Wednesday, 25 January 2012

rant #1: Bad patterns and lazy designers!

I've been trying to make a birthday present for my dear friend Lizzie.  I want to make some little crochet ballet slippers she can wear around the house.  Nothing too taxing, you might think.
I've been looking around at the free patterns and the ones I could find tend to have really poorly shaped heels.  They have square soles that are just stitched together into a weird point.  Last time I looked, my heels, and those around me, are quite round!  I expect slippers to be round too!  Am I weird?  But these are free patterns, so hey-ho...
I wanted something a bit better, so after much trawling I bought a couple of patterns.  In the photos they look great.  Nice round heels, pretty toes...  In the description it'll tell you that there are several sizes included...  Great!  What you don't get in the description is any information about how the item is actually constructed - obviously because they want you to pay for it...

Case #1: The Boho Ballet Flats
Super cute!
These look lovely in the photo, don't they?
I bought the pattern for US$4.99 and started the project.  The designer has loads of stuff up for sale so I thought the pattern should be OK... Right?  Wrong!
I followed the instructions to make a US size 9 (UK size 7) as I'd guess that's the size of Lizzie's feet give or take a size.  As they're crochet, they should be fairly forgiving.
I checked, and double checked my tension to make sure I got it right.  The first thing that miffed me a bit was the odd way the toe part of the sole was constructed.  It uses double crochet (US) in a semi-circle for the toe, whereas the rest of the sole is single crochet. So the toe is kind of floppy compared with the rest of the sole. OK, fair enough, this woman is in the Guinness Book of Records as the fasted crocheter in the world so I'll go with it....
The way the sizes work in this pattern is that you simply add extra rows to the sole...  Long sole for big feet, short sole for little feet....  OK, doesn't seem right....  I'm still going with it...
I got to the heel part, and that was really nice (if a little small), but I was quite pleased after my previous heel experiences.
I finished two soles.  Then I get to the top part of slipper number 1...  Stitch, stitch, stitch.... Finished!

The resulting slipper looks like a bl**dy hot dog bun!

The toes are exactly the same no matter what size you make. WTF?!  Yes, there is no provision what so ever for the fact that if you have size 7 or 8 feet, you're going to have bigger toes and wider feet than someone who is a size 5.  In fact, the pattern goes from a US size 5 (UK size 3 approx) to a US size 10.5 (UK size 8.5 approx).  How is it possible that one width can possibly cater for all these sizes?  These sizes do not all have the same size toes!
It turns out that the rather nice photo above is also used for the youth size pattern!
How does the designer think this is going to work?  This is someone who writes loads of crochet designs and has hundreds of them up for sale!  Surely, surely, there are other people out there who want to make size 7 slippers!  Do these people not realise how ridiculous the resulting slippers look on normal (to me) sized feet?   Do they not complain?  Why does the designer claim that the pattern works for all these sizes, when to any logical human being it can't possibly!
Banana cover anyone?  And the sole showing the odd toe design...  Bad or what?

I've written to the designer asking for suggestions as to how to adjust the pattern, but why should I have to undo everything I've done just because she can't write a decent pattern?  Surely if you pay for a pattern and follow it to the letter, you should get an acceptable result!
This is just downright lazy and bad!

Case #2:  Crochet Ballet Slippers two patterns kids and adults
Here they are.....

Maybe not in these colour-ways, but you'd think they look like proper slippers, right?  Wrong!  The soles for these are the same width for all sizes... (just the length of the sole varies)  and again they are the same width front and back....  I am not even going to attempt this one, but I still paid for it!

Is anyone else out there as annoyed as I am by poorly thought out, lazy designs?  Does anyone have a decent pattern for normal-sized feet?  Am I the only person who thinks that a pair of slippers, whether knitted or otherwise, has to be about the same shape and size as a foot to look nice?

Just because something is stretchy and flexible, doesn't mean it shouldn't fit.  Is it just me?

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