Hi Harper

Hi Harper,

It's great to see a new voice. It will be fun to read (and write) about the technique side of knitting and crocheting. Understanding the nuts and bolts of how they work (along with the numbers) makes it a real pleasure to make things that fit reality -- and to try new ideas just to see where they lead.

Your comment about making plain things in crochet is intriguing. As a practical crocheter, I'm always looking to make things that aren't screaming for attention. Crochet, being more basically complex than knitting, automatically makes a richer textured fabric. (Knitting has the advantage in making a simpler fabric.) So the simpler the basic design, the more the focus can be on the understated richness of the fabric. That way, the finished project -- whether it is a garment, a throw, a toy, a purse, or whatever -- can fit into the bigger world more nicely.

Your notes about different increases are so true! If I am confused about what kind of increase to use in a pattern, I look for clues: Even though 'm1' and 'inc1' are both increases, the first usually means 'make one' which is between the stitches (like you say) and the second one is 'knit into the front and back of the next stitch.' Sometimes, with older British patterns, they say something like 'yf (yarn forward)' or 'yrn (yarn round needle)' -- and that means 'yarn over'. They make distinctions depending on whether the next stitch is a knit or a purl! It can be confusing. Also, if the picture shows a lacy fabric, it's probably a yarnover type increase.

With any pattern that calls for increases and decreases, it can be handy to use markers on the needles to keep track of the stitches, too.

I look forward to more of the conversation --
Practical Crocheter