Thursday, February 6, 2014

It's Hard to Write a Pattern

Page from Ice Skate Baby Booties Pattern
I've dealt with patterns for longer than half a century, for everything from a tiny child's pinafore to 1100 square feet of house addition (yes, a set of blueprints is actually a sort of pattern!).  Many times, I've grumbled when attempting to follow the instructions that the writer had no idea how to make what they were trying to explain.  The directions were so jumbled and confusing, making the creation process frustrating and far from enjoyable.  But then, I wrote a pattern of my own.

What a shock it was to me that it is incredibly hard to write a pattern on something you know so well and just "do."  Every detail of the item needs to be explained in the pattern so that someone who has never done it can be successful.  Even the things that seem so obvious need to be mentioned.  It was a write and revise and add to and rework process that took several days to complete.  But once it was done, I had learned two things...  it takes a special kind of patience and attention to detail to write a pattern, and secondly, I need to be more aware of the efforts of the creator of any pattern I use in the future! 

I have so much more regard now for any pattern, as I can appreciate what went into it before it ended up in my possession.  The next time you use a pattern, say thanks to the person who took the time to think it through and get it published, even if it's only quietly to yourself.