I have been given the opportunity to give some crochet tutorials to a handful of interested parties. I’m excited and terrified by it. But Krissy wanted to start a Facebook group with me about coffee, crochet, and true crime and I agreed with some rules about the true crime portion. One of the features is a stitch of a week tutorial. I started baby blanket 3 yesterday and decided to use a stitch I’ve never used. It’s not difficult, not really it’s between beginner and intermediate leaning more towards beginner. It’s called the back cross stitch and it’s basically a modified double crochet. I got five rows on and realized there was a serious problem with it…
I watched 6 or 7 YouTube tutorials before starting on it, I also read a diagram and a blog post about it, because I’m like that. Only one of the tutorials mentioned the stitch itself and said it should be loose. So I was stitching it loosely as indicated. And the more rows I added the screwier it looked. So, I frogged it and ripped out all five rows. Then I went back and watched the videos again.
The problem with the videos is that the crocheters that make them are usually professionals. I crochet fast. I do not crochet at the speed of a professional. I can’t do 100 double crochet stitches in less than a minute. And I watched a couple more videos, still no comments on keeping the stitches tight or loose. And their stitches, well they do them so fast, it’s hard to tell what the tension level is when they are doing the yarn over and flipping to do the back cross part of the stitch.
After a different batch of videos, I went back to work on it keeping my tension tight at all times. The stitches look better and I don’t have the messy mass of weird looking dangles that I had before. But the reality is a lot of people, myself included, get distracted by the speed at which professionals put on stitches. I know, that’s weird… but I need to know is stitch X meant to be a tight or loose stitch. Because I have listened to people all my life tell me to loosen my stitches and it can wreak havoc on a pattern pretty quick. The real problem is the speed of the tutorial. In a forty second video the teacher will put on twenty or twenty-five of these new to me stitches… stitches that I cannot crochet that fast. And I’m busy trying to remember when I yarn over and when I pull through as well as where am I in relation to my other stitches to be able to figure out if the stitch is meant to be a really tight stitch or a rather loose one.
One of my goals with my videos is to go slower. I don’t need to put fifty stitches on in a 2 minute tutorial video, the time I spend doing a stitch is less important than pointing out some of the finer details of the technique used for the stitch itself… like the tension of the stitch. I’ve taught people to crochet, but I’ve never made a video of myself doing a specific stitch. It could be interesting or it could be a disaster – we shall see.