What Does It All Mean!?!?

This morning I was asked, “What is the difference between ‘2sc’ and ‘sc2’?”.

Writing and/or reading crochet patterns may have a tendency to cause obstacles. (That’s my polite way of saying...they can be irritatingly frustrating, enough so, you find yourself going to your list of fiber related euphemisms).

And it begins….abbreviations!!! Or should I say abbrv.? Or should I say abbr.? If you look up how to abbreviate abbreviation, there are several different ways to do so. And that follows true in crochet as well. There are lists of abbreviations; online in every crochet book/magazine/article and pattern. Some pattern writers even make up their own. Needless to say there are “inaccuracies” from one list of abbreviations to another. Hmmm…”inaccuracies”? Well, shoot...if the world can’t even decide how to abbreviate abbreviation there are expected to be some “creatively diverse” ways to abbreviate in crochet!  An example of this is “tr”. US term that is a “triple crochet” , UK term that would be a “double crochet”. NO, wait….that is a “treble”! It can be all of the above. What I want to know...why is abbreviation such a long word?

Next...the beginning and the end. As to the placement of the number before the abbrv. or after the abbr. (and now that I ended that sentence...do you put a period if you end a sentence with an abbrev.?) Anyhoo…”2 sc” can mean “two single crochet”. The confusion is; “is that 2 single crochets in one stitch?” OR “is that one single crochet in each of the next two stitches?”. The answer is BOTH! (depending on the pattern writer). Though...there is an abbr. for “two single crochets in the same stitch” and that is and increase. The abbr. for increase is inc. (Yes, I am purposefully doing that...making it confusing.) YES, reading crochet patterns can be confusing especially when those “darn pattern writers” don’t all do it the same way!

What do I suggest? Learn your pattern writer's’ style. If you find a pattern that you found easy to read you speak the same language as the writer. Check to see if that designer has more patterns. READ THE NOTES!!! (don’t worry I skip them, too!). Most (not all but most) patterns have notes. They don’t always make sense when you first read them because you are not physically and mentally into the process. But, (I know...you’re not supposed to start a sentence with “but”. But I did). But, if you read the notes first, most likely when you get to a point where you say aloud “What does THAT mean!?!” all of a sudden a lightbulb will go off and the gray matter will make the connections and “Voila!” the little voice inside will say, “Hmmm...I think I might have read something about that in the notes!?”.

Lastly, you may have found an adorably, gorgeous pattern that you just “have to” make because the rainbow of colors that would look perfect for the one you’ll make just won’t leave you alone. And guess what...the designer is NEW to pattern writing! Learn her/his writing style!

You could also use the symbols / diagram / schematics (can’t even agree on one word for that either!) BUT that’s for a WHOLE nother time!

Thanks for reading!

Mammi Cass