or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Tuesday, March 03, 2009


This is sort of about knitting but also about something else. I'd invite you to skip the boring bits if you're not a knitter but it's probably all boring bits if you're not a knitter, so you're welcome to come back tomorrow, which ought to prove amusing.

A couple of weeks ago I got a book in the mail called Selbuvotter: Biography of a Knitting Tradition, which has patterns for really beautiful Norwegian gloves and mittens. I spent a few days going through it, reading up on the techniques, and marking with Post-It flags the things I wanted to make, and then I started one of the projects, a pair of gloves (the ones that start on page 69, if you're following along at home). As soon as I got to the fingers, I ran into a snag, because the numbers just didn't add up: the divisions for the fingers didn't work, at all. I spent a solid hour, probably more, staring at the charts, counting, staring at the knitted piece, counting some more, moving stitches around, trying to make it work. I couldn't.

Eventually it dawned on me that 1) the Internet exists and 2) there might be errata for the book and 3) the Internet was a likely source for these errata. And here they are.

After staring at the chart for a good ten minutes and counting repeatedly, I came to the conclusion that the chart in the book was identical to the chart on the screen, which is probably the case, because the book has had a second edition, which I clearly have, and the errata are correcting mistakes that were in the first edition. (A quick check of the other errata confirmed this.) This means that the chart must be correct, and I just plain can't figure out what's going on in it, which is frustrating, but it might just be me, and I'm going to have to bull my way through it and force the thing to work, which is annoying but at least true to the spirit of a folk knitting pattern.

But look at this.

Perhaps I'm just stuffy but I would rather not see the word "duh" in a page of errata. That's not the point of this, though: the point is the word "patter", which ought to be "pattern", which means that there is a mistake in a piece of text that exists for the purpose of fixing mistakes previously made.

You may insert the standard rant about proofreading here: you've probably heard it from me before, and if you haven't, you won't have to go too far back to find one. The fact is that when your errata page has an erratum, you are just not paying attention.


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