Try making a quilt... Anyway pull the loose end of the string and your crotcheting needle after you've finished a stitch... That worked for me. Don't make it too tight...
you can also try holding the yarn a little tighter WHILE you do a stitch. I don't think I'm explaining that right. Anyway, it took me a while to figure out how to comfortably hold the yarn tight while making a stitch, so just keep practicing! biggrin
As far as making things other than squares, it's pretty much a matter of which stitches you use and how you use them. I'm sure you could find plenty of websites with instructions. I actually got most of my information from craft stores. they usually have instruction books in the yarn section.
I know I didn't really explain all that very well. If you have questions, PM me.
Have you tried just using a hook that's smaller than recommended? After all, you are supposed to use the hook that makes your guage correct - and I can tell you from experience that it isn't always the one the patterns recomend. Also, you might try using a hook with a different finish; I crochet much looser with those pretty Crystalite hooks than I do with the aluminum sort. Another thing I've noticed is that the quicker I crochet, the tighter my stitches.
I got all sorts of nifty patterns in craft shops, like Pat Catan's and Michaels...including a booklet on crocheting socks!
If you look online, you can find tons and tons of nifty patterns...just make sure that they really are for crochet, since there's quite a few knitting patterns that are mislabeled, grr.
Like said above you can use a smaller hook and also I've made a top (with lacy patterns) and a pillow case. There are those fan-shaped patterns and different lace patterns you might want to search for online smile
Also, if anyone knows how to make anything but squares, please tell me. I have about seven afghans lying around, i want to make a variety of things. gonk
A couple of blankets I've made have been like concentric ovals. If that helps with the idea of getting away from squares.
(_______) <-- Kind of like that. I hope the little image comes out okay
(_______) when I push submit.
The individual ovals are then attached to one another. You could modify the paneling to make odd shaped diamonds or a circle.
I'm currently making lots of stuff for my school craft fair. I'm making scrunchies belts and scarves.
Scrunchies work in the hair band with a row of doubles until it's all the way around and you can't see the band anymore. Then you make another layer with two or three doubles in the space between the double before it and connect them with one chain stitch each.
The belt has two D rings at the bottom connected with a row of 8 doubles with a size I or J crochet hook. To go to the next row, make three chain stiches and turn around. When you do the double on top of the chain stiches, pull the string all the way underneath it, not through the actual stitches. When it gets a little bit less than your hip lenghth that you need, narrow it down to rows of only 6 doubles advanced with 2 chain stiches.