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10 Tips for Crocheting with Black Yarn

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Whether you’re crocheting with black yarn as a special request, or you’re just glutton for punishment, here are my my favorite tips for working with black yarn.

tips for crocheting with black yarn

10 Tips for Crocheting with Black Yarn

Do you avoid crocheting with black yarn? I’ll be the first to admit that crocheting with black or dark yarn is not the most enjoyable, but I’m also a sucker for an elegant black shawl, scarf, or cardigan. My favorite black yarn for everyday use is Red Heart With Love. I really have fallen in love with this yarn. It is a wonderful, medium (worsted) weight yarn that is super soft, it does not split easily, and holds its shape well.

tips for crocheting with black yarn

1. Sit at a white surface when crocheting with black yarn.

Sitting at a white table (or white poster board, a white pillow, etc) under your project will really help those black stitches stand out. You will be able to see through the piece to some degree, and having that white come through the back side will make a world of difference! Here’s mine sitting on my white folding table. I love these tables so much I bought a second one – great for hosting Bunco or extra seating at Thanksgiving too!

tips for crocheting with dark yarn

2. Use a bright, bright light to better show stitches.

My favorite combination when crocheting with dark yarn is to have that white surface underneath and my OttLite shining straight at my work. There are many different styles of OttLite lamps and lighting supplies, but any crafting lamp or super bright lamp will help.

tips for crocheting with black yarn

3. Use a headlamp as a spotlight.

If you’re not sitting at the table or near a lamp, a head lamp is a great way to see those stitches! I almost prefer this method because where I look, the head lamp looks, and I can super focus it straight in on the spot I’m working – with my white surface underneath, of course! 😉 You definitely won’t win any fashion awards, but it’ll get the job done!

use a neck lamp for nighttime crocheting

4. Or use a neck lamp

Sometimes the head lamp can be annoying (leaving a mark on your forehead, etc) and sometimes you feel like one of the seven dwarfs heading out to mine diamonds – hopefully not as Dopey. Ha! If you’re just not into head lamps, consider using a neck lamp instead! I love that this one is pose-able, has three different light settings, and is rechargeable! WIN!

5. Keep the stitches simple.

When trying to decide what pattern to use, look for simple patterns as opposed to more complex patterns. The easier the pattern or stitch, the easier it will be to crochet. Bonus: since you’re using such a dark yarn, detailed stitches wouldn’t stick out anyway, so save yourself the headache (literally!) and stick to patterns using easier stitches, like the Blanket Cardigan.

tips for nighttime crocheting

6. Use stitch markers.

Stitch markers placed every 5 rows or every so many stitches really helps to keep you on track. There’s nothing worse than trying to find your mistake a few rows back using ANY color, much less black. Do yourself a favor and keep track as you go. You can also make your own stitch markers.

7. Use lighted hooks.

I am personally not a fan of the lighted crochet hooks (a girl has her favorites) but I have plenty of friends that swear by them. If you don’t have a head lamp or a neck lamp, light up crochet hooks could be a solution for you. You can get the whole set, or buy just one in your favorite hook size to test them out before investing in the entire set. Heck, they even have interchangeable light up hooks that are relatively inexpensive!

8. Wear strong reading glasses (and/or use a magnifying glass).

If you wear reading glasses, wear them while crocheting – especially with black yarn. You could alternatively use a hands-free magnifying glass. Fancy!

tips for crocheting with black arn

9. Start slow until you establish the pattern.

Take your time getting going on a new pattern. Trying to find a missed stitch with dark yarn is a pain, so go slow until you’ve got the stitch established. You’ll be thankful for it later.

10. Count often.

As with any crochet stitch or yarn color, counting your stitches at the end of a row is imperative. Not every single row, but definitely every few rows! When working with black yarn, counting more often can be the difference between a finished project and an abandoned project. This is also a great opportunity to use those stitch markers we talked about earlier!

10 tips for crocheting with black yarn

Crocheting with black yarn doesn’t have to be a pain. Use one or any combination of the tips above and you’ll have that project finished in no time!

More tips and tricks:

Target’s New Yarn: Hand Made Modern Yarn

Yarn Hacks Every Crocheter and Knitter Needs to Know

7 Tips for Counting Rows in Crochet

5 Tips for Changing Colors in Corner to Corner Crochet (C2C)

18 Craft Fair Tips for Beginners: How to Run a Successful Craft Show Booth

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    1. Hi! All of the photos are of the Red Heart With Love in Black...it could just be the lighting or screen variations that make it look more black/blue in some photos.
  1. Thank you for the tips! Love the picture of you in the head lamp holding a crochet hook. Looks like a miner with a teeny tiny chisel, Even though I wear bifocals, there were times when I needed to see it closer, I went to a fly fishing shop and bought a pair of magnifying glasses that attach to my glasses and will flip up when not in use. Makes me look like I have antennae when flipped up.
  2. I will try the white background! I do the headlamp currently but I am looking at buying those LED magnifying lights for detail work on Amazon that stand or have a clamp to secure to a table. And I've noticed that using a black yard with a bit of sheen to it seems to make the stitches stand out a bit more than a matte black. They catch the light more. I'm making amigurumi with black yarn, my first ever crochet project, yes I like to torture myself! I've also noticed that of you are new to crochet, having a test piece in a lighter colour to compare to your black stitches helps to identify what you are looking at when everything seems to melt into the black void
  3. Omg I love the pic with the headlamp! You are just so cute to me. Thank you for your time and energy with your site. I really enjoy the emails.❤️
  4. Thanks, Ashlea! These are perfect tips for the crochet-thread amigurumi eyes I’m in the process of making—they’re very small and I thought I’d go blind in the first round!! I’m also in the middle of a black scarf and absolutely have to have good lighting even with medium weight yarn and a chunky hook. I think I’ll use the white background idea with this one too.
  5. Another good way to work with black is during the day. Daylight is the best light for me when working on black yarn.
  6. I love your tips! Thank you. I've made black hats in the past with special patterns and you could barely see all the hard work that went into the pattern. I just recently received a request to do a black messy bun hat and your tips will make this go a lot smoother.
  7. I crocheted my roommate a Mickey Mouse hat for her birthday last year. I wish I had these tips then as it was a bear to make though she loved it so it made it worth it completely.