Tuesday, 6 May 2014

A Very Tall Order...

This giraffe knitted from a pattern in the book Knit Your Own Zoo is finally finished.  I am not happy.  I have quite a beef with these 'Best in Show' books.  Whilst most of the creatures look pretty good and I can appreciate the work that has gone into writing the patterns - some of the shaping is excellent - the making up instructions are incomprehensible.  It did say at the start of the giraffe pattern that it was complicated and indeed, the knitting part took a fair bit of concentration, but that's OK, I am willing to put the work in for a spectacular result.  However, I do not expect the sewing up and stuffing to take FOUR evenings!  Not because I am a slow worker, but because I just could not make head nor tail (literally!!) of the written instructions.
When it comes to something like a giraffe, a diagram would have been helpful.  I'm writing as a knitting designer myself - over the past three years I have designed and knitted many assorted creatures, from a slug to a caterpillar, bluetit to a thrush, cats, dogs, pigs, hedgehogs, squirrels, plus various animal heads for mascot scarves.  So I know my way around a pattern!  When I write a pattern, I try and make it 'idiot proof' - which translates as possible for even an inexperienced knitter to follow.

This isn't the first time I have had issues with these patterns - in the Knit Your Own Dog book, I found the sewing instructions for the bulldog totally incomprehensible and resorted to making it up as I went along.  I even had a couple of people email me asking for help as they couldn't make it work either.
I don't know if these patterns are given to knitters to try out before they are asembled into a book - if not, they really should be in order to iron out any kinks.  I feel for the poor person who thinks they would like to knit themselves an animal but cannot complete it and gets thoroughly disappointed.

Let's not go into the whole leg issue on the giraffe - poor thing not only has a pair of pipe cleaners down there, but souvlaki sticks as well to prevent the onset of woolly rickets.

I also felt that a few of the animals in the Zoo book were rushed in design - they did not look as good as they could have done - if you check out the chimpanzee you'll see what I mean.  I don't enjoy being harsh about someone else's work when they have obviously put a lot of time and effort into it, but I always feel if you do something, do it well.

Rant over....now how the hell do I make wings for a thrush that fold naturlly and don't look like he's wearing a greatcoat?

1 comment:

Magpie Magic said...

I have to say the giraffe looks fab. However, I hear your frustration. I had a similar pattern (although much easier to sort out as it was a much simpler shape) and I know how easy it is to get frustrated. Shame they didn't put in the time to make it perfect. xoxo