Jump to content
DawnofMarch

Reading Patterns: How long before you started?

Recommended Posts

I must say that before now, every single crochet pattern I've seen has confused me and made me scratch my head like a cartoon Ape.

 

Yesterday I was buying yarn at Pacific Fabrics and Crafts (I wish they had a larger Yarn section...) and I saw a free pattern for a hat. I decided to grab it and try it with the yarn I got.

 

It's been about 4 months since I first started to Crochet. I made my first scarves not following any pattern because they just didn't make any sense.

 

While I didn't get the pattern just right (Probably because I kept getting bugged while I was trying to make the darn thing) I was able to do most of it... It was the last couple of parts that I realized I had made a mistake somewhere, and for the most part, I understood what to do. (I'll have to take some pics of the nephew with his cool hat on later to show ya'll later!)

 

Here's my question: For those of you who can follow patterns; How long after you first started learning to Crochet did the instructions in an easy pattern start to click?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I crocheted for many years....doilies. I used Magic Crochet that had picture graphs of the stitches. It made perfect sense to me and I was able to crochet many things that way. Then, the Magic Crochet type books were gone and directions were only written. I realized then that I couldn't really read a pattern. I know what the stiches are, but somehow I just can't always get it right. I really do better when someone shows me what to do, but I can't do that most of the time. I think the reading just comes with practice and a lot of "frogging" but soon it will be easier. :manyheart

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I too have crocheted for years, But for some reason, patterns written or drawn such as japanese patterns are easy for me. The only thing I do remember is taking each step one chain at a time in the beginning. Also sometimes with written patterns there will be mistakes. There is a forum here for pattern testers so that we can test the pattern before it is published. Even with that, some patterns are printed with mistakes. I personally like to join the CAL's where there will be half a dozen women doing the same pattern. And if one of us can't make something out, then one of the other ladies can help to understand it. So maybe that would be good for you to join a CAL that everyone is doing the same pattern and it will in turn teach you to read the patterns while you make something beautiful for yourself.

JAT

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I learned as a teenager (and that was a long time ago). Beyond the first learning swatches I don't recall NOT following a pattern. I'm really stubborn though, and if I want to make something by gum I'm going to figure it out! :lol

 

It just takes practice. A lot of times I'll scratch my head too,and have to look at the photo for clarification. I've only worked doilies from charts the last couple of years, and agree with Texasredhed--charts are SO much easier than written instructions; sort of the same thing as looking at the photo. I think that is the more intuitive way to learn and follow a pattern, and was the way it was done generations ago: to learn techniques and apply that knowledge to create pieces by copying a sample, not written instructions.

 

One thing you can do is break down the instructions into little pieces. I do this sometimes with complex doily rounds by making light pencil slash marks between the major chunks of instruction in each round.

 

Also, I use a sticky 'flag' to mark my place in the pattern, both written and charts.

 

I think the more written patterns you follow, the more they will fall into place. You will begin to recognise "pattern patterns", for instance beanie hats are all variations on a theme; once you make one, the next different pattern will be easier to read because you know the general concept.

 

Just keep at it!! Good luck :hook

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was lucky when I started that my mom helped me read patterns. Any time I got stuck on the wording I would go to her and say HELP! I learned after I started on my second throw that the first book I followed the pattern from was just written weird. Some patterns make total sense while ever once in a while I'll come across one where I am thinking you want me to do what?

 

I think it also helps when you learn what all the little letters stand for. I often wonder why the couldn't just use words instead. It has gotten easier when I can read through it and understand with out having to look for what the letters stand for.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've always read patterns, too, and when I ran into problems, used the pic as a visual. I can usuallly figure out the 'errors' and go from there.

 

What I really hate, is when I know there is an error, and the publisher refuses to acknowledge it!! grrr!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was taught from a pattern. The teacher insisted I had to learn to read the pattern as I learned to crochet and my first learning project was a granny square baby afghan. I'm very grateful she taught me that way although I fussed about it a bit at the time. :hook

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I learned to crochet by reading a book, so I guess I'm not any help. I usually prefer written instructions. My pet peeve is the inconsistancy in the verbage from one pattern to the next. There probably is a dictionary type thingy out there that has standardized the way instructions should be worded. Actually I think I remember something like that memtioned in the CGOA web site. (might have to go looking later) Oh well, just keep up with slogging through the pattern and the verbage may get easier.

:mug:cat:yarn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Some patterns make total sense while ever once in a while I'll come across one where I am thinking you want me to do what?

 

Exactly!!! :)

 

I think I learned when I saw a pattern that I really really wanted to make so I finally made the effort to learn. It was probably a year or so after I first learned to crochet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I first learned to crochet, I made up patterns based on what my mother taught me. My aunt read patterns, though, and she taught me when I was in my early twenties (I guess). By then I had been crocheting for several years.

 

Even now when I start a project, it takes me several starts/stops if the pattern doesn't make sense. I guess since I've been doing it so long that now it's second nature. When I first learned, it was painstaking. I would count, recount, and then sometimes I still couldn't figure it out. I would often frog a pattern many times before I caught on to what was happening.

 

It does get easier, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I so admire those who can look at something and duplicate it. My grandmother who taught me to crochet did just that as does my daughter! I must have a pattern and have always used them.

