Friday, November 23, 2012

GOOD PATTERN DIRECTIONS

Have you ever read instructions for knitting or crocheting a garment piece and discover that  not all the necessasry information is there?  That can be really annoying.

Here is what I think should be included:

--needle or hook size
--number of skeins (if  one is a partial skein, it should state that)
--put up of skein which is the number of yards per grams or ounces (see note at bottom)
--category of yarn (such as DK or fingering, etc)
--gauge (and if stitch patterns are included then there should be a gauge for those also)
--every few rows or rounds a stitch count should be included
--if the first row is a Right Side row or a Wrong Side
--clear photo of the finished product
--close up of any details
--sizing should be in finished dimensions, not S-M-L as that has so many meanings
--how the garment was designed to fit such as very loose, two inches negative ease, etc


Note: several years ago the U.S. went from 4 oz skeins to 3 1/2 oz. skeins.  This made it a little involved in figuring how many ounces were needed.  It's a lot easier to multiply 4 oz by 6 than 3 1/2 oz by 6.

Did they do it to charge more money per skein but give less yarn?  Maybe.  I think it was to be in alignment with put up amounts in other countries.  The yarn industry uses yardage (or meters) to 100 grams.  One hundred grams is 3 1/2 ounces.

I'd also like to see amateur designers proofread their patterns better and make certain their directions are clear and complete.

Can you think of anything I left out in my list of what should be included in good pattern directions?

Sewing patterns are a little different.  They assume that you know a certain amount of sewing knowledge and will look up what you don't know.  After all, sewing in a sleeve is pretty much sewing in a sleeve.

With crochet or knit patterns, even though a sweater, for example, and we know the shape, it is also the pattern stitch which makes the garment.  We are making the garment as well creating the fabric as we go along.  In sewing the fabric is already developed and we just need to cut out the pieces and sew them together.

Good, thorough, clear directions for knitting or crocheting is very important, but I am glad that they are as complete as they are.  This wasn't always the case.  Look at very old directions and you will see that a certain amount of knowledge is expected, and usually there is a very short list of information.  To see an example, check this blog post of mine:  Crochetin in 1917