The Written Pattern!!
Written patterns are the common source for crochet, though video is catching up and may over take the lead in the main way to learn and/or use a pattern. Patterns can be found in magazines, books & online in personal blogs. I’m partial to written patterns verses starring at a computer screen or tablet. Remember Pt.1, this is where you have found what your best learning style is. I do find and use patterns that are online, but I usually print them out… Depending on what your style is.. Learning these basic’s of patterns will help with any way that you prefer to learn to crochet…. Now, every Author has their own unique way of writing a pattern but most stick to the basic “code” as you could say. Below are a few photos of the Basic “code” I am referring too. I will go in depth a little more on these for you.
Above are 3 different patterns from 3 different magazines, as you can see there is common elements to these patterns. The”Code”. hahaha What you will always find in magazines and books that do not appear much in online or video patterns is the Skill Level. I’m not sure why?? but I don’t run across many online patterns that have a Skill Level. Most online patterns will have that addressed in the title for the pattern… ex. Beginners Baby Blanket. Some don’t have any skill level, so there isn’t that o.k …I should be able to crank this out or the OMG no Way am I going to attempt this. I find the skill level handy. It gives me that reassurance that if I’m attempting a pattern for a Advanced crocheter and I’m a good intermediate level… then I wont feel so defeated when I’m having issues.Does that mean if your a beginner you shouldn’t try a intermediate pattern … NOOO. Don’t ever stop yourself from trying something that may be a little hard for you. Just remember that the pattern could get a little overwhelming at a time or too and to not get discouraged or down yourself over it. The Skill Level is their to let you know how intricate the pattern can get.
Next you will find Size’s and/or Finished Measurements. If you are doing a pattern that has sizes… example – Sweaters, Tops, Skirts, etc you are more than likely going to see a Sizes and Finished Measurements. Blankets, Squares, Purses, Bags, etc will more than likely have just Finished Measurements.If doing a pattern with just finished measurements you can proceed to next step with out much confusion.Now if there is Sizes to the pattern and depending on how many sizes are in the pattern this is where you can get alittle confusing or overwhelming.. Here is the break down and a trick I use to eliminate some of the confusion.
If you look at the photo above .. under sizes you can see there is multiple sizes to this pattern. The XS is the main pattern and in the brackets ( S to 3X). When you get into doing the pattern you will see in the Row’s that there is 1 number before the brackets and then several inside the brackets.Lets look at the pattern starting with RIGHT FRONT PANEL.. Ch37, would be your XS ( 39, 41,43, 45,45,45) are your S,M,L,XL,2XL,3XL. I for example have Highlighted the Size I’m going to be doing. Which in this case is the Large. I go threw the whole pattern with a highlighter ( make a copy of pattern first in case you go back and do another size) Highlighting makes this less confusing and makes the stitch counts easier to keep track of. There is enough going on in some patterns the easier you make it for yourself the less you will be likely to make a mistake.
Next on your list is Materials. Everyone has their favorite yarn, IF you are going to use your own instead of the recommended make sure it the same weight. If it’s not the same weight your are going to have to change hook sizes and adjust to end up with the same size and look of the pattern you are attempting. ( that’s a whole other Blog for that subject )
Then comes Gauge..I’m horrible at this hahaha I just don’t have the patience I guess to do a gauge plus I’m a extremely tight stitcher and have learned over the years what I must do for any pattern I’m going to be working with. I’m always adjusting, so it’s a step that no matter how hard I try my gauge never turns out like pattern… I DO NOT recommend skipping the gauge!!! I’ve been crocheting for a looongg time and just do not recommend beginners to skip this step.
The last of the “Code” will be Pattern Notes and/ or Special Stitches section. These are highly important as they give you important information about pattern. Whether it be ( for Pattern Notes).. Chain 3 at beginning of round counts as first DC or Join with Slip Stitch unless otherwise indicated. “Special Stitches”.. gives you a heads up on stitches used in patterns that are more than likely not you average SC,DC,HDC,Etc. This give you the opportunity to do some research on those stitches prior if you are not familiar with them.With any new stitch your not aware of, haven’t tried, etc. I recommend practicing that stitch prior to starting your project.
The rest of the pattern can vary depending on the author. Some like to abbreviate greatly through out their pattern others will break it down to basically a step by step process. Alot of Bloggers will add ton’s of photos to help you threw the process. There is millions of written patterns out there… You could literally search for days on one pattern.Find one that works for you, gives you a challenge, makes you try something new. Remember..
THERE IS NO RIGHT OR WRONG TO CREATIVITY!!!
Next week I will be writing about Pattern Charts. I hope I have Helped in someway today. Please comment If I have left something out that you would have liked or needed to know.
Have a Great Weekend and Crochet Away!!!