UndyedYarnpire’s Fiber Opera

April 28, 2009

Brought to you by the number Three

Filed under: knit — Tags: , — UndyedYarnpire @ 11:34 pm

I have returned to the basic sock project that was suspended. I am tentatively naming them “In the Pink Fat Tuesday” socks. I think the blue spruce overdye makes it look like Mardi Gras. The original fiber→yarn was shades of pink. Also taking advantage of the other usage of “in the pink” meaning “healthy” to knit myself good wishes. 

I think the needles I am using for that are the needles I want for the lace beret project from the April fiber club fiber. 

I have an entire rant about the pattern that came with the fiber club shipment which I will sum up:  I think the pattern is obscenly tool intensive since it requires five SETS of knitting needles. Not a set of 5 DPNs. 4 different sizes in a variety of DPN and 16″ circ options. Then when I talked about having enough yarn for the project in the Rav group, I was told the pattern runs small.  This was a pay-for pattern, I expect sizing options to be given if it does not fit “normal” heads as written.

So I spent a bunch of time looking for other projects. I found a bunch of lace beret patterns but most of them said they wanted 400+ yards of fingering yarn… I finally caught on to the skein size. Sock yarn comes in really large skeins of 400+ yards, but making a hat from it will require much less yarn. I think I have settled on Reverie from the Spring 2009 Knitty. 

Sometimes I see patterns for sale and I think I might want to knit those. But every time I have dealt with patterns, they have all sucked in some major way. Printed books are riddled with errata. (Sometimes even the errata have errata.) I have not bought any stand-alone patterns aside from fiber club inclusions, and I have not knit any of them. Free patterns often have errors or sizing issues requiring me to do my own math, of that there is no doubt. Otherwise what am I paying for? If I buy a pattern, I want it to be ready to go and I want it to be carefully vetted. Without increased quality and decreased effort, I might as well do my own thing entirely and save the money. Not surprisingly, fewer people knit patterns one must purchase, so there are fewer eyes reviewing the pattern and leaving comments and caveats to those who come after. In a strange way, that means that popular free patterns are frequently better tested than any pay-for pattern is. I rarely buy knitting books. I own maybe 12 after 6 years. I have been disappointed in almost all of them. 

I would love it if someone could explain why I should be paying for patterns instead of waiting and looking for a similar free variant.



  1. 5 diffferent needle sizes!! Horrible!!

    I, too, wish I could be writing patterns- probably could if I actually sat down and did all the “work”- swatching and such…

    I LOVE the Reverie beret- very cool free pattern. I just paid for a beret pattern (Lisa’s and Katie’s Berets by Kristen Kapur) and I NEVER buy patterns. An amazingly beautiful FO of Katie’s Beret caught my eye and the pattern has a bulky and DK variety. I have been looking for an easy DK pattern to use up some Sock Club yarn and some of my fav dyers (YarnPirate, Yarntini) are doing DK weight yarns right now.

    The only other pattern I have bought was the Wicked sweater pattern from Zephyr Girls and that was YEARS ago.

    Comment by Tara — April 29, 2009 @ 2:43 am

    • I find that I have to “do all the work” anyway. The patterns never fit right even if my size is included.

      I usually have to swatch to make sure I am getting that gauge. (Though I never seem to use the specified needles or yarns, so maybe that is all me.)

      So… I have to do all my own math, I have to do all the swatching. Unless the pattern has some charted motif with increases and decreases worked into the sizing (in which case, it probably will not fit), I am better off with a wireframe generic diagram.

      I really like the book Knitting In the Old Way by Priscilla Gibson Roberts because it is a book explaining how to go from the wireframe to a pattern using your own math and measurements.

      There are some really phenomenal ideas out there that are given away free. The Lifestyle series by the author of the PULSH blog, where it says to make hats from the top and knit until you have the right size crown, then decrease… no swatching, no need to rip back, does not matter what yarn you use. It is a method instead of instructions.

      The only way I want to pay for a pattern is if it is going to magically work.

      If I pick my size, plug in my gauge, and get back exactly what I need to do, I might pay for that.

      Comment by UndyedYarnpire — April 29, 2009 @ 12:03 pm

  2. Five sets is really too many.

    I’ve learned a lot from the reference sections of some pattern books.

    I know I’ve been neglecting an e-mail reply (several, really)—am still sick and behind on catching up. Just saying hello, here….

    Comment by skg046 — April 29, 2009 @ 3:21 pm

    • I still buy books, because there are usually many patterns. It is very difficult to spend $6-10 on a stand alone pattern. Especially when a whole book often retails for $12-20. If books had better QA, I would buy a lot more of them.

      (I have seen one book where EVERY pattern had a mistake. Most books are 70-90% having a minor error. I think publishers should have to exchange the defective copy for a new-print version whenever there is significant lack of functionality present. If we had that, I suspect they might actually edit.)

      No worries about the email. I hope you feel better.

      Comment by UndyedYarnpire — April 29, 2009 @ 5:31 pm

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