Monday, May 12, 2014

Errata - A Completely Unscientific Survey

I was talking to a knitter recently who had some problems with a pattern due to errata. It got me wondering what the actual rate of errata is for patterns. Most of my peers in the Pro-Knitters group are pretty clear that it is unrealistic to think we won't have some errata in our patterns. Patterns are often a collaborative process and we depend on others with fresh perspectives to point out errors. In my case three people including myself work on my patterns. The scary part, each one of us finds different errors. Some of those errors will impact knit-ability so I think of them as critical. Others are copy edit or layout errors. They are not so important but I want to avoid those as well. 

Here's the unscientific part. I took two online knitting magazines and randomly checked ten patterns for listed errata. I chose only garment patterns, all published between 2010 and 2013. One had an errata rate of six out of ten patterns listed errata on their site. The other had one out of ten. This is totally unscientific with a sample base too small to generalize statistically so I won't name the publications. The rate of error could be between 10% and 60% based on these results.

Knitter Rule: always check your pattern for errata before starting to knit.

1 comment:

  1. I mostly knit from Ravelry patterns (easy, instant access), and I'd say half of them have errors - usually corrected already. Once I was among the very first to knit a pattern on Rav, and it had a an error that affected knitability. That's just anectote, but I think it's quite common, and that just shows the strengt of digital publishing - the ease of updating patterns once errors are discovered saves more on future knitters. Those rare instances when I knit from books, I always check the pattern page on Ravelry first, since I add my projects there anyway. Knitting from patterns not on Ravelry is not very tempting, because errata are harder to find, or not available.