Am I the only one?

Am I the only one that really doesn’t understand a pattern unless I’m physically working on it?

I can look at patterns and I can understand what all the little pieces mean, but I can’t put it all together in my head unless I’m doing it. I’m a very visual and tactile learner so maybe that’s why??

I can envision most stuff now, but when I was learning, I just blindly followed the pattern because I didn’t know where it was going. That’s why I say to ‘trust the pattern.’

For the most part now I can read a pattern and understand what is going to be done, but there are times when I just need to do it to see what they mean. Sometimes it makes no sense at all to me.

I 'm much better at envisioning patterns that I used to be. But for me, the hands-on is still the real learning. I don’t think it matters, does it? Long as you’re knitting, all is well! :XX: :XX: :XX: samm

I’m the same way!!

In fact, sometimes I get frustrated with patterns… I wish the “why” was included more. Like there could be a notes section saying "we used the double knitting technique instead of just knitting in the round because blah blah blah ". Or “in the neck section, we used x technique because if we didn’t blah blah”.

Yeah, that would be awesome!

I can’t put it all together either. I never read ahead in my pattern. It’s something my grandmother advised me not to do long ago, and it’s worked just fine for me all these years! :wink:

I agree- that would be great if they told you why. Most of the time it makes no sense to me and I just do what it says. Usually it works out- though there was a spot in my sweater pattern where it was definately just wrong. That was annoying, especially as it’s my first sweater!

I sort of have to understand where it’s going before I’ll try it, so I won’t knit a pattern without a picture of the finished piece (I hate it when they don’t have pictures! :mad: ), but I agree with the wanting to know why.

I’m still in the “blindly following the pattern” stage. :??

I am very much a visual learner, and don’t even attempt alot of things I’d like to make because I get bogged down in the patterns, not being able to make heads or tails out of them. That’s why I like watching Knitty Gritty so much. Even though they don’t take you through every step of a pattern they’re knitting, they take you through the different stages. Then I have a visual to work with to go ahead and try a pattern similar to what I saw them make on the show.

I’ve read a lot of articles about the shaping of a garment and such, especially the sleeve primers on Knitty (GO READ THEM - Soooooo helpful!!! They’re in the archives, and they’re called Sleeve Primer I and Sleeve Primer II!!!) so I generally feel like I have a good grasp on how knit garments are constructed and I can usually visualize how something will turn out as I read line by line.

Many times, the designers will write far more extensive instructions than what you see, but the editors, often non-knitters, edit for space and photo constraints. So they sacrifice comprehension for pretty pictures, essentially. It’s a constant source of frustration to knitting designers.

I have to admit, with all due respect, that many times, it doesn’t make sense to simply “Trust the pattern”. Knitting patterns are rife with mistakes, omissions and poor editing. Errata should be checked and double checked, and if you’re going nuts with a poor pattern, consider that perhaps it’s not you, it’s the PATTERN!

The Yarn Harlot has suggested that because knitting designs are primarily aimed at women, they are far more forgiving of mistakes and sloppy proofreading than men would ever be. As proof, she cites the very low number of errors traditionally found in men’s woodworking and craft magazines. They know that if they hand a guy a piece-of-garbage set of instructions, he’ll simply refuse to buy the magazine again, and they’ve lost his business. Not so women. We’ll keep going back, thinking it’s simply US.

It’s a fascinating viewpoint, actually. It reminds me of when men were targeted for Rogaine hair cream back in the 90’s. They tried it and complained it was too drippy, too fussy, too much work, and refused to buy it anymore. Rather than change the product, Rogaine changed the focus of their advertising - to WOMEN! They knew that despite the inconveniences, women would deal with the product. Interesting, no?


I read ahead and get an idea where I’m going. I can read the pattern and get an idea of what they are asking me to do. Then I usually deviate from the pattern… :doh: