Spiraling Notions


Counting Stitches...

I horrible when it comes to counting stitches and I have trouble using stitch markers sometimes. I did catch a savvy tip from Art of Crochet, by Teressa to use the tail to mark your rows by just pulling it through the first stitch. This is helpful and cheap! but sometimes the project gets to long.

To help solve this problem I have been using Lion Brand stitch markers and counting in another language. So when the hat pattern calls for row 4 to have 2 dc in same then 1 dc next 2 stitches I count the increase in Japanese or Spanish. Helps...

ichi = one
ni = two

uno = one
dos = two

Kvetch About Instruction Books

I am just starting out... I began crochet in October of 2009 and knitting about a week ago. I have not even finished, well I just finished one knit item. But In my quest for knowledge about my new found obsessions I have come across a huge number of books which make no sense at all...

Explain to me why a book with advanced patterns would list beginner instructions on how to make a slip knot? And this new book I bought, with a DVD and everything has instructions again... on how to cast on, knit and bind off on standard needles but not how to continue around properly on circular needles. Seriously? If I needed step-by-step instructions on how to read a yarn label and which side of the needle is used for knitting don't you think you could have included some useful information like:

Hey... knitting on circular needles is just like knitting on standard needles, you just keep going around... or knitting with circular needles is a little different than regular needles... here is how you do it. I mean it is an instruction book after all, right?

No matter how many times I read the instructions they never actually seem to reflect the images and charts shown on the page. Many of them do not even address real problems with the patterns, like gaps and seems.

You are either an expert or a novice and there seems to be no middle ground here. As an advanced beginner it is really frustrating to move past this stage. Obviously I am going to make mistakes and will need to figure out my own rhythm but some common issues or even realistic direction would be nice. Why do I need to reinvent the wheel?

Maybe these people should have novices actually read the book after is it written to make sure that it is actually something someone can do without prior knowledge. I bought one book on amigurumi and emailed the author about something, I got a response saying I should find an instructional book instead... however the first pages were dedicated, again, to the slip knot, single crochet and other basics that if you did not know already you would never be able to do anything in the book... so make up your mind people: you are teaching people from the ground up or you are going to stop wasting 1-2 chapters of my $30.00-$40.00 (fully illustrated, in color) book to basics which people already know or should put down your book if they do not.

Facts of Yarn...

The sad fact of the mater is, as a crochet(er), I am interested in all manner of crochet pattern and stitch books... however, the books entitled knit and crochet patterns or *blank* for crochet and knitting are really all just knitting with 1-2 patterns of crochet. How irritating...