Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Cracking the crochet code

You may remember my first attempt at crochet, when I made a little coat for baby Charlotte. I couldn't quite make sense of the instructions but my fudged effort looked acceptable, if not quite right.

My next project was to be a sweater and scarf for Millie, decorated with crocheted flowers. I worked out how to make the flower centres but then I came up against: work 1dc, 1htr, 1tr, 3dtr, 1tr, 1htr and 1dc into each chain space. I  settled on a corsage, like the one I had made for Charlotte, instead.

It isn't really in my nature to accept defeat, so I spent hours trying to follow the crochet pattern for the flowers.  I had been trying to learn from an American on-line instruction video until I discovered that English crochet terminology is different. So I went back to my muddle-along method and produced these:

I am sure that my htr and dtr stitches leave much to be desired but Millie won't mind. (If anyone can recommend an English instruction video or manual, I would like to try to do things properly.)

Now for my next project. Here is stage 1:

and this is stage 2:

Watch this space for stage 3.


  1. Shoes!!

    Maureen, try www.attic24.typepad.com for some crochet terms and advice. Left hand sidebar.

    I bought myself a book aimed at children to learn the basics, there's only really a couple of stitches, the rest is how many times you diddle the hook in and out.

  2. No law says you must follow the instructions exactly especially if you can produce results as adorable as this little coat/jumper/dress/sweater* and scarf.

    I understand your frustration with finding proper
    crochet instructions. A favorite aunt taught me to knit when I was about five, unfortunately, she was left-handed, so my knitting style is rather spastic. This probably why I prefer crocheting. Anyhow, I found these pretty easy to follow how to videos.

    Your bits and pieces -- some kind of head gear???

    *More nomenclature confusion. On this side of the pond, a coat has buttons. Your creation looks too long for a sweater, so we would probably call it a dress. On your side it might also be a called a jumper, which over here would be a sleeveless dress worn over a blouse or a turtle neck sweater.

    I'm not sure, but I think we both call a scarf, a scarf, but I've been known to be wrong before.

  3. Rattling On
    You are right about the shoes - slippers for Millie, in fact. Thanks for the link, I'll go on over there next.

    That language hurdle again! The garment I made for Charlotte does have a button so I think we would call it a coat, or a jacket or perhaps a cardigan since it is knitted.

    The latest creation is meant to be a long sweater, not quite long enough to be a dress.

    Thanks for the video link. I'm sure it will be helpful on technique although the terminology is different e.g. an English treble crochet is a US double crochet. Here we go again!

  4. I wasn't referring to Charlotte's little coat/jacket, but the picture in the comment. Long sweater = jerkin (worn with tights). We could go on.

  5. The sweater is adorable and your muddle flowers are very cute. Maybe someone needs to come up with universal crochet terms. That would certainly solve a lot of problems and allow everyone to make flowers with ease. :) I say keep muddling. You apparently do it very well.

  6. Oooh - they are lovely! Millie is going to be very pleased with those, especially her first scarf. She loves having things round her neck (worryingly), so she'll adore that!

    I'm looking forward to the slippers, too. She refuses to wear socks unless she has her shoes on, so they will solve the cold toes problem.

  7. I so understand the wish to "not to be defeated by instructions" but must say
    They look lovely!!!! and I don't see that it matters in the slightest how fudged the crochet may or may not be as the end result is Wonderful!

  8. Thamk you all for the kind words - you obviously didn't notice that the flowers all came out different sizes! However, as Millie's Mum says, she will love them.

    I think the slippers will be too big so I'm busy knitting another pair on smaller size needles. Will show them all when finished and get them in the post as soon as I can, MM.

  9. 'She refuses to….' Now where Millie's Mum, have I heard that kind of imperative language before?! Millie will look lovely in this flowered creation, cerise with a pink trim, designed by 'Granny'. Perhaps it could be called a tunic?

  10. I'll let you respond to the comment from Crinny, Millie's Mum!


I love to read your comments and promise that I will reply as soon as I can leave my garden, sewing room or kitchen!