Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Parentheses & Brackets, Repeat? OH MY!

I have gotten 3 messages in the past 2 weeks, containing questions about my patterns - and that's 3 too many in my book!

Firstly, I must say - if you are having an issue with a pattern - whether it is understanding the instruction or needing clarification of what is written or even looking for an answer to a 'personal preference' (what yarn to use, changing hook sizes, etc); please do not post you question(s) in the comment section of various places.  

Why?  What have I got to hide?  Absolutely nothing! 
But it could be a week or more before I see what you have written. eMail is checked (usually) every 30 mins - you will be seen/assisted much quicker and (hopefully) not grow frustrated about your project.


MY CLIENTS, whom I value dearly, can reach me anytime they have an issue!!  My eMail address can be found on the pattern's title page, as well as on this blog, on download eMails (received from Ravlery.com  "For pattern-related issues or questions, please contact the designer at fiberdoodles@gmail.com."  etc, etc. )
I am not one of those "I am too good to answer your beneath-me questions" designers who ignores your eMails. 




Okay... 
asterisks * instructions *  
brackets  [ instructions ]
parentheses  ( instructions )
braces  { instructions }
All of the above...

The Craft Yarn Council has been and continues working to establish 'standards' across the board so that the industry on a whole becomes more uniform, making it easier to prepare consumer-friendly products for YOU - so whether you purchase a pattern from Designer A, Designer B or FiberDoodlesbyK4TT; all the patterns would have a similar appearance in how they are written, letting YOU know exactly what to expect.

Well, with regards to writing a pattern, this may never happen because each designer has their own writing comforts and visual cues to help you the purchaser, make their wares.

One well known designer uses the *asterisks* to indicate "repeating patterns"

her work could look similar to this (this is NOT part of any actual pattern, only a visual example)
Rnd 4: *2 single crochet, 2 single crochet in next stitch*, repeat from *to* 6 times
Rnd 5: *3 single crochet, 2 single crochet in next stitch*, repeat from *to* 6 times 

Another well known designer uses (parentheses) to indicate "repeating patterns"
her work could look similar to this (this is NOT part of any actual pattern, only a visual example)
Rnd 4: (2sc in 1st sc, sc in next 2 sc), around
Rnd 5: (2sc in 1st sc, sc in next 3 sc), around

I use [brackets] to indicate "repeating patterns"
Rnd 4: [sc in ea of nxt 2 sts, Inc in nxt st] 6 times
Rnd 5: [sc in ea of nxt 3 sts, Inc in nxt st] 6 times

So which one is right?
Bueller?  ... Bueller?  

All 3 are correct according to the Yarn Council and all are used commonly and interchangeably.
When writing a pattern out, the designer is trying to find the shortest text to convey the complete instruction - this way, the pattern user, doesn't get lost in huge blocks of written text.

It is my personal preference to use brackets over asterisks - because in all honesty, there were many (MANY) times, in reading the tiny print of materials written in magazines, where I would miss the asterisks and have to rip out rounds or rows.  How frustrating that is .. to have old eyes and a young heart!

Since I am here to talk about MY patterns, let's examine what the directions are telling you to do! *text colors (as seen below) are NOT present in my patterns, but used here in the blog to break a line into sections for easy identification and explanation.


___ Rnd 4: [sc in ea of nxt 2 sts, Inc in nxt st] 6 times  (24 sts)

This is what you might see inside one of my patterns.  But what exactly is it saying?

Here in Red___ Rnd 4:
is the round you are working on.  I like to add the little line before, so that it can be "checked" off once completed (by those who actually print out the pattern)

Highlighted in Gold you see the opening bracket - [  and the closing bracket  ]
this should trigger your repeat alarm - 'the designer is going to ask me to do something more than once.'

