Today I want to talk for a minute about my husband. No, my husband does not know how to crochet but he is one of those people you would call an “analytic thinker”. To my complete and total surprise, he has taken a very keen interest in this blog and what it is intended for. We have spent a few evenings sitting on our back deck discussing what information I want to include, whether or not I want to assign actual number or star ratings to patterns, who my target audience really is, and what my real goals are. His best question to me yet came last night. “Who are you writing to? The designer or the people who buy the patterns?” Well, obviously I want to review patterns that fellow crocheters buy and NOT the designers themselves but I suppose I had strayed a bit off that original path because there are so many things that are purely a matter of personal preference.
Think about gauge for a second. I believe, and I think most crocheters would agree with me, that gauge is a required element of a good crochet pattern. However, there are a few different ways you can find the gauge of a piece. You can do a vertical and horizontal swatch, you can simply chain a certain number of stitches, you can crochet the first 4 or 5 rounds of a pattern and then measure, or maybe you can crochet a section of that pattern that has a specific stitch pattern. Do you see where I’m going with this? My question was then, which method is the best method? That is entirely subjective. What I like may not be what you like. So it would be very hard for me to place a rating star or number on a pattern based on my personal preferences and expect you to just take it as gospel truth.
So here is what I’m going to do. I have created a template to use for all patterns I review. There are concrete, verifiable elements on the template and there are subjective elements on the template. I will give the straight dope on the concrete, verifiable elements without any bias to what I prefer. Anything else on the list that is not concrete and verifiable is considered subjective and you will get my personal opinion on those things. I would hate for you to base your decision to purchase or not purchase based upon subjective comments only. Your style may not be my style. My hope is that the concrete items will be your calling card as to whether you want to buy a pattern or not and all the rest is lagniappe (our fun Louisiana word for extras). I also aim to provide you with full disclosure of my association with every pattern – where I purchased it (if I can remember), whether I have crocheted other patterns by this designer, if I personally know the designer, if the designer specifically asked for a review of their pattern, etc., so that there is no feelings of bias or inclusion. I do not endorse any pattern designers and make a profit from that endorsement.
To recap before I put my first review up, which will be by the weekend – I will give you the straight answers on the concrete questions that can be verified, I will give you my own opinion on additional items, and I will most likely give the pattern my own personal score in the form of a letter grade like you get in school. I briefly considered using the letter grade scale from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry but I hesitate to designate a pattern with a T for Troll should I have the unfortunate chance to come across such a pattern. (By the way, I was placed in Gryffindor by the Sorting Hat on Pottermore! Geaux Gryffs!)
I have created a separate page for my template which you can find by clicking the tab called Standard Checklist Template at the top of my blog page. Until the weekend, get your crochet on!