While I absolutely love designing my own pieces, I think there is a lot of value in creating items based on the designs/patterns of others. When I see a lovely design and I get the excitement to make it, it reminds me that's why I feel in love with crochet and crafts in the first place. It's fun to make pretty things whether you designed them or not. I admire a lot of crochet designers and they make such pretty patterns that I know I just have to have them in my [crochet] closet!
It's also a nice break from having to think too hard. When I'm designing, I often redo things a bunch of times to get them to match the vision in my head and it's a lot of extra counting and recounting. This takes away some of the relaxation that comes with crochet. It's nice to work on a pattern that is done/tested so I can get back to why I started crocheting in the first place- to calm my mind and busy my hands!
Last but not least, I learn something new almost every time I do a pattern created by another designer. No matter how long you've been crocheting, you can always learn something new. In this pattern, I learned the "last double crochet". I'd never come across this before but it's a great technique.
If you're interested- here's my attempt at explaining it:
Last double crochet is really a double crochet two together (DC2TOG). It's used in place of a typical row start and end where you chain 2 (skip the first stitch because the chain 2 counts as a double crochet) and then double crochet in the next and all the way across. Then, when you get to the end of the row you would dc in the second chain of the chain 2 from the previous row. While this looks fine- you can sometimes see the difference in the chain 2.
Alternatively, the last double crochet is used in place of double crocheting in the chain 2 at the end of the row. You would still chain 2 at the start of a row but you wouldn't skip that first space, instead- you'll chain 2 and then dc in each stitch across. When you get to the end, you'd "last double crochet" meaning you'll dc2tog for the last stitch and the chain two from the row before. It fills in that gap that can sometimes be left by the chain in the front of the row and at the end.
Last Double Crochet: [Yo, insert hook in last st, yo, pull up a loop, yo, pull through 2 loops] twice, yo pull through all 3 loops on hook.
The Babylon Sweater was designed by Cecilia Esparza and is featured in Crochet! Autumn 2020. You can get a copy here with this pattern and more!
I used Lion Brand's Truboo in Tan and it took 5 skeins to make the medium. If you're looking for something silky soft and lightweight- this yarn is perfection and I highly recommend!