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magiccrochetfan

Advice to new crocheters on choosing a pattern

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SolarSoda--I was completely in your shoes and even gave up for two years as the books I had just didn't explain or show precisely what to do with each stitch or at the end or beginning of rows. I think some "basics" authors need to remember that a newbie can't look at a chain and automatically know what "next chain" means. I found a booklet at Michael's called "10-20-30 Minutes to Crochet" (that might not be the EXACT title, mine's on loan to a friend who was having the same beginner issues) and it had great illustrations that pretty much took care of the issues I was having. I'm sure the encyclopedia book is awesome too but if you're just looking for something inexpensive to get you going, I recommend it.

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Start simple and work upwards!

If you are new to crochet, don't make the Fat Bottomed Bag your first project: you'll become frustrated and annoyed, you'll ruin a lot of yarn, possibly bend a hook out of shape and contribute to global warming by adding a lot of very naughty language to the atmosphere. >>>quote

 

That's interesting and a good suggestion but it could depend on the person too. My daughter just learned to crochet and her first projects were socks which she did better than I did. And she could do the fat bottom bag with no problems.

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I'm not a total newb, but just the other day I was starting a scarf..and something just wasn't right. The shell was a htr chain htr in same space....next row the shell was repeated..in the chain2 sp.... ummmm I didn't want to try and figure it out at that point...

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My advice would be learn about yarn. Use a yarn that the pattern calls for. When I first started, I wanted to make a afghan and I chose a stretchy super soft chenille because "I liked it". What a mess! I finally did make it into an afghan for my son later but had to use a totally different pattern than the first one I started with.

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Another thing to remember when you start having trouble with a pattern you are working on is that it might not be you.

 

There may be a mistake in the pattern.

 

I always check for pattern corrections on the internet before I start a pattern.

 

For example: In Donna Kooler's Encyclopedia of Crochet, here is the list of five patterns with corrections. (scroll down the page to the book title)

 

http://www.koolerdesign.com/corrections.aspx

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whenever i see a new crocheter i always point out the us versus uk terminology. i live in the uk and learned to crochet from a us book, and most patterns i find on the internet are us terms. if you didnt know there were these differences you could end up in amess without knowing what you are doing wrong

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Another good reference book that has been published since this thread started is Complete Photo Guide to Crochet by Margaret Hubert.

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I would definitely start out with something that does not need to be fitted. Secondly, I would choose patterns that only have a few repeating rows. For example, repeat rows

2 and 3 would be easy to memorize the pattern after a few rows. Repeat rows 3-11, not so easy.

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I'm fairly new to crochet. I also have ADHD, and get distracted easily unless the task is complicated. What I found with choosing new patterns is that I have to choose something that I like the look of the finished product. So, I always look for an image.

 

After that I breathe.

 

After the breathing and reorienting myself, I check to see what language it is in. I have found that my method of choosing patterns means I'll find stuff from the US, UK, vintage catalogues, etc. Every one of them seems to have a slightly different way of expressing stitches. I keep a notebook with the stitch terms and what they are in each language I've run across.

 

Finally, I plod my way through it and make adjustments as necessary. I have found that many patterns on the internet and those written out my my grandma may not have the best math involved. (Anyone ever have the case of "2 stitches in each across" and the pattern writer doesn't double the number of stitches?) In this case, there is a bit of guesswork to make it look right.

 

I also use sticky notes. Any pattern I've made has sticky notes with my adjustments so I know how I "fixed" the pattern.

 

By the time all this has been done, and I have a finished product in my hands, I'm happy. It makes my ADHD relax since I've got all that extra work to do to make an item. ;)

 

What I'd tell beginners is don't be afraid. Ever. You can rip it out, you can start over. You can make adjustments as you want them -- it makes your item unique! Also, enjoy the challenge of new patterns, stitches, and techniques. :)

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Choose patterns that have reviews like from a Yarn website. That way you will know if the pattern is written well. Also, use the type of yarn it calls for. Don't get enticed by the super soft fluffy yarns in the store. They can be extremely hard to work with.

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Oh! I have some advice.

