Saturday, 17 November 2012

Pattern Instructions - What is the Norm?

I am disappointed with this pattern.

Although it is nicely set out and the cover picture is good, the instructions are not.  Perhaps I am too used to having instructions with more detail - such as the number of stitches to expect along the way - but I found this pattern very hard to follow.  Some instructions, such as this one...


I found odd.  Why make a stitch by using a yarnover and then knit into the back of it on the next row?  It didn't give a 'pattern' to the increasing.  Why not just make a stitch by simply picking up the loop between the stitches and knitting into the back of it. All done in one hit. Simple.

And most of those odd, asterisked instructions scattered throughout had no meaning, such as the one above saying **switch to #11 circular needle**. It seems the asterisks are merely there in place of a bullet point.

Now I know that instructions - or the laying out of same - vary in every country, but generally there is a 'commonality'. For example, rows may be preceded by a number, or a bullet point. Asterisks are usually there to indicate an instruction to be repeated.

I was totally flummoxed at first by the final instruction of the decreasing section....

...and can only assume it means to K2Tog all round ONLY for the Adult L size...  and what about the next line - 'pull through, finish and add felt flower' - nothing about cutting the yarn and threading a needle first...

Now you may think I am being curmudgeonly about this pattern (goes well with flummoxed don't you think?) but I feel that, if I have paid for a pattern, I should be able to follow it! As it happens I have been knitting for over 60 years (yes, I'm a very old person) and can more or less work out what the pattern should be - but should I have to?  And what about the inexperienced knitter who buys this pattern? Might it just be the very thing that stops them ever attempting to knit again?

Let me know what you think.  I'm going to contact the designer and see if she has anything to say about this.  I already knitted another pattern of hers and wrote to her about the errors in that one and she corrected the pdf and sent me a new copy, but not a word of thanks or apology.  Am I expecting too much?

8 comments:

Clicky Needles said...

I agree, not particularly well written.

Neicee said...

I am very tired of getting patterns and they are wrong. I have contacted a few that are on Ravelry and Etsy about patterns being incorrect. They should be tested completely before being released. One I was contacted a month later about a correction. I agree pattern not well written..I guess its a risk we take..but its too bad we are actually testing these patterns for these people. Sorry for the long comment but this has happened to me many times!

quilterliz said...

G'day Penny. I haven't knitted now or some time, but oh dear, I can remember getting patterns that had me tearing my hair out because of hard to understand instructions. It also happens in some patchwork patterns. I have contacted many a designer to ask for clarification. A bag I made last year for a Christmas present was one of the worst ones I have come across. The picture on the cover and the pattern did not match at all. It was a nightmare. Take care. Liz...xx

Elizabethd said...

I wouldn't know where to start with instructions like that!

Draffin Bears said...

Nothing more frustrating if the pattern is wrong and good idea to contact the designer.
Love the sweet hat with the felt flower.

Happy weekend
hugs
Carolyn

Babajeza said...

I agree with you. If I write about something I had made on my blog, it doesn't have to go into each detail. But if I sell a pattern, it should be easy to follow and cover all details. It's not fair if the pattern can only be used by knitters who can imagine what's meant and unexperienced knitters are lost. I expect that a pattern I buy is proof knitted.

Annie @ knitsofacto said...

I couldn't agree with your more about badly written patterns. I try to make mine detailed and easy to understand and always have at least three people knit them before release. It doesn't look as though this designer did or I'm sure at least some of these issues would have been resolved. Sadly I think this is the downside of sites like Ravelry, quite inexperienced knitters can have a go and you have few clues if that is the case. Knitting into the back of a yarn over on the following row might suggest though that the yarn over has been worked as a yarn round needle on the previous row, in which case knitting into the back of the loop will be necessary to properly orientate it.

Debra in France said...

Well said Penny. I agree with you about badly written patterns, especially as I am still fairly inexperienced (even I did make the sheep carousel tea-cosy). I would get very frustrated if I had bought a pattern and couldn't understand. I would end up putting it all in a bag at the back of a cupboard - what a waste of money. It will be intersting to hear what the seller of the pattern has to say. xxxx