On Buying Patterns

So, Shireen and I were chatting the other day about number of patterns sold vs. number of Ravelry projects, and she commented that you could easily have far fewer projects on Rav than you have actual pattern sales.

“After all”, she said, “How many of the patterns that you have purchased have you actually knit?”

A fine question.  So in a bit of a lull I seem to be having today, I took a count.  I counted all patterns that I had purchased that had actually cost me something.  It included collections, but not books, and it didn’t include gifts from friends or from the designer herself.  Nor did it include paid patterns that were free due to a promotion or code or similar.

In my few years on Rav, I have personally purchased 84 patterns…and knit/started 13 of them.  Two of those were frogged before completion.

So that’s an average of about 1 pattern knit for every 7 I have purchased.  In some cases, I didn’t get to it right away, and my taste changed before I cast it on.  I bought a hat pattern for Chase who later decided he didn’t love it after all.  In some cases, I bought it and when I checked the construction or in the case of a sock, the size of the cast on, it just didn’t suit.  And in some cases, the pattern just sits in my queue…waiting.

One in seven.  I choose to see it as “supporting designers”.

But I still should get to knitting some of them.


In my short time as a knitter, I have frequently noticed that I can see a design and think (if I am honest with myself) “Now why would anyone want to knit that?”  I put the item out of my head and keep going.  Then later, I go back to the item and wonder what I ever disliked about it.

The biggest example of this that I can think of:  any object that fell into the entire category of cowls.  When I started knitting, I thought they were the silliest thing in the world.  After all, who wants to knit part of a turtleneck sweater?  Funnily, years later, I haven’t a clue what I was on about.  I knit a few early on for friends and remember thinking, “These are great!  You don’t have all that fabric under the front of your coat.  They can’t fall off and get lost…always a bonus.  They take up less yarn and are faster to knit than scarves.  And they are in the round, which generally means less purling.”  As someone who is highly purl-averse, this is not something to be taken lightly.

Calorimetry seems to have fallen into the category of something to which I once didn’t give the time of day but is something I am now seriously considering.  When I saw my friend Shireen on the weekend, she showed me one she had knit and it was pretty cute.  Because I wear ponytails a lot, especially on weekends, hats don’t tend to sit right.  (Plus I generally look like a giant dork in hats!)  And weekends are the exact times I need something to cover my ears when I take my dog, Kayleigh, outside or I just want to take a walk in the snow.  (Stop laughing…it could happen.)

And best of all, they take less than 100 yards of worsted weight yarn.  So now I am stashdiving, as I know I have a couple of small skeins of worsted weight yarn that I remember thinking, “These are so tiny…whatever will I do with them?”  Perhaps this is the answer.

I also found a small 50 g skein of single ply worsted that I handspun on my spindle.  After I soaked it and skeined it, I recall thinking “The yardage of this skein is so small.  Pity it’s never going to actually be anything”.

Fleece Artist BFL Handspun

Fleece Artist BFL Handspun

Now, maybe it will.