Written in Blue you see the written instructions - sc in ea of nxt 2 stsInc in nxt st
this is telling you : single crochet in next stitch of the previous round, single crochet in the next stitch of the previous round, 2 single crochets in the next st of the previous round

Highlighted in Yellow, you see how many times you are being asked to perform the instruction - 6 times    - in this case, 6 (six) repetitions

and finally, in Rust, you see the Final Round Count  (24 sts)
so when you are finished with this round, this is the # of stitches you should have made (which I have clients who would skin me alive, should I leave out *grin*)

So here is what the entire instruction is saying in long form:
single crochet in next stitch of the previous round, single crochet in the next stitch of the previous round, 2 single crochets in the next stitch of the previous round, single crochet in next stitch of the previous round, single crochet in the next stitch of the previous round, 2 single crochets in the next stitch of the previous round, single crochet in next stitch of the previous round, single crochet in the next stitch of the previous round, 2 single crochets in the next stitch of the previous round, single crochet in next stitch of the previous round, single crochet in the next stitch of the previous round, 2 single crochets in the next stitch of the previous round, single crochet in next stitch of the previous round, single crochet in the next stitch of the previous round, 2 single crochets in the next stitch of the previous round, single crochet in next stitch of the previous round, single crochet in the next stitch of the previous round, 2 single crochets in the next stitch of the previous round


Another reason why I prefer [brackets] over the *asterisks* is also because several of my works have multiple 'short cuts' 
for example say for a round, I was interested in only placing the Increases at the ends - say it was a chain start and I wanted to keep things oval/rectangular/etc instead of round:

[(Inc in nxt st, sc in ea of nxt 2 sts) twice, Inc in nxt st, sc in ea of nxt 14 sts] twice (48 sts)

OMG WHAT IS THAT?
There's brackets and parentheses - I am supposed to make 48 stitches out of THAT!?!
K4TT is whacked, she's made a mistake!!
There's only 24 stitches in there!!

Okay, so let's look at it - there is an opening bracket - so obviously, there should be a closing bracket ... so first,  let's see what's inside 
Inside the brackets, there are parentheses ... okay,  so what is in them  (since they are the first instruction listed)..

Opening parentheses - then it says to Increase in the next st, then single crochet in each of the next 2 stitches - then it closes the parentheses.  okay.. so how many times is this supposed to be done???  well, it says "twice"
so that means : 2 single crochet in the next stitch of the previous round, single crochet in the next st of the previous round, single crochet in the next st of the previous round, 2 single crochet in the next stitch of the previous round, single crochet in the next st of the previous round, single crochet in the next st of the previous round
so far you have made 8 stitches towards the final round count...

Okay..NOW what?  then the instruction reads Inc in next st,
So, 2 single crochet in the next stitch of the previous round - now we have a total of 10 stitches towards the final round count...

NOW What?
now continuing reading the instructions, it says to single crochet in each of the next 14 stitches of the previous round.
Okay... well that's only 24 stitches!

ahh... but you are forgetting those [brackets] aren't you?
Look beyond the final instruction of crocheting in the 14 stitches and you will notice the closing bracket and it's power (how many times you need to perform the operation) which is twice or 2 times.
So, you would repeat all the instructions inside the brackets a second time.
24 + 24 = 48

That's easy enough right?

Okay.. so how would you read the following?

[sc in ea of nxt 7 sts, (Inc in nxt st, sc in ea of nxt 2 sts) twice, Inc in nxt st, sc in ea of nxt 7 sts] twice (48 sts)



...........


if you read the above instruction as:
single crochet in next 7 stitches, 2 single crochet in next stitch, single crochet in next 2 stitches,  2 single crochet in next stitch, single crochet in next 2 stitches, 2 single crochet in next stitch, single crochet in next 7 stitchessingle crochet in next 7 stitches  2 single crochet in next stitch,  single crochet in next 2 stitches,  2 single crochet in next stitch, single crochet in next 2 stitches  2 single crochet in next stitch, single crochet in next 7 stitches

or*

single crochet in next 7 stitches,  2 single crochet in next stitch, single crochet in next 2 stitches,  2 single crochet in next stitch, single crochet in next 2 stitches, 2 single crochet in next stitch,   single crochet in next 14 stitches2 single crochet in next stitch, single crochet in next 2 stitches,  2 single crochet in next stitch, single crochet in next 2 stitches, 2 single crochet in next stitch, single crochet in next 7 stitches



Whether it's *asterisks*, (parentheses) or [brackets] - the rule remains the same - so now...
YOU GET IT!

So pick up those hooks and create something magical for someone you love!
*the boldened text in the 2 variations above, denotes the only difference in the 2 instructions 
**Oops - forgot to leave the comments section open - sorry about that!

1 comment:

Christine Galindo said...

I love the way you explain what we are to do. :)

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