Wednesday, May 2, 2007

What frustrates you when you follow a pattern?

I learned to knit from my Grandma when I was just a little girl - about 6 yrs old. I grew up in communist country, in the Czech Republic, and then by far we did not have access to any patterns and pattern books for kids like it is common here. So I learned how to knit the basic stitches and then I was experimenting and trying to figure out how to make certain features of a garment, so I could make sweaters I saw in fashion magazines. At first I was "designing" for my dolls from my Grandma's leftover stash using just my imagination to make things work and I did not need any fancy terms and abbreviations. That approach stayed with me for a long time till about my teenage years when I first started to use magazines to follow patterns. That transition thoug was not easy for me at all because I could not understand the abbreviations they used. Then I came to the US, and I saw the vast offerings of patterns and knitting magazines and I loved the projects presented, but I could not understand it and that discouraged me - first it was written in English and second there were lots of abbreviations. Eventually my determination and perseverance to make that great looking sweater forced me to learn to understand it! Now I write patterns myself and try to learn something new about pattern writing every day.

SO, here is my question: "What frustrates you when you about following a knitting pattern? " When you respond, please identify your level of your knitting skills (beginner to advanced) and what would you change about patterns to make it easier for you to work with them.


Denise said...

Simona - I can relate, as a child (in Ireland in the 1970s and 1980s) I learned to knit from my Mum and the nuns, but never using a pattern. They were only required for 'complicated' items, and, apparently, even an aran sweater did not count as complicated! I knit my first full-size cardigan completely from my imagination, guessing gauge and size as I went, and it worked out fine, wore the cardi for years in college. I didn't learn to read a pattern until I learned to crochet 6 years ago, and it's opened up a whole new world to me.
What I dislike about patterns is excessive abbreviation.

Anonymous said...

Hi Simona-Your work is beautiful. Thank you so much for asking about pattern frustration. I'm a beginner level, maybe even advanced beginner, working on my second sweater. I have many gripes with patterns: excessive abbreviations, they need more explanations, ERRORS! How do I know when it's wrong? When it doesn't add up, too late. I could go on. Best of luck with your designs. Barbara