Difficulty Dilemma

Lots of informative comments have been left on my post about categorizing patterns and articles, and one topic has come up that I'd love your further feedback on — difficulty ratings.

As you know (if you notice these things), the patterns in the magazine do not include a formal difficulty rating. This is a conscious choice on my part. I have the hope that without a difficulty rating, crocheters won't shy away from patterns because they've labeled themselves as "novice" or "beginner" and the pattern says "intermediate" or "advanced." (I'm not a fan of labeling. I'm a fan of trying and trying again.) A pattern is a pattern is a pattern, and sometimes we learn a whole lot about our abilities when we look back at something we've made and say, "Man, if I only knew how intense that was going to be, I never would have started. Now I know I can do it!" (Insert after school special music here — but I think you catch my drift.)

This is, in part, due to my own style as a crocheter. I'm a dive-in crocheter — most patterns have made sense to me from the day I picked up my hook, and I like to challenge myself to try things I've never done before. I do understand, however, that many crocheters have a steeper learning curve or want to find easy/hard patterns quickly, without having to read through each individually. So here's my request:

  1. Please comment on my reluctance to label patterns by difficulty.
  2. Anticipating that most of you will disagree with my reluctance to label by difficulty, please let me know:
    1. How many rankings you think there should be (3? 4? 5?)
    2. What skills you think should fall into each category


**Update** Case in point: I just found a blogger whose first crochet project is an awesome amigurumi cat (yes, I am obsessed with amigurumi). She taught herself to crochet from a Japanese book, and she doesn't read Japanese. All I'm saying is I think she should be even more proud of herself because lots of crocheters consider working in the round, changing colour, increasing, decreasing, and seaming not to be first-project skills.

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