Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Knitters do you Look at the Schematic?

Recently I was looking at Ravelry comments on garments with a silhouette that I was considering for an upcoming project. 

One of the great things about Ravelry is the ability to read the comments of other knitters. Many of the more recent knitters had made a modification to lengthen the back of a specific garment based on the comments about earlier completed projects. 

The comments were:

"but the photo doesn’t show the back which is super short"

"pattern leaflet doesn’t show the back, and if I’d seen it, I would have modified it to make it a little longer"

"it’s crazy short in the back and long in the front"

"I didn’t realize it would be so short in back"

"the back is very short!! Modified pattern for different gauge yarn. Wouldn’t make it again with such a short back"

"I really couldn’t stand the super short back"

It is true there was no photo of the garment back, however there was a detailed schematic that did show each piece. The length of the back was clearly marked. The pattern is a few years old. It is becoming more standard to include multiple photos online, however I think this one was originally a printed version. (The schematic at the top is not the one the comments were on).

I spend a lot of time and effort on the schematics that go with my patterns so I'm a little concerned that many knitters may not be looking at them. I checked with some of my designer friends to hear what they think. I heard a few stories about knitting disasters and complaints about specific patterns that were due to assumptions made by the knitter without looking at the schematic.

Do you look at the schematic and adjust the pattern accordingly?


  1. Perhaps it is because I am tall and always need to adjust every pattern, but I do look at the schematic a lot. Interesting to read this article though. Perhaps it is another one of those things that just experienced knitters do?

  2. I also look at the schematic, particularly the chest, length and how much shaping there is (or isn't) depending on the style of sweater I'm looking for.

  3. I look at the schematic when I can't get the information I want from the photos or when I've decided to make the pattern using a completely different gauge (and thus have to recalculate everything). It really depends, but I find they're really helpful to have in case I do need to check back with it.

  4. I always look at the schematic, and will hesitate to make a pattern without one. There is such a wide variation in ease between patterns, it's the only way to tell how the finished garment will look.

  5. Yes, the schematic is my friend! I always check; I'm really short-waisted and usually have to make some adjustments. I also like to know how much ease there is, and if there is any waist shaping and where that hits.

  6. I always check the schematic. In fact, it's one of the first things I look at because it contains most of the information I need.

  7. I don't knit very fast, so mistakes feels very costly - I read every pattern super thorough, to avoid making uneccessary ones. Schematics are super useful, especially if it's a new pattern and fewer comments on Rav.

  8. Yes. In fact sometimes I will bypass a pattern that does not have a schematic.

  9. I recently saw a picture on a website of a popular yarn brand here in Australia. I instantly fell in love and hunted for the pattern. Eventually I found it and then hunted for a stockist.
    It ended up being on the expensive side but I loved it too much to not buy.

    When it arrived in the mail I was sorely disappointed. It was poorly written and no schematic. The pattern was a sleeveless cardigan but made up of 5 pieces and trying to figure the whole thing out was a headache.

    I don't like patterns without schematics. It just lets me see in my head what I'm knitting and where I'm heading.
    I think in the same way that I check the price tag of a garment in the shop before looking too much and trying it on I need to ensure there's a schematic before falling in love with a pattern