Perfect Crochet Patterns Goes Bad

Sheri Goad

Crocheting is my addiction. I’m a mom, wife, home daycare provider, crocheter, writer, youth director, crafter and more. I like trying new things but only stick to those that I love. Life is too short to be doing things you don’t love. I blog regularly at Frogging Along, and I am a Guest Blogger at Knot Just Yarn Blog for The Crochet Crowd.

46 thoughts on “Perfect Crochet Patterns Goes Bad

  • January 13, 2015 at 7:25 pm
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    Love your article and, yes, you were right on! This Christmas I made hats for all 12 of my grandkids and found a very attractive pattern for wristers to go with my creation for one specific granddaughter. I had used the butterfly stitch before and felt confident as I happily crocheted up to the thumb opening. Well, it went south from there. I reread, frogged, and eventually threw it in the corner (where it still sits). Needless to say… NOone got wristers to go with their hats. lol Thanks for sharing the love.

  • October 18, 2014 at 12:05 pm
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    I had this issue recently. I contacted the designer over a dozen times for multiple problems in the pattern. I then left a comment on the pattern noting what I had done to get the pattern to work for me, she deleted my comment and said I was too new of a crocheter to understand her pattern. Well, if you write it in your own terms and not standard notation, anyone and everyone will be a new crafter.

  • October 8, 2014 at 11:33 pm
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    you discribed exactly the feelings i got a couple of times. my mistake was to overestimated my knowledge; when i began the work for 3rd time and read the instructions more carefully, it came crystal like water. I guess rule number 0 is: close your eyes for a moment, take a deep breath and read all instructions again.
    by the way i’m just throu this experience right now with pattern of hat 19/30.

  • October 8, 2014 at 7:07 am
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    Great article and yes as a matter of fact recently. I was making a lap/baby blanket. It was one big square with a bunch of different stitches. I got most of it done and the stitches were pretty close then it went to open stitches and I couldn’t get it right so I stopped where I was and invented my own stitches to finish it LOL. I have been crocheting over 40 years. Yes I too get stumped LOL

  • October 5, 2014 at 2:52 pm
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    This has happened to me a lot! The most recent time I remember was when I was making an Afghan for my daughter. After going over it several times, I figured out the count just wasn’t matching. I couldn’t figure out why either. I finally mentally said, “Well, you’re on your on NOW!” and finished it the best way I could. Fortunately, it was for a ripple Afghan–which I’ve made before. So I had an idea how it should go, and it turned out fine. That isn’t always something you can do, though. I’m sure this is probably the biggest reason for the many unfinished WIPs in my stash!

  • October 4, 2014 at 9:07 am
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    Hi Mikey

    I love your videos &challenges. I had a random thought. I crochet & loom knit. I would love to see video tutorials, challenges & patterns from you. Have you ever thought of venturing into this area?

  • October 3, 2014 at 5:17 pm
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    I now only buy patterns if the have the diagram as well so at least I can follow that.

  • October 3, 2014 at 10:28 am
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    Oh my goodness, I have encountered a countless number of patterns that didn’t pass the smell test! After dropping the “f” bomb a few times, I just fudged it to make it work. The alterations/”fudgings” were for the most part unrecognizable; but, I knew they were there, and it just vexed me greatly! Thanks for your article! It gave me an outlet for my frustration.

  • October 3, 2014 at 4:42 am
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    Good article. I have had patterns with mistakes before and never thought of contacting the designer for help. I just found another pattern that will use the same yarn.

  • October 3, 2014 at 12:47 am
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    Sherrilee commented that she found that many patterns labeled “beginner” contained errors and I agree with her observation. A cousin and I started learning to crochet at about the same time and would put our heads together and puzzle out patterns and stitches. She preferred patterns that were labeled “beginner” or “easy”. I always jumped in at the deep end of the pool, so to speak, and went for patterns that were above my current abilities. Both of us spent a lot of time pulling out hair and flinging patterns across the room! But, while my frustration stemmed from user error, a lot of hers came from pattern error. When we would get together to see if we could figure out what she was doing wrong we would find out, more often than not, that there was a mistake in the written pattern. I wonder how many beginners have put down their needles thinking that they lacked the ability to understand the how-tos of knitting or crochet when the problem was an error in the first 2 or 3 “easy” patterns they chose? Thank goodness my cousin and I have had each other for moral support! Having said all of that, I’d like to say that the majority of designers that I’ve come across are delightful, talented, conscientious people who check their patterns carefully and are quite helpful if a problem is found. Designing and writing patterns is difficult and my hat’s off to all those who do it for those of us who can’t!

