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In which Marie learns to crochet properly

June 26, 2008

Ok, seriously…I suck. *hangs head in shame*

It wasn’t that long ago that I learned how to knit properly, after 2 years of participating in the craft.  Now, 2 months after the end of a semester of actual regimented crochet practice, I realize that I’ve been doing that wrongly too!

For those of you who don’t know, as a part of my skill acquisition class last semester, I taught myself to crochet. I did it almost every day.  I quantitatively measured my performance by timing how long it took for me to crochet various swatches.  I wanted a qualitative measure as well and, not having many crocheters at my disposal, I took pics and placed them on ravelry.  Every swatch I’d done over 7 weeks, 36 in total.  What I wanted people do to was rate them on a scale from 1 to 7.
One woman, rather than rate my swatches sent me what I would call a rather nasty RavMail message about how crappy my swatches looked, how uneven they were and how it looked like I rushed the job and didn’t even try to do it well.  I was (I think understandably) pissed off that this woman would go out of her way to basically tell me that I sucked, especially because she didn’t even give me anything usable. (And I’m not saying everyone had to love my swatches.  Many kind ravelers supplied constructive criticism, which is ok.  And if I’m trying to prove that I got better as the semester went along, obviously some of my work had to be bad, at least comparatively.

There was one thing that this woman said, and that was “You’re missing the last stitch on all your swatches.”  I had no idea what she was talking about, I didn’t see any missed stitches and I always counted, and since she didn’t offer any advice, I didn’t really worry about it.

Now I had noticed that my swatches, particularly the triple crochet ones were really uneven and appeared to zigzag back and forth.  I didn’t think it was bad, I kind of liked it actually, but I thought that I’d like to be able to crochet evenly as well.  I’ve been working on  Secret Project #1, which I may as well say is a gift for my boyfriend, because I already told him I was making him something.  One part of the project was just back and forth, even crochet.  I noticed that it looked bumpy on the edge in a few places, but not all edges, so I couldn’t figure out what was going on. I took a closer look at one of those bumps last night and sure enough there was a stitch there.  I had in fact been neglecting the last stitch, and I didn’t even know!

Being an experienced knitter, I know what knitting looks like.  And it’s always been easy enough to tell the difference between knit and crochet.  When I started crocheting, I had trouble learning the “structure” of a crochet stitch, where one ended, where one began, etc.  And as a result, that little bump on the end didn’t look like a stitch.  But last night, it sure did!

I’m really happy that I made this discovery now. Not just for my own edification, but because I’ve joined a Traveling Scarves crochet group, and I’d fell horrible if I contributed a bumpy bit to 13 scarves belonging to other people.

PS – That woman is still nasty.  There are right ways to correct someone, and there are bitchy ways.

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 3, 2008 9:45 am

    Ouch! Instead of just pointing out the mistake, which would have been fine, she had to be a jerk. That’s too bad, but good for you for learning to crochet!

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