Wednesday 4 January 2017

Knitting tips: When you get stumped with a pattern instruction

Somehow I've ended up with the wrong stitch count at the shoulders on the front and I'm stuck.
We've all been there before and no matter how experienced a knitter we are we all experience the same rise of panic and frustration when we find a point in our project where we cannot proceed any further. 

You may have just realised that the pattern instructions and your actual knitting doesn't match up. You believe that you have followed EVERYTHING to the tee and you just don't know why this has happened. Or you had been happily chugging along with your knitting until you've reached a point in the pattern that is confusing or unfamiliar to you.

If you're like me, this usually happens late in the evening and I end up obsessing over it trying to work it out to fix the problem before I am able to go to bed. Which in reality probably doesn't help the situation at all and really a sleep and a fresh set of eyes is the possibly the most prudent approach.

Having experienced this panic and frustration many many times I have sat down and thought of a few suggestions for how to move forward.

1. I find all my patterns off Ravelry these days so that is often my first point of reference. I will look at the pattern page to see if the designer has posted any errata links or comments about tricky bits in the pattern. After that I look through the projects that other Ravelry users have made from the same pattern. This wonderful community is full of many generous and wise makers who diligently write up thoughts, modifications and problems they encountered. If there is an error in the pattern's instructions it would undoubtedly be picked up on by more than one knitter. The helpful ones will also provide details on how they moved forward from the problem or what they did to modify the pattern to their liking. I am eternally grateful for those benevolent knitters who freely share their wisdom and I do try to do likewise with my Ravelry project notes.

2. My current project, Annie Rowden's Polka Dot Tunic hasn't got many projects on Ravelry and so unfortunately there are no helpful notes from other makers. I am at a point where my knitting is not matching up to what the pattern instructions say. I am stumped but I am not at a loss. Many independent designers are willing to provide pattern support for their designs. They are dedicated to their fan base and will usually provide some kind of contact means for questions and feedback. In this case I have written an email to Annie and I hope to hear back in the near future. I'll let you know what happens...*

3. Sometimes you just need someone in real life to help you nut through a problem and a trip to the LYS is just what you need. At Sunspun we regularly have people popping in need of help with a project and we are all ways happy to take a look and spend a bit of one on one time nutting it out. We always try our best to send people off ready to keep knitting and on their way towards a beautiful finished project.

I hope you'll be able to knit problem free, so happy knitting.

UPDATE: My email to Annie has been replied and she has clarified everything. Turns out the pattern has errors and she will be updating the parts that I pointed out to her. I'm a bit chuffed to have made a contribution to this pattern and aided a designer. This is just another thing I love about the modern knitting community.

1 comment:

  1. All good tips! It's a dreadful feeling when the stitch counts just don't add up - been there many times!