yarn, needles, and…

i have always been a book girl. and for that reason when it comes to knitting i am also a book girl – with a magazine here and there for good measure. imagine my surprise when i started working at a yarn store and realized that not everybody is like me!

seriously, i think the only individual pattern i have ever bought is fiber trends felted clogs pattern. i knew what i was looking for, that this was a very high quality pattern, and i had seen tons of lovely pairs of them around.

and i guess that’s one thing that individual patterns have over books – the quality can be assured. they can be edited and sent out in a different form later if needed. the felted clog pattern? they made the clogs more narrow in subsequent versions. also, it’s easier to edit one pattern than a whole book load while on a deadline. and, i must say, there is something to be said about having control over your patterns. someone told me the other day that the whole reason elizabeth zimmermann stopped publishing her patterns in magazines and such was that the editors kept changing her patterns.

for my

so, there are scads of people who just want to have their one pattern, their yarn, and their needles and they’d be perfectly happy. my curiousity is peaked – what are you like? do you favor books? individual patterns? magazines? some mixture? why is that your preference? and what do you think of individual patterns? i feel that there are some very high quality patterns now coming out by indie designers. with the increased number and the high quality of such patterns, it is my belief is that they are destined to keep increasing. with the promised pdf deliverer for indie designers that is due soon on ravelry, are we looking at a designer driven revolution? let us wait and see. if so, i plan to be in the thick of it.

19 thoughts on “yarn, needles, and…

  1. I prefer individual patterns or magazines, but that is just because books are so expensive. I just can’t justify buying one on my starving student budget unless there is a lot in it that I would use! A seven dollar magazine for a couple of patterns that I might use and at least on article that I like, I can justify, or a pattern for 5-9 dollars that has good reviews and I like the shape of, I can justify, but a 20 dollar book that I might make one or two things from? Nope. And seeing as I have no bookstore that carries knitting books, I can’t look through them before buying them here, so I just don’t. :)

  2. Congrats on the yarn store job, Cosy. Like you, I am and always have been a book girl. Even just flipping through the pages of beautiful knitted goods is satisfying fare for distraction or inspiration. I only started buying the rare single pattern here and there for very specific projects. The indie knit designer movement is exciting and fun to watch and frankly, I love the idea of downloading a pdf spontaneously while lounging on the sofa. With some experience in the world of publishing, I can well imagine the tinkering EZimmerman’s patterns may have suffered at the hands of others who wanted to put their own fingerprint on them, or some such thing.

  3. The most famous incident (at least, to me) involving EZ’s patterns was a patterned yoke sweater she knit in the round and the magazine turned it into a seamed sweater knit flat. If memory serves, it was her first published pattern (she told the story in Knitting Around).

    I don’t buy a lot of patterns either and when I do, they’re usually for inspiration because I have to do so many alterations anyway to make the garment fit me properly (cursed with above-average upper arms). But when it comes to a felted slipper, I’d rather not work that out! That felted clog pattern is genius not just in the construction, but also in the communication.

  4. I have more individual patterns than books. I prefer them. I won’t buy a book if there’s only one pattern that I’d knit in there. With individual patterns, I get exactly what I want!

  5. I have books, I have magazines, and I have individual patterns. But I seldom knitt after the patterns, I just like looking at them for inspiration. And I have a tendensy to lose the indevidual ones…. The book I actually use is one that explanes diffrent technics, no patterns just how for example to do a triple increas or increas that dosen’t show in a 1/1 ribbing and such.

    I don’t know the E. Zimmerman story. But I thougt it was common for the publishers of pattern books and magazines to state that you may be asked to do changes in submitted patterns. The probably have some polishis thay follow and want all patterns to conform to it…

    In norway it is the yarn producers who publish most of the patterns, the usually ask a pattern designer they already know to design to their look of the moment. If the designer wants to publish patterns that follow their own vision they have to make patterns to fill a whole book by themself and get it published by the craft division at a book publisher.

  6. i buy a lot more books than patterns. i hem and haw a long time before i buy a individual pattern online! the price tends to be more too. a ten or five dollar pattern is actually quite a bit. as for books that only have one pattern i am interested in, i can’t count how many times i’ve seen someones work online that changed my mind!

  7. I have individual patterns, but they’re all free from knitty.com and other sources. However I prefer books because while they may have patterns I don’t want to knit there may be inspiration in said pattern for something else. Living on s student’s budget doesn’t always make for lots of book buying so often I check them out from my public library.

  8. I tend to prefer books of patterns, really, though it depends usually on if I’m looking for something specific. If I see a pattern that’s for sale individually and in a book or magazine, I’ll check out what else is in the magazine first. If there’s something else there I may want to knit in the future, then I buy the book. If nothing else catches my fancy, then I’ll just buy the one pattern.

