While my recent square was looking fine, and whilst crochet is very forgiving, I knew that I needed to properly understand about where to stitch next. It's all fine when you're simply working every stitch.
What I'm referring to is when a pattern has you skip stitches and then you have to stitch into whatever stitch the pattern indicates. As a beginner, this can get confusing. It's not as straight forward as it sounds in the pattern. Well, not to me anyway.
Using my square as an example, the row below the one I was now crocheting, included a group of chain stitches, a triple crochet and then some more chain stitches. chains-tr-chains
In the current row, the pattern tells me to crochet into the triple crochet (tr)stitch.
So if you're looking at chains-tr-chains, you'll see that there are loops on the left and right of the tr (at the top of it).
So if the pattern says - stitch into the tr, which loop is the correct one?
After some patient help on Ravelry, I got it.
If you are turning your work - the correct loop to stitch into is to the left of the stitch below
If you are not turning (such as working in the round, or granny squares, etc) then the correct loop to stitch into is to the right of the stitch below.
The black shows the left loop, the red arrow shows the right loop. So as this was a square, I must stitch into the red arrow one.
This is what results when you're confused and end up with too many stitches on the last few rounds. The edges ruffle.
This information isn't just for tr stitches or chains, it's to understand any time you need to skip stitches, and then stitch into a specific stitch.
It's basically understanding the anatomy of a stitch.
Here is another way to look at it (if working in the round or a square).
The black arrow indicates the actual stitch, third one in a row, and the red arrow indicates the loop (to the right) that belongs to that stitch - the loop you would stitch into next if the pattern said skip 2 stitches and stitch into the 3rd dc.
I frogged a few rows and it looks a lot better. The pattern is butterfly garden square. This is part of a blanket I'm making the Wildflower.