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September 17, 2005

My bootie is shaped all wrong.

Is it a plot? Do they deliberately make patterns complicated so that remedial knitters like myself WILL GET MAD AND WANT TO QUIT KNITTING thereby freeing up the good yarn for those of you who have the time, patience and perhaps know-how to de-code a pattern?

First, you go read this pattern. Then come back and tell me if you, being a normal human without an advanced degree in Applied Bootie Making & Pattern Decoding, would do as I did. Or don't tell me, because maybe I am the only dumbass in the room.

I started with the "To begin..." portion and then moved right into the "Next" portion.


Because look closely. See that "next" part? It says... Rows 11-18, knit the odd rows, purl the even rows. Like it's basically saying, "I'm giving you a helpful hint here, we're doing stockinette while shaping!" And then it goes right into the new rows, rows that do not start with #19, no, no, that would be easy. Sequential numbering is too easy for people! Must make it hard! So the pattern starts back at #1! Making you (me) assume we just start knitting the next numbered row.


Because this pattern wants you to hate yourself. Those row numbers are not correct. There are not just TWO portions to this bootie of despair. No. There are THREE PORTIONS.

And here's a hint: "Next" is not a good heading for what should be called "Step 2 of 3" or "The middle" or anything besides "NEXT..."

I would like to say here, on the record, that if you write patterns and you want only smart people to use them, put a disclaimer on it, won't you? Because dumb people like knitting too. And some of us knit on the bus, where we do not have the coffee and/or wine needed (depending on time of day) to read your poorly numbered rows and say, "Oh! What Secret Pattern Code Writer REALLY wants us to do is knit rows 11-18 in stockinette, and then rows 19-31 in stockinette with shaping, then rows 32-33 in knit fuzzy yarn, and then bind off. Even though all the rows are mis-numbered from the gitgo. Cool!"

No. Instead, the pattern writer uses crazy numbering and fancy tomfoolery to keep my bootie misshapen. And I have big bootie, people.

I know that this is happening because I am a Remedial Knitter, and I'm probably being punished because I once spit into the wind, and because of that time I said that thing about the girl with cameltoe. But is it too much to ask that knitting patterns are written out in normal words? Is it?

Honestly, what purpose does it serve to write EVERYTHING in mysteriously organized shorthand that has to be meticulously de-coded? And then the shorthand keeps changing! YF means yarn over! SKP means slip-stitch-pass-slipped-stitch-over, which other patterns abbreviate as PSSO. Ya'll, I can barely remember my own phone number. How can I be expected to remember 37 different ways of saying yarn over? How?

Advanced Knitters who know the Secret DaVinci Code of Knitting Patterns are thinking I'm just lazy.

YOU'RE RIGHT. I am LAZY. And TIRED. And life is so hard, why does a knitting pattern have to be hard, too? Are we knitting in code because spies are listening in on our pattern transmissions? Are we trying to make sure the commies can't knit up some Ugg booties? Are we curing cancer here? Can't we all just get along?

Well then.

Of course I had already finished and seamed said misshapen bootie before discovering my error. And of course I'm going to plod through and make two new booties using the de-coded pattern. And at the end of this I will have one lonely, squat Ugg bootie left. Maybe I'll give it away online. Free! One bootie! For your amusement!

Because Lord knows, if there's a good place to get free bootie, it's the internets.

Posted by laurie at September 17, 2005 10:53 AM