I’ve updated the pattern for Jax to include instructions for a full-length leg warmer pattern as well as the boot topper version – I was enlightened to the need for this by someone who listed it as a project on Ravelry, and let’s just say she wasn’t kind.
It was an interesting experience for me – I had spent a lot of time replying to emails from this person to help her through the pattern – explaining the cables, the row and pattern counts etc. I felt I’d done a lot, particularly considering my day job doesn’t leave a lot of time for drafting emails about knitting patterns.
I care about standing by my patterns though, and making sure people have a good experience with them. It’s important to me that folks are happy with my work. So you can imagine my shock when she listed her completed project and wrote that she basically hated them. There was even swearing involved. It seems that the problem was her being under the impression that they were leg warmers instead of boot toppers. As though I had somehow written a miraculous pattern that would allow me to wrest 2 full sized leg warmers out of a measly 350 yards of sport weight yarn.
Well, lesson learned for me. I even wrote a short email back to her, after I updated the pattern to include yardage and instructions for full length warmers. I confess, I was so hurt that it took me literally months before I felt ready to draft a short letter expressing dismay at her choice of words and advice on maybe being kinder in the future.
It’s a good lesson. I love designing knitwear, and I love that feeling of satisfaction when people send me photos of things they’ve made. I want to make sure I’m improving the way I work, and the way I communicate with my fellow knitters. To this end I thanked her as well, for bringing the discrepancy to my attention.
The internet is a big place. When you put your work out there you can expect a few pieces of feedback that run the gamut from unflattering to downright mean. I’ve been lucky; in the wide worlds of Ravelry, WordPress, Facebook and Pinterest my negative experiences can be counted on one hand, with room to spare.
It was a tough learning experience, but one I’m glad I had!