I love to crochet, but there are times that crocheting becomes tedious or even a strain. Crocheting with very dark yarn, like navy blue or black, can make crocheting less than fun. The dark fibers of the yarn seem to absorb all the light and it becomes much harder to distinguish the individual stitches. I have trouble counting stitches with black yarn, or finding the right location to place my next stitch. Seems like I make more errors and have to rip out (frog) more of my work.
Because dark colors are harder to crochet with, I do not recommend that beginning crocheters use dark yarn for any project. You need to start with light to medium colors that are easy to see the individual stitches and work with those colors until you are comfortable with counting stitches and finding stitch placement. Only when a beginning crocheter is comfortable with all the basics should he or she attempt a very dark-colored project.
But let’s face it, we HAVE to use black yarn sometimes. I love a lacy black shawl, and I’ve made many purses in black. Who wouldn’t love a black doily or a black scarf to wear with your winter coat? Black is one of the best colors for accessories, so I am going there, eyestrain or not.
Over the years I have learned ways to make crocheting with dark yarn a little easier. Here’s a few tips to help your eyes cope with dark-yarn projects.
- Good Lighting – When you sit down to crochet with a dark yarn, make sure that you are crocheting in a room with good lighting. If possible, place a lamp just behind you with light directed down over your shoulder and onto your work so you have a good amount of light bouncing off those dark fibers.
- White Backdrop – This is a tip that my friend Pat taught me. She suggested that when crocheting with dark yarn, place a white pillowcase or towel on your lap behind your work. The white helps reflect the light onto the back of your work and it serves as an excellent contrast to your stitches. Don’t try to crochet with dark thread held against dark blue jeans or a dark blanket on your lap. Lighten up the background. I promise it helps.
- Bright Stitch Markers – If you are really struggling to see stitches and keep counts in your dark yarn, try using bright stitch markers in key stitches.
With these three tips, you are going to make crocheting with dark yarn a whole lot easier. It still won’t be as easy on the eyes as a nice pink or a sage green, but you can get the job done without a visit to the optometrist! 🙂