 

I agree that some are much easier to understand than others. I used to try to "read through" before starting but I found that doing that makes it sound sooooo much harder than it really is. Now I just grab and go. Sometimes I frog and have to go a few times until it clicks but usually it does.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The first pattern I tried to make was from a book that was really well written so it made sense to me from the start. I'm working on learning how to read charts now. I don't think the charts are any harder than the instructions but it's easier to lose my place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I learned from books also, so I've always known how to read patterns. My very first project was from a pattern.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My Mom taught me how to knit first, and one of the lessons was to read a pattern. If I was stuck on something, I was to write it out and try to understand it that way. I still do that. As for Crocheting, I still sit with a book next to me for stitches. If I am confused, I open the book.

I read the pattern before I start, and if I don't understand something, out comes the pad and paper.:hook

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I learned to crochet when I was younger I didn't read patterns. My mom taught me to do single crochet and that's all I would do. Then I saw a granny square pattern vest and I played around to figure it out.

 

Now I can read patterns, but still a lot of the times I look at the picture and just mimic what I see using the pattern as a guideline.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For a long time I didn't bother with patterns, since blankets and scarves don't take much thinking.

 

It wasn't until I bought a book called "Funky Chunky" that I really started learning how to read the patterns. I marked the page in the book that has the abbreviations and what they mean, and I would flip back and forth. Once you learn what all of them mean, it's pretty easy. There are still some that confuse me.

 

Meter also used to really get me. Again, it was "Funky Chunky" that helped me figure that out too. It had a paragraph explaining how to figure out the meter and what all that means.

 

Now to work on having the patience to figure out gauge....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Once I mastered the basic stitches ( This was many many years ago. ) then I tried my hand at reading a pattern. Guess I was lucky enough to pick a decent pattern in a good book that I was able to figure it out. Haven't looked back since. I just thought out the rnd as if the abreviations where the actual words and then it made sense to me. When I see a dc, I actually think double crochet. Not dc, and so on and so forth.....

I enjoy the symbol crochet also. Though even looking at the charts I still think in my mind how it would be if written.

It has helped me a lot writing out my patterns to think in this manner.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ive known the how tos for 40 years only made alot when pregnant and they were just basic row by row double crochet i decided about a year and a half ago that i was going to teach myself to follow a pattern and now there isnt much i cant do well a couple but im determined and i will get it

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmmm.... Hard to tell exactly

 

Gotta start with knitting because it's the only one I have any dates for. I don't think I really learned how to read a knitting pattern until I'd known how to knit for 2 or 3 years. I think I had sort of figured out how to read knitting patterns before I really started learning to crochet, but it's probably a pretty close call. After I learned how to crochet, I could mostly figure out what the patterns were saying, but I had a really really hard time relating what it said to the actual project. This was probably sometime around '07, I think early in the year, and it wasn't until I figured out the "structure" of how crochet stitches went together that I could really follow a pattern. So I'd say maybe a year (give or take), from when I started actually crocheting to when I could follow a pattern competently. But a good 4 or 5 years to go from the first time I learned to do anything with yarn to where I could read just about any type of pattern.

 

Eh, I think I'm better off for not learning patterns right away. I had to make stuff up myself if I wanted to make something, and that's a good skill to have. :hook

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that it probably took me about two years or so of reading the pattern and feeling it in my hands. Now, I have a strange gift of usually being able to read the pattern and visualizing it in my head. I don't know why I do this while crocheting and not with many other things. I guess that's what connects my insanity with my sanity, LOL.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OKay I jinxed myself, here I say that patterns are easy for me to read, then last night I am working on a baby babette blanket with different granny squares and I found a nice square I decide to add to my blanket. I must have frogged the thing like twelve times. I was getting so upset over this stupid square. So instead of reading the written pattern, I just looked at the stitches one row at a time till I figured it out. I listened to American Idol instead of watching it as I am trying to figure this simple little 6 inch square out. Once I got it, and went back and read the pattern. It still read like it was from Mars not making any sense as to what I ended up crocheting and matching the pattern.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always read thru the pattern before I start to make sure that I have at least a basic understanding of it. Sometimes when you get into it you find errors and that can trip you up, but the more patterns you read and try to work thru the easier it will become. If a pattern seems difficult to me I do what alot of others here have already mentioned - take it one stitch at a time and go from there. When that happens to me it can take forever to get thru one row depending on what you're making, but once you can see some of it crocheted up, that helps alot too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sometimes I will have to "rewrite" sections of a pattern to make more sense to me or even make a "check list" for a section. There are times when I couldn't make sense of a pattern at all and ended up frogging what I had and using the yarn for something else. I started with simple patterns and ventured from there although I tend to get stuck in a rut with favorite patterns. Good luck to you, you're not a lone :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have always read patterns; it is too frustrating to me if I don't have written instructions, although I love it when there are both diagrams and directions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have always read patterns. I learned to crochet at around 8 and my mom taught me how to read a pattern. I went running to her while she was cooking for every single stitch until I got it. She taught me how to read one stitch at a time. So it says sc in next 3 sts. so sc in them and then read the next thing. I have always read patterns this way until I understand them then I get my own pattern of counting when it comes to the repeat from * to *. and I HAVE to have a pattern. I dont think I have ever made anything w/o a pattern. I am not creative at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...