Monday, December 07, 2015

Knitting pattern errata and layout rant

OK, so I have got a bit frustrated with a couple of patterns lately so I thought I would have a rant and get it off my chest.

First:  Errata

Two of the patterns I have bought in the past year, at a cost of about £5 each, have several errors, one of them numerous errors.  I have read the comments on the well-known site where I bought them, and errors have been pointed out to the designers, sometimes years previously, but neither pattern has been corrected and they have been sent out unchanged.  There are no errata lists.  I even found one error not noted elsewhere, and sent a note to the designer.  She replied that most knitters would have seen it as an obvious mistake and not bothered to tell her.  Designers please check your patterns more carefully and do not sell them until mistakes have been rectified.

Second:  Layout and difficult to follow instructions

Both patterns are laid out in a peculiar, none-intuitive way, with a first couple of pages full of vague instructions, such as "you will be doing this, this and this at the same time and don't forget to increase here and decrease there according to your size" and so on.  I know of one designer who handles this in a perfect way, by producing a table, with consecutive row instructions downwards on the left hand side, and different sizes across the top.  Just highlight the right column for your size, and off you go! 
With both patterns, I had to sit down with paper and pencil and rewrite them row by row to be sure I had got it right.  This is what I was paying the designer for!  In fact I could have reverse engineered both patterns myself from the pictures, but I thought I was saving myself the bother.
Also one of these patterns (they were both top down) used the same instructions for the front and back, with no neck shaping.  Hence the front would  not dip, and not fit well, or at least would not fit me.  I can't help feeling that this was laziness.  I rewrote it to shape the neck at the front.  When knitting I also modified the pattern to take lace motifs to the edge of increases and decreases as the original pattern dealt with this by having acres of ss down the raglans and sides.

If you are expecting knitters to pay for your patterns, designers please take the time to write them well and easy to follow even for less experienced knitters, have them test knitted and take notice of what your knitters say!

OK rant over, as you were.

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