Five things that annoy me about crochet

This week hasn’t been a great one for me. I’ve not had anything particularly wrong, just been really tired and unmotivated, so I’ve not really picked up the hooks (although I did attempt Croshame’s Spock Ears, but my wool wasn’t thick enough so they turned out too small and I couldn’t be bothered frogging them to add in an extra row of increases. Excellent pattern though, go check it out, great for Star Trek or any elf based cosplay).

So instead, I thought I’d rant at you.

This post is inspired by a conversation on Facebook. I recently took part in Mad Crochet Lab’s Minion Experiment as you’ll have seen a couple of weeks ago and the ladies are still all in touch. I’m in a different time zone from probably all of them being UK based, so I don’t manage to get in on quite as much of the chatter as I’d like, but I did find myself in a long conversation which started with Miss Mad herself asking about point one on my list. A couple of the other things also stemmed from there, and some are purely from my own rant filled brain. And of course, this list doesn’t include stealing designs or the whole selling issue.

Disclaimer: This is a ‘no offense’ post. You may be offended, but be assured it isn’t my intention. Nothing is aimed at any particular people, it’s just general observation. I love the cro-mmunity, so feel free to hit me upside the head and tell me to get over myself if the need arises in you. I possibly need it this week lol. 

1. Owls

An odd start, considering that only this week I have posted my own knitted Oscar the Owl. This annoyance isn’t as specific as just owls in general, more the fact that there are bloody hundreds of patterns for them out there. Some, probably most, are excellent and gorgeous and I think everyone should make one (a particular favourite is A Morning Cup of Jo Creation’s Baby Owl Ornament, which is cute as heck). But if you search ‘owl’ on Ravelry, in JUST crochet, not including knitting, there are 936 results (if you do add in knitting you get a further 873 results – that’s 1809 owl patterns!). You can’t tell me that all those owls are unique and different. I’ll accept that some are, and even the ones that aren’t are well designed, but by gosh I’m sick of owl patterns – just use one that’s already out there because I can guarantee there’s already something pretty much exactly the same. Especially if it’s in hat form. This annoyance is starting to spread to minions too, and I love minions. But there’s only 83 crochet results on Ravelry for them, so they don’t win the title just yet.

This conversation also lead onto what animals we’d like to see. I want a realistic rhino and a realistic panda, and llamas, otters and a variety of birds were suggested too. Most of which are out there so I’m going to have a dig at some point. The blobfish was also suggested. What do you think?

Maybe not…

2. Frogging

One everyone can relate to. I hate frogging. I will go out my way to not frog something, to the point where I’ll finish an ami, look at it and go ‘crud, should’ve take out those three rows in the middle and continued increasing for a bit instead’. Or similar. Sometimes when I share the pattern, I’ll actually tell you this, or if it’s a change only I would notice from the photo then I’ll use what I would’ve done instead of what I did anyway (this is usually only the case when it’s adding in an extra row, or taking something out that won’t make much difference but makes the work smoother either physically or to actually follow the pattern). In extreme cases I will of course frog and restart (the amount of Giant Rubber Duck based frogging was heart breaking!).

Frogging is something that will never go away, but I think we can all admit that it’s annoying!

3. Baby photos

Another from the conversation on Facebook. My point is that if you’re selling me a hat or booties pattern, or one of those strange photo prop things that I don’t really understand because I’m not a mother, then why does the photo you select for Ravelry have to be one of your child, in the nude, with the product obviously secondary to it being a good photo of your baby (or whoever’s baby you have borrowed)? Yes, I know you want to show it in action, and yes it’s a very cute photo, but surely that’s more relevant to heading the blog post or gracing the front of the pattern download, and for the actual preview pic you want to show a nicely centred, cropped down image of what it is you’ve actually made. I can’t SEE the booties tucked away in the corner of the photo, but I sure can see you son’s butt and I’ll bet that when he’s old enough to access the internet, he won’t be please about it either…

The secondary response to this was about why all the babies look the same – curled up, asleep, in that ‘still in the womb’ sort of pose. The lady asking suggested they all look like those creepily realistic dolls. I’ll let you argue that one amongst yourselves!

