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Topic: Difficulty interpreting instructions...  (Read 678 times)
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« on: September 19, 2009 11:18:01 AM »

Hi All,

Over the years I've crocheted, sewed and done other miscellaneous projects, however I always find myself questioning what the instructions mean.  I remember working on a beautiful dress I was trying to finish for a dinner event at my company.  I got frustrated understanding the instructions and it was late at night so I had a temper tantrum, tossed the dress in the trash and went to bed.  The next morning, the dress was done.  My husband had taken it out of the trash, finished putting in the zipper and finished the satin trim all along the bottom of the tulle piece underneath the dress.

Fast forward many years to this morning.  I had started a new crochet project - a wrap.  I got to the 9th row and looked at the subtle pattern the stitch was making.  I had taken out a few rows as I wasn't sure I was doing it right.  Well....here comes DH.  He said Good Morning (I was out on the deck with my jasmine tea smelling my Michelia Champaca tree and listening to the hummingbirds in the bottlebrush tree next door.  I said "can you look at my crochet piece and the instructions and tell me if I'm interpreting them correctly or not?"  Sure enough, I wasn't. 

Here's what the main pattern was instructing me to do:
one row of hdc (42 hdc for the row)

Here's the row I had trouble with:

chain 1, hdc in first 14 hdc (that's ok so far),
*skip next hdc, work Fpdc around next hdc one row below (I'm still ok with that part),
working in front of Fpdc just made, work Fpdc around hdc one row below skipped hdc
(ok - that was the section I fiddlefarted about). 
I interpreted 'WORKING IN FRONT OF..." to mean "BEFORE the Fpdc just made" - so my 'pattern' sort of looked crosseyed if you get my drift.

Now that DH made it clear that the instructions there meant AFTER not BEFORE, I was ready to continue on but the instructions continued with "hdc in the next 2 hdc".  Now I looked at my work very closely and I saw a complete hdc and used that one and continued to the end however after the pattern section, I was supposed to end up with 14 hdc to the end of the row and I didn't. 

What I 'assumed' was incorrect.  The stitch they wanted me to go into was really close and almost kissing that last Fpdc.  Once I made sure I was using that stitch, I ended up with the correct number of stitches at the end of the row.

I don't know how else to explain what I'm seeing with those two side by side Fpdc's with 2 hdc's in between.  So that particular row pattern is to do 14 hdc's then the two Fpdc's (row below) then 2 hdc's another two Fpdc's then 2 hdc's again, another 2 Fpdc's and again - 2 hdc's and 2 Fpdc's - followed by the last 14 stitches of hdc's.

I thought that the first hdc that came directly AFTER the Fpdc would go into the top portion of the hdc I saw next to the Fpdc however as I tried to explain above (and now I'm ruminating!) - there was a chain kind of poking out right up against the Fpdc and that's the one that ended up being the correct one based on the fact that I ended up with the right amount of stitches to the end of the row.

Uf da!  If that didn't confuse you, I don't know what will.  I get very frustrated with myself when it comes to instructions and I don't know what kind of 'program' will help me ;-) ...if there is such a thing!  Does anyone else get confused with instructions?

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« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2009 12:59:52 PM »

Your not alone.  Thats why I love the Japanese crochet books.  They almost always have charts.  I love the charts because it gives me a visual of what stitch goes where. 

Want to learn to crochet or knit?  I have a ton of extra crochet hooks & circular knitting needles.  Will throw in some pattern books and yarn for anyone interested in a swap.
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« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2009 01:09:47 AM »

Nono, you are far from alone! Instructions are not too bad when I don't have to count my stitches. That's where I always get completely lost. I'd love to do some filt crochet soon, but with my bad counting, I'm not so sure... In some patterns you can get away with it, but when you have to make little rounds, going up. Yikes, I will get lost, for sure... Frustrates me to no end, to the point where I avoid patterns I would love love love to make.

Missmoppet, I live in Belgium and many of our patterns here have charts too. With this chart is was able to crochet a Christmas angel.

For those who are curious... These kind of charts:

The symbols differ sometimes, depending on the source... It makes things very clear.

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« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2009 05:20:09 PM »

Thank you Ladies for making me feel better  Smiley and not alone.  Last night we really got lost in the directions and I can't understand them this morning either so I'm at a standstill.

I'm going to take my project into the office and see if my friend can help out.  It's a wrap with slits on one side and the slits go up about 6 or 7 inches high and it's open on either side of the slit so you can shove the other end of the wrap through it.  The first thing they instruct me to do is "with right side facing and holding previous section behind work (oh for pete's sake!), join yarn in 17th stitch on Row 21 of Wrap for Center Section of Split (join yarn with what stitch??!!  how am I supposed to join yarn?), hdc in next 2 stitches, work in pattern as established for 8 more stitches - 10 stitches.  Rows 22-35: Work as established on 10 stitches. Fasten off." 

So I know the 'slits' are 10 stitches wide and go up 15 rows but that's about all I can figure out.  Oh my.  Why did I pick this one?  I wonder if redheart.com is not good in general about instructions.  I wish they had included diagrams with this one....kind of like when I print out directions from point A (usually my house) to point B (wherever) and they include little maps along the way.  That's what I need!

Thanks again ladies.
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« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2009 01:17:08 AM »

I can so feel your frustration whilst reading your reply. That's the main reason why I always give up... And rather quick, to be honest. I have never even tried crocheting clothes. I think I'll toss them out of the window if I would fail.

Good luck and let us know if you succeeded!

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« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2009 05:03:04 PM »

can you give a link so i can see
what you're talking about?

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