Pattern Couch Test – An Introduction

This is the first in a series of posts that will be a mainstay of this blog – a Pettern Couch Test (my take on the road test 😜). There are millions of amazing looking patterns all over the web on sites

 such as Ravelry and Craftsy, and social media platforms, particularly Pinterest and Instagram. However if you are anything like me you look and wonder, ‘Would it turn out that amazing if I made it?’. Unfortunately more of the time than we would care to admit, the answer is often no.

There are a variety of reasons for this, but often it comes down to a few key reasons:

1. Experience (And this is a biggie) 

When publishing a pattern, people either don’t use and photograph their first attempt or they are highly experienced in that particular craft. And not just knitting/crochet etc in general, but more specific such as lace knitting, amigurumi, Tunisian crochet and so on. They also don’t generally publish the things that don’t work out, making everything look easy and perfect. It takes time, effort, experience and trial and error to get a pattern ready to share. Your first attempt may not be so great, but a few tries may help you see improvement.

2. Poorly written patterns.

 There are many ways a pattern can be hard to follow. Obvious reasons include omissions and errors, but there are other reasons too. Patterns can be overly wordy and could have been made clearer and simpler. There can be cultural differences. The internet exposes us to people’s experience on a global scale, but unfortunately craft terms are not universal. Indeed not knowing/realising that a pattern was written using UK/US terminology has caused many a crocheter some grief. Translated patterns can also cause difficulties. I have seen many people complain about the Garn Studios Drops Design patterns, saying they are confusing and they will never knit them again. I have knitted a number, with good success, however the key point to remember is they are translated from Norwegian. Sometime of you don’t understand an instruction, you need to stop and think, what could they have meant which was lost in translation.

3. Not following the pattern properly.

Did you follow all of the instructions exactly? Did you use the correct gauge if applicable? Did you use the right tools/materials? All points worth considering.

4. Skill level is too advanced. 

Many of us have seen an amazing pattern, thought ‘Wow, I want to make that!’, started and then realised that the level of skill required is beyond us. If that is the case, don’t put and out give up. See it as an opportunity to grow as a crafter. Try working on a simpler, more foundational project to help build your skills, find someone more experienced to help you, or put it away to come back to in a while when you have improved. 

Through publishing my own experience I will share my pitfalls when attempting to recreate these amazing patterns and hopefully help you out if you wish to try soon.

This post is just a bit of background information. Stay tuned for my first pattern Couch test later this week (the project is finished, just need to photograph 📷).


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