I was talking to a great designer Debi Dearest (at http://dearestdebi.com/) and I received some humbling advice. My blog is not going to get anywhere unless I start posting on a regular basis. If you are taking the time to come over here and read for new ideas then you should be getting something that is updated more than a few times a year. I think my problem was that I was in the mindset of putting up all my created designs but didn't know what to do when I was having fun using other people's patterns to make gifts for other people. Debi told me that I can still enjoy working on other people's patterns but I could do a review of those patterns here.
Well here goes nothing :')
First review I would like to do is on a pattern/graph from Sick 'Lil Monkeys that can be found at
I haven't worked much with other peoples graphs before and felt it was time to learn. The pattern is currently running at $9 dollars. I recieved this pattern for free a week ago during a promotional sale. Her store has some really cute things here if you are willing to pay the price noted for those patterns.
What I received was a fairly well written PDF file (which showed up quickly as do Ravelry downloads do). What set me back was the fact it was a 3 page PDF (1 page for a large picture of the model wearing the hat, 2 page had the basic starting information/legal jargon, and page 3 was the graph and instructions.) You could fit all the needed to know information on 1 page.
Following the graph was fairly simple except for the stitch count X ____. I wont say what those numbers are here for the integrity of the paid pattern but that step was confusing to the relative overall size to be created. Hindsight says this was all one piece. In the end, it was sewn on two sides (top and side). Oops!
I ended up making 2 blocks (one with the graph and one blank for the back of hat). My son didn't want the grey colors so I turned those black. He wanted "arms" so I made those too.
After completion, I pretty much used the pattern as inspiration to a totally modified version/artist's interpretation of the original pattern.
What I think would help make the original better is more clarification on the one step to emphasize to the reader this pattern is made in one piece. Everyone else may not have that trouble but it may help those new to graphs and making that style hat (I've always made my hats in the round before this). Lastly, put all instructions on 1 sheet so its easier to take one page for on-the-go crocheters. That's more for cosmetics sake and ease to the user, nothing more.
I am glad I got this pattern for free. My son is grateful to have his hat :')
The designers have really improved their patterns since this posting. Don't be afraid to give them a try. Like everything in life, you won't know what needs to improve if you don't get out there and do something. Nothing is perfect and sometimes how you communicate your directions may not be how a person on the other end understands them.