Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tips for Following Flawed Crochet Patterns

by M. J. Joachim

As I mentioned in my previous post today, some patterns are extremely difficult to follow. Many of us humbly bow our heads, considering that professionally published pattern books go through a complete editorial process, so the blame (if there is any) must be rightly placed on our lack of skills and inability to understand what more advanced crocheters must be able to grasp by intuition.
Not so fast, kind friends!
As the pattern tester and publisher of this particular blog, I have a bone to pick with some of those numerous crochet books made available to those who love to crochet, and can’t possibly learn enough new stitches and patterns to quench our desire to consistently create unique and interesting hand-crafted yarn items.
The reality is that some of those patterns are flawed! They (accidentally) omit a stitch or row of stitches; sometimes they add extra stitches. Regardless of the flaw in the pattern, we’re left frustrated and trying to figure out what to do. Here are a few tips that might help.
Inspect the Picture:  Don’t just look at it. Pull out your magnifying glass and get up close and personal – especially in the spot where you’re having trouble.
Study the diagram: (if there is one, obviously) – I’ve followed more flawed (written) patterns, by studying the diagram, than you would dare to believe. Perhaps it’s a little more intense, putting diagrams together, than worrying about a few typos here and there.
Consider the Overall Appearance:  This is the time to step back and determine what your pattern is supposed to look like. Then use common sense to figure out if what you are doing will achieve the same result.
Take Notes of All Changes as You Make Adjustments:  Write it down, rework it with old yarn remnants and keep at it until you achieve the desired result. This way, once you fix your pattern, you’ll be able to follow the new one. Don’t forget to take pictures as you work. These really come in handy when you’re reworking a pattern and making adjustments to it.
Ask the Experts:  Hey, you can always ask me.  You can even send me a pattern that doesn’t work for you, and ask me to figure it out. I’d be happy to send you a private note with my solution, and I’ll probably use your pattern to create a new blog post for anyone else who might need help with it. mjjoachimswriting@gmail.com
Get Visual with Youtube:  I learned how to knit by watching youtube videos, so I’m sure this would be a great place to find help with crochet stitches and patterns.
That’s all for now, kind friends! I hope these tips for flawed patterns help minimize your frustration when following faulty patterns. I know they’ve worked wonders for me!
Oh, be sure and check out what I’ve been posting on my other blogs. I’m currently providing a series on How to Open a Bookstore on my Writing Tips blog; just last week I gave an old blog the once over (check out my Writing Tips blog to see how you can create a make-over for your blogs too). I changed it completely! It’s now a special place where I can publish all my flash fiction stories on a new and increasingly popular blog called FlashTyme.  
Hope to see you there!
M. J. 
Photo Credit: Wikicommons, Public Domain