Level Of Difficulty?
How do you rate the level of difficulty of a pattern? Ravelry asks me to assess this each time I add a project, and I’m always stumped.
Level of Difficulty is Relative
Two recent projects have me perplexed when it comes to assessing how difficult they are.
- Close To You Shawl – For me, this design is about as simple as they come. Mostly garter stitch with a few double-yarn over eyelets. The instructions are simple and clear. I do have some difficulty counting 10 rows of knitting to keep with the repeat rhythm. But I can’t ascribe that to the pattern’s level of difficulty. Right?
- April Showers Shawl – My current crochet project has nothing very complex at all. Chains, single-crochets, double-crochets and treble-crochets. And yet, I constantly found myself asking a crocheter friend what parts of the instruction meant. I couldn’t visualize the turns and the set-up rows for each two-row repeat. But is my lack of experience in crochet something that should make me grade the pattern as more difficult?
On solution to the relativism of how difficult a pattern is, is to list the skills needed. You could even have an algorithm that pre-assigned a level of difficulty to a specific skill and then averaged the overall level of difficulty of the pattern.
But even that wouldn’t have let me easily rate how difficult the April Showers Shawl was.
Unless you included new “necessary skills” to your list of rate-able skills.
Mostly, I found the two-row crochet repeat to be very wordy, complex and hard to follow. But was that my inexperience with crochet or was it just a badly written instruction? Talking with my crochet friend, I found it to be more the former.
So, one of the yarn skills that might need to be in the algorithm for assessing difficulty level might be “Ability to follow complex pattern sequences.”
After the initial learning curve of about 30 LONG rows of crochet, I am now flying along on the April Showers Shawl.
Yes, the rows are getting shorter and shorter. But I’ve also FINALLY established a rhythm for this design. I’m still not overly fast at executing five treble-crochets, but it’s getting a little faster.