new to crochet

Michelle - posted on 04/09/2009 ( 10 moms have responded )

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Hi everyone. I am signed up to receive an invite to ravelry... yay!

I am on my 2nd baby blanket. Same pattern as the first, but smaller gauge and I am liking it a lot. I am finding a bunch of patterns I cannot wait to try! My problem is, when reading the pattern instructions, I may as well be reading Chinese. It makes no sense to me. My friend got my started on my blankets so I know exactly what I need to do because I physically watched her first. But sitting down with a brand new pattern and reading and understanding what it is actually telling me to do seems pretty difficult. So it says to triple stitch while standing on my head. Only good if I know what a triple stitch is to begin with (I made that up by the way LOL). So I am asking if anyone can recommend any good sites or books that have good pictures that will explain the various things I will be reading in my patterns so I will know what it means. I have a bunch of books coming from the library, but I think they are mostly just patterns. I do think I am getting a dummies or idiots guide too... but any suggestions would be appreciated.

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Leslie - posted on 08/31/2009

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Hi!, the best website for llearning crochet stitches is freepatterns.com. I have used it many times and it is very helpful. I too taught myself to read patterns, by buying crochet magazines and trying different patterns. The magazines also have photos on how to do the stitch and what the abreviations mean. Hope this helps.

Pam - posted on 08/23/2009

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Almost every pattern you will get out of a pattern book, there will be a index to the stitches, if you find some that do not have them make you own cheat note & paperclip it to the pattern, before long you will be reading the patterns without the cheat sheets.
Good luck it will get easier.

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I do patterns all the time and they can get confusing. My best advice is the have a website up that can translate what the abbreviations mean, youtube to show you how to do the stitches (unless you already know). Then just follow the pattern stitch by stitch. Start slowly with simpler patterns. It can seem like too much but I swear that it becomes second nature to read them fluently :)

Kearsten - posted on 08/01/2009

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I'm learning to read patterns, too...I learned to knit through pattern, so that has helped me get a grip on pattern reading, but crochet is obviously quite different! I have found YouTube invaluable! I've also learned lots of knew stitches which can easily be worked into simple projects, like blankets or scarves, etc, but could also be used for clothing etc (though I haven't dared try clothes yet!).
A woman I've known all my life (a neighbor and friend of my grandma) says that the secret to crocheting well is to relax, and I am agreeing more and more with that! If you're tense or nervous, your stitches will be tighter, so if it's a confusing pattern, try a couple rows of it first, get used to what you need to do and then you may want to pull it and start it again so you're more relaxed with it (otherwise you'll end up with something that is thinner on one end than the other! Trust me..i've been there!). Practice makes perfect!

Stephanie - posted on 07/21/2009

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I love to crochet. The patterns aren't really a big deal. The abbreviations are just short hand. and there are tons of keys for what is what for both american and british patterns. If you go through the pattern row by row, stitch by stitch, you won't get too lost. plus that's what we're for. get lost, ask us for help! :) or someone on Rav. hehehe
I've learned tunisian, and doilies, and felting this past year or so. I just started crocheted socks, and I'd like to make an adult garment, not just baby clothes. Something with shaping.

Xandra - posted on 07/14/2009

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im totally with you on the pattern being gibberish...i mainly learn from watching too but if you do one stitch at a time and ignore the rest of the pattern, it really gets easier...but if i have a hard time i get my mum to help...ive been crocheting for 23 years now and i do it as often as possible...

Jacqui - posted on 05/16/2009

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I know what you mean about the crochet patterns! I tried to start when I was a teenager, and gave up because trying to interpret one of those patterns gave me a stress attack! I started knitting instead, which I found MUCH easier to understand.



Anyway, I have since figured crochet out. But you know, to be honest with you, for both knitting and crochet, I just keep the internet handy. Any abbreviation you don't know, you can search along with the words "knitting abbreviations" or something similar, and any stitch you don't understand or remember you can search with the word "instructions" or "how to" and you will get tonnes of pages all with pictures and explanations, and you are bound to find one that explains it the way you need. I find the risk with books is that you only have one explanation, and maybe it's not very clear. This is how I have learned to knit and crochet. It has worked out very successfully for me. AND it's free!

Angie - posted on 04/21/2009

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I taught myself to crochet from a booklet at the age of fourteen--after watching my grandmother crhet for hours and hold several conversations at the same time. I have tried to teach friends how to read the abreviations and I found that books for beginners are either designed with photographs of someone's hand or very clear diagrams of the yarn being wrapped around the hook and the mothion to make to create the stitch.

Some books are more helpful than others of course. The easiest way for me to undertand the language of the patterns as a kid, was to see the logic in the name of the basic stiches being related to the number of times the yarn is wrapped on the hook (or not in the case of the single crochet stitch or slip stich).

I also had fun experimenting with projects that used different yarn or thread and hook size combinations. My favorite crochet afghan combo is 2 yarns held together while I crochet rowws using a size Q hook. It turns out light and lacy (depending on your tension) and works up rather quickly. Let me know if any of this information helps and good luck with your baby blankets.

Kelly - posted on 04/19/2009

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I am not too fond of patterns, and I've been crocheting for over 25 yrs., but the more you do it the easier it gets. It helps to have some good reference books. My favorite is the "Encyclopedia of Crochet." It also helps to keep a key of the abbreviations handy to refer to as you go through the pattern til you get used to them.

Good Luck and happy crocheting!

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