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yarnyviolet

Best way to learn symbols....

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For those of you that use symbols what was the easiest way for you to learn? There are just so many great patterns out there in other languages. I am also sort of noticing that both Interweave Crochet and Crochet Today are promoting symbols lately and feel a change coming on. Maybe it is just me though. I know patterns have changed over the years and it makes sense that symbols will be more popular as people want to use patterns in languages they don't understand.

 

Actually, I was laughing just this morning because the only French I know is "cereal box" French. In Canada all the labels are bilingual and as a kid you read ingredients in french just out of boredom I guess. It normally starts with the breakfast cereal and goes on to other ingredients. I was thinking I could become fluent in all different languages but just for crochet:lol . Like crochet Japanese or something like that. Imagine going to Japan and only knowing the word for "chain" or something. Ok maybe I need more sleep or a life......:blush

 

Anyways.... any tips for learning symbols?

 

Rachel

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Honestly, the SnB book explained it very well for me (just be sure to print off the errata page, because there is one symbol which they printed backwards in the key!). Mostly it's a matter of finding a pattern you like well enough to sit down and DO.

 

At the start of the SnB book, there are explanations of different kinds of stitches (you know, popcorn stitch, stitching around the post, bobble stitch . . .) and each one comes with a chart of the swatch as well as the written instructions. That helped me ease into the idea of using charts.

 

I haven't crocheted anything using strictly a chart yet, but I have crocheted using written patterns WITH the chart, and the chart clears up so many questions. The two patterns I loved well enough to try using the chart was the SnB:HH One Skein Scarf, and the pattern I'm working on now, the Boteh Scarf from Spring 2007 Interweave Crochet.

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Funny you should mention this, because in this months issue of Crochet Today, there is an entire article on symbols. I find that the symbol pattern is sometimes difficult for me to dicipher what stitch goes where. I dunno if that makes any sense, but sometimes the symbol pattern helps me...and also the written directions that go along with it. It looks like it is becoming the trend!

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IMHO, the best way to learn symbols is by making a doily. It just seems that doily patterns and symbols were meant for each other.

 

I started symbol crochet with the Magic Crochet (Crochet Magic?) magazine and it was so easy to make doilies with the "picture" right there of what you had to do.

 

One little word of fun. It is much easier to understand Post Crochet work from the symbol. That little hook they use is just perfect for what you do.

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One good resource is Encyclopedia of Crochet which has symbol charts description in the back of the book. There is lots on line too.

 

I highly recommend purchasing Japanese pattern books at least books with stitch patterns. If you go here you can find the two Japanese stitch pattern books I have. One of them might be hard to find. The other you should be able to get easily at YesAsia.

 

Both of the books have picture diagrams to show you what the stitches are, so there is little reading necessary. There is place somewhere on the web that has some kanji translations, I can't find it right now. If someone else knows what I am talking about please share!

 

I give you fair warning if you head off to YesAsia, if you have PAS at all you are in for a treat or frustration if you shouldn't indulge.

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i learnt from the sweater babe book as she helpfully prints each row a different colour, which gets you used to reading them in the right direction. I would pick a fairly easy pattern as i have an old european coats books full of beautiful thread instructions but no writing other than start here and only directions for the repeated part of the pattern . I am working up to this book!

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The Crochet Stitch Bible has all its stitch patterns in writing and in symbols.

 

What I like about the symbols is that if I'm stuck in the middle of a row, I can look at the right spot on the symbol chart instead of having to read the whole row in the written directions to find out the problem!

 

I haven't done any pattern only in symbols but I find I am using them more and more as they accompany written patterns.

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Pick a few simple projects, both round and rectangular, and challenge yourself to slowly learn. In rectangular charts you read back and forth. Most start on the right and go left, then the next row runs left to right, etc. As far as the individual symbols go, there is a logic behind them. A double crochet is a long vertical stroke with a small horizonal line at the top and another horizontal line about a third down the stroke. That's 2 cross strokes and you must yarn over and pull yarn through twice to make a double crochet. The same for triples. Three cross strokes and YO three times and pull through. Make sense? Most charts show exactly where to begin with a solid oval, while each of the other chains is represented by a clear oval. Your chart should have a key to explain all this.

 

I've reached the place now where I make my own charts for some things. A certain popular shawl has wretched directions and even some errors so I made a chart for it and can now start a shawl rapidly and in confidence that it's right without referring back to the original directions. What I find, Rachel, is that if the chart is there I will mainly use it, but I like to have written directions to help if there is anything on the chart which I find hard to interpret. Having both are great!

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I learned how to read symbols and patterns from Magic Crochet as well. My nana never read patterns and my stepmom was always busy making new christmas stockings for all the new people joining the family.

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I don't read diagrams very well at all. If I'm stuck, they can be very helpful.

I found this wonderful shawl pattern on Garn Studio's website yesterday, but didn't print it because it's entirely in diagrams. Color me VERY intimidated........ :blush

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I don't read diagrams very well at all. If I'm stuck, they can be very helpful.

 

I found this wonderful shawl pattern on Garn Studio's website yesterday, but didn't print it because it's entirely in diagrams. Color me VERY intimidated........ :blush

 

so do you have a link for that puppy by any chance? :wlol

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I think what would help is to translate the symbol chart...

 

fm=sc= the T shape(s)

lm=chain = the dash

st (not sure why it's called that) = dc = the line with one dash (each dash represents one yo)

Tredblt stm = triple tr = the line with 3 dashes (each dash means a yo)

 

So you will chain 13 skip 8sc and go into the 9th chain from the hook then do what the symbols say from there. Remember you need to read it back and forth. Your first row after the foundation chain is from right to left but your second row is from left to right.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Consider giving it try with whatever yarn you have around. Do a few rows to see if you can get reading it.

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I think what would help is to translate the symbol chart...

 

fm=sc= the T shape(s)

lm=chain = the dash

st (not sure why it's called that) = dc = the line with one dash (each dash represents one yo)

Tredblt stm = triple tr = the line with 3 dashes (each dash means a yo)

 

So you will chain 13 skip 8sc and go into the 9th chain from the hook then do what the symbols say from there. Remember you need to read it back and forth. Your first row after the foundation chain is from right to left but your second row is from left to right.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Consider giving it try with whatever yarn you have around. Do a few rows to see if you can get reading it.

 

Thanks Sammie! I'll try it!

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That is a nice shawl. I have every single book mentioned:eek in these posts so really I have no excuse but to just do it. I do think it is becoming more common to use symbols and I can see why doily patterns would have them as it must be soooo much easier to use a diagram than written instructions.

 

Rachel

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That is a really lovely shawl. I might have to try reading symbols for this.

If I can learn hirogana, I can learn crochet symbols right?

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