In today’s world, patterns are available to us from a variety of sources and from all kinds of authors. Most patterns are very well crafted and often tested prior to publishing, but that doesn’t mean it will be easy-breezy getting good results. Here are some tips for troubleshooting if you are having difficulty with a pattern.
If your problem is a particular stitch or instruction, begin to address it by rereading the pattern carefully. I know this is something that has helped me many times. Often there is one character in the pattern instructions I am misinterpreting and realizing my mistake makes all the difference. Pay careful attention to the abbreviations noted; check them against the key. Be sure you are actually doing what the pattern instructs you to do.
You might need to do some research if you are the least bit uncertain of a stitch or you don’t understand something in the instructions. Be sure to reference any stitch guides you may have in your library.
I have several stitch guides in my personal library, but I do find that sometimes the illustrations don’t clear up my confusion. When this happens, I turn to the Internet for instructional videos. I find this to be extremely helpful; YouTube is a goldmine! Personally, I am a visual learner and find instructional videos to be a bit easier to follow than books. I can rewind as often as I need for the concept to become clear.
Sometimes I skip the books altogether and just hop onto the Interwebs right away; it’s just so convenient. I always have a tablet or phone nearby so…you know. I don’t have to move my yarn around to go fetch a book.
If your problem is the stitch count, you may want to start your troubleshooting by counting your stitches. Try repeating the row to see if the issue is fixed. HINT: use a lifeline. My favorite is unwaxed dental floss. A lifeline will make it so much easier to roll your project back to a row you know is correct without having to start over.
You can utilize some of the many knit and crochet groups online; in Meta (aka: Facebook) or Ravelry, for instance.
Another place you can turn to is a knitting or crochet mentor. If you have someone you can ask for help you not only get the benefit of advice, but you get to spend some time with a friend! What’s better than that?
If you are sure the issue is not anything you have done be sure to check the pattern for errata, or corrections. Sometimes the publisher will issue errata on their website. Often searching by entering the pattern name, publisher and the word errata in your favorite browser will turn up correction results.
Although most abbreviations are somewhat standardized and patterns usually includes definitions, it can sometimes be difficult to know exactly what the designer intended. This is why the best source for interpretation would be the author/publisher who wrote the pattern.
They will want to know if there is an issue with their pattern, but, be aware, this often will not be a quick fix for your personal issue. Pattern support is not typically a service that is provided, particularly for larger pattern publications, but it is absolutely worth a try. After all, a slow answer is better than none at all.
Until next time…Happy Yarnin’
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