I was just reading The Happy Hooker, where she says that much of the time people who crochet tightly are only letting the yarn loop go as far as the neck of the hook (the space right behind the hook itself) when it's supposed to go on the shaft (the fattest part right in front of where you hold it). Try letting the yarn loop go farther up the hook before you pull another loop through or go up a hook size. Hope that helps.
I'm currently working on Off the Hook, a project I just couldn't wait to get started on, and I'm finding the pattern, well, a little slack. For the body it gave detailed instructions for the first six rows, then kinda left me on my own for the next five. I figured it out, but having to actually stop hooking in order to do math makes me cranky.
There are a couple other projects in the book I'd like to make, but I'm wondering if ALL the patterns are a pain in the ass. Has anyone tried any of these? What are your thoughts?