Thursday, April 28, 2011

Venturing into the Written Realm...

My first attempt at a doily was one of Trish Kristoffersen's "99 Little Doilies" (which, as you may know, contains written directions-only patterns).  I chose it because I thought it looked simple-- no fancy stitches involved.  And it probably was simple.  However, I had two things working against me (in addition to the fact that it was my first experience crocheting with thread). 

First:  I was using variegated thread.  While it's beautiful in a ball (and can be stunning in the right project), variegated thread usually seems to act like camouflage on fancy stitchwork, in my limited experience.  It's not the best for a beginner trying to reassure herself that she's "doing it right".

Second:  I turned my work after every round, even though the pattern never said anything about turning.  (Forgive me.  I was a newbie.  I didn't know any better.) 

The results, as you might expect, were less than stellar.  Still, I persevered.  I tried some micro doilies with diagram patterns-- and they worked!

Ever since, I've been hesitant to go back to written doily patterns.  Other types of patterns, ok.  I can deal with it if they're written, but a doily pattern changes with every row.  So confusing!  I've been a little bit intimidated, but one day last month, I finally took the plunge-- on another Patricia Kristoffersen doily, no less!

I chose to make "Peacock Pride" from Absolutely Gorgeous Doilies, in a teal/peacock blue (Aunt Lydia's "Classic River Blue").  So far, so good!  I've actually been surprised by how easy it is to follow the written pattern, and I definitely won't be as scared of written patterns anymore.

One thing, though-- it does take more work to locate your place in a written pattern than in a charted / diagrammed one.  With the diagram, I can find my place at a glance, but with the words, I need to read over a step or two to reassure myself that I'm looking at the right row.  This could be helped with a sticky note to mark my spot.  I've just been too lazy to bother with that.

...Anyway, learning that I can in fact follow a written doily pattern (without imploding under the weight of the stress and confusion) has opened up a whole new world of written patterns.  I'm pretty excited!  I went ahead and found another booklet of PK doilies on eBay-- Doilies with Charm"Bewitching", watch out.  I've got my eye on you...