QueerJoe's Knitting Blog
Crochet Patterns - Bulky Crochet Basket Bag 09-09-30 02

Anectodotal Observation – Knitting Patterns vs. Crochet Patterns

Perhaps it’s just me. And I know this might be controversial. But my recent experience with two crochet patterns indicates crochet pattern writers can be so much lazier than knit-pattern writers.

Some Crochet Patterns Really Suck

I know there are shitty knitting patterns too. It is also clearly acknowledged that this is a first-world problem. But recent personal experience seems to indicate to me that there are more shitty crochet patterns out there.

April Showers Shawl is a pretty design. And my recent crochet basket project looked like a fun, easy project.

But both patterns could use a full rewrite.

April showers uses complex stitch repeats and references to sc spaces that could be very confusing. I was fortunate to be on a daily Zoom meet-up with another crocheter who had completed this project. Tommy walked me through the design so that I could eventually memorize what to do. As a less-experienced crocheter, I just assumed it was me who struggled with the pattern writing. But Tommy also had difficulty with it.

As for the scrap yarn crochet basket, I really picked the worst pattern/blog description I could have imagined. Pages and pages of descriptive text before it got to the most bare-bones description of how to make this project. This project is not easy. It is rife with possible problems. Especially if you’re not an experienced crocheter.

Fortunately, there is a very good video tutorial out there if anyone wants to make this project.  It’s too late for me to go back and try to unravel  7 plies of yarn. But if I ever decide to try this out again, it will be much better.

Are you bi-stitchual? What’s your experience with the caliber of patterns in knitting and crochet?

Current Knitting/Crochet

All that being said, I have decided to continue on with the scrap-yarn crochet basket.

Bulky Crochet Basket Bag 09-09-30 01

It’s not going to be as sturdy as I’d imagined (the sides flop down). And it takes a LOT of work for something so bulky. But Perseverance is my middle name.

I also banged out another West Coast Watchcap (if you didn’t notice from my feature photo).

West Coast Watchcap 09-09-20 01

Not my favorite colors, but I really love the interesting mix of Noro colors in one ball of their yarn.

17 comments on “Anectodotal Observation – Knitting Patterns vs. Crochet Patterns

  1. I’ve been crocheting for 52 years and knitting for 17. In that time I’ve run into many more badly written crochet patterns than knit ones. I consider myself to be an expert crocheter, and I’m really good at interpreting patterns, but sometimes I have to look at the picture to figure it out. If you’re not an experienced crocheter, it’s hard to do that.

  2. Joe, I think you are right about crochet patterns being poorly written more often. Your mentioning a sc space reminded me of a nice pattern I’m working on that needed a ch-1 space before and after each motif in order to stay flat. Is there is less tech editing and less test hooking being done?

    I’m glad you stuck with basket. I like those colors strandedd together.

    1. Thanks Tom…the original “pattern” (and I use that word charitably here) for the basket had one of the most odd descriptions of how to hook a flat circle…that part alone took me three attempts. When I realized it was just as simple as six increases per round on every round, I think I screamed, “Why didn’t you just write that!”

      On a positive note, I am starting to trust my crochet skills more now.

  3. I totally agree, Joe. I have been crocheting since age 9 and consider myself an “Advanced” crocheter. I can read charts, conquer difficult motifs, and translate UK crochet terms to US without rewriting the entire pattern. I have unravelled numerous crochet projects due to poorly written patterns. It is not just you and your skillset. Just my 2 cents.

  4. I too have been crocheting for at least 40 years. And you are correct about poorly written patterns.
    I try to stick with patterns written by “professional” crochet designers. By that I mean professionally published! Although that’s no guarantee. It seems anyone thinks they can put a pattern on the Internet and become a “designer.” Also, if they use a “found” pattern and rewrite it with the most simple change, low and behold, they’ve created something totally new and this seems to mean they can write it in any style they choose. There are standards for crochet patterns just as in any other craft.

    More than once I’ve told someone, “read the punctuation!” Every period, comma, parenthesis means something!

    It’s tiresome!

