Sunday, November 15, 2009

How to Use Patterns Ineffectively

one of many pattern-free seat-of-my-pants projects.  This set fit for about two days before he grew out of it. 

As many of you know, the interwebs are full of interesting patterns that you can use free of charge for any project you might have in mind.  Some of these things would never have been in my mind if it wasn't for the internet, and for that, my therapist is thankful. 

So, say you want to start a new project.  Maybe your BFF asked you to make some monkey toys, and even though you've made many, many monkeys, you feel like it's time to find a proper, cuter pattern that better fits her expectations.  Ready?  Let's go!

1.  Spend as many hours as possible looking up patterns: spending hours on is a given.  If you are not already a member, you're probably wondering what to do with all that abundant free time.  The hours you are using finishing projects, tending to family members, working, and eating could be better spent reading about the knit and crochet items spotted in the most recent episode of "True Blood."  Children, this is why Al Gore invented the internet.  Oh yeah, and when you're done with that, look for a pattern.  I actually found one on,  an awesome site that features so many DIY projects, patterns, and articles that you will wish you'd refilled that high school scrip for Ritalin. 

2. Shop for supplies: There's no point in looking - there is nothing in your house that will work for this project.  Whether you're shopping online or at your local craft store, spend as much time as possible agonizing over what would be best. Then pick the worst possible match of all present choices.  And don't even consider the recommended yarn, yarn weight, or notions.  They stifle your creativity.

3. Read some of the pattern: The key is not to read all of it - another creativity stifler.  Today I spent hours trying to do just one repeat of a simple mouth section before I realized a) I was trying to make 1 in the English method, but I'm a Continental knitter, and these things are not compatible and b) I didn't notice that there was only three m1 in the entire round, not a m1 every other stitch.  After throwing the ball of yarn (accidentally) into a potted plant, I saw that much of it could not be saved.  Repeat step 2.

4.  Say (Expletive of your choice):  Why did you even try to follow a pattern?  You can't even follow a recipe.  Or the instructions to Monopoly (admit that you never knew how to get hotels).  Just go freeform and do whatever you want.  The end result will suck, but if anyone makes fun of it, say you were "fighting the man" or "fighting for democracy" or whatever your tshirt says. 

That's the end of today's helpful hints.  I think I need more coffee!

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