When I first tried to categorize my patterns I asked my husband for help finding the right words. He correctly pointed out that all the terms commonly used in rating knitting patterns were judgmental of the knitter, and did not rate the pattern difficulty levels. I believe most knitters can do anything they set their minds to, so I have chosen to rate the pattern difficulty, not the knitter. These are just guidelines, and I‘ve been known to fudge them. This should help you find a pattern difficulty that will work based on how much you want to put into that particular project. Because you can do anything!
What Is Included in Pattern Difficulty Levels?
Check the Pattern Difficulty Levels document below for details on how I’ve broken down the levels in my patterns. The graphic is an at-a-glance tool.
Type of Knitting
Type of knitting is appended to the pattern difficulty level because I like to give a heads up on the major portion of the knitting–is it flat, in the round (ITR), lace, cables, one piece to armholes, etc. I sometimes get asked if a piece is bottom up or top down, and unless otherwise specified, they are bottom up. This is just an “at a glance” description and doesn’t cover everything in the pattern.
Complexity of Pattern Contents
I endeavor to set out pattern directions so that you can move a sticky note down a page, always tracking where you are. I use a lot of section headings to make it clear where you are in relationship to major segments of the project. I often put row-by-row instructions into tables so it is easy to follow your size. I include as much white space as is possible to make it visually easy to use my patterns.
You will find my patterns are much more detailed than patterns you may be accustomed to, but this does not correlate to pattern difficulty, just the amount of instruction I have included. It is not unusual for my patterns to be between 8 and 20 pages–or even much longer when I put in a lot of shaping charts. I provide written instructions, charts, schematics, and right and left shaping.
Once you get the drift of what I’ve done you may find you don‘t need to slavishly follow the pattern if you don’t like. If you work that way, do check in to make sure you haven‘t missed something as you go. The information you don’t need may be just the thing another knitter is looking for. You never know and when the knitting gets trickier, you may find my instruction useful.
I find that it is impossible to give just the right amount of information for everyone. I am hopeful that in each pattern I create I am imparting confidence and knowledge to each knitter.