Posts Tagged ‘Patterns’

I am about to open a can of worms. Heated arguments over what can and cannot be copyrighted abound. But for my purpose I’d like to concentrate on Section 102 part b of the law which states:

In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship
extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept,
principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained,
illustrated, or embodied in such work.

A disturbing new trend is arising in the knitting world. Limit the amount of information given to the knitter who pays for your pattern and try to hog tie the person who paid for the pattern by preventing any transmission in writing or speaking about anything in the pattern.

I think some of the new “designers” out there need to get a grip on themselves. One trend I am seeing more and more are designers who no longer allow knitters to purchase patterns that have size ranges. What the knitter gets when he / she buys the pattern is information to make only one size, thus preventing the knitter from making a second garment for a friend or relative who may be a size larger or smaller than the knitter. If the knitter wants to make any size other than her own she needs to pay a second time for the same pattern in the other size.

I refuse to tech edit the patterns for these “designers”. I refuse to test knit their patterns. They are in direct violation of the copyright law. They cannot, in good faith, charge the knitter twice or more for the same pattern with different numbers. They do not own body measurements. Here’s a little surprise I’d like to share: Body Measurements are public domain information. Any knitter out there who pays money to find out body measurements has just thrown away their money. The information is all over the place free of charge.

The second disturbing trend tries to copyright idea, procedure, process, and system for knitting methods that cannot be copyrighted in this way. The “designer” in this case claims ownership of short row techniques. The knitter pays for a pattern filled with all types of warning that the information contained within cannot be shared in writing or speech with another person. Frankly, I think the CIA has less stringent rules covering the conversations of spies. Short rows are a procedure, a process, a system. They’ve been around forever. They cannot be copyrighted. No matter how you use short rows, whether you knit them while standing on your head, they are not subject to copyright laws.

Knowledge is power. It is the ultimate in power, even beyond money. I am greatly disturbed by the amount of knowledge some people try to prevent other people from getting. It is not a sign of a healthy, thriving civilization or culture. Do you ever wonder how all those rulers in the Dark Ages and Medieval times ruled so many people over vast expanses of land? The rulers kept the people ignorant. Ignorant people are easy to rule, and are easy to lie to. In short, they are easy to herd which ever way you want them to go because they know nothing different except what the rulers tell them. Knitting has never been based on keeping secrets. In order for the craft to flourish it needs open and honest sharing.

Historically, knitting knowledge was not something you paid for. It was freely given. Passed down from great grandmother to grandmother, to mother to daughter. This movement to restrict knitting knowledge stands in direct opposition to how the craft has developed and survived. In restricting the knowledge you can effectively kill the craft. I sincerely hope this is not the way we are heading.

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As my luck would have it, March, and I mean the entire month, can’t move on and be done with fast enough. Two minutes after midnight, that is two minutes into 1 March, I was in the emergency room of the one hospital that is close to me, but which I highly distrust because they are simply awful.

In seeking help, I increased the pain in the tooth and added on an allergic reaction from the medication they gave me. Let’s just say I am up to my ears in medical stuff I don’t like and won’t have relief from the pain until Friday. All my breast cancer tests, MRI with contrast and mammogram, scheduled for today have been canceled and need rescheduling. We have an ice storm visiting. None of what is going on medically should kill me, but when I am in this kind of pain that is made worse by weather fronts it is a special kind of hell.

Please make this month go fast, please, please, please.

Back to the Style Sheet for knitters and crocheters.

Following the first page is, naturally, the second page. Number the pattern pages following the first page. It’s about a 50-50 split between those who print out a pattern and those who only use electronic devices to access the pattern. Thus, it is still advisable to format a header that includes the name of the pattern and the page number. The footer on the inside pages include copyright information, your name or business name and a way of contacting you such as email or pm via Ravelry.

While a debate continues on where to place the list of abbreviations used within the pattern, I tend to favor placing it on the second page. The Craft Yarn Council has a list of standard abbreviations. The Abbreviation List is in alphabetical order. The first letter of most abbreviations is lowercase and the abbreviation itself is in bold. The abbreviations for WS (wrong side) and RS (right side) rows are always in caps. Within a pattern, abbreviations are lowercase unless they begin a sentence or signify row side.

After the Abbreviations List comes two more items: Stitch Patterns and / or Pattern Notes. Stitch Pattern cites those patterns you are not charting. A particular ribbing, a particular overall pattern with unusual components, an uncommon cast on.

Pattern Notes is where information goes that applies to the whole pattern. For example, accurate stitch counts occur only after completion of a WS row. If a note does not apply to the entire pattern, then place the note in a sidebar and put it right where the information is needed.

It is now time for my pain medication after which I won’t even be sure of my name.

