Review: Teach Yourself Crochet Visually
I like writing knitting and sewing patterns because it’s exacting. You have your drape, you have your stitches, you have your needles. One stitch, two stitch… nice in a row.
Even sewing is pretty math based. Crochet, kind of. It’s organic and shapely. You can put your hook just about anywhere. Sometimes there’s not a clear path and from a pattern writing perspective, it can be hard to get my point across.
I love crochet. Pretty much for all the reasons above.
And I want to start writing more advanced crochet patterns.
So that’s why lately I’ve been using the book Teach Yourself VISUALLY Crochet pretty frequently. For me, it’s not that I don’t know how to crochet, because I do, it’s that pattern writing for crochet is something that’s eluded me. And I want to grab ahold of it so I can share with you the ideas that are in my head.
All my crochet patterns to this point have been pretty basic. Free ones here on the website are usually inspired or are derivatives of well established historic stitch patterns. Which is fine. But I want to do more than that. I want to create my own stitch patterns. I want to be able to visualize in my head the options for a crocheted project the way I can in knitting.
In knitting, I think of a shape and my mind if flooded with the language of knitting – all the k1, ssk, psso, kbp, p2tog’s. Like a narrative of the thing I’m imagining.
It’s not so with crochet. Herumph.
So I’ve started going back to the basics of crochet to answer questions like, when I want to tell someone to put their hook in the 2nd chain stitch from the hook, how do I abbreviate that down to pattern writing standards? SC into 2nd ch from hook. Oh, well, that wasn’t so bad.
Teach Yourself VISUALLY Crochet has been great for me. I’ve checked it out 3 times while prepping my first submission to Crochet Today! Which I completely wussed out on sending in, haha, next time. I need to get my confidence up about it. Branching in a new direction, and submitting work to a new publisher is always intimidating to me.
It starts at the very beginning — making a slip knot — to the end — reading charts, joining motifs, and finishing techniques.
There are patterns in the back of the book there’s a selection of basic patterns that gives a nice sampling of what you might encounter out in the great wide world of crochet: basic beanie, cloche, baby patterns, sock pattern (yes you can crochet socks), webby sweater, granny square bag, a sampler scarf, hairpin lace, making a basket with a fitted lid, felting, color work, tunisian crochet, amigurumi, more lace work.
My other go to books for pattern writing inspiration are Harmony Guide to Crochet Stitches and Blueprint Crochet, give them a look if you want to expand your crochet knowledge and skill set.
Kristin M Roach