Mikey’s 1st Pattern Book
In the effort to move to Nova Scotia, Daniel found my original Crochet Pattern Book that I used as a kid. Somehow, it got mixed in with his music books. I have looked for this book over the past 8 years. It must have got mixed in with his books after the 1st year I was with Daniel.
I learned to crochet in 1988, I was 14 years old. My mother only knew how to chain and make double crochets. So after a few years of getting bored with Double Crochet and seeing Roseanne TV Show, I knew there was more to crochet than chains and double crochet.
My original book still has the price tag on it. I paid $12.95 CDN for this book. I remember at the time, I started my job at the department store making $4.00 / hour CDN. The job I had when I was working at Tim Hortons when I was 13 paid $3.85 / hour. It was minimum wage at the time. Working for $4.00 / hour was above minimum wage so I was happy. It would have taken me to work over 3 hours to afford this book at the time.
Lewis Craft was a chain of craft retailers that no longer exists today. It could be found in malls. Variation of crafts and even yarn. I never bought my yarn there as I couldn’t afford the costs of higher end yarn, so I hauled my butt down the mall to Zellers (almost like today’s Target) to buy my yarn.
I remember scanning through the pattern books to determine stitches for crochet. Remember, I’m just a teenager and I am a visual learner. So the cover caught my attention. Never judge a book by it’s cover… well in this case, I judged the book by its cover to see what was inside.
All the photographs inside were in colour. Most of the pattern books back then, the pictures were in black and white. I hadn’t ever seen crochet diagrams before. Each stitch has it’s own crochet diagram with simplistic words. So after a bit of debate in flipping through books, I settled on this book as my first pattern book.
Inside this book is a bus ticket for when I went to go visit colleges to determine which college to apply to. I had gone to Toronto on my own for the very first time. I probably was using it as a book mark. I haven’t written inside this book at all. But when you open the book, it’s used to being opened.
The diagrams really intrigued me. I’m not a strong reader, even today. I am more visual in instruction. I teach the way I learn. Through memory hooks and basic slang language.
So I realized, the diagram is a glimpse of what the stitch looks like. But what I didn’t realize then and until I started The Crochet Crowd in 2008, I wasn’t learning USA Terms, I was using the UK Terms.
Difference of Terms
When I started to teach on The Crochet Crowd, I was using words learned in this book. I kept getting really nasty emails from people telling me to give up teaching. My terms were wrong. I went back to my book. They were telling me my single crochet and trebles were wrong. So I confirmed I was right and kept on teaching until I got a really nice email from someone that wasn’t being so rude telling me that I am using UK Terms and not USA Terms.
So I went online to look at patterns and cross referenced the book. The book was from Belgium. So the terms were indeed UK Terms. So I had to scrap what I learned in this book and adjust to teaching North American Terms. By this point, Canada began adopting the USA Terms as well.
Double Crochet UK = Single Crochet USA
Treble UK = Double Crochet USA
So I started off my teaching in an area of the globe that was incorrect. If I were to reside in the UK, I would have been fine as I was matching the country. However, in my defence, Canada is part of the UK and it would make sense why this book would be in Canada. Remember, a lot has changed since I bought this book. I’ve had this book for 31 years already. Other than my photo albums and 1 pair of Baby Booties, it’s the 3rd thing from my childhood that remains in my life. Due to moving a lot, I have purged a lot over the years to eliminate out the past.
Catherine Wheel Stitch
I realized in my 30’s that the Catherine Wheel Stitches Afghans I had done in my late teens and 20’s were all crocheted wrong. It’s why my Catherine Wheel Stitches never looks right but were pretty cool. In many ways, the omission of instructions made my wheels look like swirls. I had no idea for 20 years that I was doing it wrong.
Once I realized when I started The Crochet Crowd that the diagrams were unaffected by the language of written instructions. The symbols were still having the same meanings. Which agrees with my argument today that symbols of crochet are relevant without words spoken.
I Learned To Crochet using This Book
Though my mom taught me to crochet the chain and double crochet. This book’s diagrams of how to wrap the hook and crochet symbol diagrams taught me how to crochet. So I came to rely on the diagrams in a pattern verses written instructions. I didn’t bother with the written instructions in learning how to read them without the diagrams.
In 2009, one year after I had started The Crochet Crowd, I didn’t know how to read patterns, only diagrams. Someone gave me a pattern without a diagram and asked me to figure it out. I was stumped. So I put myself through a year of learning to read patterns without a diagram. It was kinda tough because I would do what all of us do, go back to a diagram format.
Today, Yarnspirations is one of the very few yarn companies that are continuing to use Crochet Diagrams. To me, those diagrams help me more often. I find more errors in patterns when referring to a diagram to back up the instructions. So the diagrams are still good to use today. I prefer a diagram over written words today.
I used to navigate in the car with my dad during family get aways. So to follow a map was easy. So the diagrams, at least to me, just made sense and I could follow them like it was a map and treated them as such.