Look at this! Look! At! It!
Yes, I know that it's a granny square and I tend to make a lot of them. But! I made this one following symbols from the Complete Guide to Symbol Crochet.
I've seen a lot of symbol patterns on Pinterest, of all places. Folks will just pin patterns for squares or shawls or insanely intricate doilies and the only instructions available are just some little ovals and crosses and Xs scattered around. It was like trying to read a foreign language, because it kind of is.
When I first learned to crochet, all of the abbreviations confused me. As did the asterisks and the instructions "repeat from *" like I was just going to automatically know that meant! Symbols?! Whoa Nelly, what is this witchcraft?!
It's National Crochet Month and I want to try new things. Plus, sometimes I like to think that one day I'll learn to make a doily. And since a lot of doily instructions include the patterns being set out in symbols....well, it seemed like a good time to try it out. I have to confess that I've read through the Complete Guide to Symbol Crochet a few times to check out stitches. The booklet has a directory of stitches, and that includes instructions on how to work them.
There are a few 'practice' patterns, and I picked the granny square pattern because it's something I'm comfortable with. I had already known that instructions would be printed out alongside the symbols, but what I hadn't realized was that symbols would be set out for each row of the granny square. I was really, really comfortable with that.
I was able to work along just fine. All of the sudden, on the third row, the corners move! I probably would have been confused if I had been reading these instructions, but following along with the symbols actually made it easier to see what I should be doing and where.
Maybe I should try a doily before my luck runs out...