  • October 2, 2014 at 10:18 pm
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    Love photo #3 but how did you get my picture and then superimpose someone else into it??? I bet we all look just like that when we are stumped by a pattern.

  • October 2, 2014 at 7:31 pm
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    I was having trouble with a Greek/English translation, with one row only. After undoing it a dozen times and getting my son and husband to read it out to me slowly (which usually works) I figured the translation was wrong and I ended up making it fit. It has turned out fine and you can’t tell where I went wrong.

  • October 2, 2014 at 7:06 pm
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    well It is so funny you have chosen to post this today.. I am working a pattern now on 2 different projects nod I got to round 7 on one and it was just wrong… contacted the designer and she sent a re work but I got to row 20 and its a mess a gain.. My other project I have reworked and tore it out and done in 3 times now and it still doesn’t look correct…

  • October 2, 2014 at 5:53 pm
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    i only use patterns on Red Heart, Lion Brand these two sites seem to have excellent written patterns.

  • October 2, 2014 at 4:17 pm
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    There is a designer out there that makes all different types of crochet items. Every single pattern has an error in it. Like missing a row or hdc instead of dc. She has both free and purchased patterns but I will never pick one from her again. Like Janet before me said, they don’t want another finished product out there as perfect as the designers. Shame on them. Kathy (before me!) said she contacted Red Heart and they helped her. I contacted Yarnspirations (twice in fact!!) and they answered the next day with solutions, corrections and just simple niceness!!! Great article Sheri!

  • October 2, 2014 at 3:56 pm
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    This happened to me on the Twilight Shells throw. I absolutely could NOT figure it out. I threw the pattern in the WIP box and gave the first few rows I limped through to my daughter as a belt.

  • October 2, 2014 at 3:33 pm
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    I have had THE worst trouble with some patterns that are “beginner”.
    I think that many so-called simple patterns are not checked as carefully as some that are “intermediate” and beyond.

    I have also been learning new stitches/techniques that I didn’t know before. Like front and back post stitching, etc.

    Also I know that some people need to write the written instructions as a chart form, often to see if the pattern actually is following it’s own description.

    I’m learning to use charts for that reason and also because many beautiful items in Russian or Japanese crochet use charts so that even if you don’t speak the language you can still make the item.

  • October 2, 2014 at 1:34 pm
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    I soooo agree! I bought this pattern, something I rarely do because so many cute ones are free, but it was for a puzzle animal. I wanted to make some for the grandkids. Anyway, the way the instructions are written is so confusing and cumbersome, I gave up for now. She has you scrolling back and forth between general instructions and specific ones for each animal. (We’re talking 8-10 pages apart) and because the specific instructions say to go to the general and then the general say check the specific, I haven’t a clue what I’m doing. The general told me to make these lid thingies, but not what to do with them. The specific rules don’t even mention the lid thingies. It would have been far better to just put the instructions on each animal.
    Thanks for the article.

  • October 2, 2014 at 12:50 pm
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    Raising my hands and shouting, “AMEN”!!!!! Had bought a book full of cute wash cloth patterns….each and everyone….I was so frustrated….I threw it in the trash yesterday. Sighhhhhhhh, I took it back out, looked at it and then decided that some patterns have mistakes on purpose so that my work will never look as good as the designers. Is back in the trash and I picked a new stitch to learn and am happily making wash cloths again. Some times those glossy pattern books just aren’t worth the patches of hair I have torn from my head. I do love crocheting.

    • October 2, 2014 at 1:58 pm
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      You are “Bang on” for sure!! I hate mistakes in both free and paid patterns. It is very frustrating!!! I usually do whatever I have to do to make the count for the row work. *rolls eyes*. And Janet, I swear I have thought the same thing about designers having mistakes printed on purpose too!!!! LOL! Not the reputable designers of course! Just “some” designers. lololol

    • October 2, 2014 at 2:21 pm
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      Discovered a designer that did this quite often in her patterns, lays thought it was my fault. Mentioned it one day at a. Craft group that I had joined. Turned out that out of the 20 ladies in the group 3 plus myself had this problem with the one designer.
      It was always on the most costly ( in terms of materials ) so there was no way I was going to discard these items.
      Walkways managed to find a way around the problem, but avoided her patterns for evermore.
      They were knitted in silk & heavenly beaded dresses for porcelains dolls dresses .
      Almost turned me off my passion for making them.
      But perseverance won out.
      I made a set for each of my 3 grand daughters, for keepsakes & to be family
      Heirlooms.

