Have you ever passed on a pattern because it looked too difficult? “There’s NO WAY I could make that,” you say.
We’ve all been there – lusted over a design we were sure we couldn’t possibly execute. I get it. You certainly don’t want to make the commitment of buying the pattern and all of the supplies just to find out you don’t have the skills to make the project.
But, consider for a moment, that you might be underestimating yourself and your crochet skills. You might be a better crocheter than you think!
Skill levels 101
Let’s talk skill levels for a moment. You may consider yourself a beginner but you might actually be able to complete something that’s labeled “Advanced Beginner”. Even if you’re an advanced crocheter, you probably still find things that make you think twice about making a design.
A designer generally uses the following list to determine the skill level for the pattern:
- Beginner – Projects intended for first-time crocheters using basic stitches. This level can help ANY crocheter build skills and provide practice. These patterns are no-brainers for experienced crocheters.
- Advanced beginner – Patterns for the advanced beginner use basic stitches and repetitive stitches and patterns. There may be color changes, simple shaping and may require some finishing.
- Intermediate – Projects will use a variety of different stitches and techniques. More detailed shaping and finishing will be required.
- Advanced – This is where the rubber meets the road and everything is on the menu – intricate stitch patterns, multi-color techniques, small hooks, detailed finishing, to mention a few. These patterns really are reserved for the most experienced although, depending upon the number of advanced techniques, this would be a good stretch for the experienced crocheter.
What’s a crocheter to do?
How do you decide? Look at why a designer may have classified a pattern with a certain skill level using the guidelines above. How many of the techniques or stitches in the design are you not familiar with? Remember, many designers provide resources to help you master the skills used in the design so it may be possible to easily make the design.
Obviously, it will be up to your judgment to decide whether or not you should try a pattern.
First and foremost, stop underestimating your crochet skill. Be realistic, sure, but don’t pass on a pattern for the wrong reasons.
Push yourself to try new things. Again, you do have to be realistic. However, by trying new things, you get the chance to improve your skills, opening the door for even more complex pattern making down the road.
Prepare yourself for the more involved patterns by practicing your crochet skills and pattern reading skills. Find a pattern design that incorporates just one new skill and go for it.
And, don’t forget, one of your greatest assets is your fellow crocheters. Ask advice, especially in Facebook groups, at your local yarn shop, YouTube. Find a group meeting at your local library or church. Crocheters LOVE to share their knowledge so go tap into that wealth.
Some resources for the curious crocheter…
- Join the Crochet Guild of America. I mean, it has ‘crochet’ in the name! You’ll find resources for all skill levels, a community of like-minded crafters and some amazing classes and tutorials by world-class instructors.
- Vogue Knitting Live is beginning to include more crochet classes in their offerings. I just took one on mosaic crochet and loved it.
- Edie Eckmann offers online classes on a regular basis. Check out her class offerings HERE.
- Copious amounts of tutorials and videos created by experienced crochet designers exist out there. I suggest you start saving your favorite videos on YouTube and create your own personalized library.
- Join a Facebook group (or a few). You’ll find communities of crocheters just waiting to talk to you about anything crochet.
- Join a Crochet-Along (CAL). Everyone who joins will be making the same project. That means, if you have a problem or need help, someone else will also have that same issue and you have instant help coming your way. It’s a great way to try a pattern that might seem beyond your skill set because you’ll have the resources you need to be successful.