I appreciate a well written pattern just like the next knitter. It always amazes me how a designer puts a pattern together mixing their creativity and math - sheer genius - and I couldn't do it because the only creative bone in my body is the ability to follow the instructions. Even there I've only got a 75/25 ratio of getting it right on the first try.
That said, I'm working on the Marin Scarf and I had to rip it out four times. Why? Well, there's a host of reasons, but the reason I'm writing this post is Ysolda's amazing ability to avoid using the words 'at the same time'.
But let me back up a little. First, when it comes to pattern instructions, I've learned that I should read them from the first word of the sentence to the period that ends the sentence, and maybe read the next sentence.
That failure to pay attention led to rip out number one.
Then, with this pattern, if you don't stick a pin in the front of the work you will totally screw up the pattern. Rip out number two.
Lastly, the pattern says that you are to follow the chart instructions and 'at the same time' increase one stitch at the second marker on the right side rows. Well, I'm no idiot (unless you consider the two rip out episodes above), but the chart leaves off half the stitches on even rows. Well, if you don't do that, then you have a very skinny scarf. Rip out number three.
The fourth time was the charm. I remembered to do everything, including reading the instructions all the way through - like any good knitter who is pattern locked should do.
I don't know how well you can see the design element, but it is delightful. I could knit this scarf forever, I love it that much.
My pattern is all marked up with notes and arrows and check marks. Well worth it if it will keep me from making silly mistakes.
This scarf is a gift, but I really, really want one for myself. All I have to do is hang on to my pattern with all the notes so I don't make the same mistakes twice, or in my case four times.
My advice is to read slowly, all the way through - and for heaven's sake, stick a pin in the front!