Update + Shawl envy

27 07 2009

First of all, I’ve updated the “How to Read a Pattern” page in the tutorials section.  It has all the basics in it now, but I really think that I should go pick up one of my pattern books and see if I’ve really covered everything before I take of the “in progress” caveat.

In it, you’ll notice I indicate that stitch diagrams are in the Shorthand page.  They are not, as of right now, and in fact, I’m trying to learn to read them myself.  However, I plan for them to be in the near future.

Now onto the shawls!  I added about 50 shawls (exaggerated) to my favorites yesterday, and last night, I found one in particular that I absolutely adore, called Huivi.

Unfortunately, the pattern is in Finnish.  I’ve managed (with help from the internet) to translate the first row, and a few decreases, but that’s it.

So today, I looked at a few other patterns I had in my favorites.  First of all, almost all of the shawl patterns (that I like) are knit, including Huivi.  I checked out a few that I like, and discovered that the patterns aren’t written out besides the starting few rows… they’re diagrammed.

Recall that I am still learning crochet diagrams.

The nice thing about crochet diagrams is that they are standard (from what I’ve seen), even across US/UK boundaries: US sc and UK dc have the same symbol.  Translating between US and UK crochet patterns is easy enough, as long as you know which one you have to begin with, but it’s nice to have some common ground.

However, in the knitting diagrams… It seemed like each one had a different key.  It doesn’t help that I don’t know what some of the abbreviations are, so I end up scratching my head wondering what that little triangle is.  I can imagine someone trying to draw the single crochet stitch (US) and getting the shape that is on the diagrams… I don’t see how someone could get, oh, say, a triangle, or that cool little loopy square that Macs now have on the command key.  (Completely off topic, I find it hilarious when people get grumpy at me for saying “apple key.”  That’s what it was called back when I used a mac regularly!)

So long story short, I’ve come back around to when I was just restarting to crochet, wondering one thing: Why aren’t there as many really nice shawl/stole/etc. patterns for crochet?  Doesn’t crochet lend itself more to lacy things?  Isn’t that why people go, “eck, doilies?” when they hear us mention crochet?  (Okay, so it’s more like “eck, toilet paper covers?”.  But I have to say, that little doll in her dress and hat in the bathroom was pretty cool.)

It just seems like we’re stuck in this idea that a crocheted shawl must either be granny square, solid, or mesh, and peppered with little flowers to remind people that it’s crochet, not knitting.  As though knitting is bad, and we wear ugly things because we’re better.

I’m told that anything that can be done knitting, can be done in crochet, though the opposite is not true. 

Now excuse me, while I drool over these shawls some more…

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