Monday, September 26, 2011

I Read the Blueprint

So, there I was, knitting away on the first wing of Seraphine, thinking I might finish it over the weekend, when it occurred to me to check the schematic.  You know, the accompanying diagram that gives you a clue about how far you might have progressed.
You could knock me down with a feather, 'cos the wingspan of this woolly wonder is NINETY TWO INCHES!

Say what?!  That's... many feet?  Ninety two divided by twelve is... um... almost eight (thanks, Lorna!).  Eight feet?!

I thought  I was at least a third of the way through and was feeling kinda smug because I knew I must be finished soon, long before the first snow of the year..

I may be some time...
And I may run out of yarn...

This pattern is not getting a very positive reception on Ravelry.  It seems to have irritated a couple of knitters ahead of me to an inordinate degree for containing minor errors and doing things differently to how they wanted them done.

So... if it bothers you that much, do your own thing, ladies!  I mean, seriously?  You want to end your cables differently? Go on then! There's a mistake in the chart?  Oh yes - I see that, but if you got this far, you know what to do, so why not drop the designer a polite note so she can put it right?  What's going on here?  You are behaving like F-book bullies! 

What concerns me is that people are going to be put off before they start.  They are interested enough in the design to research it on Ravelry, looking for the finished objects, the modelled shots, but instead all they find are complaints.

When you read beyond the rhetoric, the main problems these knitters faced seem to be:  they were expected to count their rows; and unless they were working to the correct gauge, the pieces would not fit together.  Umm... really?!

Here's what I think:  this is a really gorgeous original design, combining cables and reverse stocking stitch to make a great big woolly hug of a winter shawl.  It is by a relatively new designer, whom Jared Flood has given a really special opportunity by showcasing her work in his Wool People Collection.  I don't suppose for one minute that it was extensively test-knitted because it is frankly quite a huge undertaking, but if you get gauge there is every reason to believe that everything will work out just fine, because Jared is no fool.  And there's a finished shawl up there to ogle!

Even major designers make mistakes.  That's why Ravelry is full of errata notices!  But nowadays they can be put right almost instantly by contacting the person with the editorial rights, who can then nip in to the pdf and sort it out.  It's not like the old days when it could take years for a book to be reprinted and novice knitters were left to either work it out for themselves or give up.

Isn't this the whole joy of a knitting community like Ravelry:  knitters can help each other!  Young designers can and should be nurtured and supported.   I was happy to pay for this pattern, because it has such a great design concept behind it:  I could not have thought this up by myself.  The mistakes are tiny and pretty much self-correcting  - in the grand scheme of things they are a mere hiccup.  Why not cut the girl some slack, ladies? Or are ya jealous? :O


Anna said...

Well, I want to complain because I thought you were knitting a cardigan and now I have actually read fully what you've writen I see that it's a shawl and then I had to go to Ravelry and see what it looks like because I couldn't remember if you'd posted a picture from the pattern. I mean, seriously, you expect me to actually read and comprehend your entire blog posts, sheesh... ;o)

Looks great so far, keep knitting, hopefully you might find one of those knitting wormholes and find you're suddenly at the end!

xtiand said...

That looks lovely, warm and snuggly. Another one to add to the queue I think. I can just imagine wearing it on wintry evenings and most of it looks as though even I could kniot it without too many mistakes. I think the cables may not be for knitting group nights though since I can make mistakes in garter stitch while chatting!

Anonymous said...

Yes!......... Gimme Some!

(A Yank expression)

gMarie said...

I agree completely. It doesn't hurt or take extra energy to be nice. Thanks for your take on the pattern. g

ashley0107 said...

Oh, that is some crazy pretty cabling! I love how cables look, and knitting them is so much fun!
It was Ravelry that really got me into knitting. All those free patterns? Yes please! The only reason I haven't bought one yet is because my paypal is all crazy, it's never worked. For some reason it thinks it's a merchant account. Erm no? I don't think I would have set up a merchant account by accident :S Though I'm afraid if I sort it out, I'll spend LOTS of money!! lol
Yes, I think these ladies could be kinder. A polite little note to the designer is all it takes, not bad mouthing them in project notes!
Ashley x

Scruffybadger said...

Wowee!! Staggering mass of cables! I gulped at the thought. I love your knitting projects- they always seem to be beyond the realm of possibility and there you are, taking it all in your stride.

Lorna said...

Psst. 92 divided by 12 is 7 feet 8 inches so nearly 8 feet!!!!

I'm glad you've aired this problem it drives me batty when people do nothing but criticise and whinge. Like you say, a quick note to the creator costs nothing with the power of the internet.

christinelaennec said...

I couldn't agree more with you about leaving critical comments on Ravelry. As a former colleague used to say, "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem!" And I agree it costs nothing to be kind.

plankface said...

Thanks for posting this, I actually had the same thought a few days ago while reading the comments on Ravelry. Glad I'm not the only one to think some of them were a bit excessive!

Lizzi said...

Hear hear!

Linda C said...

First off, I love the shawl or wrap. It is just what I need as I sit by my computer midwinter.. RIght by bare glass panes, window frame unfinished- on the left, door to the cellar on my right ( kept open a bit for the cats, behind me more windows. Husband laughs to see me wrapped in a blanket. sitting at the computer. I need some fingerless gloves. Your masterpiece would be warmer and look a lot more stylish.

Beautiful work-and a beautiful pattern!

Good for you about the critics. I agree, they're probably just jealous they didn't create such a lovely design, even with a few oversights. I am always in awe of people who can plot out patterns I can't even follow them half the time.

Linda C

Evie said...

My mother always taught me that manners cost nothing. Also if you can't say something nice don't say anything at all.

These are maxims I live by and wish more people did.

With them in mind, I have to say I haven't looked at the original (that's my next stop) but love the look of it and can't wait to see your version finished. Which I'm sure it soon will be.

Much luck!