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I’ve been reading a lot of patterns by indie designers. Many indie designers can benefit from developing a style sheet to make their patterns more readable, consistent, and stand out from the pack.

First, brand your patterns. That means thinking about the layout and the look of your pattern. Where you place things, font type and size, headers and footers, logos, helpful hints, color scheme all need to be decided prior to writing a word. What look and style you choose for your pages should remain consistent within the pattern and in other patterns that follow. The look and style becomes your brand, your calling card; it represents you and your design business.

Font type and size is a good place to start. Did you know that most people in the US cannot read cursive writing? Cursive writing is script. An example is given below.


Out of the 50 states that make up the US, 41 do not teach cursive writing in their school systems. So not only can people not read cursive writing but they are also unable to sign their names because they cannot do cursive writing. Therefore, when writing patterns do not use any font that resembles cursive writing anywhere in your pattern, including the pattern title and your company name.

For the directions in the pattern you want an easy to read font, preferably serif. Studies have shown serif type makes reading long passages easier on the eyes.


Fonts you want to avoid are anything with unusual or decorative lettering, overly wide letters, overly narrow letters, too thick letters, too thin letters. In short, avoid anything fancy. Times New Roman is a good font. Boring? Yes, but easily readable.

Next is selecting font size. For the body text of the pattern, 11 or 12 pt is suggested. Anything smaller is harder to read. You want the knitter to be able to easily read the pattern.

In summation: A good pattern font is Times New Roman, size 11.

Next up: Size and font for title and headings.

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At the moment I have a number of vintage crochet patterns that need grading. No not the kind of A, B, C, grades one gets in school, rather it’s sizing them to fit current measurement standards. So how do I go about grading vintage patterns when, as we all know, no actually true sizing standard exists? Lots of research.

While I am easily familiar with baby and children’s sizes I am not so with women’s sizes. I can look at rows and rows of figures for children and pick out which ones are out of sync by eye. Not so with adult sizes. Having worked so long with small people’s dimensions, the world of adult sizes all look so…big.

I feel like my little seven year old self who, when going clothes shopping with my Nana in the “big” stores, sensed exactly how small I was in the scheme of things. Along with that sense of smallness came the attendant feelings of awe and fear. I remember that when it all became too overwhelming for me, I hid in the middle of circular racks of clothing. My Grandmother would search the various racks until she found the two stick thin legs ending in scuffed and torn sneakers sticking out from the bottom of the rack below the clothes. I always felt a sense of rescue at that point. She had finished shopping and I knew I’d be whisked back to her car, driven away from the store and returned to my smaller world.

Unfortunately, today I don’t have a circular clothing rack to hide in. I have considered my closet, but the amount of things I’d need to “rearrange” to fit myself in there and close the door is daunting. Today there really is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. Being an adult is like that.

I have one gem of information to share from my foray into the world of adult sizes: Bust size is not chest size. The bust measurement taken at the fullest part of the bust is just that. To find a woman’s chest size the measurement is taken with tape measure wrapped around the chest under the bust. It is the chest measurement taken from under the breasts that decided bra size. The difference between the bust size and chest size determines the cup size of the bra. A 4″ difference is a D cup, 3″ is a C cup, 2″ is a B cup, and 1″ is an A cup.

Why is the chest size important? Divide the number in half and it’s close to the crossback measurement. So for those women who don’t have someone to measure crossback try measuring the chest and dividing it in half. Subtract an inch or half an inch and viola! crossback measurement.

And now I am going to look for a clothing rack work on sizing these patterns.

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When I decided to give my brain and nerves a break before they ruptured on their own, I put away all my math toys including pens, graph paper, rulers, and calculator. I needed to stop running numbers in my brain all day regarding stitches to inches to centimeters, to half the circumference of 8 different sized heads, 8 different head and neck lengths, and 8 different front to back measurements. I needed to stop chasing my tail like a crazy dog.

When the sock yarn arrived I made it my vacation away from designing project planning to follow the sock pattern in a mindless manner. This was, I thought, the easy-peasy rest my brain and nerves needed. The yarn, Lorna’s Laces was a familiar brand. I use it often. I’ve never had the colors pool poorly on me, until now.

Lorna's Laces Sock Yarn in Sheridan Colorway

Lorna’s Laces Sock Yarn in Sheridan Colorway

I’ve completed 8 inches (20) cm of the leg—I prefer to make my socks toe up, but the pattern was for cuff down and like I said I wanted to follow the pattern with my brain on auto-pilot—and the colors are pooling in a helix kind of way that I can’t stand. I can live with striping, but not this type of striping. I put the sock on and twirled. It looked just like an old fashioned barber pole. Now, I know The Skipper won’t be twirling in his socks, but the way it looks sets my teeth on edge.

