Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I think I'm seeing a pattern . . .

I finally read through my first crochet pattern and understood it! It helps now that I've learned most of the basic abbreviations, but the way crochet patterns are written has a completely foreign feel to one used to reading knitting patterns.

Here's what the difference felt like to me, illustrated by instruction on getting up and going to work:

Knitting - Get up when the alarm goes off. Shower and get dressed. Eat some breakfast, then gather everything you need for the day. Get in the car and drive to work.

Crochet - Pull the blankets off and get out of bed by putting both feet on the floor. Turn the shower on to a warm temperature, and wash you hair and body thoroughly. Make some coffee and toast, cut up some fruit, and wash your dishes after you eat. Find your briefcase, keys, and cell phone, along with anything else you need. Lock your door, get in the car, put on your seatbelt and drive to work.

The difference of course stems from the different ways knitting and crochet create fabric. Knitting is very linear, fairly straightforward, binary. Crochet is more quantum, like coral growing into a reef. Not to say one is better than the other, and not that knitting can't become more quantum, just as crochet has its linear moments.

The pattern that I chose as my first real crochet pattern is the Peace Sign Granny Square. Being a hippie, I thought this motif was adorable and I HAD to have a peace sign granny square blanket. The blanket might be a long time coming with this yarn drought I'm having, but I do have enough yarn to start making a few squares. It'll make for good practice.

Anyway, I just recently knit a peace sign washcloth, and the differences between how the two patterns are written is astounding. The knit cloth is 53 rows of such as "K5, P1, K4, P3" and so on indicating where to switch between knit and purl. Despite each row being different, the directions for each are short, and all fit into a single line in my tiny little notebook. If it was for color work, it'd be even simpler, something like "Knit with color A for 22 stitch, switch to color B for 10" or something like that. The granny square on the other hand has only 9 rounds but each round contains a multitude of directions and take up several lines each in my notebook. Fortunately I'm adjusting to the culture shock quite nicely.

Tangent: I really love copying patterns by hand into my notebook (excluding charts of course). Obviously it gives me a chance to really go over the pattern and make sure there are no tricky spots to watch out for, special techniques I might need to study or brush up on, or special materials that I might need to acquire. But more than that, writing out the pattern by hand allows me to mentally knit it as I write. Because the mind does not know the difference between an experience you're having and the memory of an experience, mentally knitting an item before I actually do it makes it so much easier. Of course I can make this ridiculously tricky item, I've already made it before! Or so my mind thinks, but since there is no physical evidence of said mental trick, I still get all the novelty of making something new despite having already made it in my head.

Now where has my hook scampered off to? I've got some groovy squares to make!


  1. Those squares are really funky, I like them I think I should learn to crochet now so I can make them

  2. ehehehehehehe, you're becoming a person who writes about being a hooker. and fantasizes about it...and blogs about it.
    i love you.

  3. Who can't smile at peace? When you copy the pattern into your notebook, do you mean by hand onto lined paper? You do this all the time? What patience you have.