  • October 2, 2014 at 12:29 pm
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    I paid for a pattern, bought the yarn from the same designer and there was a major error meaning the whole design in the pattern didn’t come out right. I emailed them never heard anything back and a couple of weeks later they released the pattern for free with the corrections on it. I was a bit mad at first but then realised I could now finish my project so it wasn’t a total waste of money after all. But I won’t buy a pattern from them again.

  • October 2, 2014 at 12:28 pm
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    Another thing, when you make something you LOVE, and it doesn’t fit. Sure, I used the medium, but I’m guessing I should have used the Large. That’s okay. I made it into a vest, for someone else. Then, went and purchased the same yarn again and went to work on the LARGE…..but got bored with it, and now it sits. It’s a beautiful cardigan to be…… I WILL finish it before winter sets it. It’s gorgeous!! <3

  • October 2, 2014 at 12:21 pm
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    So many times!!! I am usually pretty good about finding a working solution. I use many free patterns, so run into this quite often. However, I purchased a pattern recently and found that it was not as clear as I expected. I have ripped out more stitches than I have crocheted on this project. Hopefully one day I will be able to say it is finished!

  • October 2, 2014 at 12:13 pm
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    Ahhh, yes, I have been in this spot. It took some firm convincing, but eventually, the designer sent me a corrected pattern…but it was too little too late, by then I had already done it my own way. :/ It wasn’t perfect, but it worked lol
    Haven’t looked at the pattern or designer since! Bad “customer service” just that once was enough to turn me away forever! I can understand pattern errors, it happens, but to have a designer not even bother to help you or be rude when their pattern doesn’t make sense? No thanks!

  • October 2, 2014 at 12:07 pm
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    OMG this just happened to me. Mikey had posted a hat pattern for the 30 days of hats, day 22 of 30. This particular one caught my eye. My first thought was I can make this for my youngest. I had everything I needed; the pattern printed out, hook, yarn (my daughters favorite color Purple), stitch markers, scissors, pencil (for checking off the rows as I go) and needle to weave in my ends. I was actually excited about doing this pattern so I could see the fruits of my work on my child.
    I was doing really good till about the 13th rnd, that is when things fell apart. I ended up trying again with 2 colors like the pattern stated and I still struck out. After Google searching and sending out a few emails I finally got in touch with the pattern creator and found out that the pattern was corrected. After getting the corrected pattern I now have 2 hats, but alas they do not fit my daughters big head. So I will be doing the pattern again only with a bigger hook size.

  • October 2, 2014 at 12:05 pm
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    I’ve been crocheting enough that I can figure out when there’s a mistake in a pattern. My biggest irritation is when I come across a really compelling finished object and want to make it, only to find that the pattern is a complete train wreck. That’s one of the hazards of internet patterns. Lots of crocheters are out there posting their own patterns, but they aren’t designers so they lack the skills and experience to actually write the pattern. Rarely, if ever, do I find a published pattern that I can’t find an errata or correction if it has a mistake.

  • October 2, 2014 at 12:03 pm
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    I like this article. I once started a pattern only to find that rows 7 through 28 were missing, or something like that. It was horrible.

    I bought this training kit that had just enough yarn to make a hat or a scarf. The pattern was designed for a girl between 8 and 12 or something like that. I started on the hat since scarves are so easy to make.

    When I get a pattern for free and it is wrong/incomplete, I think Well, explains why it’s free cuz the designer was an idiot or didn’t have there work verified. When I pay for it, I expect the pattern has been verified by a co-crocheter.

  • October 2, 2014 at 12:00 pm
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    I have a funny story.. I was crocheting a purse a few years back… I kept thinking hmmm, not the same but I kept going thinking oh, well, let’s see what turns out.. I really like the hobo bag that I got but it’s no where near the purse in the picture.. It was a free pattern, so I couldn’t complain but it really was a surprise…

  • October 2, 2014 at 11:59 am
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    So many times ive done this! Mostly in rounds. Sometimes its me skipping or adding a stich here and there. Other times its the pattern. Im currently working on a ripple Afghan thats pattern left out a step on the end of the rows. I was however able to figure it out and fix it (and contacted the designer so they know) and the uneven edge it caused in the first 30 rows can all be fixed in the edging im going to use for it.

  • October 2, 2014 at 11:56 am
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    Great article- loved it.

  • October 2, 2014 at 11:35 am
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    I remember one particular pattern where that happened to me. I am an excellent pattern follower, so when this pattern had a large mistake I was completely frustrated. I was making a gift for someone special. I searched for errata and since I paid for the pattern tried several times to contact the famous dude I purchased it from, but no response. That guy will not get another penny from me. I finished the item my own way, but was so disappointed when I was finished I just tossed it in a drawer. Oh well….

