Pet Peeve

I have a little knitting pet peeve. And I don’t think I am alone. I can’t stand badly written patterns.

Now, you may say that I am being unreasonable or hard to please when I tell you that I hate patterns that use too many words just as much as I hate patterns that don’t use enough words. Knitwear Designer, pay attention here. When writing a pattern…

Please don’t write out directions for every single row for 40 rows, when the simple phrase “repeat last five rows 8 more times” will do. Also, please don’t use confusing phrases like “each end of 5th foll 6th rows”. HUH? Are you really unable to write that more clearly?

Please give me more instruction than just “join squares together”. Am I to sew them together? Using what method? How did you get the one in the picture to look seamless? I appreciate the freedom to use my favorite method, but what if I don’t have a favorite method and need a little help? Make a suggestion, at least!

Pictures, People. I also hate the beautiful, artsy pattern books that have awesome photos of children romping through a green forest and women laying in fields of flowers – but no good photos of the actual knitted garments. If you want me to knit one of your exquisite and complicated sweaters, it would be nice if you could show me what, exactly, the pattern is going to lead me to create.

Is this too much to ask? I think not. Take Hannah Fettig over at She has it down pat. I am knitting her genius Wispy Cardi (more on that in a moment) and I cannot say enough good things about her pattern writing. She gives the perfect amount of information in the clearest terms. She somehow makes me feel really smart, as if I could have figured it out on my own, while at the same time giving every detail needed to complete the project. Her patterns are short, sweet and complete, and always have plenty of pictures. They are well worth every penny. (Your welcome, Mrs. Fettig. I take paypal.)

Now, about my cardi. I mentioned the word genius earlier, and I meant it. But, I am sloshing through the mundane at the moment. I know that the interesting part is coming, and I can’t wait to get there. But this first part is killing me with all the lace weight stockinette stitch! What really keeps me going, beside the promise of interesting knitting to come, is the yarn. Oh, baby! It is gorgeous. The color, the texture, the smell. I love this yarn. I am starting to wonder if this is a color that a thirty-something-mother-of-five like me can get away with wearing, but we will deal with that later. For now, I will continue to knit on what Abby said “looks like a long, plain scarf”. You know, I think she is right…

My Wispy Cardi in Malabrigo Lace Amoroso (It’s a work in progress…)

7 thoughts on “Pet Peeve

  1. I couldn’t agree more– especially about the photo thing. I often think, Hey, THIS looks promising, but what does the front of the thing look like? I’m surprised when I’m shown photo after photo of the back but not a single decent picture of what the front will look like.

    I can’t wait to see this on you. I was drooling after this cardigan just last week, wondering how it would look on my frame. I have broad shoulders and am rather, ahem, busty. Most of the women who have knit this are rail thin, by what I’ve seen on Ravelry. It’ll be great to see how this looks on another mom.

  2. Ugh! Oh how I loathe poorly written patterns! Those who provided good, clear, simple patters are to be thanked. Those who provide less than that ought to be, well, something not pleasant!

    Looking forward to seeing the finished Whispy!

  3. ““each end of 5th foll 6th rows”. HUH? Are you really unable to write that more clearly?”

    that is MY biggest pet peeve when it comes to badly-written patterns…

  4. I’m with ya sista! Poorly written patterns that you’ve paid money for besides!!Designers who have no skills for writing the pattern should be…. well as BWYA said something not pleasant!

    {crowd chants} We want more Wispy Cardi photos!!

  5. Oh, I am so with you on the unclear-pattern-writing! I particularly hate ones where the only way I can get it right is to write out a list of row numbers and work out what I am meant to be doing on each one…or perhaps that’s just me!

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