I’m crocheting away like mad, showing an almost alarming level of dedication to that foofy pink bag I’ve decided to design. From scratch. As a first crochet project. For a pattern I’m going to write.

As I work, I also pause to add to the hectic, out-of-sequence scrawls filling several pages of a little notebook that at least half of the time I actually remember to tuck into my knitting bag. Those cryptic little notes will one day become a pattern.

Nerdy design geek that I am, I’m only a third of the way through the actual bag, and I’m already dreaming of the finished PDF. What will I use for accent colors?, I ask myself. How do I want to shoot the picture for it? And when I look actually look at the notebook to find out how on earth I did that one thing on the other piece that looks like that instead of this, I ask What the fuck is going on here?

There are a lot of scribbles and a lot of little circles with long lines rising from them, and there are things written next to the lines that I think are meant to clarify the mess beneath. They don’t do much about the omissions of little last-minute, “Uh … maybe this will work” adjustments and impromptu increases. (Corners, man. Corners are rough.)

There’s also the difficulty level. I was pretty sure that it’s a beginner pattern — straight lines, no increases, almost all back-and-forth rows — and then I got to the strap and thought “Hmm. Afghan stitch. That looks pretty cool.” It does, too, especially with a variegated yarn with short repeats. It’s such a narrow little strip of crochet that I don’t need the special hook for it, but does it still count as a beginner pattern if you have to learn a whole new kind of technique just to do it?

Not having ever made anything from a crochet pattern, I don’t actually know what a beginning pattern is. I haven’t found a beginner-level pattern that doesn’t make my eyes cross with boredom just looking at it, so making one is out of the question. And I must know what the skill level of the pattern is — how else do I design a really, really cute icon for it?

Update: To hell with Afghan stitch! Curled too much and wouldn’t behave. I may have come up with something cuter, though.