Crochet consistency

So the other day I posted photos of what I had done during the day. I had picked up my crochet hook for the first time in a long time and started a new project.

I am currently working on “Bonny Blue Hoodie Vest” from the March 2010 issue of  Crochet! magazine. It’s a fairly easy pattern, simple double crochet all the way through out. But in working on it, I started thinking about inconsistencies and problems with patterns. I am finding more and more that it is not the act of crochet that turns people off of the craft (really, it’s winding yarn around a stick, not that hard), it’s the issues with the terminology, and the differences between the same terminology in each pattern.

This goes beyond just the European hook sizes vs American. I get the whole metric/imperial thing. That’s minor. But when a single crochet on one side of the pond means something different than the other side, how do we know? Readers of a pattern should not have to look up where the pattern was printed before deciding on how to proceed.

The issue that I’m having with this particular pattern is in it’s editing. Fortunately I have enough experience with both crocheting and with sewing to know how to put an article of clothing together. But a beginner working on this pattern (and it really is easy enough for someone who has only basic crochet skills, contrary to the magazine’s “intermediate” tag) would be making some greivous errors, just because the editing is sloppy.

For example, the back of the vest is shown below. The armholes shown are decreased on each edge.

When working the front left side of the pattern, it states to decrease armholes in one row along the proper edge, then repeat the same instructions for the next row. While at first glance this sounds right, it would make the decrease along the front center portion of the vest.

When working the front right side of the pattern, the instructions are “work same as left front reversing all shaping.” So twice they missed the armhole shaping error.

Being that this magazine focusses only on patterns, it is made very nicely with high quality paper and nice photos, it seems silly to have errors like this due to lazy editing. This is by all means not the only example of issues with patterns, but one I see all the time.

I realize errors are made, we are all human after all. And with free patterns, I admit, I will be far more relaxed with errors and issues than I do with ones available for purchase. But this does nothing to endear new people to the craft of crochet.

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3 thoughts on “Crochet consistency

  1. Melanie Boxall

    As regards the differences between European and American, the question remains – who takes it upon themselves to change? There are many things that are different in this way. You and I have discussed some of the names of food items (zucchini or courgette?), even different brand names for identical products (Vim/Jif), but there’s also different school systems, different sides of the road to drive on, different power supplies. Some are long-standing, some differences are newly created (different titles for a published book).

    If they are to be made the same it means one group of people will be obliged to just switch over to what the other group are used to. And Americans will never do that. That’s why they won’t accept the metric system. Nothing will persuade them to accept European sizing or instruction-style. And Canada usually goes along with America. So although Canadians are more flexible, they aren’t about to rush out and switch to European style, with their key publishing base – in the United States – not following suit.

    Which leaves the Europeans….as usual….despite being the elder culture…..facing the responsibility to change. And they are getting a little tired of it. So, I can’t see it happening. I cannot see hundreds of thousands of European fibre artists agreeing to that. Nope. Not going to happen:)

    Reply
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