Follow The Way You Learn
You’ve probably been there and done that where you are trying to learn a pattern but you think you are going astray. I’m there right now with a pattern I want to teach on YouTube.
In my head, I felt I wasn’t reading the pattern right. I haven’t found any errors in the pattern but I was starting to wing the pattern to the point where I lost confidence in myself to stick to my guns.
Part of teaching on YouTube is to know where you can wing something and when you have ‘winged’ way too much for it to make sense. I was at the second part of the ‘winging’.
My childhood story starts with me Mom teaching me how to crochet the double crochet. That’s all she knew. I was fascinated by it and went to the craft store, called Lewis Craft, to buy my first ever crochet book. Being Canadian and being in the 80’s, my first crochet book was UK based. There’s a point for me telling you this.
The book concentrated teaching stitches and is what I wanted. So I bought it. Not knowing much about crochet, I figured the book is a great place to start. It became my crochet bible sort of speak. With this book came word instructions but also had visual diagrams for every stitch and/or groups of stitches to form a pattern. Being fourteen and reading isn’t my strong suit, I grabbed the diagram key and simply used the diagrams to teach myself the different stitches. I found the words really hard to follow along with the brackets and short forms. Diagrams clicks in my brain.
When I started The Crochet Crowd back in 2008, I had no idea that American’s has their own terminology for crochet. I started to teach crochet from a UK Perspective because that’s what I learned. SC was actually double crochet… DC was actually Trebles… People were furious and I was like what is going on?
I had to relearn crochet from an American and by this time, it had seeped into Canada as being normal terminology today. In buying books, I would only by the books that had diagrams in them. I was able to grasp the written instructions element. Truth was, I was really unable to read word patterns until the 2nd year of developing The Crochet Crowd.
Anyway… so here I am over the last 2 days looking at a pattern and I believe that I have gone astray. I have a lack of visualization skills to see the pattern materials through words. I need the diagrams to reaffirm to myself that I am on the right track. Being lost in the pattern, I thought I cannot teach this pattern with any sense of confidence.
I either have to think of a solution to give myself the confidence or trash my work in progress because I think I am wrong.
I taped 4 pieces of scrap paper together to make 1 big paper piece and began to write out the pattern in stitch diagram format. I have to say… having worked with these diagrams and doing this frequently over the past few years, writing these out are really easy.
I was confused on the starting point of each round as well as confused exactly where the stitches sit on the rounded shell areas in the rows up. I was also confused on the other end when we turn the project. So my stitch diagram is concentrating on the areas where I am lacking confidence but also where I would be teaching on YouTube.
Knowing I was confused, I drew the stitch diagram based on the instructions that were written. There are no errors in the pattern. My issue was the ends of the rounds on where the rounds turn into square corners. Where exactly they were starting. I wrote this diagram in the way that helped me visualize my issues giving me key instructions for doing a successful sample.
Know that I have my diagram… I can quickly visualize my steps, follow the word instructions and fell confident at the same time.
Today, stitch diagrams are used far less than they ever were in the past. They are costly to produce and take up valuable space in magazines and pattern books. For me though, I prefer it old school with diagrams that help me learn.
You also may find yourself one day stuck. I learn through this method but you may have your own. Many people turn to me to figure out patterns and solutions. For me, I don’t have that option most of the time. I have to figure it out on my own. For me, I know the way I learn and know how to find my solutions. This is what works for me.