Saturday, March 6th, 2010 12:48 am
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
OMG. I think I just figured out why I was having trouble with crochet. I needed to do a turning chain at the beginning of each row, but I wasn't aware that the concept even existed because it was only mentioned within a list of a glossary of other terms (not instructions), which I'd skipped over.

Meanwhile, my eye had been drawn to the basic stitches section because they contained diagrams. Very nice ones, too \o/

Each diagram explained the stitch I had to make, and even explained how to start a row from the foundation chain. After the diagrams of the stitches was one paragraph explaining how to crochet into the next row, which basically said, "do what you did for the foundation stitch, but push the hook through both sides of the top loop".

I sometimes have trouble with diagrams, so I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to follow these diagrams at all. And that just made it all the more frustrating that my work was shrinking with each additional row. (Maybe I wasn't following the instructions properly? It would not be the first time I'd misinterpreted a diagram!)

So. Turning chains. [personal profile] zarhooie commented letting me know that I'd need to do chains. One google search and several clicks later, I figured out what I was missing.

I also did a couple of things that helped me as a beginner:

* switched to a lighter-colored yarn, so I could better see the stitch definition (I remembered how much more obvious the flaws were in the light sections of my grandpa's scarf, because I could see the stitches better. I guess that was useful at least ;-))

* switched to a smaller hook, as per [personal profile] starshadow_rivaulx's advice which made the hook easier to push through the holes. I thought I needed a bigger hook so I could have a bigger loop, which would make it easier to see the stitch I was working on, but switching to a lighter yarn did the trick much better

* managed to finally figure out how to tell which loops I've already done, and which loops I haven't so I don't end up with doubled or dropped stitches

My first row looks horrible, but I've somewhat figured out what's going on starting from the third row up.

I'm having a difficult time crocheting without looking at my hands. I guess that just comes with practice?

(One thing I'm actively trying not to do: compare knitting to crochet. Much more enjoyable if I treat them as totally separate things -- the only thing they have in common is yarn, and the use of a(t least one) metal stick!)