    • October 2, 2014 at 12:02 pm
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      It is sad when you come up against a designer who doesn’t make good on a pattern. I hope you found a good replacement pattern elsewhere!

  • October 2, 2014 at 11:33 am
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    LOVE IT!! This HAS happened to me and I contacted red heart and they were super awesome about telling me that there was in fact an error and even took my recommendation (which I only added to help explain what I did to fudge it, wondering if that would cause any further errors)
    I am almost done the vest I”m working on – I have to fudge it a little more to make the straps a little longer, but that’s a case of a size adjustment, not a pattern change 🙂

  • October 2, 2014 at 11:25 am
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    As a designer I greatly appreciate people contacting me when they find errors, omissions, and/or unclear directions. Please give feedback whenever you run into such issues; don’t just complain about it somewhere. Your help will improve the experience for many other people. It will also help the designer do better with their pattern writing in the future.

    Oh, and also try to give specific feedback when you contact the designer (e.g., “Row # seems to have an error. I have [such and such] result instead of the written stitch check”). Only saying things like “The pattern is wrong” with no context doesn’t help correct issues.

  • October 2, 2014 at 11:23 am
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    I loved this article cuz it has happened to me on more than 1 occasion. I end up changing the pattern and rarely do I ever contact the author and it always turns out in the end. I also think that it helps me give a uniqueness to the pattern that I am working on because no one around me would have that exact same pattern.

  • October 2, 2014 at 11:22 am
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    I always check Ravelry if I have problems with a pattern, to see if other people have experienced it too. And leave comments, especially if I figure out a work-around.

  • October 2, 2014 at 11:20 am
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    I get EXTREMELY upset when it is a paid pattern and ‘support’ tells me to ‘figure it out’!!!!!! When that is the case, what exactly am I paying for??? Might as well go through the agony of doing my own design.

  • October 2, 2014 at 11:16 am
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    Yes it has happen more than once, and I do get frustrated, weather it is a free or paid pattern. I should Know by now it is more than likely a pattern error, but once I calm down and realize it I can figure it out. For newbies try not to get upset and seek help, 9 times out of ten it is a written mistake or just a poorly written pattern that takes a little more to figure out.

  • October 2, 2014 at 11:14 am
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    Great article and very true. I had crocheted a blouse with a matching skirt. Found a problem, figured it out. Went to make another blouse for myself and can’t read my corrections. Threw it down several years ago and haven’t touched it since. Even called the company with no help. One day will finish…..

    • October 2, 2014 at 12:04 pm
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      Thanks! I do hope you’re able to pick it back up and finish it someday; or at least get some good use out of the yarn!

  • October 2, 2014 at 11:06 am
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    I love the pictures, Dead on. It doesn’t matter if it’s a free pattern or if I paid for it. I usually try to find a way around it and try to “fix” it on my own. There have been a few times that I have ripped it all out and put the pattern in the file cabinet and never touched it again.

  • October 2, 2014 at 11:06 am
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    I just experienced this recently with a hat pattern. I had to buy the pattern for $1.00 before I could even preview the pattern. For beginners, it can be very confusing & frustrating when a pattern has mistakes, but the majority of pattern authors *want* to know if an error is found. The key is to let them know in a courteous manner. Reading the comments/feedback on patterns beforehand has saved me many headaches.

  • October 2, 2014 at 11:04 am
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    Glad it doesn’t just happen to me. Sometimes just putting a project down for a few days gives me a clearer mind about it and THEN the pattern starts making since. BUT I have also started completely over after tearing out my work when I’ve gotten to a point that just will not work out. Currently I am working on a project for Christmas on which I’ve had to do that. I have torn it out and completely started over….slower, deep breathing, checking off steps accurately, etc. So far so good. I have just reached the point that gave me trouble. We’ll see what happens. 🙂

  • October 2, 2014 at 11:03 am
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    P.S….love the “frustration” pics!!! Hilarious!

  • October 2, 2014 at 11:01 am
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    GREAT article! I can’t tell you how many times this has happened and it IS SO frustrating…paid or free…(more frustrating when its paid for). MOST of the time its “user error” but sometimes its a pattern error…if I can’t figure it out on my own (typically a missed step in a repeat), I’ll ask my bestie and usually one of the two of us can figure it out. But there have definitely been times I have had to just put it down and walk away…walk AWAY from the yarn! I have to say, for those “user error” times, when I put it down and walk away…coming back with a fresh, clear head usually is all the difference!!! 🙂

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