  5. Crochet patterns do cause a lot of muffled swearing in this household, although it may be learned behaviour. My Gran was an amazing, and compulsive knitter (I once saw her go off in an ambulance wearing an oxygen mask and clutching her knitting bag). She always said crochet was the Devil’s invention.
    I would agree with Marcia though, the problem does seem to lie with “amateur” patterns. Perhaps proof reading is called for, it might make sense to the writer but less so to anyone else. That’s not meant as a criticism of anyone, I fiddle around with my own knitting designs, but know my jottings would make no sense to others!

  6. I have seen graphed crochet patterns and they’re so much easier, I don’t know why there aren’t more of these like we see with complex knitting patterns.

  7. I’m fairly new to knitting (2 years) compared to crocheting (6 years) but in my little experience, I have to agree. With crochet I can read written patterns, but I tend to simplify them myself and rewrite them as I go so when I get to the pattern row repeat, I can write it more in concise knitting pattern style, which I didn’t even realize I was doing until I learned to knit lol Like for example some crochet patterns are so wordy, “3 Dc in next stitch,*dc chain 1 skip 1* to last 2 stitches” I will write “3dc, *1dc ch1 sk1* til last 2sts”. I also appreciate crochet diagrams a lot! And pictures, or even videos explaining a particular stitch or part of the pattern that may be unique or difficult to word. Like the Virus pattern, written it looks like a NIGHTMARE. And I’ve seen it written by many talented people, but the stitch pattern itself and where exactly to place stitches for a beginner is very difficult to interpret without any visual. A square virus blanket was my third crochet project ever, and I had to use a video tutorial instead lol That was also around the time I learned to read crochet diagrams which make the written pattern issues a lot easier to deal with.

  8. Don’t knit much so can’t comment on knit patterns but both amateur and professional crochet patterns are terrible any more. I’ve only been crocheting for 60+ years

  9. I can’t speak for knitting patterns but man!! Crochet patterns?! I consider myself very intermediate w crochet and I notice mistakes in more patterns than not! I go into it half expecting to find significant mistakes that I end up having to translate myself. It’s too bad. ESPECIALLY when you pay for them AND the designer will not write you back when you contact them for help! It’s really too bad!

  10. I would like to offer one of my crochet patterns to be used to show that there are crochet designers out there that can write some great patterns. It frustrates me when I try to crochet someone else’s pattern and it doesn’t make sense. I have been crocheting off and on for the past 30 years and started designing patterns on 2015. I think having people test your patterns is very important and I think some designers don’t use testers to find mistakes.

  11. I have been crocheting for 45+ years and knitting for somewhat less than that and am self taught for both (I sent $1.00-four quarters taped to an index card-in to the US magazine Seventeen and received a “how to knit and crochet” brochure back from them). Now, I watch YouTube videos to help with techniques that I don’t understand and can see that the way I taught myself to do certain things aren’t necessarily correct. For this reason, I tend to think that if something isn’t working for me, it’s me, not the pattern. But you’re right. I’ve run across many crochet patterns that I could just not follow and almost no knit patterns. It doesn’t seem to make any difference, though, if they’re “professional” patterns or not. I once tried to crochet a child’s sweater from a magazine and could not make it come out right. I used exactly the yarn called for in the pattern, but there was no way on earth to follow those instructions and get the correct gauge. I even wrote to the designer for help and got an answer to the effect, “there’s nothing wrong with these instructions, if you can’t make it work, it’s because you aren’t doing it correctly.” Pretty sure it wasn’t….

  12. Crocheting patterns are always a source of frustration. So many are poorly written and for whatever reason, a lot of them aren’t tested before being published. I have found even paid patterns have left me angry and I end up rewriting them because you can tell they were written with just enough knowledge to be written but not enough experience to know what they are doing. I always have a pad of paper and a pen when trying out a pattern because I have experienced so many bad patterns.
    With knitting, most of the time I only need sticky notes and a pen so I can make a tick sheet to keep track of what row/round I am on. I have come across very few errors in knitting patterns. It is why I prefer to knit over crochet.

  13. Most crochet patterns are poorly written. I usually start with a pattern but most of the time after a few rows I veer from it and go it on my own. It is really a shame but it is what it is.

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