Have you ever come across a pattern that has you pulling your hair out, because you just can't seem to get it right? Maybe you keep loosing your place, looking back and forth from your work to the pattern; maybe you are not sure if you are on the 5th repeat or the 6th. Maybe you have finished the whole thing and realize it is wrong, and you are going to have to rip it all out. Pure Frustration!
I have a couple of little tips for you that might help in some of these situations.
This week, my testers and I have been discussing the best way to write the pattern for the little Scottie dog in my new pattern "Lucy and Jack's Afternoon Stroll." Besides being made with black thread, there are also a lot of different things going on in a very small space, which can sometimes make a pattern a little confusing.
The first tip is something that an editor once told me to try, and I am going to recommend it to everyone working this pattern (or any pattern that requires many different steps.) The tip is simply to have someone read the pattern out loud to you, row by row and stitch by stitch as you are crocheting. Even if they don't crochet, they can read the pattern slowly, pronouncing the abreviation of the name of each stitch. For example they will say "S C in next 3 S T S"; and you will know what they are talking about. Ask them to pause until you nod your head or give them another signal to continue reading.
The second tip is, when working with thread, and you need to mark stitches or ends of rows, use a strand of contrasting color thread as the marker. Use your hook to pull it through the first stitch to be marked; if marking the first st of each round, or even numbered rows (as in the Scottie pattern) do not cut the thread, but continue to pull it through each stitch to be marked. This is much easier than trying to use traditional stitch markers, and the marker strand slips out easily from the piece when it is no longer needed.
I hope these little tips will help you; you know I love anything that makes my crocheting easier!