I don't often knit another designer's pattern, but last month I decided to make my youngest son a sweater for his birthday. He chose the Baseball Jersey by Bruce Weinstein from the book Knits Men Want. This is a gorgeous sweater. As an experienced knitter I made a cardinal mistake. I began knitting without checking for errata.
NEVER MAKE THIS MISTAKE. Read the pattern. Check Ravelry for any errata. Check the publisher's site for errata. Check the projects already completed for any problems.
So. I didn't do this. To the designer's credit, all went very well, and I was nearing completion when it occurred to me that the sleeve caps and the saddle shoulders looked very large for the body of the garment. But you would think I had never knit a sweater before, because I that didn't stop me. I completed the sleeves. I blocked the pieces. And then the problems started. No directions for assembly of this project. None. Well, not exactly. I quote: "well, knit all the pieces first. then lay them out and you’ll see how they fit together. doing it is easier than thinking about it." was on the designer's thread in his group on Ravelry. Huh? What does that mean? I know how they SHOULD fit together, but man, they just don't!
After 2 attempts to get the sleeve caps and saddles to fit, I decided to check the finished projects pages on Ravelry. Almost everyone who wrote any comments at all, made note of the fact that there were issues with the sleeves. One Raveller in particular was extremely helpful and had posted photos and descriptions of how she had adjusted the sleeve caps and saddles. After two more attempts at tinking and reknitting the adjustments, the pieces finally fit together.
Bruce himself did answer me on his thread about the subject, but was less than helpful. I finally figured out what needed to be done to correct the mistakes, and gave my son his birthday gift last week. But I have yet to see any proper errata posted about the size of the sleeve caps. Nor has any explanation about assembly been added to any of his published pages. His few comments on the subject seem to blame the publisher for any errors, but make little effort to correct the problems with the pattern.
Which brings me to this. There are a lot of people publishing these days. There are good patterns and bad patterns. But please, if you put something out there for sale or for free, remember your obligation to those people who have put their time and money into knitting your patterns. If there is an error, publish proper errata. And make sure they are available easily to anyone who has had access to the pattern.
Everyone makes mistakes. Not everyone takes responsibility for them. Lesson learned. Venting complete. And btw - my son loves the sweater.