Friday, February 17, 2006

I must confess than when I placed my order for the yarn to knit Rogue earlier today, several skeins of laceweight and a copy of a new Sivia Harding lace pattern snuck into my shopping cart. I think she is probably one of my favorite lace designers, I love her geometric lace patterns and they are beautifully written. She is also pretty awesome about pattern support and in fact, emailed me a shiny alternate bind off method to substitute for an icord edge when I ran short of yarn on my Diamond Fantasy scarf (the first) and couldn't get more in that colorway. So I've got 3 skeins of Shadow heathered merino laceweight in Vineyard coming and her Hanging Leaves Stole pattern and I guess maybe I'll work that simultaneously while I'm working on Rogue, just to keep things interesting for when I hit the "miles and miles of stockinette" bits.

Something I've noticed as I read patterns and knit them. The designer really can never be too clear and it isn't insulting to assume that the knitter is a bonehead and tell them specifically what to do when. On row four, sing God Save The Queen. Row six, eat some jam. Row seven, stand on your head but only until 4 stitches from the end at which point, you must bungee jump from something very tall. Etc. Tell me exactly what to do when, you cannot be too clear and I will not be insulted if you assume I am without clue. Sivia's patterns don't assume that anything is obvious, she gets that the knitter is not a mind reader and the garments are a pleasure to knit and wear.

Please. Pattern writers. Assume I have the cognitive powers of a chimp. Trust me on this one, whatever you have in your head, whatever you know about this pattern, it isn't obvious to me. To the rest of the world, maybe, but chimps need love too and you can best express that love by being stupidly clear. When it isn't clear, that's maybe when I want to scream and bare my teeth and make with the (metaphoric) poo flinging. Thank you so much.

5 comments:

rincaro said...

I *loved* knitting Rogue. Well the sleeves were a little forever-ish, but for the body, the cable insets help you to not get bored. Same with the hood.

Brianne said...

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I not only laughed with that commentary, but I shouted a few "amen and pass the jam and bungee cord!!", too.

Lucia said...

Oh, man, do I hear you on the instructions thing! I blame it on EZ, who was a goddess and probably still is, somewhere, but she did get slightly impatient with anyone who didn't instinctively and immediately grasp how to do any knitted thing. I think some people have taken this attitude to heart and construed it as license to put "and then a miracle occurs" steps into their patterns.

Dear designers: just because I don't instantly comprehend your clever strategy for, say, sock heels, does not mean I am a blind follower. Just explain it to me in painfully explicit terms once, and then I'll know.

Z said...

Tell me about those Sock Heels!

Will Pillage For Yarn said...

Lucia, yes! See, I got EZ's Knitting Without Tears. I hear it's the only book you'll ever need. Riiiiight. Okay. Well. It's good. I think I like it? But it isn't a huge light in my darkness. It's more like, a puzzle in my darkness that might shed some light in the future when I figure it out.

I really do need a painfully detailed tutorial in which most of the obvious points are covered and the not so obvious ones too when it's something new. Then? I've got it in my head. I'm cool from there. I'll even innovate. There's no shame to me in being a beginner or novice with a given technique or knitting stitch. I don't want to be spoon fed every step of my knitting way, but for new stuff, yeah, you can never be too clear.