A few days ago, I received an email and a Ravelry message from a shop owner who had planned to use my pattern (my pattern!!!) for a knit along at her shop. While it is true that she posted about that on a forum on Ravelry, it wasn't one that I would be likely to see, and I got no magic pings to alert me. I would have received the Ravelry message earlier, but I was in the Court House exercising my right (and fulfilling my obligation) as a citizen by serving jury duty.
Anyway, she chose my pattern, and someone bought it through her shop, and ran into a snag.
I'm a little saddened by the way she handled the problem, which included writing me to tell me that though the design was lovely, she didn't think it was ready for publication and really needed a tech editor's services. (And yes, she did provide me with the name of her favorite tech editor). I wasn't clear on what specifically she thought was wrong, though it seems to have had something to do with the fact the design calls for repeated shifting of the end of round marker.
So. I printed out the pattern, and rummaged for some yarn. I figured that since I hadn't laid eyes on the thing for two years, I would probably be able to find glitches in the pattern that I might not have seen when the whole design was solidly in my brain.
Linda's Lace Cowl was originally designed for DK weight yarn. It turns out that I have none that's not in a sweater-sized lot. So, I grabbed some fingering weight and figured I'd do a double test: first to verify that the pattern is not actually littered with errors, and second to see if adding a repeat would be enough to make it work in fingering weight yarn.
The yarn I grabbed does not, in fact, work very well with the pattern. The lovely color shifts in the yarn doen't exactly obscure the lace pattern, but they don't do it any favors.
We will ignore the mess over there on the left, where my tension got wonky and I didn't block it right.
Somehow, the horizontal stripes are more obvious to me here, but the two darker colors (purple and teal) seem to have blended into one "darker" thing. What about black and white?
A little better.... but I think the cowl itself goes to the frog pond.
Having knit the cowl again, I did find two actual errors -- one in the last round of lace, and one in identifying which round needed the reverse end of round marker shifting. It was not actually a mess.
However, I do see where a person working with only the words and not the charts might have had some trouble. Chart readers will go back to the instructions to see if that section that started "NOTE: Please read before knitting" had any tips for the place where it's troubling. Word readers will assume that you've written all these things right there in line for you. I didn't duplicate the marker shifting instructions because I was trying to save space.
So. I've now re-written the word section to include those specific directions. I've corrected the error in identifying which of the rows had marker shifts. And I've corrected that lace error in the last line.
I've learned that adding a repeat will, in fact, make this pattern work for fingering weight yarn.
I also had the help of a dear, long-lost-but-found-with-Facebook friend, who agreed to knit it up as a test.
I wish that the yarn store owner had asked for help instead of just telling me the pattern wasn't good enough to publish yet. But I'm glad that her remarks inspired me to re-knit the cowl and locate the trouble spot. Either way, the corrected pattern was up on Ravelry within 72 hours of my receiving notice of the problem (it would have been sooner, but I wanted to wait for the test).
In honor of the Knit-Along that she was originally going to do, I'm giving 20% off on that design (and along with it two other cowl designs) until September 21.