Look it up!

As part of my ongoing series of where to look for your next pattern idea, I thought I would focus on knitting books this week.  Another of my favorite sources for inspiration is browsing in the stacks.  I love visiting the bookshelves of My Sister Knits, my local library, or an indie book store, in order to poke around in their selection of books.  Brand new books are fun to flip through, but I can also find new patterns and ideas by revisiting titles that I have paged thorough before.  I’ve learned that my tastes change with the season, and patterns that I have passed over for various reasons may have a fresh appeal when I give them a second glance.

All of us are developing our skills with every stitch.  Patterns that might seem too complicated or technically advanced can become possible when recently learned skills can be applied. Getting a second or even third chance to look at these books allows me to look at older patterns with new eyes and more expertise.  The big colorful photos alone usually get me impatient to start stitching.

This week I finally cast on for a project that I’ve been flirting with for years.  I saw Nora Gaughan’s Swirled Pentagon Pullover when her book Knitting Nature was first published in 2006.  I finally found yarn that I thought might work in October of last year, and some uninterrupted knitting time this week has allowed me to really dig into the project.  When I first took a look at this pattern I couldn't imagine being able to wrap my head around the construction of it.  Six or so years later, I find it's a breeze.

One of my favorite things about working on patterns that have been “around the block” is the wealth of information that I can find on Ravelry.  93 people have cast on for this sweater already. Many of their project notes provide helpful tips that can make my project more successful and fun.  More importantly, the project details indicate that the publisher has errata available.  By clicking on that link I can find notes that clarify printing errors that were found after publication.  These mistakes are common enough and it is a pleasure not to have to be the one to find them by struggling with row directions that don’t work or measurements that don’t add up.

I am really enjoying this project, and I know that if I had tried to tackle it when I first saw the book, it would have been a frustrating struggle and very likely, an unfinished project or worse, a frogged one.  Sometimes a great project is worth the wait!