20 May 2015

More mutterings

I'd like to continue on my thoughts again today so if you're not interested please don't read the rest!!!

Another 'trend' in pattern writing is one which uses lots and lots of photos of work in progress (WIP).  Bit like a 'still' video.  I worry about this for two simple reasons.  The quantities of paper and the amount of ink used - particularly in the colour pictures.  Surely some carefully thought out text could replace a few of the pictures?  Do we actually need everything spelled out for us or are these just very complicated patterns?  I'm not sure.

Some time ago I was asked to test tat (or maybe I volunteered) a pattern.  I do like test tatting although I try hard not to enforce my ideas on the designer - I  also learn a lot too.  The pattern I'm talking about was last year or the year before and (IF I'd printed it) it would've been 15 pages long. That's 15 sheets of paper and a lotta ink!  Not a problem IF it had needed 15 sheets of paper!!!  

The 'introduction' took 3 pages and the whole of the pattern could've been placed on around 3/4 pages.  By the way - it was for a small motif measuring just 4"/5".  Fancy fonts, great areas of white paper don't make for a good pattern in my opinion.  In fact I'm afraid I never did fully understand it in spite of the 15 pages and had to very reluctantly give up on it.  This is a pattern which is now for sale.

Now if I'd bought that pattern for a few pounds and then had to spend lots more on printing it I would've been a very unhappy lass.  I saved my printing costs by working with it on the laptop - not ideal but better than wasting a tree and ink (which, by the way, is almost as expensive as gold).  

End of mutterings!!!


Maureen said...

Some modern knitting patterns give you the choice of printing the whole thing, or just the essentials. That's a good compromise, you can have the instructions sitting next to you and if you need to see the pictures, you can do that on the website.

Pigmini said...

Sometimes people don't think about the planet do they? What about those who access the pattern on a tablet or phone whilst on holiday?? No access to wifi 24/7 or printer!!

Susie said...

I actually like the "step by step" photos of some of the intermediate things, BUT I also love to have a diagram on a single page with stitch counts. Best of both worlds!

Anke said...

Very well spoken, Jane!
I tend to copy and paste the essentials in another file if the original is too big for me. So I can print as much as I really need. Sometimes that wastes a bit of time - but not as much paper and ink!

Jane McLellan said...

So many things to take into account when writing a pattern! I like the idea of having perhaps having photos on one page that doesn't have to be printed, as Maureen and Susie say.

Fox said...

Another great observation, Jane. I agree with you about this, but not for any environmental reasons at all. Being dyslexic, I have certain quirks... One thing I cannot do is absorb all those pages of diagrams and stages of explanation. My brain just shuts down. I am certain you do not have to be dyslexic to feel the same about this! Somehow, this lengthy mode of explanation ties in to Jeffs description of laziness in the last post. Ironically, many pages of explanation are way more demanding than a more refined way of presenting the pattern! 15 pages is outrageous IMHO for a small motif!

Lace-lovin' Librarian ~ Diane said...

Simple works well for me most of the time. Every once in a while I need more detail, but I feel like I'm smart enough to figure things out if I just take the time.

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