Monday, 14 April 2008

Doris Chan - love your designs but your instructions drive me nuts !

Everyone loves Doris Chan. There is a Ravelry Group named "I love Doris Chan" so I guess I must be the only person in the world who loves her designs but find her instructions baffling and bewildering. I struggle somewhat with US terms but have learned to disregard 40 odd years of calling a treble a treble only to have to be told it's a double crochet according to the US designers. I have learned to live with that annoying though it may be.
I got my Everday Crochet book and drooled like everyone else over it's contents. They are amazing designs. Simple yet effective or so I thought until I was poised with hook in hand ready to start. I started Tall Latte with my base chain. Then it got confusing flipping pages until I found the instructions for the size I was making. Ah found it - oh bugger it says rows 1-3 are the same as size 33 so back flip pages. Then I look for abbreviations oh they are on page 37 as for Jewel - OK more page flipping. Back to Row 4 - 6 to find they are the same as size 42 then row 7 - same as size 39. I am sure that by now you have got my drift. My poor book is dizzy and keeps falling off the sofa with all its twists and turns. It gets worse the further down the sweater it gets. I understand that you try to cater for many sizes Doris and you do have to repeat yourself a few times but I would far rather have a larger book that takes me from A-Z without all this page and size flipping.
By the time I had reached the joining together of the body underarm and neck (it is worked top down) I had lost the will to crochet (plus it was far too large) and so from then on it was a Jan inspired by Doris design. Sorry Doris but I winged it from then on and guess what my sweater fairly zipped off the hook from them on! I do love her ideas and will use them again but in my own way. From now on I will look at her photos and in the words of Frank Sinatra - I did it my way!
I guess people who learned to crochet the US way will understand her terminology and let's face it there is a dearth of good UK designers and even UK learn to crochet books so the younger crocheters will probably grow up learning the US way. Everything is US these days. Even the spell checker on my pc tells me I spell the words colour and labour wrong. Nope I don't - well not according to the concise English dictionary I don't.
The good side is that the jumper looks great and fits wonderfully well. I will give you that bit Doris. Using shell stitch makes the garment wonderfully stretchy and it flatters the figure ( well not mine as the last photo shows) and feels so comfy when it is on. I like her idea of adding a couple of rows for extra bust room on the front. It makes the sweater stretch less across the bosom as in previous sweaters. Plus I shaped the body in as per her instructions for shaping sleeves to add a waistline as my niece, like me, is a typical hour glass figure type and so many sweaters end up like tents with the correct bust size. I didn't shape back out I relied on hook changes to give room for the hips.
I slept until 10.15am this morning. OK I did wake up at 4am for a wee (Buster as well) break and a dry off as I was having one of my hot wet flushy moments but after a drink I went back to sleep and slept dreamlessly (well no bad ones) until the postman woke us up. Waste of a day as it is now lunchtime and I have only just had breakfast and done nothing except shower. Time for Loose Women now so I guess not much will get done today. Great Carol McGiffin is on a rant about phoning customer services for the Internet. You go Carol. We have all been there phoning number after number at 40p a minute only to get passed around and around to people who barely speak English and and keep advising me to check my connection wires. Already done that dummy ! I did all that before I rang you! I am not that thick. They will never admit anything is their fault.
Ah well tomorrow is another day. Maybe today I will get to the Salford Arms for a Knit Out tonight. For the last 2 weeks things have happened that made it impossible for me to get there.


Zuleika said...

That sweater came out great! What do you mean? I think it's very flattering on you. :-) I've never tried any of her patterns. Maybe one day. :-)

June said...

Your sweater has turned out really well. I have that book and have not had the courage to attempt them yet, as I can see that it will mean lots of page turning and translating into US crochet terms. I admire you for going for it and it has turned out fine. By the way, could you tell me what yarn you used, as I might give it a try. Glad you managed to sleep well last night, the lie-in must have done you good.

LauraY said...

I have spent hours trying to find some definitions for the v-neck sweater by Chan, which you have conquered. Can you help me. There are no instructions for PATT RND 1 or PATT RND 2, which are in the "Body" section. I am working on a size 39. I got past the undefined "PATT ROW 1", but these last two instructions stopped me dead in my tracks. I downloaded the pattern from Canadian Life, so maybe the information is in her book? Well, thanks for your pictures. It's good to see someone has gotten to complete this pattern.

LauraY said...

I was glad to see that you had finished this sweater. I've found many areas confusing, but I'm stumped by the instructions to work "PATT RND 1" and "PATT RND 2" in the Body section. Neither is defined or identified in the pattern I downloaded from Canidian Life. Can you tell me what these instructions mean. I learned to crochet with the American terminology, but that didn't help me here! Thanks from Texas!

enthusiastic crochetoholic said...

If you e mail me at fullbodiedwoman at yahoo dot com then maybe I can talk you through the part that you are stuck with.