Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Crochet Symbols

I was a fairly experienced crocheter by the time I saw crochet symbols for the first time. But even though I could read a pattern and interpret it successfully (usually), I was struck with admiration and appreciation at how much easier it was having them.

The book Laceworks by Yoko Suzuki is full of beautiful crocheted lace doilies. The instructions for each doily is written in standard crochet pattern style but also illustrated with crochet symbols.

What really struck me as remarkable was this:
1. Finding my place in the instructions and seeing what to do next was so much easier with the illustration than with the written instructions.
2. The illustration clarified areas that were complex to explain in the written instructions.

I've included crochet symbol illustrations in my Rustling Fringe Scarf pattern for reason number 2. Realizing that my written instructions could get frustrating for someone no matter how I tried to make them straight forward and clear, I decided (with unprompted confirmation from my technical editor) to add the symbol illustrations.

Have you had experience using a pattern with crochet symbols? Did you find it helpful? Should every pattern include them or only the more complex ones?

Share your thoughts.

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