Isn't that what marketing is all about? Me explaining what I have that you want? Sadly, I am not very good at that. I think everyone sees things that I see.
Years ago I was shocked when I was told that not everyone sees what I see in a stitch pattern: The structure, the other smaller patterns it contains, its close relatives, and the underlying type of stitch it is built on. I also noticed that stitch patterns were recorded incomprehensibly (Charts Match Written); that knitting patterns are presented for the convenience of the publisher (Obstacles in Knitting), and yes, that charts don't have to be presented as what the right side looks like (Action Charts). It was clear to me that there were flaws in those systems. Those methodologies all work for a portion of the knitting population, but what about the rest of us?
Written Knitting Patterns
I was told in 1999 that I didn't write good knitting patterns. It was a fair statement. All the elements were understandable to me, but the totality was not. It seemed they had taken most of the pertinent information out of the pattern, then abbreviated what they left in. The patterns were like rubber skeletons -- they look good but don't support the user.
As I embarked on self-publishing knitting patterns, I had two goals:
- Put in all the information I could.
- Write patterns in a way that I too could comprehend and use.
If I look back at the patterns I've written since 2000, when I began to develop my own pattern style, I can see what I have learned, and what the changes I made have done to make my patterns different (besides price!).
- Fewer abbreviations. When we quit printing patterns, this just didn't make sense any more. While I use stitch abbreviations, I don't use abbreviations to shorten words (repeat, beginning, marker, etc.) . The few saved characters do not justify them.
- Draft, *redraft; repeat to Final. Sometimes I do 20 drafts. I know, excessive, but I always find things I could make clearer, or word differently, or that are extraneous. I also read everything on paper to edit it. Even this!
- Grammatical sentences. Much like abbreviations, leaving out articles and directional words doesn't make enough difference to justify leaving them out. I often have to go back and add them in in later drafts because I am so accustomed to not doing it.
- Centimeters and meters. I began adding these in 2016, I think. I still think in inches, and sometimes I forget (habit), but now I always include them. I build my spreadsheets to calculate them so I can just copy them into my layout.
- Written instructions in tables. I like things that line up. I use markers to break rows down into smaller elements (easier to find errors, easier to memorize, easier to count), and I tend to look at both charts and written instructions, so I love having them lined up so the transition is seamless. I think it makes it easier to knit from the written instructions.
- Right and left shaping. Oh, if you knew what my brain does when I have to flip instructions. My need for mental order, plus my directional dyslexia just wreaks havoc! Since I can't do it, I figure others can't and they will appreciate my efforts.
- Descriptions of techniques. I am providing instructions (i.e., a knitting pattern) so I assume you want to know how I did a particular technique so you can replicate it.
- Action charts. When I can't do something, I have to find a way around it. I thought it was me. Now I think it is them.
- Shaping charts. Having not learned to knit from charts, these weren't immediately logical to me. But since I struggle to remember whether I'm to work the beginning or ending of a stitch pattern, and what to do with the remaining stitches (see also, Right and left shaping), this is logical to include.
What's in it for You? Patterns that explain how I do what I do (and I'm pretty darn good at it), how I do it, and how you can do it too. I work from my own patterns when I'm knitting and they are pretty easy to follow along. Skip what you don't need, but when you need me, I'm there!
Beginning now, you can go here on Slack (my favorite communication platform) to ask me questions from my patterns.
What's in it for You? More Sizes. I was called out for only providing five sizes in my patterns. It was fair, and since I am a grading and fit expert, it made sense that I got called on it. I have my reasons for not doing it, but as a result I've been adding sizing to new patterns. You will now find five to 10 sizes in new patterns.
The thing is, it takes tons of time and space to have all those sizes, and I am tired of writing patterns. The solution is Pattern Calculators. I write the pattern as I want to, then I present a Pattern Calculator (Excel worksheet) where you can generate the numbers you need (with guidance on how and where to use them!). For accessories this makes the pattern any size, any gauge. For garments there may be a range of yarn weights the Pattern Calculator will work in.
If you sign up for Adapt a Drop Shoulder Pullover we will be using a written pattern, and a Pattern Calculator to allow you to achieve the garment you want, with help from me over 18 weeks.