Friday, February 8, 2013

Patterns are just a guide

That's one of my patterns - Rust Goes Green. It's a crocheted market bag and the statistics are from Ravelry. Do you see that? That's over 8500 downloads. That's a lot of downloads for any pattern.

This week at my knitting group a member of my family tribe (cousin's niece from the other side) came over to drop off Girl Scout cookies (thank you Jen. And no, they didn't make it to the freezer!) Anyway, Jen is a crocheter and told me she had made the bag and created a gift for her child's teacher who was going on a cruise. Rust Goes Green with several cruise related items in it. How clever is that! She also said it turned out bigger than my measurements given. But that was OK with her.

That comment got me babbling about all the emails and messages I've gotten from people who have made the bag. Now - before I go too far, let me say first - I LOVE getting emails from people who made any of my patterns and enjoyed the item. They give me that "you like me, you really like me" moment and boost my ego (which is pretty fragile and I need all the help I can get!) But, I do get some emails that surprise me.

Some of the things people ask me are:

My handles are longer than I like. Can I make them shorter?
I made the bag longer (or shorter). Is that OK?
Do I have to put a button loop on it?
My gauge is different. Is that OK?
and similar type questions.

At first these question were enough to drive me crazy but then I took a step back and realized there are many, many people out there knitting, crocheting, quilting that just don't believe in themselves enough to use a pattern as a guide but not as "THE law".

So - here I am giving you permission to knit - crochet - quilt with gusto. Use a pattern to get you started but change it all you want. If something doesn't turn out exactly the same or exactly right, that's OK. You've learned something in the process. Hopefully, something that worked and you can use in the future but maybe something that didn't turn out right and you've learned what you won't do again. Trying things different from the pattern is the first step to designing your own things. Have fun. Enjoy. Go out there and try something new!

Oh, and if you do make one of my patterns and you do something different with it. Let me see the results. I really do love to see all the variation!

No comments: