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March 02, 2005

Pet Peeve

nona tries to be optimistic and think positively -- you know, look on the bright side, glass half full, see the best in everyone, that kind of thing.  But I must be honest with you my friend, there are times when nona is drawn to the dark side and acquires "pet peeves", those little things that get stuck in your craw.  Yes, psychic reader, nona is about to reveal one of her pet peeves - Debbie Bliss patterns.

Now Debbie Bliss designs are beautiful and nona loves browsing through her pattern books, but when it comes to the instructions, where, oh where, is the damn schematic!  How am I supposed to know the actual shape of the beautiful garment I'm knitting?  What if I want to tweak the design to meet my personal tastes and body type or to substitute a different yarn?  I always find myself reverse engineering the schematic from the written directions and pattern gauge.  So, a note to all aspiring pattern designers out there -- keep nona happy and always include a schematic!

By-the-by: besides the missing schematic nona is having a grand time knitting Debbie Bliss's Elena cardigan.  Love that p3yo3!

Elena back, almost to the armholes!

March 2, 2005 in Project - Elena | Permalink


Nona - I agree *completely* with you about Debbie Bliss. Love the designs, but *really* miss the schematics. As much as I resent it, I too usually end up reverse engineering and drawing a schematic from the line by line patterns. Sigh...

Posted by: jessie | Mar 3, 2005 7:58:52 AM

A picture says a thousand words...particularly when knitting!

Posted by: nona friend the oldest | Mar 3, 2005 8:01:47 AM

Yup, I agree. But like a junkie I keep going back to her patterns. Even though I know they're bad for me.

Posted by: Jessica | Mar 3, 2005 11:23:25 AM

Dear Nona

When you write about your peeves, we can relate. To quote a friend who liked this quote:
WE read because we want to know that we are not alone.

Don't feel pessimistic. You are a positive and cheerful blogger and even your peeve was written kindly.

Posted by: kathyb | Mar 3, 2005 2:38:48 PM

Hi Nona

why do so many pattern designers do that? Its not just Debbie, an awful lot of pattern companies down in this part of the world do that to us as well. And to add to that horror story, I got a book out of the library once, can't remember who - not only no diagrams - but photo's for only half the projects... go figure!
PS thanks for the nice reply to my first post, as you can see it's had an encouraging effect on me!

Happy knitting Nona

Posted by: Genny | Mar 3, 2005 5:08:51 PM

Nona, I like schematics too - have you knit from Japanese patterns before? They're all in schematics (the entire pattern) so you can see everything at a glance (almost) :). And there are measurements given for various parts such as length and width of sleeve cap or even length of collar too. And the best thing - you can figure out the pattern without being able to read a single Japanese word (like me)! Only thing is you have to know how to seam everything together - that bit is in Japanese words, but with some creative license that can be done too. Have fun with Elena - she's looking good- lovely texture.

Posted by: nona fan in far east | Mar 3, 2005 5:31:33 PM

NONA! I was working on a D. Bliss pattern last night and totally cursing her in my head, and I even thought of you! Before I saw this post. She's brilliant, but her patterns need to be written much more clearly. It's like doing a cryptic crossword.

Posted by: Jenny | Mar 4, 2005 8:43:32 AM

NO, Haha! To be clear, I wasn't cursing in my head AT nona. I was cursing at Debbie WITH Nona. Nona=good. D. Bliss=argh!

Posted by: Jenny | Mar 4, 2005 8:51:29 AM

Yes, ITA, the schematic is an essential part of the pattern. And here's a shocking little secret I learned this weekend in a class where some of the students were professional designers: Designers *want* you to tweak their patterns! There was great wailing and gnashing of teeth (by the designers) over people who blindly follow the pattern, even down to the exact yarn and exact color. They love it when you change the sleeve or reshape the neckline. Go figure. I'd've thought they'd be insulted, but no, they're frustrated when you don't tweak. Of course, Debbie Bliss might not have that attitude, or her publisher might not see the point of schematics. I'll have to look at the Japanese patterns -- what a great idea.

Posted by: Joan in Cambridge | Apr 3, 2005 1:56:04 PM

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