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Mar. 13th, 2006

There are people who can follow purely written instructions for carrying out complicated physical activities (ooh er) but I am not one of them. And so I am slightly disappointed with Debbie Stoller's new crochet book. I was so looking forward to it, but there are simply not enough pictures to show how to make the various stitches - if you're writing an instruction book for beginners, it's not enough to have one picture of a crochet hook, some very complicated strands of wool and a squiggly arrow supposedly showing....what? Which direction you move the hook? What stitches you pull through what? Who knows? I sure as hell don't.

I am very, very bad at following written instructions for anything I have to do with my hands, especially needlework - faced with written instructions and a complicated interwoven set of threads I overthink and get completely confused. How do I know if the wool is on the right side of the needle when starting stitch X? When they say bring the wool foward, do they mean over or under? Am I slipping the stitch onto the needle from the right direction? Unless there are very, very clear diagrams I literally can't understand it. These videos are fantastic, and in fact that's how I really learned how to do double crochet, because La Stoller's instructions were not totally clear to a beginner, but thanks to the video I learned how to do it in seconds.

However, there is no video on that site showing how to increase or decrease, so apparently my crocheting career will be limited to doing squares and rectangles. Stoller's instructions for increasing are ludicrous - she simply says "just make two stitches into the same stitch." And that's it. What? How? What bits of the stitch do you make the stitches into? I have absolutely no idea, and as she doesn't elaborate and there's just one picture with arrows going in seemingly random directions, I will never know. I'm starting to think the book was a waste of money - the patterns aren't even particularly fantastic, even if I did ever figure out how to make them.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 13th, 2006 10:57 pm (UTC)
You really do make two stitches in the same stitch.
That is to say, pull up a loop, make a stitch in it. Then push that stitch along the same loop, and make another stitch right next to it. Then go on to the next stitch.

I would make you a video of it... only I can't figure out how to make them small enough to post...

I found the book Hip To Crochet had really good diagrams. The patterns were Ok too. Still haven't got my hands on the SnB one.
Mar. 13th, 2006 10:59 pm (UTC)
The first image here shows how it will look after.
Mar. 13th, 2006 11:03 pm (UTC)
Thanks! But alas, I really can't follow things without pictures, so those instructions make literally no sense to me. What do you mean by loop? Like, an existing stitch? How can I push a stich along it? I am lost yet again!
Mar. 13th, 2006 11:50 pm (UTC)
Hm. So assume you have just made a stitch in the usual way. If you look at your work, you'll have something that looks like this:

To increase, you want to put your hook into the hole marked 'original stitch/loop' and make another stitch in the same way as you just finished.

I made a whole series of pictures, but I don't know if it's clear enough to show what I'm doing. It's not the best camera for macro.

The video is not a whole lot better and it's nearly 4 megs.

Mar. 14th, 2006 06:04 pm (UTC)
THANK YOU! That is amazing. I can do it now (at least, I think so). You rock!
Mar. 15th, 2006 01:17 am (UTC)
Glad to be of help!
Mar. 14th, 2006 05:14 am (UTC)
Hmm, that's disappointing. I was thinking of learning crochet and was kinda hoping Stoller's book would be what I needed. Did you find the instructions in Stitch 'n' Bitch better than these, or about the same (or you might not have seen them at all)? I find her knitting instructions mostly ok, except for intarsia, but I do learn ok from written steps.
Mar. 14th, 2006 05:42 am (UTC)
Oh, man, it's been years since I've crocheted anything (seriously, I think I was 12 or 13), and I'm just learning to knit, so I feel your frustration. I do remember that increasing is simply adding and extra stitch to an existing one. I'll try to explain a bit better:

Let's pretend you've just finished a stitch. To do that, you put your hook through the stitch in the material, made your loop and pulled it through. So, if you were going to make another stitch, normally you'd move on the the next stitch in the material and repeat the same action, right? To increase, you'll put your needle through the SAME stitch in the material where you just made your new stitch, instead of moving on to the next stitch in the material. Once you've done that, then you'll make your loops and create your stitch the same way you just did. THEN you'll proceed to the next stitch in the material. In this way, you've increased by one stitch. Does that make any sense at all? I'm sorry if that makes it worse.

At any rate, good luck, and if I find any decent instructions, I'll come back and post.
Mar. 14th, 2006 07:07 am (UTC)
I've never been able to understand any crochet diagrams, ever. And I can't stand Debbie Stoller's writing style, or her product pimping (hello, how about giving your book some shelf life by describing the general characteristics of yarn weights better instead of listing specific brands) although I did buy Stitch and Bitch for the general instructions on blocking, etc.
Mar. 14th, 2006 03:04 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry it didn't work out as an instructional book, but the patterns are very nice. I wish I would recommend a good instructional book, but I taught myself 20 years ago now. If I see something that looks good at B&N, I'll let you know.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )


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