Sunday, December 10, 2006

Pattern Writing

Writing clear, concise patterns is both an art and a science. The stitches must work together, the instructions unambiguous, and, most importantly, there should be NO MISTAKES.

Errata buried on some obscure web site are worse than useless. Even today, some people lack the skill or interest to frotz around the Internet. If there are errata for a pattern, the author should incorporate them into the printed documents being sold to trusting knitters and use the originals for bird cage liner. (Obviously, I am not talking about books, which present a rather large disposal problem, not to mention a prohibitive cost factor).

But what I really wanted to do was call your attention to two pattern writers who, in my opinion (if anyone cares about my opinion) (Does anyone care about my opinion?) (Is this sentence long enough?) write patterns that cause me to sigh with envy.

The patterns of Dorothy Siemens of Fiddlesticks Knitting, are models of clarity, precision, and all those other adjectives that ideally describe manuals for, say, brain surgery. Plus, the designs themselves are simply inspired. I am currently knitting her Peacock shawl, and although it has all the charm of a ratty headscarf right now, I have faith that at some point, it will resemble the model picture. Of course, if, after blocking, it still resembles a ratty headscarf, you can be assured that I will blog about it.

I recently ordered The Snow Shawl pattern, written by Deborah Peterson. You can order it from The Yarn Barn. The pattern isn't as polished as the ones from Fiddlesticks, what with little hand-scribbled notes, but the prose is delicious and laugh-aloud funny in places. Beginning lace knitters will benefit from reading her asides--they are applicable to any piece of lace.


Anonymous said...

Check out Ilga Leja's patterns.

Anonymous said...

looking for decent written patterns, you should take a look at Tsock Tsarina's sock kits. Amazing detail in her patterns, pictures of stitch how-to's, and amazing designs.

fleegle said...

Wow! Those socks are amazing! Other readers should check these out!

fleegle said...

I looked at Leja's patterns, and they are beautiful. A bit too solid for me, but other readers should take a look. Thanks for the feedback!

Anonymous said...

Not only does Dorothy Seimans write very clear patterns, but she responds instantly if you have a question. Highest kudos.