I have been asked many times why I do not offer my patterns in symbol crochet. Many people find it much easier to follow, and it is commonly used in Japan and other countries. I find these patterns easier to follow myself, and have a collection of old Magic Crochet magazines that I love. So why do I not offer my patterns in symbol form?
There are actually a couple of reasons: time and money. I am not sure if the beautiful patterns I have seen are drawn by hand or on a computer. Some of my magazines are from the 80's so I don't think they could have been done on a computer; I am not sure how they are done now. Anyway, I do not have the skills to draw them by hand, and I do not have the software or knowledge to do them on a computer. Even if I did invest in the software necessary for me to draw them, I know myself well enough to know it would take me several months or more to learn to use it, and then it would probably double the time I must spend editing each pattern. I do not enjoy working on the computer that much, I would rather spend my time designing and crocheting. I could probably hire someone to draw the patterns for me, but that would cut into my already small profit margin on each design.
I spent several years working in the technical editing department of Annie's Attic, and I was trained to write patterns in the style which they used. I have modified that style slightly to make my patterns a little more user friendly, but I still find it the most easy-to-follow method of writing patterns. I am able to edit all my own patterns, and especially since I started using testers, I very seldom have an error in one of my patterns (knock on wood!!!!)
So that is why my patterns are in written form only at this point. Will I ever offer them in symbols? I certainly hope that will become an option in the future. I have thought about having them translated into other languages, but symbols would make them available to the largest number of crocheters around the world. With the advances being made in technology, I am sure that someday soon, someone will come up with an easy, affordable way to convert written patterns to symbols. And when they do, I will be the first in line to have all my patterns converted.