Sunday, February 07, 2010


I've been spending a lot of time knitting lately.  I blame it on a lot of things.. I like knitting. We got a big television a month or so ago, and I can knit and watch movies, I like the complicated patterns with knitting.  There is something about using two pointy metal sticks and looping wool string into an intricate patterns that just fascinates me.  That being said, I have knitted since I was young.  A cousin's wife taught me.  She was probably in her early to mid twenties, I was  about 11 or 12.  She taught me the basics of knit and purl, and I taught myself everything else from reading.  Yeah, back then, they had people that could write instructions so that I could understand them.  I made several cabled Aran sweaters, just by reading the directions on how to do the stitches in an old reader's digest craft book.   The same thing is true with quilting.  While my grandmother taught me the basics, it was books and my own brain that figured out everything else.  I have had some decent teachers in my later years, that have given me ideas to embellish with my own, but for the most part everything I have ever learned to do, I have learned from books.

Which brings me to my point.  Who in the heck is designing knitting patterns these days?  Within the past several days, I have started a shawl two times and ended up tearing it back and putting the yarn in my stash.  I am now on the lacey edge of what I thought would be an easy design, and get to the part in the pattern where I don't know where the heck the designer is going.  It is like their brain just went off the track when writing the pattern. With both of these patterns, it is like I need to have the ability to read the designers mind to know what I am supposed to do.   If I knew how to design, I would be painstaking in writing concise, clear directions with photos, so the person knitting my project wouldn't get almost through the whole pattern and then screw it up. I wish they would write the patterns so that anyone that knew how to knit and purl could pick up their pattern and figure out how to make it. 
It all has to do with the point of this triangular shawl, and how the lace border should grow at that area. The designer explains what to do in this area for the first row, but doesn't even address what to do in the ever expanding stitch count in the following rows.  I am going to figure it out, but it would be really nice if I didn't have to.

Don't even get me started on Quilt pattern designers that don't proofread their patterns or have a test quilter make the pattern before they inflict it on the public.  I've spent big bucks for patterns designed by famous quiltmakers that turned out to be poorly written. I've pre- cut fabric to their specifications only to realize the pattern is wrong.   Luckily I have enough quilting skills to fix the problems.  After being stung a few times, I have learned to get out my calculator and proofread first.  But then again, I shouldn't have to.  I mostly don't buy quilting patterns any more. 

Sorry for the rant, but it just happened one too many times this weekend.  I'm sure I'm not the only one it has happened to.

Having a nice weekend.  Got absolutely nothing accomplished.  Sunday evening, just now starting laundry just like EVERY weekend.  I always say I'm going to change.. but I don't.  And I am calm and happy anyway.


Rian said...

I never *got* knitting. Just like a lot of people don't *get* golf addiction, I guess. I envy people who can knit. I would knit a set of head covers for my golf clubs.

Ben Mandish said...

"got absolutely nothing accomplished"