Thursday, 13 March 2014

Typing Out Patterns

I've been making up my own patterns for years now, usually they're drawn out with notes and measurements everywhere, and most of the time the finished pieces come out as I intended.  The first time I put together a pattern for sale, my Sanquhar Christmas Ornaments, I was surprised at how much work it took to put it together for sale.  When I'm just making something myself it's fine if the instructions are garbled notes with math everywhere and charts that I drew on the back of my grocery list, but if someone is actually going to pay for a pattern it should be clear and well written.

There was one time I bought a pattern on Ravelry which I was really excited about.  It was absolutely beautiful, I went out and bought yarn that was stunning and sat down to knit it only to discover there were multiple errors throughout the pattern, the instructions weren't clear, and there was missing information.  I realize there are some patterns where an exact gauge isn't necessary, but if you have a pattern that requires a 200 stitch cast on it would be helpful to know what I'm aiming for so my end result resembles the shawl it's supposed to be instead of ending up as a very lacy bedspread.  It drove me absolutely bananas that it was so poorly put together and I never want someone to feel that way about one of my patterns.

At the moment I have a tea-cozy sketched out.  It's really pretty and has some great texture, and I'm at the stage where I'm typing up the line-by-line directions because "and work the middle part between the cables in seed stitch" isn't adequate for a pattern for sale.  I know there are a ton of people who wouldn't have any issue following that instruction, but I think unless the pattern has a disclaimer that the instructions require the knitter to be comfortable interpreting those kind of directions while working around increases or other shaping details it's just not fair to sell it that way.

It is tedious to type them all out though, I'm definitely tempted to just start the knitting.  But if I do that the instructions will never get typed (or not well).  

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