 

Sometimes instead of picking a pattern it's a good idea to just practice the stitch. For example, I wanted to learn entrelac crochet. I got on youtube, looked up a tutorial for a baby blanket, and started watching. Instead of doing a baby blanket I just kept practicing the first few steps (how to start, how to do the second round so I'd know how to switch colors). Of course my first few attempts looked bad, but I either frogged and started over or just cut it and started again. Eventually, after the 4th or 5th time.... I did it pretty well! That doesn't necessarily work for everything a person can attempt, but it's food for thought.

 

Also, youtube is your BEST FRIEND when it comes to seeing something done.

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I agree, it is a great idea to practice a sttich pattern first until you are comfortable with it, and then start the pattern. That is pretty much what I ALWAYS do, and a lot of times I find out I don't really love the st pattern enough to make the whole project.

 

As far as youtube, i have found what I felt were some pretty junky things on it, so I think you have to kind of be careful there. I really dont think everything on youtube is helpful.

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I look for the sizing on garments. I want to know the finished measurements of sizes S, M, L. I also want to know what body measurements are meant by size S, M, L. How much ease does the designer intend?

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When learning a new stitch or technique realize that you may not get it the very first time. It's normal. It happens.

 

What doesn't help is getting frustrated and working on it for hours on end and increasing your frustration. Instead - put it down, walk away, come back to it later. Reread it before you pick it back up.

 

If the pattern is written well eventually you'll get that lightbulb moment. The lightbulbs don't usually light up once you've worked yourself into a tizzy of frustration.

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Another piece of advice is to count your stitches. If you don't have enough stitches, the rows will not be the right size.

 

And if the pattern says to have say 36 stitches at the end of the increased rows, make sure that there are 36 stitches.

 

I do like patterns that say how many stitches should be at the end of each row, etc. It helps to stay on track.

 

Good luck to all the newbies attempting new patterns. Once you get the basic stitches, you can make anything you want to. Start out simply and then advance when you are ready.

 

:manyheart

 

 

Ditto this advice! I'm a big believer in using stitch markers to help count stitches and mark increase/decrease points. Also, since I have trouble finding the top turning chain, I place a stitch marker there so I know where to put the last stitch of the next row.

 

I also read a new pattern before starting to make sure I understand it and to jot down any notes I might think of.

 

Hope this is helpful!

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Start with a pattern that only calls for single crochet.  This will help you to learn to control the needle.  Also, starting slow will keep you from getting discouraged.   Practice the different stitches.   Its ok to crochet a line and then realize its not right.  Just pull it out and re-do it.  No one will ever know.

 

The most important thing to do with crocheting is ENJOY IT!  

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Lately I've been seeing a lot of posts where a new crocheter has purchased a pattern on etsy or a similar site, and the pattern is written in a non-standard way and is confusing.  It seems a lot of these patterns are similar to patterns on blogs in that they have not been tested by anyone other than the pattern writer.  

 

My advice would be, before spending 4 or 5 dollars on a single pattern, look for a free pattern by the same writer.  This way you will be able to see how they write their patterns and get an idea of whether you will be able to follow the paid pattern.  

 

And be prepared for the fact that you may need to be able to contact the seller after purchase to get their help in understanding the pattern they sold to you.  

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That's interesting and a good suggestion but it could depend on the person too. My daughter just learned to crochet and her first projects were socks which she did better than I did. And she could do the fat bottom bag with no problems. 

 

That is kind of what I would say; do what YOU feel is comfortable and don't limit yourself if you don't want to.  You don't have to do only scarves or wash rags.

I've seen so many things that were first or second projects that were impressive.

 

Start with a pattern that only calls for single crochet.

 

My first projects were one giant granny afghans.

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Thank you very much for this theme taht have interested me very much.

 

Thow I can crochet, I love to crochet,

so many times I undo some rows ....and recrochet them with no fair,

simply calmly, because that is what crochet techniques allows us when we try and make mistakes.

 

I loved reading all your posts, all your suggestions, your experiences.

Somtimes I found myself in your words, ..

.and yet still I learn every day, from you and others.

Merci beaucoup,

 

this theme is very important and interesting.

 

Sorry for my poorly English, excuse-me/

FleurBelge

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Fleur, your English is very good, you express yourself very well!  

 

I think it is very cool that this thread has lived for 4 years now, and that so many people have partaken in the conversation :-)

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