Do you read the pattern before you start?

Hands up, who reads a pattern through before they begin? Reading your pattern is a bit like doing a tension square, we all know that we should do it, but more often than not we will skip that part of the knitting / crochet process. Not every time, but quite possibly sometimes this has been something that you have done, or should I say, not done.

Why have I brought this up? Well I did just that…..I started crocheting along on my merry little way completely ignoring some very important information. The pattern in question is a rather lovely waistcoat from Scheepjes book-a-zine The Tropical Issue. Perfectly written I must add, it was just user error on my part.

Scheepjes Yarn - Tropical Issue

Crocheted in Scheepjes Sunkissed, I could not wait to get started on this beauty. I chose to use the colours from the pattern because they are just perfect and were part of the attraction to the project in the first place. I couldn’t wait to start and focused straight on round 1 of the pattern and that was that.

Scheepjes Tropical - Hummingbird Cardigan

The project is made up of a number of square motifs. After fully completing two motifs I decided to tackle them five at a time. Doing five of round 1, then round 2 and so on. I felt like I was very organised and on completion of round 6 I had five fully finished motifs in one go. It was all going well, I then sewed in all of the ends so that I wouldn’t have zillions of ends to sew in before sewing up the squares. With only a few squares to go (I had decided from the start to make a short waistcoat not the full length cardigan) I thought I probably should find out what comes next. So I decided to read the sentence under the instructions for round 6 - “from second motif onwards, start joining the motifs as you go”. Aaarggh!!!! Noooo!! Why did I not read this before? I then realised this info was also clearly stated in the Pattern Notes section at the beginning of the pattern. What am I like?! Too eager and not paying proper attention, I had put in all of this work to realise, all this time I had done an extra round that wasn’t necessary. That was it, goodbye to the crochet, in the bag you go and I will think about you in a few days.

Scheepjes Yarn - Tropical Issue

Working at the Black Sheep means you are surrounded by experts in crochet and knitting. I took my squares and showed Stacey (pro crocheter). A few days before I was ready to do any old hotchpotch job to make those pesky squares become a waistcoat. Maybe not the most rational of thinking when you have put all that work in, I just didn’t want them to end up an unfinished bag of squares forever. Stacey was so helpful and suggested I should take back round 6 on each square (insert sad face / crying emoji). She was super careful and kindly unpicked a couple for me in her lunch break. Unpicking wasn’t what I wanted to hear, but it was unfortunately the answer to getting me back on the right track. I am now in the process of joining the squares together and all is going well. Fingers crossed it won’t be too long before there is a finished garment to share.

Basically I have now learnt to always read the pattern before I start! Always! It really is a good idea to read ahead. I won’t be doing it again in a hurry. I told Black Sheep Tracey about what I had done and she said it has happened to her too with knitting. It was quite funny actually, she compared it to being at school, doing an exam and teachers would say “read the question through properly before you start writing your answer”. I guess they were on to something!