I have ‘improved’ on pretty much every pattern I’ve ever knit. I changed the number of stitches; the chosen cast on; the way to increase or decrease; inserted bust darts. It’s because I have my preferences, it’s because I have my body shape, it’s because I have very loose gauge, it’s because
I think I know better.
Then why did I take it personally when people ‘improved’ upon my design for the blanket block?
They had good reason too, to improve upon my design!
first: I made an error in the chart;
second: my gauge differs from theirs making it necessary for them to add extra length which emphasizes a build in difference in stitch count which might look wonky on a larger block;
knitting design intermezzo:
the stockinette block on the right has 17 stitches below ‘the window with the three stacked Coffee Bean balls’ and 16 stitches above it. This was necessary because its neighbouring block with the stack of five balls has a stitch (Prickly Pear) that keeps decreasing two stitches and making them. It ends with two stitches made which it needs because the Prickly Pear tightens width wise. Which means I have to decrease two stitches elsewhere. As the Coffee Bean is a very stretchy stitch, width wise, I chose to insert them there. One stitch difference doesn’t really matter on a 17 stitch stretch. Unless you add extra length, than you might see it… Anyway, this is part of the fun of designing. It really is like solving a puzzle. Only you feel satisfied for a longer time after you solve it. Because there’s knitting in your hand! A finished piece!
thirdly: of course, they have their own preferences and
they think they know better.
I laughed at myself, for feeling so personal about the chart and how other people run with it. I do this myself all the time and it seldom means I don’t appreciate the design. More often it’s a conversation between the knitter and the designer while knitting her pattern. A conversation in the knitters head:
“what do you propose? Ah, I see…. I see what you’re aiming at. Interesting way of getting there! Hmm, I don’t understand how you solve…. o wait, there it is. Ah yes, I see, I see…… Now I wonder…. if a left leaning decrease wouldn’t balance the other decrease better. I might try it out. Hm. Hm. Interesting!”
So I reeled myself in, stopped taking it personal, tried to forgive myself for being stupid (the error and not designing a more robust block for different gauges) and joined the conversation with the knitters. It is fun!
Hey, psst! I like you, your mind and your wool!