As promised last week, today I present to you The Vest Of Podcast Fame: Honey. Though Honey was finished a while ago, it took some time for all the elements to coincide properly so we could take photos. Considering the amount of effort I put into it, I wanted to have really good photos and didn’t mind waiting. The credit (and a big hug) for them goes to my best friend, who is steadily becoming my official photographer. We’re both learning as we go and having lots of fun at it. And every time we shoot something, I can’t wait for the next time!
Now, I’ve wanted to knit myself a vest for so long now. I love the idea of them. When I was 7 years old, I had a vest that I used to wear to school (first grade, eek!) all the time. When I think of vests now, I see an image of a nice warm colour paired with a white shirt, for a professional yet casual look. These are all the things I was thinking of when I was looking for a vest to knit.
I first noticed the Green Day pattern on handpande’s project page. And to be honest, good thing I did. Because if I had come across the pattern page first, I probably wouldn’t have looked twice before clicking the little red x in the top right-hand corner of the screen. I really don’t think the photos there do the pattern justice – especially with one of them (at the very top) not even being available any more. The funny thing is, it’s not the first time something like this happens to me via handepande. Her project page also led me to the Pajunkissa hat pattern – which I made (in three versions!) according to her mods, rather than the significantly different per-pattern version.
The pattern itself, I’m sad to say, is not written much better than its Ravelry page would lead you to expect. It is far from polished. First of all, the pattern is written for knitting on straight needles, even though the designer’s photos show a closed garment rather than a buttoned one. So the knitter is left to his or her own devices to modify the pattern to knit in the round, so as to get what the pattern photos show! That’s pretty illogical if you ask me.
Furthermore, the chart is rather confusing. It is partially duplicated without telling you that what you’re seeing is one and a half repeat rather than one full repeat. This led me to having some really strange twists in my cables, before realising what was going on, and having to rip 4 rounds.
Finally, there are some errors in the English translation. And I’m not speaking about not using the exact English knitting term. Rather, some numbers were copied wrong. Now, I’m a translator myself and I know translators get a lot of gruff for failing to copy numbers correctly and little acknowledgement for other things into which they put a lot of effort, but in a knitting pattern numbers are pretty crucial, I dare say.
So if you’re planning to knit this pattern, be warned: you’ll need to modify it for knitting in the round (unless you want a seam smack in the middle of your front) and figure out where the errors are. However, I’d say that with some experience and knitter’s intuition you should be able to make it work without major issues. I knit mine in the round, made it longer than the pattern stipulated, and worked out all the errors (though some after an attempt or two) – and this was only my third or fourth adult garment ever.
Having said all that, I can hear a little voice at the back of my head, saying “You’re too critical. It’s a FREE pattern. You have no right to demand anything from it.” True, it’s free. I didn’t pay anything for it so I might as well work harder to make sense of it, and, not having paid anything, I have no “claim” to demand better quality for my money. Are we allowed to mention when free patterns are poorly-written at all or is even that rude and ungrateful? I’d love to hear your opinions.
I’d like to note here that it’s possible the designer didn’t even intend to be a designer – she may have just written up her notes because others asked for them upon seeing her improvised FO. This would explain the failure to polish the pattern to a great extent. So why on earth am I grumbling? Well, here’s the thing: I enjoyed knitting this very much, it was just challenging enough, it was fairly easy to modify, and it yielded a beautiful result. It is precisely for these reasons that I’d like the pattern to be presented better and polished a bit more – I’m sure a lot more people would be making it then, and it’s what the pattern definitely deserves!