4. Afghan charts

I’d love to have the patience to make an Afghan. As it is, making granny squares genuinely confuses me, because I’ve never really devoted the time to sitting down and making one (I know – a crime! I started with crocheting ami’s in the round and haven’t branched out much from there, because flat work takes forever and has to really appeal to me before I’ll try it). Some Afghans I’ve seen are awe-inspiringly gorgeous, and I actually like seeing the photos of them. Which is why sellers who only show a chart get to me. Ok, lovely design work, and I can bet it took ages filling in all those squares on MS Paint or wherever, but what does it actually look like when it’s finished? Show me a photo as well as the chart and I’ll be mightily impressed. Just show me the chart and I’ll assume it’s never been tested and I’ll go looking for something else that has.

5. UK vs US

I just don’t understand why there’re two versions! I’m normally one of those annoying English people who resist the whole Americanisation of my language (it’s trousers! Pants are underwear and if you compliment me on them I’ll wonder if you were spying on me when I got dressed!) but I must say, the US terms for crochet make so much more sense. Sc doesn’t exist in the UK terminology, because UK terminology counts the number of loops on the hook whereas US terminology counts the number of stitches made. It’s just more logical to me.

Anyway, thanks for letting me rant at you. Feel free to comment on any of my annoyances, either to agree or shout me down, or even add your own annoyances to the list.

I’m sorry if you’ve just designed an owl…

16 thoughts on “Five things that annoy me about crochet

  1. I have a feeling they are coming soon the long tail stocking hat! I got so sick of seeing them last year heck I even did a test for one. The one was all I need.
    Bob the Blob Fish needs to be made 🙂

    • Oh god yeah. I LIKE those hats, considered making one myself for giggles, but yes there were thousands of them weren’t there?
      A Bob crochet is ludicrously appealing, but I don’t think I could look at the picture for long enough to do it personally! 😀 x

  2. I love your blog posts so very much, you have no idea!
    ~I’m also tired of owls, so much so I have a pendant of an owl I don’t wear because when I do someone always tells me how popular and wonderful owls are, which makes me ditch it for my wee skull.
    ~I’m pretty tired of everyone’s need to show their baby doing it all with them, “this is my baby while I crochet” “this is my baby while I clean this house”…yea, this is me putting in “Children of the Corn!”
    ~ I’ve made a baby blanket, and tried to make one of granny squares sewn together, but I was so annoyed with it, and tired of it, I left it as is and wrapped it round my legs,…somehow in washing it made itself 2 pieces,and I just can’t care any less about it. If I want an afghan I’ll have to buy one.
    ~I learned with US terms, but can work ok from UK terms, though I have to admit I always see the UK terms and just turn them into US terms in my head, but I also rarely follow patterns.
    ~And about the frogging, it’s weird, the need to share. It’s just part of designing, we all do it, or try to figure ways around it…It sucks, and hopefully when you do it, your yarn isn’t ruined.
    LOVE the post, as always.
    NO. MORE. OWLS! I’d like to see those “real looking” animals too, Lots of cutesy things out there, but let’s really stretch our skills and try to make what we see!

    • ‘Yea, this is me putting in “Children of the Corn!”’ is honestly the best quote I’ve EVER had on this blog. I read your comment on my phone in my car while I was waiting for the other half to get out of work, and I was laughing so hard I thought passers by were going to call for an ambulance! 😀

      There’s some lovely owl stuff out there that I’m thoroughly put off by – I found a gorgeous owl t-shirt a while back but it was even printed to imitate crochet style stitching if I remember correctly so I didn’t bother. One of my mates is a huge owl fan so I’ll probably have some owl related crochet to do for Christmas, but I won’t be bothering designing anything new!

      Re frogging – it’s an annoyance that will never go isn’t it? I learnt recently to not pull it out when I was annoyed in order to save my yarn from knotting irretrievably. Best technique I’ve ever mastered lol.

      Right, I’m off to attempt a Panda! x

      • YAY for the panda! Now I’ve got it in my head that we need to create a crochet zoo of real looking animals!
        Re-frogging sucks! I do have to walk away before frogging some yarn, I have much more patience 10 minutes later when I’ve breathed for a minute, hung out with the dogs, have a good song in my head, THEN I have the patience to gently work yarn through and possibly get out a blunt needle to help it along. Unless it’s fun-fur, or eyelash or like that…then I cut it out!

