Read the directions.
Follow the directions.
It seems that just about everything these days come with directions. From shampoo to cell phones, we are fully instructed on how to use the product, and how not to use the product. Instructions come with “some assembly required” products. Oh boy!! Aren’t those fun? Driving directions has to be one of the all time favorites – especially for stand up comedians.
It’s not so much the following directions that is the problem. No, rather, the problem lies in first reading the directions. Then following.
I should know all about the importance of reading and following directions. As a teacher, how many assignments did I hand out – day after day, week after week, month after month for 20 years – and say to the class:
“Before you begin, read the directions carefully!” (Following them was just assumed.)
So, I should know full well, that crocheting comes with it’s own set of instructions. You need to follow the directions, the pattern, in order for the article you’re crocheting to turn out as planned. And it’s not just the directions in general… it’s every specific little detail that needs to be followed.
Several weeks ago I downloaded a free set of directions (a pattern) for crocheting a brimmed hat. Learning to read and understand crochet directions is a feat in itself. But I dutifully followed the pattern for how many stitches in row 1, how many in row 2, and so forth. I was excited. I was using my favorite yarn that was left over from another project. How wonderful to to be able to whip up a hat without any cost. I even read the directions on the yarn wrapper to be sure and use the correct sized hook for that yarn. And I had fun making the hat, per directions.
It seems that I had missed the suggested yarn type and hook size in the directions. Nice, soft yarn has it’s place, but not with a hat that has to hold it’s shape. And hook size determines stitch size, so ‘too big’ stitches makes for a ‘too big’ hat. Rats! I should have followed the directions better.
Things do tend to work better when you follow the directions using the correct type of yarn and hook size. At least the hat fits this time, but it’s not suppose to look like granny’s nightcap. Now I have to work on my stitch counting!