double check if the crochet stitch count matches that of the pattern because if you don’t do this then you will spend more of the time redoing the stitches if you later find out that five rows later that you’ve missed a stitch at some point. Do this to avoid frustration later and save the time you will need to spend redoing.


  • Understand how turning stitches work. To avoid missing a stitch you should understand how turning chain stitch functions so your stitch count can add up properly. You should also follow your pattern well to know when the turning chain counts as a stitch and when it doesn’t.


  • Use larger crochet hooks to loosen your stitches if you notice the tension is getting tighter, especially if you’re a beginner that’s still battling with maintaining tension. But with time and practice, it will be easier to maintain tension.


  • Avoid accidentally picking the wrong size or style of the hook. Be conscious when you’re dropping off and picking up your crochet hook so you don’t pick up the wrong one and end up with shorter crochet rows. Changing hooks after you start a project can affect it final result of you project.


  • Avoid loose foundation chains by tightening the tension when making the foundation loop or downsizing your crochet hook by a size or two when making the foundation loop.



Crochet rows can get shorter due to certain reasons ranging from missed stitches, tight tension, crocheting with the wrong hook, and loose foundation chain. Shorter crochet rows affect the look of your project and make it appear even but you can fix it even though it can be quite frustratrating and makes you use more time than usual on the project. It’s usually fixed by frogging the crochet rows and creating new stitches to make neat, even, and beautiful final projects.