Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced?
Attaching new yarn
Crochet in back or front loops
"Anchoring" overlay stitches
It’s true that designs in overlay crochet look very intricate, and complicated, and very difficult to make. This technique is usually addressed to upper intermediate crafters, or even advanced. I can partially agree with this. Some patterns are quite complicated and need much skills, and lots of attention. But on the other hand, projects in overlay crochet should not necessarily be tricky!
In fact overlay crochet uses all the same crochet stitches as “classical” one. The only difference is how you attach overlaid stitches to your crocheted piece. It’s not the same as surface crochet, as you create the background and the overlaying image at the same time.
I test my patterns in a group on Ravelry. I try to accept new testers in every test, because I want to spread a word about this fantastic technique, and also to know how crafters with different skills can handle it. There is a survey testers need to fill in the end of each test. And one of its questions is: How would you rate the difficulty level?
Many testers say it is intermediate to advanced, but there were also many advanced beginners who could finish their projects with success (again, I don’t say that all the designs in overlay crochet are aimed to advanced beginners!).
I believe, that if you know how to make a sl st (slip stitch), sc (single crochet), dc (double crochet), tr (treble crochet) and their variations (dc3tog, dc4tog, tr2tog and so on), if you know how to make increases and decreases, and if you have your gauge under control – then you should definitely try overlay crochet!
Maybe it is better to choose the patterns with lots of pictures at the beginning, to understand the whole idea and “philosophy” of overlay crochet. But once you are inside, it will be easy to follow only written instructions. And maybe even to design yourself!
I love the term suggested by one of my testers – “an adventurous beginner”. A person who is acquainted with basics of crochet and feels comfortable with it. And who is not afraid of trying and learning new things!