Saturday, July 17, 2010

Taking Notes?

Do you take notes when working on a pattern?

Or, do you assume that the pattern should be self explanatory?

It's been my experience that most don't bother because they expect the pattern to be clear enough (most don't read it thru first anyway), or, they just don't know how. They'll write something down, either on a small ass piece of paper (then forget where it is), or, can't read what they wrote.

I would like to teach people why and how to take notes. It really isn't that hard.

If you spend the time and money to create something from scratch, the least you can do for yourself is to take the time to make sure you know what you're going to do and why before you do it. Especially wearables.

Too many times as a teacher, I just find students start a pattern blindly, then, find themselves getting stuck at a certain point, then expect me to figure it out. Many, many times, I've tried to explain to them the benefits of not only taking notes, but to at least read over the pattern first, write out or highlight what they don't understand.

Remember, "The only dumb question is the one you don't ask!"


Spicey2 said...

Yes, I totally agree. Since I am a self taught crocheter I make sure that I read the pattern through first to know what I'm up against and to make sure that it is on the level of my skills. Then I research any unfamiliar stitches or techniques and practices them first.

trapperhoney said...

hi! i am working on xmas crochet gifts and i have no ideas for the men in my family. they all live in the deep south so they don't need sweaters, scarves or caps. do you have any ideas?

Anonymous said...

I really do not take notes, per say, but I do corrections on the pattern itself. These may be simple taglines that make me understand the proper meaning or a total write over of the pattern, if I find an easier or better process (for me).
I always read the pattern completely thru before I even buy it, it may have more detail then I wish ti work with at the time or a variation of a pattern I already own. The best value I have found is usually a book with many patterns and that has at least 4 or 5 that I plan to use.
As far as from a teaching prospect (I have taught leather craft, sewing, and crocheting) the only way to get the point across to a student that refuses to proof-read their pattern (I have found) is to take the pattern away from them and make them attempt to do the project without it or go and buy another pattern.
I cannot tell you how many times I have had a pattern destroyed, mutilated or had a drink spilled on it ... and the list could go on and on, since I have been doing this for over 35 years. The point is, that if you have to spend money and/or extra time and effort on these things, you learn to be more detail oriented and take more time to study and know your pattern and the work required.
(presently I scan all of my new patterns and keep a backup on the computer as well as to print out a copy and keep it in a file in my office)
This is also a way to deter a student from choosing a more ambitious project then they are ready for, which is the reason (I have found) that most people that try to learn a craft and fail at it and ultimately quit, is due to their inability to choose a proper starter project and learn the basics first.

It is much easier to learn your basics on a project such as a scarf or afghan then to jump into a sweater or other tailored type of garment. Even a self taught crafter has to learn the basics and after many trial and errors they usually learn this, if they persevere.

K.B. Valdez
Denver, Co.

'THAT CROCHET GUY!!' said...

Hi KB,

That's why I've decided to just teach Intermediate/Advance crocheters.

Beginners bring too much drama for me! ;-)

Anonymous said...

I have learned the hard way to read the WHOLE pattern first. No way do I want to waste time getting up to row ___ and arrive at a point where I don't know what the heck is going on. LOL