Well, I moved from the #10 thread and #7 hook up to a baby yarn and C hook. It helped a little with working the stitch, but this yarn was really stretchy. Keep that in mind for other projects, Lion Jaime baby. So, I moved all the way up to worsted weight and a G hook. After about 7 rows I had the pattern in my head and hands pretty well, so I went back to the thread. Part of the difficulty I think, is that the pattern is written slightly differernt from what I consider "standard" crochet language. I had to keep reading, looking at the picture and stitching, and reading. Finally, I went to the international symbols. Now, why didn't I go to the symbols earlier, you ask? Because I'm not a visual learner, I'm a word person. I definitely learn better by reading than by pictures. But I went back and forth from the written directions, the picture, the symbols and what was on my hook, and finally got it! I've finished about 14 rows, which is about 2 and a half repeats of the diamonds. Looks fantastic.
I've spent several hours today organizing piles of crochet papers. I had stacks of free patterns from various websites, patterns purchased from eBay, stitches that I wanted to try, swatches to go into my personal swatch portfolio, ideas to be worked into designs. I plan to put everything into page protectors and then into 3 ring binders divided by "subject". But things have been piling up waiting for that kind of time and attention, so I started filing them into manilla folders with penciled labels. When I have more time I will work into getting them further filed. But for now, I can find things when I want them.
In the organizing process, I found that I had printed some patterns off the internet two or three times. Seems to me that those should get some priority next time I'm looking for something to play around with.
I also started a new spread sheet with afghan patterns that I want to do. I put info on where to find the pattern, how many colors and how much yarn is required. When I pull something out of the stash and say "What kind I make with what I've got of this?" I'll have another resource. As much fun as I have looking at afghan patterns, I can't spend my life doing that, I need time to actually crochet, also.