Tuesday, May 19, 2009

How do you tell someone their pattern is wrong?

Seriously. I want to know.

I spent a couple of hours last night, wrestling with what should be a very simple lace stitch pattern. I read the pattern. I tried charting the pattern, because I understand patterns better that way. But when I charted it as it was written, it didn't make sense. The yarnovers didn't end up where they were supposed to be, to look like the picture. Well, I thought maybe this pattern just doesn't lend itself well to charting, but in my heart I knew better. I decided to knit it exactly as written, as confusing as that was; and then to try charting it from my knitted piece. My swatch looked exactly how my chart had said it would. So I ripped it out and tried again. And again. Finally, I tossed the pattern aside, and charted it the way it made sense to me. My chart looked right. So I cast on and started knitting it just like I'd charted it. And it turned out right. My pattern works, and the original pattern from the big yarn company doesn't. And my pattern really was simple.

So how do I tell the big yarn company that their pattern is wrong? And will they even pay attention to me, a humble knitter? (or maybe not so humble sometimes) I mean, if I were the big yarn company, I probably wouldn't listen to someone who's been knitting less than a year and a half. I'd wonder who the heck she thinks she is, telling me, the big yarn company, how to do what I've been doing for goodness knows how long.

With that thought in mind, maybe I shouldn't even bother. But then, I think of all the other knitters who might try to use that stitch pattern and be as frustrated as I was. Most people would probably have given up and picked a different stitch pattern. I couldn't give up; the pattern had issued me a challenge, and I had to meet it, because I'm that kind of knitter. And I won. I'm glad I won, because now it means I can use the stitch pattern I wanted to use in a project I'm designing. But I'm also not glad I won, because I'm not an "I told you so" kind of person. I don't like making someone feel bad. Especially people who take the time to come up with stitch patterns and write them down for other people to use.

Any thoughts? Suggestions?

PS: I'm not mentioning the name of the pattern, or the yarn company that published it, because that is not important to my dilemma. I don't want to defame the company. I actually really like their yarns, and many of their patterns.


  1. Pattern errors are pretty common, so most publishers will even have an errata section on their website. You should send them an e-mail... they'll probably appreciate the feedback.

  2. It could be they have a simple typo, so do tell them. I had one person tell me I needed to change my pattern instructions because she thought it made better sense the way SHE would have written it. I took exception to that request, because it's subjective. No one else had every made that comment to me. But if it had been a clear mistake, I would want to know. Why cause frustration for knitters who might not want to knit something of mine again. I say, tell them.


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