Wednesday, February 8, 2006

Giving thought to McDreamys

When it comes to your crocheting, I am curious readers, of which rules you follow.

Do you, for single crochet stitches, chain two and skip the first stitch (thus letting the chain become your first stitch), or do you chain one and work in the immediate first stitch?

Myself?  I have always followed the chain one/immediate first stitch rule which is endorsed by the CGOA and the Craft Yarn Council (where I received my Certification from).

Do you, when reading patterns, prefer to have the instructions state to create the turning chains at the end of a row and then have you turn your work, or do you prefer to turn your work and then create your turning chain?

Myself?  I prefer to create my chains before I turn my work, especially when I'm working with taller stitches.  This is because when I turn my work it gives my turning chain a little twist and helps it blend in "as a stitch" rather than being a flat chain laying on the side of my work.

While you're following a pattern, do you ever look at the accompanying photograph to help you figure out the next step? 

Myself?  Oh absolutely.  But there are times that it's impossible to use the image as a reference because of the way a photograph was taken.  (Sometimes the photographer is not someone who understands crochet, and/or what the right/wrong side of crochet work looks like.) 

When you're using a pattern, how important is it to you to know if it's the American or the European crochet rules/abbreviations used?

This is very important to me; I can't begin to express how many times a student has come to me stating that their work looks "off" -- only to discover that they were using the American rules instead of the European or vise versa!

To quote a term used on the television program, Grey's Anatomy, what makes a pattern "McDreamy" for you?  Is it simplicity, speed, or perhaps a challenge where you learn new stitches or techniques?

The McDreamy patterns I like are the ones that challenge me.  But I think this is because I have a lot of practice/knowledge under my belt.  Perhaps if I were still a newbie to the art of crochet I'd be looking for simplicity. 

As I give more thought into what I'll be offering in the book I plan on doing this year, these are just some of the questions I am pondering.  What are your thoughts?


Anonymous said...

Clear instructions!  I started a hat pattern last night and it isn't clear to me whether that "ch 1" is counted as a stitch or not.  To add to the confusion, the end-of-round stitch count says (for example) "8 sc".  I started twice and frogged twice, then chose another pattern.  What a shame too because it was really a cute hat!

Photos are a must for me also, but GOOD photos!  I don't know how many times I've come across a pattern online where the photo was too dark to see what the finished product was supposed to look like.

Thank you for the thought provoking question!

Hugs, Sheila

Anonymous said...

Love your blog! I am a fairly new crocheter, I learned when I was young, but have recently fallen back in love with it.
The most intimidating part for me is reading patterns. As soon as I can figure out their "lingo" and pattern repetition I'm good to go. I do like new patterns that have new stitches that challenge me. I just finished my first pair of socks from the new "Crocheted Socks" book and it was fun becuase when I got to an unfamiliar stitch in the pattern, I could flip to the front of the book where they had step-by-step illustrated stitch instructions. I like these illustrations better than the photographs, just because you can actually see the stitches.
I have also enjoyed simple repetitive patterns for those evenings when I don't have the brain capacity left to follow a challenging pattern.
I guess I don't know the difference between American and European rules/abbrev., so I don't know which I prefer!
I do like to chain 1 at the end of the row and then turn and start the next row in the first stitch. I think it gives a nicer edge, however, it does make it harder to pick up that stitch if you are putting an border/edging on a project because you are trying to hook that twist.

Anonymous said...

Dee, by your questions, I see you totally get the confusion that beginners can have. The turning chain can be so tricky! I turn the work first, then chain when the instructions say to work a stitch in "the top of the turning chain". This is the only way that I could see that top chain clearly. Sometimes I like a simple pattern that I can do quickly, for instance, a scarf for charity. Sometimes I like something a little more complicated, because figuring out a new pattern is so satisfying and makes me feel smart! I will be looking forward to your book. Laura

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... o.k.... unless the pattern says something different, I do the chain two, skip, and let the chain be my first stitch... <shrug> That's what Gram did, so that's what I learned... and old dogs and all of that <g>

I usually do my turning chain, then turn... again, Gram...

I always seem to use the picture a lot... sometimes the instructions leave something out, or have it wrong and I can make it work by looking at the pic and seeing what I NEED to do...

Yep, need to know which language of crochet I'm reading <g>

McDreamy??  well, I like simple and fast cause I usually crochet while watching TV... but, a challenge is good too...

O.K.. there's my answers, hope they help!