  3. Well then, I’m off to crochet a blobfish. A cute version.

    I agree with all five! Especially the naked baby photos. (What was my kindle thinking, changing it to BAKED BABY. Lol.)

  4. OMG! I was thinking exactly the same thing! (about owls that is…) well as for the rest, now that you mentioned it, it does annoy me as well (actually sometimes what annoys me is actually crocheting something so immensely huge you start getting bored (because the end is not in sight). And I have never made a granny square too! (hah! and I was reading somewhere that said granny squares were the first things people learn to make) As for Us & UK terms… I am too much of a newbie to even differentiate between the two… hahaha! I pretty sure everyone hates frogging! (once I actually changed the whole pattern I was following because I overshot the pattern by 2 rows. and it was pull out 2 rows of single chains or continue. So I continued.)

    • Oh god yes I get the ‘it’s huge. I’m bored now’ annoyance too. I’m terrible for getting annoyed with a pattern and having to leave it for weeks before I get back to it. I’m ok if it’s my pattern, I’ll slog through but I can be horrible about making other people’s stuff, usually because I love it so much I want it to be done already!

      The UK/US thing becomes a lot clearer as you get more used to them. Generall, if it has single crochets it must be American, if it calls for mainly double crochets, then you probably want to check otherwise you could end up with a saggy finished piece depending on which terminology you’re used to.

      I like to think of the times I over shoot and carry on anyway as bursts of creativity rather than the laziness it clearly is lol 😉 x

      • Haha but being lazy doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t burst of creativity ^_^ burst of creativity only appears when I am trying to make things for my convenience (in other words, trying to find a faster method and being lazy in a sense) haha maybe we just have different way of looking at the same thing ^_^

  5. Owls are adorable, but you’re absolutely correct in saying that there are TOO MANY OF THEM that look so similar!!!!! For whatever reason, owls became the fad and there just couldn’t be enough crochet patterns. I, too, became a little sick of it. My current rant has nothing to do with crochet–it’s too much chalkboard paint!–but I’ll digress because this post is about crochet 🙂 Love this post!

    • Yup, definitely adorable creatures – I’ve nothing against owls per say, but I’m ready for the next fad to come along now lol.

      I must admit I do like chalkboard paint, but it doesn’t come up regularly in my online perusal. Is it similar to the owl fad just for home improvements? Oh god, there isn’t owl based chalk board paint out there is there? That’d be overkill… x

      • I’ve been noticing that foxes seem to be popping up a little bit…so be aware 😉

        My beef is not with chalkboard paint in general–chalkboards take me back to gradeschool days :)– but it’s everywhere on Pinterest and there’s DIY to put it on everthing. Maybe just a pet peeve of mine? You’ll have to search Pinterest and decide for yourself.

        Also, frogging wouldn’t be so bad for me if my husband didn’t come over with a sympathetic face and ask, “why are you undoing all your hard work?” LOL

  6. Gotta be honest re: owls… I have recently started selling on my makes (mainly due to my flat being taken over by crochet critters) and I am so careful that I either sell my ‘made up as I go’ things or if I do use a pattern I ALWAYS check copyrights! I actually had someone saying that I had stolen someone’s pattern for an owl… WHAT?!?! I actually checked the one she said I had stolen and it was similar but not the same… I then found several patterns exactly the same as the one I had ‘stolen’ and sent them to her… Needless to say that stopped the argument! (Sorry rant over lol)
    I find the best way to make frogging fun is by letting my 1 year old do it for me lol 😀

    p.s. Even though I am a Mum I still find those baby pics quite creepy :/ lol xx

    • I knew there was a reason people had kids – frogging 😉 lol

      It’s a right minefield the whole owl conundrum. Basically everyone will do a tube one end sewn flat or they’ll add horns to a ball. They’re pretty much the only ways to make an owl, unless you’re going for realism or complete outside of the box uniqueness. There’s nothing wrong with selling something made from someone else’s pattern either, which muddies the waters further. Roll on a new trend lol x

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