>Can this be right?

>Today I am fielding questions from a crocheter on Ravelry who is having third and fourth thoughts about making one of my garment designs, sweating bullets over the process, ripping and re-doing multiple times. From her message I see that she clearly understands the pattern. She just can’t believe that this can be right.

I totally get that many of my patterns are complicated beyond belief. They could have been worse, much worse. Writing down every maneuver it takes to shape a seamless yoke with increases in pattern stitch for six sizes and for four or five variations requires more words than any publisher will allow. So we adopt certain conventions that assume some shared knowledge. And occasionally we ask you to wade through reams of text and flip back and forth between pages. If you are a visual learner, this quickly turns into your worst nightmare. How do you know if you’re getting it right?

You know what? Sometimes you can’t tell. Here’s the thing. Often, seamless garment construction means that your work may start out like a train wreck and go downhill from there. Hey, even the beginning rows of my own personal projects are a confusing pile of loose ends, marker yarns and weird increase corners. It goes with the territory. All I can say is eventually, if you take it stitch by stitch and trust your hands, it will all make sense and start to look right. I wish I could come over your house and show you how to relax and just do it without overthinking. Maybe if you could see what the piece looks like right off my own hook you’d feel better about that mess in your hands. So here goes.
Take the cardigan (Chapter 4) from Everyday Crochet. This construction is the jumping off point for the four designs Cinnabar, Soft Serve, Mocha Roca and Mei-Mei. For the smallest size (35), this is what I get.
ROW 1:
ROW 2:


ROW 3: Hope this helps.

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13 thoughts on “>Can this be right?

  1. >Tee hee, I helped a friend through one of your patterns once. At one point I just looked at her and said, “Stop overthinking. You’re trying to think ahead. Doris already did all the thinking for you. Just do what she says and if it looks like crap at the end, well, then I’ll come hold your hand for the frogging and I’ll restitch it for you!” She called me the next day and said, “You were right, I should learn to trust Doris.” 🙂

  2. >I am so with you on this. I waded blindly into Jewel last fall when the book first came out and I had never done a real garment before (a couple of baby sweaters but hey, babies can’t complain!). Once I learned to count count count and follow Exactly What Doris Says To Do (post-it notes on the patterns helped! repeated new clean printouts of the pattern, with notes helped!), I got there! For the way my brain works, I could not see where we were going and I did it wrong multiple times but what a WHOOOSH! when I finally got what was going on with the pattern! I’m wearing Everyday Crochet Sweater No. 5 at the moment! Thank you Doris!

  3. >Maybe I’m the odd person out, but your patterns never seem complicated to me. Or maybe I have unconsciously applied my approach to cyber-punk fiction to your patterns as well: trust the author, they will get you where you need to go. I’m also of the generation that grew up with choose-your-own-adventure books, so flipping back and forth might still have some novelty to it.

  4. >I sing “just keep going, going, going” like from finding nemo. I find that normally I am over thinking and making problems where there are none. SO if if sing my little song, and finish the next couple of rows without a hitch it seems to work out fine. So Just keep going going going.

  5. >I am stuck on the Mei-mei jacket. can anyone help?I got on fine until row 5 (size 40) and it looks like it should in the pic. However,I can’t make sense of Row 6-11: YOKE 4, PATT ROW 2, YOKE 1-2, PATT ROW 1-2-24 pattern repeats.Does this mean for Row 6 you repeat row 4, and for rows 8-9 you repeat rows 1 and 2?. Surely this doesn’t make sense as in row 4 you add on a new strip at each end – which together with the increases for rows yoke 1 to 2 will mean you have too many patterns.Also if row 6 is the same as row 4 what happens in the middle of the corners?I think I must have done something wrong. Or is the pattern wrong in the free online version that I found?Rosemary

  6. >Hey Rosemary, The instructions YOKE 4,PATT ROW 1, PATT ROW 2 refer to the stitch pattern explanations that are printed at the beginning of the chapter, set apart in a shaded box on page 67.Row 6: work YOKE 4.Row 7: work PATT ROW 2Row 8: work YOKE 1Row 9: work YOKE 2Row 10: work PATT ROW 1Row 11: work PATT ROW 2Hope this helps.

  7. >Hey Rosemary, I have no idea where you got a free pattern for this design. It is possible those who published it did not understand the structure of the book and all of the linked patterns in each chapter. I know you don’t want to hear this, but for the best results you really should read the book.

  8. >Dear Doris,Thank-you very much. I see I will have to buy the book, which looks very good. The only trouble is that I live in the UK, so it might be a bit difficult to getRosemary

  9. >Dear Doris, I love your designs. I’m trying to figure out a way to adapt the top down for my 5 year old daughter. However, I am having trouble with size 39 of Tall Latte. I’m fine up to row 16, which is like row 7. If I go to the next row, where the v neck is connected, there is no increase from the previous row, and the stitch doesn’t match the directions. I would appreciate it if you could give it a look over and email me at benee16@gmail.com.

  10. >Have you ever written a complicated formula in Excel? The program adds color to the parenthesis which sometimes makes it possible to keep your place, find mistakes, etc., I am trying one of your sweaters for the first time. I have, so far, ripped it out and started over 5 times. I finally thought to look on the web to see what shape I was supposed to be making. That has allowed me to progress to row 10. I will admit that I am the kind of person who cannot stand driving directions like 'Go left at the Dairy Queen and then when you pass 3 pine trees make a soft right….' I can look at a map and understand where I'm going, but a bunch of turns just don't work for me. I think this may be what makes your patterns hard for some people. I knew, KNEW it would be easy and quick once I figured out what I was doing, but that has been a real challenge. A visit to the local yarn store didn't help — the pros there couldn't figure it out either. Since so many of the patterns build on each other, it would be great to have a little diagram at key points with numbers of pattern repeats. Then again, I hate reading directions — I like the IKEA type with pictures and no words!

  11. >Treat your project like a "Mystery CAL" and you will have no problems. Of course, the sticky arrows and markers help a lot too A good lesson in "leap of faith" crochet!

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