half-assed knit blog
half-assed knit blog
half-assed knit blog

Maddy Masochism

Maddy is about 95% written up, and you’d think that now I could relax, right? Check for errors, fix the schematic, maybe set up a pdf version for easy printing, piece of cake. I’m sure you already know that if things were going that smoothly, I wouldn’t be writing about this at all…

Here’s the thing. The pattern is written for my size. 34-36″ bust, 28-30″ waist. It’s not an uncommon size, plenty of people can knit it as-is, but a whoooole lot of people will need a different size. I know about YarnStandards.com’s sizing chart, I know about other sizing charts on people’s blogs, I have no fear of knitting-math, but I don’t quite trust myself to write up other sizes. I just don’t have that knack of knowing where I’ll need to tweak the sizing chart numbers, except for my own size.

So I’ve written up instructions on how to resize it for your measurements. Extensive instructions. Instructions full of math and examples. The standard yoke/waist/bust stuff, plus how to change the neckline size, how to calculate the size of the lace panels at the bottom, how to know if you need bust darts. A whole freaking lesson on how to alter patterns, basically. I’ve been knitting for a year and a half; I’m not even qualified to give that sort of lesson.


(I don’t think I will ever get tired of turning my knits into monsters.)

Part of me is saying “you know, you could follow your own instructions, plug some numbers in, and come up with a bunch of sizes to add to the pattern”. But what if I get them wrong? As soon as there are absolute numbers in a pattern, people tend to follow them without thinking about what they’re doing, you know? Well, I don’t, but I’m a freak and a masochist and just have to know how every pattern works before I make it.

Another part of me is saying “hey, why don’t you code up a little calculator, have people enter their measurements, and it’ll automatically change the numbers in the pattern”. This appeals to my nerdy side, but it’s a lot of work for a pattern that maybe nobody will ever knit.

(I’m a pessimist. Several people have told me that they want to knit Maddy. It’s already in 7 queues on Ravelry and the pattern isn’t even available yet. But I’ve got stuff in my Ravelry queue that I’ll probably never knit, and just because I see a pattern I like doesn’t mean I ever get around to knitting it. So… yeah.)

It’s just that people are going to look at that mess of sizing info and go “meh, too much work, I’ll knit something easier instead”. It really isn’t that much work – and it’s also a useful lesson on how to dissect a pattern. And I like the idea of being able to make it fit your exact measurements, instead of choosing the closest size and hoping it’ll work out.

AAAAAAH! I don’t know what to do. And I want to get this pattern up soon; I promised I would.

It sure will be nice to write up the pattern for Bamboozled after this.


One size fits all, and I even have the chart done already!


  1. HeatherB says:

    I browsed over to your blog from the sexy knitters site and when I saw your monster yarn I started laughing hard for 5 mins. Then I read back about your cable chart could have Hamburglars for knits, and a stack of blueberry pancakes for purls, and I laughed so hard that tears stared streaming down my face. Thanks, I needed that today. And your design looks great. :)

  2. Diana says:

    I’m not sure how I stumbled upon your blog, but I don’t think you don’t have anything to worry about! Maddy’s awesome.

  3. Kate says:

    Re: the maths and info in the Maddy pattern, I can only say that this newish knitter would very much enjoy a pattern lesson that resulted in something I actually like. I’ve just ventured into sweater knitting, and I can’t quite wrap my head around resizing just yet.

    So you have at least one person who will like it ;) I’m sure there will be lots more.

  4. Sharron says:

    Have knitted 2 of the Bamboozled – What a great pattern and so easy to follow the line by line instructions.
    Made up in 8 ply on 4mm needles, it fits my 23″ head!