Monday, 7 May 2012

I need some help !!
I'm setting up the pages for the Plus V-neck Top Down book and I am trying to decide how many choices are too many. In this book the Basic Cardigan has the potential for many decisions along the way. To me this is one of the great advantages of Top Down knitting, deciding along the way, but it may be overwhelming. My question is not whether to include all of the choices below but where to put them in the book: at the back in an Optional Modifications section or sprinkled through the book so that a decision can be made with all the information there? I like to make up my mind as I go but maybe more people like one pattern all laid out. If the alternatives are sprinkled through the book we will make those pages look different somehow: different border, different font, different something.

For instance, should I write the Basic pattern out for the Straight Body with the alternative of adding in Waist and Hip Shaping on the next page OR put in a note to say if you want to add Waist and Hip Shaping go to the back of the book to the Optional Modifications section.
Should I write the pattern with Long sleeves and say that all the alternative sleeve lengths are at the back OR put all the sleeve lengths right there all together.

Straight Body with option of adding in Waist and Hip Shaping.
Lengths: Shorty, Standard, Long or Very Long
Sleeve lengths:  Long sleeves with option of Cap, Short, 3/4 Sleeves.
While working the sleeves there are possible adjustments to make a narrower or wider Sleeve.
Simpler wide neck opening with option of more involved raised neck opening and a further option of adding on a collar.

This is a 60 page booklet and not a single pattern. It begins with a Basic cardigan in stockinette stitch followed by 3 more cardigans with lace and texture patterns on them which are based on the Basic cardigan. These patterned cardigans refer back to the Basic pattern with only the changes from the Basic written out (for instance, the lace skirt is written out, see previous 3 posts).

Consider page flipping vs possibility of overwhelming the beginner. Any thoughts?


  1. I would welcome an Optional Modifications section where I can pick and choose the mods I want to incorporate into my sweater.

  2. I think I would include a section on modifications - calling it some cute name like - Modification Madness or Modification Mania or Multiple Modifications. Put all the modification in that section in alphabetical order. As you read/work through the basic knit, it would refer to one of the modifications in the Modification section.

  3. A separate section for mod options ..I like clarity .. I like the clarity of the Button-Up book. I have my fingers crossed for a plus book in the same format.

  4. As a relatively new knitter (just one year) I would like to have the options with the pattern instead of their own section. That way I can easily visualize what I can do as I go.

  5. I think a section of modifications would work better, but the references to that section should be clear. I would likely knit a basic before I tried any modifications.

  6. Tell it as it goes... As the knitter makes their decision as to what version of sweater they are going to make, with/without collar, sleeve options- I think having that information as the sweater progresses saves flipping back and forth.
    Start at the top and work down in print the same as they knit..

  7. I'd like a separate area for modifications, as long as it's clear in the pattern to say 'modify for waist shaping see page 58' etc to clarify where to look :-)

  8. Clearly, your readers have definite views on this! I vote for inclusion as you go, but with the options clearly separated from the body of the pattern. I hate flipping to the back for info.

  9. Hester from Atlanta11 May 2012 at 13:02

    I personally like having the mods in a separate place from the baisc pattern. This way you can view the basics from start to finish and then add stuff as you go along. I always end up making a xerox copy for my own use so I can enlarge it for easier reading and make notes where I want to. I imagine a lot of knitters work this way also.

  10. I believe for the most up-to-date knitting reference, the waist-version would be the main version (it's been the primary flattering style, with no signs of changing, for the last 4-5 years or so.

    But would definitely include the straight version, right in the pattern.

    Would also be a very good thing to show photos of both versions, to help the purchaser of your book make the best choice!


  11. I don't like flipping either. It's going to be a touch choice though Deb, as your readers seems split on this. Jed


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