Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Stitchin' & Complainin' - Pet Peeve # 2...

Here is #2 on my top 10 list of crochet pet peeves: Unclear Pattern Instructions!!!!

Okay, I might be biting myself in the butt with this pet peeve ... since I create crochet patterns. I do think my instructions are fairly clear, but since I know exactly what I'm going for it seems likely that they are easily understood (by me). However, I'm really not sure how they come across to anyone else.

Okay, if the pattern is free - you get what you pay for. And actually, I have come across a lot of wonderful free patterns on the internet that are very well written and great to follow! There have been a few that I've needed to spend some time really thinking about what it's instructing me to do or think a little creatively to figure out a step. But like I said, it's free, so I don't really mind. Also with free patterns on the internet, you can give it a quick glance over to preview the instructions and see if it's worth it or if you need to keep searching for something different.

However, if I'm going to purchase a pattern (some have been quite expensive), I'm expecting a really well written, easy to understand set of instructions. And since most pattern designers (myself included) don't put a sample of their written instructions in their pattern sales listings, you really don't know what you're getting until you've already purchased it. Now, I have bought some great patterns from Etsy that were a breeze to follow. Loved them and would definitely purchase more from those designers. A few of them I found a little higher in price, but I really don't mind the higher cost if it's a project I really want to make and the pattern is really well-written.

But, mind you, I've bought a few that were a nightmare. And since I've been crocheting for over 32 years, you'd think that there would be very few patterns I couldn't understand ... but I've bought a few!!! One pattern that I purchased for $7.00 (which I consider very expensive for 1 downloadable pattern) I ended up tossing it aside, using only the measurement and the basic stitch and row count as a guideline (and I say guideline vaguely because I even had to adjust those too) and basically created my own pattern. So, if I have to spend so much time figuring things out, making up my own things because the pattern instructions are so vague or hard to understand, I'm really frustrated to have spent $7.00 dollars for a headache, heartache and added frustration - I get those for free in many other areas of my life!!!!

I am usually reluctant to give bad feedback on a purchased pattern, and even if I hit a few stumbles along the way I will often find positive aspects of the project to focus on. I often don't want to give negative feedback to a pattern designer because I really do know the long hours spent planning the pattern, actually crocheting the item for the pattern, writing it out on paper along with then formatting it for the computer and converting to PDF. And it's often not that simple, there usually is much unravelling and retrying and definitely lots of scribbling out what's already written down until what you have looks like a maze of code on paper. Then you better get it put on computer before you lose track of what all the scribbles and arrows meant!!

Like I said above, as a designer one's pattern instructions always make sense to them even if no one else could ever get them. So I would appreciate as many comments as possible (both positive and negative) concerning how understandable my free and for sale written patterns are. So anyone out there who have attempted to make something from one of my patterns, PLEASE let me know, especially anything that just doesn't make sense. It would really help me out, and I'm sure most other designers feel the same!!!!

Check out my other Crochet Pet Peeves:

#10 Standard Hook Sizes!?!
#9 Unraveling That Work...
#8 Not Quite Enough Yarn...
#7 Different Stitch Names in Different Countries!
#6 Not Enough of a Dye Lot!
#5 Dye Lots! Why?
#4: Not Enough Time...
#3: Knotted or Discolored Yarn
#1: Discontinued Yarn

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