It’s so much fun, right?! Looking through patterns, dreaming of that perfect project. You have in mind:
- the perfect yarn
- the perfect design
- the perfect working up of it
- the perfect way it’ll look when you’re done
Before you let all those wonderful thoughts go too far, make sure you selected a good designer too.
Before Choosing a New-to-You Designer
There are tons of great designers out there. Just make sure you’re making good use of your time by following these tips.
Many of these tips use Ravelry, but the last one can bring up blog articles and social posts as well.
Comments in Ravelry
You probably read reviews before buying an item on Amazon or your online store-of-choice.
Just remember that:
- Every comment doesn’t need to be positive.
- In general, people are more inclined to leave a negative review and less inclined if everything went well.
- You can learn A LOT about their pattern-writing approach in the comments, such as “I didn’t realize that only charts were included in the pattern.” or “I didn’t match the gauge exactly and it was difficult given that all the instructions were row-by-row.”. These comments are neither negative nor positive, but they could help inform you if the style is for you.
Again, everyone’s 5-star may not be the same, but it could give you a good idea. For example, if there are 100 votes and they’re all 1-star, it could tell you a lot about the designs.
Look at Projects that have already Been Made
The pictures can be helpful and so can the comments!
If there are a lot, you can even check the “Helpful Comments” by using Most Helpful comments in Ravelry. Just go to the design page, click “Projects” and then “Advanced Search“. On that page, click the drop down and select “Most Helpful“. This tends to work better on older or more popular designs, but it’s easy to try with any design!
Look at their Free Patterns
Get an idea of their pattern-writing style and see if it’s a good fit for you.
And in that spirit, if you like the way they write on the Knotions site, that’s a good indicator as well.
Does Your Yarn Fit?
While this one isn’t about the designer, it can help you to make sure your yarn choice is a good one.
Go to the design page, and click “Yarn Ideas” in the menu for the project.
Check in a Search Engine
Google these to get other things said as well:
- Designer name
- Design name
Make an Informed Choice
Be a good consumer – do your research before you start the project! It’s a lot of your time and yarn, so take a bit of time to make a good choice.
And remember, the designer is a big part of the choice, but so it the yarn, the gauge, your experience and how well it suits you – so choose wisely. And if you start working on things and it doesn’t feel right, don’t think that another <insert time/length here> will make it better, it rarely does. I mean, how often have you made a bad recipe good without really changing it up? The same goes for crafting projects too.
About the Instructor: Jody Richards
Jody is the founder and lead editor of Knotions. She loves poring over stitch dictionaries and trying out new stitches. And while she likes all things crafting (well ok, except that one thing), yarn crafts are her true love (and she has the stash to prove it).
She’s a serial starter-of-projects and has a serious problem with finishing things without a deadline.
And don’t get her talking about hand-dyed yarns. You’ve been warned.