Monday, February 11, 2008

And now for something completely different

The Yoga Hoodie, she is finished! And, more importantly, she fits! First the glamorous photo shoot, then the specs and pattern review:

(Look, at me, I'm FIERCE. Or confused?):

This is the Olive Branch Yoga Hoodie from WEBS, which is a $1.49 download. As I mentioned before, I got this pattern with the intention of finally taking the time to measure and try on and calculate to make sure a sweater I make actually fits me. I had to shorten the sleeves by a couple of inches, and I decreased from the 38" size to the 34" under the bust, and although it's very plain, I'm quite happy with how it turned out. I'll definitely be wearing it a lot!

This is the first time that I've used one of those cheap download patterns that a lot of the online yarnstores are selling these days, and I'm here to report that you DO get what you pay for. Not to say this is a bad pattern - there were no mistakes in it - but it lacked some things that you expect in a pattern. Pictures of the front of the sweater, for instance, and schematics with measurements. The pattern called for making 2 pockets, which weren't pictured. I had to make one, just to see what it looked like. (I decided it was too small (why have a pocket your hand won't fit into?), plus I couldn't decide exactly where to put it):

Frankly, I bought the pattern because I liked the design on the back, and it was worth $1.49 to me to get that pattern. I think it was also worth $1.49 to realize the shortcomings of the cheap download. The lack of a measurement schematic was annoying since I was trying to modify the fit. Equally irksome was the inconsistancy in the way the stitch count was presented - the sweater is a raglan style, knit top-down in the round, with markers at the raglan increases which divided the sweater into 5 parts (left and right front, left and right sleeve, and back) - at points where the pattern changed, a stitch count would be given, but only for one section, so it was impossible to confirm the count without doing math. I hate math.

It wasn't a grievous burden to do the math, draw the picture, make a pocket, etc., but I have learnt that when you buy a pattern, in a book or magazine, or as a pricier download, you're not just paying for the creator's idea, but also the extra time and work that are required to provide the details that make it as easy as possible for the knitter. Of course, I've also learnt that it's not impossible, even for me, to do the math and make a pattern. (musing on future plans....)