I recently and for the first time had the opportunity to read The Knitting Collection ): “From the publishers of Yarn Forward (Knit) magazine. The Knitting Collection, 56 Stunning Patterns Inside!” It is curious (providential?) that I was given this journal on the heels of my series of posts on pattern construction and writing. What a great example this provides!
The journal is chock full with an array of knit projects – for toys, accessories, children, women and men. I like the eclectic nature of the patterns; Claire Garland’s “Tortellini Tortoise” is particularly captivating! The pictures are also good. I am surprised that many of the patterns included a note that reads, “For help with this pattern EMAIL …”
The journal has few pages containing drawings of basic knitting techniques, a chart of comparative needle size, and a chart of knitting abbreviations. I found only one page with an ad (Manos) and two pages of “Things We Like.” (I liked what the editors liked too!) It was easy to lose myself in the pictures of everything knit.
I had a certain level of (keen) discomfort (disappointment?) with the pattern construction, however. While the editors provided both charts and written instructions, charts – unless fairly critical (e.g., large intarsia patterns or lace) – were not used as often as I thought they should have been.
Further, the pattern content could have been more consistent. For example, one of the sweaters utilized a “Fisherman’s Rib” but no where did the pattern either contain a chart for the knit design or indicate what exactly is a Fisherman’s Rib.
Another example of sloppy pattern writing is found in the Sleeveless Gilet pattern (cover page picture). For instance:
- It calls for “Double Knitting weight yarn, such as Lanaknit Hemps.” As capitalized, “Double Knitting” is a proper noun, but I am guessing it wasn’t intended to be the name of an actual yarn.
- I googled “Lanaknits Hemp” and found more than one yarn with that name. Complicating this is the stated tension (gauge): 15 stitches on a 5.5 mm needles over 4 inches/10 centimeters. Double knitting yarn is thinner than worsted, and the gauge given is more appropriate for a worsted weight yarn rather than a double knitting.
- The instructions are, hmmm, shall we say confusing.
My hunch is that the editors were more concerned with including as many pictures as possible at the cost of quality instructions. The projects photographed all looked great, and there were multiple pictures of each project. But, if the focus is on pictures of finished knitting projects, the magazine should not be advertised by “56 Stunning Patterns Inside.” It is misleading. While many of the finished projects might be stunning, their patterns are anything but.