Many Ways to Write Pattern Instructions

There are many, many ways to write a crochet pattern. When I was first learning, instructions were written with very detailed descriptions. I understand that writing how to do the stitch and pattern was the only way of communicating back then, unless you were in the physical presence of another person. There was so much detail that it was confusing. 25+ years ago, some of the patterns were describing how to do the stitch in the middle of the actual instructions, on how to create a doily. I had to learn the difference between the detailed instructions of how to do the stitch being described and where I was supposed to be doing the stitch. Some days my head was spinning with confusion. Everyone has heard the phrase TMI or To Much Information. That can apply with crochet instructions. There were times I was ready to take the instructions and cut them in to tiny little pieces. We didn't have paper shredders back then like we do now or I probably would have shredded them. That is when I started revising the pattern to work for me. I started out with tunnel vision and thinking that I had to be exact. As I learned later, most yarn crochet patterns are just a guide and being exact is not always important. I didn't have anyone to talk to and discuss my crochet issues. Back then it might take two weeks to get a piece of mail through the USPS. I didn't have a crochet group either. I had to figure it out on my own. I was determined to conquer every pattern I started. As long as my project looked like the picture, if there was a picture, I was satisfied. That taught me to think outside of the box.

When I write a pattern, I write it as though the person knows how to do the basic stitches. Sometimes less is more. With the advances of technology, we have pictures and video on the Internet to show how to achieve the basic to advanced stitches. There are many crochet groups of very helpful people to answer questions if we get stuck or don't understand something. Notice I said people because a lot of men are taking up this FINE ART.

I fully understand when a crocheter get frustrated. Interpreting written instructions is the hardest part.


  1. Teresa,

    What a neat thing to do write about how you got started doing the tutorials and such. I am exactly like, getting frustrated with crochet instructions. But thank God I found you on Youtube!!! I have learned so much since finding your tutorials. Thanks again for the tuts!!!!

  2. You are welcome Harold. My suggestions for new crocheters is to learn the crochet language. That will help when you come across confusing instructions in the future and it will happen. I still come a cross a fair amount of confusing instructions. Of course, how I write mine may be confusing to someone else.

  3. Hello, Theresa,

    I found you first on YOutube and then came to your beautiful blog. I am crocheting since I was 6 years old - My granny showed me how to do a chain stitch and I made a long chain of golden yarn put it around my neck and was showing it off:"Look, I have my own chain!" Then I found a book for crafts in elementary school and learnt the rest myself. It was in early 1970s and the idea was to learn basic stitches and their pictorial representation and make patterns. I was just reading about your experience and I was surprised learning that pattern pictures - schemas we calle them in my country - were not popular in USA earlier. I think this is the only way to go, otherwise it really becomes too confusing. If I had those descriptions you are writing about I would have never done anything, maybe. So I am really impressed by your perseverance :)

    I wanted to tell you that even with my experience i still find something useful and new in your videos. Thank you so much for doing this. I love crochet (not doing much of it lately though) and I like to teach it too (relatives, mostly :)), but whaty ou are doing it is on so much bigger scale. IN short, I am impressed :)

    Wishing you and your family the best


  4. Diana,
    Thank you. You should see some of the antique pattern booklets. There is a picture and written out instructions. My mom recently shared with me that a lot of people from back then didn't know how to read to instructions and that they learned how to do individual stitches from another person.


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