Monday, December 18, 2006

I can't do it...

I've been dealing with this freaking pattern book for a week, and I'm trying not to blog about it because it's for the Lady In Red, but she's getting her very special gift on Wednesday and I want to feel good about it before then because right now I'm about to burn the pattern book that it came from for warmth.

Okay, yarning people--correct me if I'm wrong here about a few things, because the sins of this pattern book are mounting which is a real shame because it's got some of the cutest crocheted clothes in it I've eve seen and I want to make some more of them but some of this shit is just PISSING ME OFF!!!

Sin one-- I'm making this sweater, right? And the pattern is adorable--but (and I only know this because I screwed up the construction and had to figure out what I've done wrong...) the sweater construction is REALLY a-typical--I've never seen a saddle-sleeve shoulder construction in a crocheted garment, ever. Because there is a neckband, and the pictures are the very charming, garment-on-baby type, I didn't realize that when you sewed the sleeves on, you left the top 11 stitches of the sleeve open to be a part of the neck. The directions read, and I quote, "Sew the side of the arms to the armholes" which I took to mean 1/2 the stitches to the front and 1/2 to the back--it was already enough of a mindfuck to not sew shoulder seams before I sewed the arms, and I didn't realize how small the neck was until I had completed the front bands and the neck band. It's cute and all, and I actually like the mandarin collar--it's got plenty of room, but, seriously, the book costs $20, and (I have this same beef with every book Debbie Bliss has ever produced) would it kill them to put a couple of diagrams for those us morons who were not born with garment design in our fucking veins? Please?

Sin 2--okay, so this next one is my fault... I made a logical gauge leap, and the damned book didn't open up and catch me. My gauge was spot on for the sweater--I made it 1-3 months (essentially newborn, right?) and it came out perfectly sized. I mean perfect--it matches Arwyn's 1-3 month sweaters spot on. So I didn't check my gauge when I made the booties. (Sorry Lady in Red... but you had to know that booties were coming...) And people? They are big enough to fit Arwyn NOW. And I'm like, whaddafu? How could the same gauge that produces a perfectly sized garment produce gi-freakin-normous bags for feet? I don't get it...just don't freakin' get it.


Sin 3--And this one blows my mind... okay, I'm making a hat, right? I'm not thrilled about the pattern, but I've got plans to make it a billion times cuter, and all I really need are the numbers to make the crown before I start ad-libbing the rise and the brim. Should be no problem... most crochet patterns to make a circle go sort of like the Yarn Harlot's cheater plan to make a pi shawl--increase around, (increase 1 k1) around, (increase 1 k2) around, (increase 1, k3) around, and so on. Well, like I said, I'm looking for this pattern to find my numbers--how far do I have to go to shape the crown, right? Well, it tells me to 'increase in this manner until the crown measures 16" in circumference. And I'm FLOORED. Can you believe that funky bullshit? Is there anyone out there who has had to measure the circumference of a crown before starting the rise? Anyone? WHO WROTE THIS FREAKING PATTERN?

Is it me, people? Anyone? Is it me? Part of the reason I don't put patterns on my blog is because I suck at writing them--it's HARD...I know it, you know it-- putting this very tactile, kinetic experience on paper is counter-intuitive at best. I've taught enough people how to knit to know that making the jump from the 'knitter' to the 'pattern reading knitter' is like jumping off a 20 story building onto what looks to be a very thin poly-filled pillow, but...but these peoples are professionals! Isn't it their job to make sure that little pillow is actually about five stories high and rubber and filled with bouncy-house air? Am I being stupid? I'm stressed and tired and overwhelmed, and sometimes that shorts my judgement, my temper, and my ability to spell stupid-assed words like 'judgment', but am I that bad at reading patterns...I know I'm a dilettante at best in the knitting/crocheting world, but...really is it just me? Is it that I can't do it? Or am I right to expect a little help?

6 comments:

Julie said...

I agree that those patterns should be clearer. If they can't write patterns better, they shouldn't charge for them. (Hence my half-assed, and FREE patterns available.) You've covered a lot of what pisses ME off about commercial patterns.

NeedleTart said...

Yup! That's why it took me three or four weeks of pool laps (I do my best planning there) to figure out how to write a sock pattern from some *very* partial notes. Luckily, I have a friend who needs the whole "Pick up one needle and cast on 15 stitches. Pick up another needle of the same size....." I have to be through just for her.

The Lady in Red said...

Don't apologize. I can't read those patterns to save my life. And no matter what comes off your hook, it's going to be awesome and loved. Don't stress. She'll have balloon feet some day! :)

Roxie said...

The problem is, everyone comprehends things differently. that's why diagrams and pictures are SOOOO helpful!! They are also expensive to produce.(Someone has to draw it clearly and correctly, then someone else has to teach the printer how to draw it, clearly and correctly. Then someone else has to arrange it clearly and correctly in the book or pamphlet . . .) Words are so much easier to print.

And you are sufficiently gifted to make it work in spite of its failings. But I don't like the way Debbie Bliss writes her patterns either.

Starfish said...

I just frogged a booty myself for the exact same reason. Yours wasn't Debbie Bliss, was it? Her stuff always comes out so freaking BIG.

Amy Lane said...

Actually it was Jane Davis--but its good to know Debbie Bliss is always big--that sweater I've been working on might fit Arwyn when I finally get to it!!!!!!