As you can imagine I spend a great deal of time looking at patterns. Sometimes I’m writing them and other times reviewing them.
There are very standard pattern conventions I follow. I use a fairly standard set of abbreviations and contractions and I try to provide a fairly wide range of sizes without so much that the pattern becomes overwhelming to read.
Every time I write for a different publisher I have to rewrite my patterns to suit their convention. With UK magazines cm are dominant and you change your bind offs for cast offs, etc. With US magazines there are kept very tight and often juggle the writing style around to suit their standard. The publisher that got me thinking the most though was Brooklyn Tweed. He removes all contractions, st is always stitch, and the tone is kept conversational.
I think for pattern style I settle somewhere in the middle. I like to be able to take my time and write a few lines to explain what I’m doing so knitters have a ‘roadmap’ in their head as they begin the pattern. However I think most knitters are so comfortable with the basic contractions (st, RS, WS, k, p, st st) that it’s not really necessary for them all to be spelled out. If you print the pattern less is definitely more!
But this is where my question for you knitters comes in.
Do you print the pattern?
Or do you just print part of it?
Do you like everything written in full English or do you think abbreviations are just fine?
Somewhere in my future (hopefully not too far away!) I want to put an knitting pattern app together.
What would you like to see in an app that would make knitting from a pattern easier?
A few ideas:
Only your size show.
Every abbreviation expands into full definition and video if you need it.
Highlight tracking as you read through the pattern.
I’d love to be able to go even one step further and have an app that charts the entire pattern for you, highlighting decrease and increase rows. If it was customised to just your size it would work really easily as you don’t have to see 9 or 10 different charts, just your own.
The volume of work involved in this makes my head ache BUT I think it would be a pretty cool knitters tool!
What do you think? Give my your pattern and app thoughts!