Happy (super-early) Hump Day!
I’ve decided to dedicate a post to some extremely useful info I received recently at my LYS (Local Yarn Shop), Stitcher’s Haven. (If you live in the Broward County area, you should totally check them out! The people there are sort of amazing! :D)
I’m not sure if it’s just me, but if I had to rely solely on books for learning to crochet, I don’t think I would have seen it through. I find crochet patterns kind of read like stereo instructions that were originally written in Klingon and then translated (very very poorly) into English. YouTube was really my teacher in my first few weeks – and it still is most of the time.
I found myself trying to read patterns that were written out and just kind of going, “Well wtf..” afterwards, because I had no idea what any of it meant. My small-ish projects that I have tried from written patterns generally did NOT turn out like the picture, which was only all the more frustrating.
I posed this question to the owner of Sticher’s Haven last weekend, when I was there for my first lengthy visit to sit, stitch, and chat with the other nice lady and menfolk that were hanging around that day. The answer I received cleared up a lot for me, and those same project that had me producing scary amoeba-like tangles of yarn now yield the finished product they should have originally!
Let’s throw an example out here, just so I can kinda get the point across:
Using MC, chain 39 Row 1: SC in second chain from hook and each chain across. Ch 1, turn. (38 SC)
Rows 2 – 7: SC in each SC across. Ch 1, turn. (38 SC)
Row 8: IN BACK LOOPS ONLY – SC in each SC across. Ch 1, turn. (38 SC in BLO)
This is a snippet from a pattern that I’ve actually followed to completion. The orignal and entire pattern (for a really super cute crochet hook holder case) can be found on Ravelry.
So, I was reading this one entire line at a time, and frankly, I found it confusing, hard to understand and it just made my brain hurt in weird places. According to Ginny (owner) from Stitcher’s Heaven, you should read from comma to comma (or period to period, as it were). It doesn’t really read like a novel, or a book. Each comma/period kind of breaks up the steps within each row.
Row 1: SC in second chain from hook and each chain across. (We chain whatever number and then we single crochet (SC) in each stitch along the initial chain.)
Ch 1, (Chain one – generally there is always a turning chain at the end of a row. Depending on the stitch, your turning chain number will vary. sc-1, hdc-2, dc-3, and so on!)
turn. (38 SC) (This prompts us to turn our work and begin another row. Also, I’ve noticed most (not all) patterns have the total number of stitches (and some even total number of chains) per row at the end of each line. This is super helpful if you rely heavily on counting, or lose count… I lose count A LOT!)
See? There is generally instructions for each row or round, but within each row there are steps. If you read from comma to comma (or period), you can see clearly each step within that row, and it breaks the pattern down a little better, as well as making it easier to follow!
Also, crochet patterns tend to be super-duper abbreviation central. Most come with a beginning legend for each abbreviation for each stitch/term, but not always! It’s something that you may want to brush up on, on your own so when you start reading patterns you’re not sitting there for 45 minutes trying to decipher the seeming nonsensical letters at random places (in case you were wondering, yes, I did this. Numerous times. Klingon! Klingon, I say!).
Short-ish post for a late night filled with insomnia! I hope this helps! Check out that crochet hook holder case, it’s easy, cute and making your own, is a great low stress project to start on! 😀
See you soon!