Wednesday, 22 July 2015

I have been puzzling* about why crochet is so dispersed. There are at least 2 major systems for describing the basic stitches ( UK and US), at least 3 sizeing systems for hooks ( UK, US, and metric) and seemingly unlimited number of names for more complex patterns.
I will see a "new fancy pattern" to make something "new" and "wow"  when I carefully read the instructions I find it is the same old stitch with a new name. And most of the names don't even relate to the appearance of the pattern.
Don't these people read basic crochet books? Do they think no one has made this stitch before? Are they scamming us, hoping we will think it is "new" when they actually copied it out of an old book?
Maggie Righetti wrote "Crocheting in plain english: the only book any crocheter will ever need". In it she points out that there really are not 500 different stitches, despite what some books imply. There are only so many places to put your hook, so many times you can wrap the yarn, so many directions to go.
I also like the Readers Digest Guide to needlework. It has a brief description of all the basics.
So when the stitch you are trying to sell me is in both of those, no it is not new, even if you have given it a new name!
Here is one example:
In RD there ia a stitch called bushy, and yes it is somewhat bushy, so reasonable name.  I have  a book called Crochet Stitch Bible, in it the same stitch is called Paris stitch, say what? Why Paris for goodness sake?
And on a blog it was called forget-me-not, and no it does not look like a flower.
This rant does not even take into account different stitches being called the same name. It is starting to remind me of why Linneus came up with his scientific nomenclature system!

Knitting seems to have an international naming system. Everyone knows what purl, knit, garter, stocking ( or stockinette) refers to.
Why is crochet so different.
I read today online somewhere that there are just 3 basic knitting stitches ( I am guessing knit, purl and ? I don't knit so I don't know the third one) and there are just 7 basic crochet stitches. I do crochet, quite a bit, and I have no idea which ones they meant!
When I am in charge of the world I will make us all do crochet the same way.  Metric hook sizing , US names for simple stitches, and no new  stitch descriptions unless you can show they are not in other mainline sources.
And if you are writing a pattern you will call the stitch by a recognised name. I am thinking here of something like the IUPAC organic chemistry naming system,which has logical rules based on structure.  ( actually this exact analogy just came to me. I think I may be on to something here. Can we get a committee together to work on this?)

* OK "banging my head on the wall" ,might be a better way to put it.

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