    Welll, honestly, given the price of knitting books, there’d better be more than just one more thing I want to knit, or else I’d better want to knit two projects REALLY badly, to fork over $30-$50 for it. Magazines are easier to work into my expenses, though.

  9. I love books but not for patterns. Although if the pattern I like comes in a book so be it. I usually download free patterns from Knitty or my favourite knitting blogs or buy individual patterns from the designer. I like magazines sometimes if there is additional knitting information, how to’s, as well as several patterns I like.

  10. I always have a hard time with books and magazines. So often I pick up a book with 20 or 30 patterns in it, but only find 2 or 3 I can really connect with. The same goes for magazines.

    I like individual patterns (especially from places like knitty) where the designer really does (seem to) get to put a little bit of themselves into the pattern, rather than having to conform to what an editor wants.

  11. I am a book girl too. I LOVE books for not only the patterns that draw me to them (or designer in most cases) but the inspiration that flows when I’m flipping through. I buy a fair amount of patterns online, but I feel like it is a gamble sometimes for the price, and usually I put more thought into it than I do with buying a book. I get a look at how the patterns are written in a book, but when buying a PDF I don’t always have another pattern to reference. I find I buy from designers that I know, or ones that provide some other patterns on their web page for reference. I haven’t bought a poorly written pattern yet. I guess I’m always wondering if I will find one, and I’d rather not!

  12. I like books for a couple of reasons. Books are easier to keep track of. They create less clutter for me, as I have a bad habit of paper clutter and seeing paper laying around makes me feel guilty and lazy and like I’m just…about… to … lose… control. It’s a neurosis, I’m working on it.

    Anyway, another reason is that for me, most patterns require heavy adaptation if I’m making them for myself because of my size. (I’m quite a large woman) So I tend to use patterns as inspiration and as jumping-off points rather than as written in stone.

    Also, since I started off as a crocheter, I’m given to figuring it out as I go along so a certain amount of vague direction and errata is not much of a problem for me.

    Added to that is that essentially, I’m a fairly new knitter. I’ve been knitting less than two years. So I’m really not sure what I like best yet. So far, I’m running heavily towards stitch dictionaries, pattern “recipes” a la EZ, and Nancy Bush’s spiral bound sock books.

    (I also think all knitting books and books of music should be ring or spiral bound.)

  13. I’ve always been a book person too. I don’t read magazines, but have subscribed to Spin.Off and Interweave Magazine. I have bought a couple of single patterns, but usually don’t do that.

  14. I have a mix – books, magazines, and individual patterns – mostly magazines though my book collection is growing. I do have a tendency to purchase some individual patterns (or magazines with patterns) that I’m interested in whether or not I may knit them, if there’s a new skill or perspective I can learn from them.

    I’m glad you’ll be in the thick of it – you’ll be fun to watch!

  15. I’m a book lover, so I’ve got a ton of books…knitting and otherwise. Anymore, though, I’ll only buy a knitting book if it is something very different than any that I already own. I admit, however, I’m a sucker for beautiful photos, so if a book has excellent location photos, or sheep photos, I’m much more likely to buy it even if I don’t need it.

    That said, if I need a pattern these days, I always try to look through my books first to see if I can meet the need. If not, I go to work and look through the individual patterns. I’ll also go online, but those can often be iffy as far as accuracy, so if I’m on a deadline and don’t have time for adventure, I go with something more tried and true and less likely to have major oddities a part of it. :)

  16. I prefer books just because I like to look at the pictures. If a pattern doesn’t have a picture, I won’t make it. And I like the idea that I have the option to use the other patterns in the book if I need them at some point. I don’t buy individual patterns very much, but I do print free ones from the web. I do not have any knitting magazines because I think the patterns are dorky and way too complicated.

  17. I’m in the “individual patterns and magazines” group. Mainly because books are so expensive and I usually cannot justify spending $20-$25 for one or two patterns. Sometimes the price of the pattern is all that’s stopping me from either making, or not making, a project. Like the Kim Hargreaves patterns that only come in kits: there’s some of those that I desperately want to knit – but paying full-price for Rowan yarn WITH the currency conversion AND shipping from England? Nope, can’t do.

  18. I used to buy books, not just for the patterns but also for the techniques and how-to’s. Most books that have patterns I have gotten rid off because I never knit from them and I figure it’s a waste for me since I prefer to design my own patterns. Since I started blogging, I have come across very interesting and beautiful patterns that strike my fancy and would knit them, as time permits. If I notice a pattern from a book that gets my interest, I usually check out a book from the local library.

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