I am not going to lie, I was at something of a loss about what to review this week. I haven’t really gotten into any new and exciting toys or gotten any new books lately. Then I realized I have a whole file folder on my computer full of digital patterns! With every pattern designer there are multiple levels of clarity and the writing style varies a vast deal. I have always loved Tanis Fiber Arts patterns. I found that I really loved every pattern she came out with, so I have seen quite a few of her products.
One of the main reasons I love TFA patterns is the clarity; they are very easy to follow. I actually knitted a few of her patterns while I was just starting out as a knitter. The language is always very clear, I’ve never been confounded by a TFA pattern. There have been a few times when I was reading other patterns and I had no idea what the pattern was trying to get me to do. Sometimes I would just wing it and see if the knitting looked right. This is one place there is a great opportunity to learn; if you don’t make mistakes in your knitting you will not learn from it.
I have a lot of friends come to me with patterns they don’t understand and I attempt to help them. Sometimes between the two of us we can puzzle it out, but more often than not, when something is poorly written, you just have to give it a try. I know that is probably the most frustrating answer ever, but that is what I do. Whenever people complement me on my knitting or the skill with which I create a garment, it was either the biggest pain in the neck (because I had to repeatedly rip it out) or I was gifted with a particularly good pattern.
The TFA patterns are always on the side of angels. They are well written and techniques are explained well. The legends are particularly thorough which is a great help for me; pattern to pattern the technique for making one right or left differs. TFA always specifies which one they mean.
Another one of my favourite aspects about these patterns is the advanced techniques that are hidden within the patterns. In the Terracotta Sweater, there are short rows in the cowl, but the are written in without being named. The pattern doesn’t state, ‘now we are going to do short rows for the cowl.’ I know that I would have run in the opposite direction had this been the case. I would have been worried about the prospect of doing short rows for the first time.
Then again I have learned a lot of small but useful tips and tricks from TFA patterns. I can imagine they are things Tanis herself learned through her own adventures in knitting. She is kind enough to include those techniques within her patterns.
I just want to put out there that this is an honest review, as are all my others. I am not paid or endorsed by anyone to write great reviews about the products found here. TFA is one of the companies that I have found and absolutely love! I am really picky with my patterns and once I find someone I like, I really stick with them. These patterns are very well written and can be found on Ravelry here. You should also check out TFA’s beautiful selection of yarn on the website linked here. I have had a very passionate love affair with all these patterns and yarns; I should really be in a 12 step program. Paul can attest to that.