Why are there so many errors in knitting books!?(Knit Cafe)

I was just about to order Greetings From Knit Cafe which has some fantastic patterns. I went to the writer’s website and there are a LOAD of pattern corrections! Geez. Then I was reading a review on Amazon about Erika Knight’s book Classic Knits I think and this person said it’s shameful that her editor didn’t catch all the errors, there’s just bunches of them.

That’s so sloppy. I really want Knit Cafe though. so… I guess I’ll get it anyhow. :roll:

I ordered that book from the library and am anxiously waiting for it. I want to make the La La Scarf first. I also printed out the errata for it. Glad to hear it has some nice patterns, the scarf is the only one I’ve seen.

I bought Twinkle’s Big City Knits and the there are so many errors! Classic Elite Yarns has the errata on their website for it, and so far it is up to 2 pages. I know there are many more errors that they haven’t posted yet either. I am pretty disappointed in the lack of editing in this book.


:roll: yeah I hate that too. I have the SNB books and there are a lot of mistakes. I’m not in the editing world at all, but how is it possible to have so many mistakes? Do the editors simply look for typos? Is it the author’s responsibility to make sure the patterns are accurate? :??

I’m not sure exactly how it works with knitting books and magazines, but I would imagine it would be largely the author’s responsibility to ensure her/his book was error-free.

Editors don’t actually “edit” the book…they make the business decisions about what to publish and when and how much to invest, and how to promote the book and what the cover will look like and which layout to use etc, etc, etc.

Copyeditors/the author are usually responsible for making sure that what is published is what the submitted manuscript says.

I work in textbook publishing…we hire math professor to check the accuracy of the math in our books…the text, the examples, the problems, the answers.

But there’s only really one right way to solve a problem. Maybe you could use a different technique get the right answer, but there will only be one answer. With a knitting pattern, some people interpret abbreviations differently. Sometimes, a designer will have something set in their mind and not make it clear/not notice that what is written isn’t what it should say. Their test-knitters might be so familiar with them that they understand the missing instructions, or dont’ notice errors. It’s not until the pattern is out there that errors are revealed sometimes. :shrug:

I think it’s annoying, but there’s only so much time and money knitting publishers can invest to make sure that their patterns are accurate. At least these authors have made the errata available–nothing worse than finding a pattern with mistakes and no answers on how to fix it. :!!!:

A zillion years ago, I was a proof reader assistant at a printing company. I would read out loud to the proof reader and he would mark up the pages. I wonder if now that there is so much technology they don’t take the time to do that. I think that it would be very easy to make mistakes when typing up knitting patterns … to the point where someone would need to check it word for word, number for number.

Since designers have people who knit from their patterns to check them for errors, I would assume that the pattern was sent to the printer correct and the error was made in the typing… but I don’t know that for sure.

So I went looking for the link to the publisher for Errata, and most of the books that I own are on it! The Knitting Nature errata is particularly shameful:


Test-knitters don’t always catch everything. There are lots of places for stuff to go wrong, from errors on the designers part, to things slipping by proof-readers, to changes not being made when they should’ve been.

We’re only human…there’s an acceptable level of mistakes. It sounds like this book is beyond that, though.

I would agree that a writer could give a perfect correct pattern to the publisher and get a lot of mistakes put in during the transcription process. It’s not fair to assume the author must have handed in an incorrect MS. It’s somebody’s job to check that the printed book matches the submitted MS and it’s just as likely that mistakes are from that end.


That book is great to have. I just love a lot of the patterns in it. i think I will try the keyboard cover from it next.

Great response! Yeah an interesting subject. I can understand like, 5 errors slipping by but it’s quite amazing when you see 20 or more.

Candice, yes Knit Cafe has SO MANY patterns I want to make that I am buying the book. (I have it from the library now) A darling roomy polo shirt that I’d like a few of… lots of things.

Cawthraven, that’s an excellent insight, the test knitters so familiar with knitting they don’t notice or skip over a mistake… ha, I live in NYC, I should start applying for jobs as a proofreader! But I’m not experienced enough as a knitter I think. Being a bit new (well, a few years knitting now) I’m just learning (mostly through this forum) how important it is to check for errors before beginning. I used to have blind faith and just GO.

Wow, Yarn doc, thanks so much for that link, it’s EXCELLENT! It reminded me that I have Loop-D-Loop and to check the… errata… (a new term for me) out before I begin a pattern in that book. What a strange google search, Errata!