And so it’s come down to this: I need to rip and calculate how to get rid of the barber pole look. In the meantime a line from Tina Turner’s cover of “Proud Mary” keeps going through my head: “We never, ever do nothing, nice and easy.”

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Many people in my life have tried to help me “get organized”. Grandparents, aunts, parents, husband, sister, they all had a go at it. The truth is I am an organized person just not in the traditional sense of the word: systematically arranging things to, in theory, efficiently deal with them.

A place for everything and everything in its place is a sure-fire way to guarantee I will hunt for and never find the thing again in my life time. Such is the case with two items I’ve been looking for high and low for two weeks now. The CD for my printer so I can reload it into my computer and a pattern I need to reference a neckline.

It seems I was cleaning out computer files late one night two weeks ago and oops(!) there went the printer file. I have since imposed a rule on myself that prevents me from tinkering with and cleaning up the computer after 9 pm.

The printer disc was one of those things I distinctly remember The Skipper interferring helping in the placement of. I wanted to slip it into one of the little nooks in my antique secretary’s desk. He stopped me, gave a brief lecture on everything in its place, and had me put it…well that’s the question: Where? Where was this proper place for this thing?

I’ve asked him. He’s given me all the suggestion of where he would suggest it go and it’s not in any of those places. Though the desk nook might not have been the systematically correct way of arranging it I would have had it in my hot little hands by now and fixed the problem in what to me would have been an efficient and timely fashion.

The second item I am searching for is a baby sweater pattern which I had saved so I could reference the neckline design. The technique was interesting. The technique would also be of help to me at the moment with the little girl’s sweater I am almost finished with. I say almost finished because I still have the neckline to do.

I originally was going to put the pattern in with a stash of wool that if I was ever to knit up the pattern I would most likely use to knit it. Again The Skipper decided I need organizing help and stepped in to offer the systematically correct way of keeping reference patterns. His solution is binders.

The Skipper is a huge fan of notebook binders. The bigger the binder the better. He also covets page protectors. If you need a sure stock market tip, invest in a company that makes binders and page protectors. As long as The Skipper is alive the stock is safe. I am sure that his suggestion was to put it in a page protector and a binder. Well, I’ve looked through every binder he’s had me make and no pattern. I even opened the yarn vault (much to Yarn Rascal delight) and looked where it should have been. Still no pattern.

All of this is to say that while I may seem unorganized to the systematically efficient crowd, I’m really not. The executive function part of my brain just works a little differently in what and how it lumps things together.

And now I am off to hunt again for the CD and the pattern. Systematic efficiency is killing me.

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Right now I am trying to find balance between my tech editing work, my design work, and knitted work. In between I need to find time for The Skipper and of course, time for Yarn Rascal. The latter demands most of my time. His deviant behavior is on the rise and I don’t want him to be a life-long criminal. Thus, while he is still in the formative period he is getting a good portion of my attention.

One of the tech editing projects is a Raglan sweater. Personally, I dislike Raglans. I don’t like their fit. I disliked them even more when I found the back story of their development. A lesser noble, named Raglan, was in the British service and lost one arm in the Crimean War. His tailor created the Raglan to better accommodate the loss. Thus a sweater constructed for a one-armed individual found its way into fashion for two-armed individuals.

The pattern I am editing is a three act drama. Act One opens with sketchy information concerning color changes and a ribbing pattern. Act Two begins with the realization that the Raglan shaping at the armholes for the Back and Front don’t match, and they must. Act Three starts with incomplete sleeve directions. Beyond the wrist Cast On no other directions exist. In all fairness, this is a vintage pattern I am piecing together, meaning I must recreate the missing information because it really no longer exists. Completing this pattern is the focus of my weekend.

In the meanwhile, I need to knit the second of the Cursed Socks, create a swatch for a lacy pair of bed socks that exists only on the drawing board at the moment, work out the elements of the All Little Boy sweater that is also on the drawing board, and find time to knit on the Shetland Baby Shawl. I’ll have a progress picture of the shawl posted next week.

The good news I received this week from the doctors is that the blood tests showed nothing concerning my tiredness. My cancer surgeon is happy with the way I am healing. She wants me to participate in a study about the roles exercise and diet may have in lowering the chances of breast cancer coming back. I’m not quite a year from my operation last January. This time February will be the big month for me. I have a mammogram, ultra sound, and MRI scheduled to see how things are going. The time in between is kind of like the Edgar A. Poe story The Pit and The Pendulum.

Yarn Rascal has just left my side. By the curl of his tail I can tell he’s thinking of getting into trouble.

Have a good weekend.

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