Why not follow directions?

I was at my knitting group the other day, working on my new project which is the vest on the cover of the September issue of Creative Knitting.  The group meets at Borders Bookstore so frequently someone is looking through the new/recent issues of magazines.  One of the women looked at Creative Knitting and then set it aside.  Someone else noticed that I was working on a new project and asked what it was.  I must admit that at that point it didn’t look like much of anything since the vest is knit in mitered squares and I was on the first one.  I said what it was and because the magazine was handy, pointed out the cover picture. 

The woman who had looked at the magazine immediately started to tell the others how the vest was done.  Evidently she had not read the pattern because what she said was incorrect.  The body of the vest is not done in rectangles as she stated; it’s squares.  She was confused because there is a lower band knit on after the vest is assembled.  Before she left, she proceeded to tell me how to knit the vest her way which she felt, I’m sure, was a better way than the designer/pattern writer had said to do it.

Why not just follow the directions?  I know there are people who like to tweak patterns and do things in a different way than the pattern is written.  But why bother unless there is a mistake in the pattern or you need to make changes to the fit so it will fit your individual body?  I’m of the school of thought that if you want to get the garment you see in the magazine, then you should follow the directions as written.  I like this vest.  I want mine to look like the picture — at least as much as it can since I’m using very different yarn.  Therefore, I’m following the directions.  The woman at the knitting group can do whatever she wants.  It might be a surprise to her but she doesn’t know everything.

BTW, I’m very pleased with how my variegated yarn is working up in this pattern.

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1 Response to Why not follow directions?

  1. diann says:

    Sometimes I follow a pattern as written, but that’s rare. More often, I use a pattern as a jumping off point for the project I “see” in my minds eye.

    It may be a simple change – making the body longer or shorter, or more substantial – steeking a pullover to create a cardigan, or changing everything except the cable pattern. It’s my knitting, and I do what I want with it.

    Either way, it’s my knitting, and I’m the only one responsible for the end result. If I like it, it’s good.

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