Oh, btw, my lys owner told me yesterday that if I want to do Twinkles patterns there are probably? a lot of info online by people resizing those patterns bigger. I haven’t seen any yet though. I think I’ll hold off buying that book. And, at that Classic Elite site, it states that the patterns are meant to be snug and that’s why they seem smaller.

:?? maybe

p.s. Isn’t this a pretty website (Knit Cafe)

I have lot books many books mistake Publisher not writer.So i think writer could give a perfect correct pattern to the publisher and get a lot of mistakes put in during the transcription process. any one tell me where i can purchase history books?

knit polo shirt

What you say might very well be true with text books, (Copyeditors/the author are usually responsible for making sure that what is published is what the submitted manuscript says.)

but i know Melissa Wehrle and she had a pattern in SnB Nation --which was so poorly edited, she started a knit along to help people…

and Anne Modiset, and Elizabeth Zimmerman have both written about there “run ins” with editors who “re wrote” (to allegedly improve) patterns… and left behind a mess!

detailed instructions take up lines (inches!) of space… and there are all to often, too few inches available.

I want the knitting book that is all photo’s and descriptions, and a CD of patterns (for me to print at any time i want.

it should have a link to a publishers site too. so any errors can be downloaded… (put in ORIGINAL CD, let site read info, and then get a free download of corrected version)

It can be done-(it is done in music world… Grace Note.com for one!)

Hi, all! :waving:

This is a particularly interesting thread for me since I’m in the midst of [I]writing[/I] a knitting book. Throughout the process I’ve been excruciatingly thorough about writing up and checking over the typed version of the designs and STILL there have been some minor but important changes or clarifications that had to be made once the pattern was tested by another knitter.

From my perspective, I feel it’s the author’s responsibility to make sure the patterns and instructions are clear and easily followed to produce the advertised effect. Authors receive pre-publication copies for proofing (at least they used to!) so the buck, as they say, stops right there.

Which brings up another point that I’d like to ask help with. The book I’m writing is about how to design your own cotton knit kitchen cloths and accessories. There will be approximately 24 patterns included along with the tutorials on designing your own and those are the ones that need testing.

There are patterns included that cover the whole range of knitting skill from basic beginners through advanced knitters. None of the projects involve a lot of time or materials and I’d like to have each pattern tested by at least two knitters.

Would anyone reading this be willing to test-knit some of the patterns? If so, please write and let me know and I’ll contact you. In a couple of weeks I’ll have most of the patterns up on a new blog so you can select the ones you’d like to test. This is one book that WON’T be buried in errors! :slight_smile:

Thanks, everyone! Looking forward to hearing from you!

Ruthie :clink:

This is a very interesting point. Isn’t it interesting that these books have all these errata, but Interweave Knits (a magazine which is, I’m guessing on a MUCH tighter deadline than a book) has very little of it. Maybe this is because the editors or Interweave Knits are knitters themselves, while I doubt many of the editors of these books are, and thus probably aren’t as concerned with getting the patterns right. It seems that an editor who is also a knitter would understand the frustration of incorrect patterns much more and would want to make sure his/her staff gets it right. Just my thoughts on the subject. Maybe this is why I knit patterns from IK much more often than I knit from books. :slight_smile:

have you seen the errata link for the Knit ‘N’ Style magazine?
holy batman! Every single issue has tons. Unbelievable. And sloppy, in my opinion. Makes me rethink purchasing these. That’s for sure.


KnS is published by a large general publisher, not one that’s oriented toward patterns like IK.

I work in the publishing business now. I used to be a proofreader but there aren’t many jobs for that anymore. The authors are responsible for the content and books are sent in pre-typed, nobody does any typing anymore (except the author). IMO, the WORST person to proofread the work would be the author. They’ve spent perhaps years writing it and it’s so familiar to them they will miss things left and right. That’s where a knowledgeable proofreader came in. Nobody wants to pay a proofreader anymore and besides, the best proofreader for a knitting pattern would be another knitter. That means more $$ spent by the publisher to find a technical proofreader and they don’t want to do that. Having been a proofreader, errors and typos are a pet peeve but I see a lot more of them now than I used to. I think spell checkers are relied on way too much. in the end, it’s all about the $$. They have to cut corners were they can (and even where they can’t).