Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Written Patterns vs Video and the People Behind Them

Which type of pattern do you prefer?  Do you like a written out pattern or one that is fully photo or fully video?  I think there is a happy medium.

Personally, written patterns with graphs or diagrams and/or a few progress photos are my preference. BUT I do like links to technique videos for those harder skills. These make it easier for people to dive into more intricate skills, especially if they don't have access to someone local to teach them on something they might otherwise pass up. 

Of course for GoodKnit Kisses I do this in all of my patterns, but I also make some patterns full video tutorials as well.  Even though the pattern is video I'm making an effort now to put the pattern on Ravelry or a digital store like Vivaloom.com or Etsy. In doing this I hope my video heavy audience will make the effort to leap into patterns for themselves.  

Since teaching on YouTube, obviously video works for myself and my audience. I find that we dismiss, as a whole, the auditory learner. I understand there is a discussion on Ravelry right now and some circles to dissuade and bad mouth videos in general.  I have not read these discussions or been dragged into any (only told by a few there are these discussions happening).  Honestly I don't feel the need to go into forums and justify what I do.  It's not for everyone.  However, some need to put auditory and visual moving cues together to tactically become aware of how to manipulate stitches. Many around the world do not have access locally or even regionally to a person or place to teach them advanced skills. Photos and videos do assist well for those people.

For me starting out I had no idea where to go.  My Local Yarn Store (LYS) that was still in business at the time was extremely rude to me when calling because I was loom knitting.  When searching for information on loom knitting I really didn't know what to search for.  All I knew was to search for the brand I was using. At the time I wasn't proficient at all how to use Google to my advantage and search for things.  My life in Interior Design and Commercial design, then floor covering, was completely unrelated.  No one near me had a clue and even craft stores at the time looked strangely at me.  At the time it was random to get a YouTube or any video to appear in search results.  Happily, a video popped up and I devoured watching it.  It was terribly done but really helped me.  I started clicking on and watching the few I could find.  As I learned terms and resources I gobbled up what I could but had this desire to help others who may need help like me.  You see, I also had a memory issue.

Back in 1995 I sustained a head injury which caused memory issues ever since.  Retaining skills and translating things from books into tactile knowledge and working the stitches over and over required more than repetition.  It caused a real NEED to see it over and over again.  There was no one to help me.  I would work on converting needle stitches over and figure it out but the next day would completely forget what I did or what the notes I had written meant. I started making videos to help myself and putting them online.  Knitting was becoming a therapy not only for my memory but was also helping me with post-partum.  I took it up after being inspired when reconnecting with an old friend on Facebook now living in another state.  She was knitting with needles but I had carpel tunnel and so the loom worked well for me then. Feeling worse then the "baby-blues", I took up arms strong in the knowledge I was crafty and smart.  "I can do all things!", I said to quote a popular scripture (Philippians 4:13).

I could talk all day about how I've progressed through the years and learned and even gained healing in many areas but its strays too far from the point in this article.  My point is, videos help people of all backgrounds and strengths.  SO when you go forward, think about what makes you uniquely you.  Think about how others may need to learn different because they are special in a different way as you are.  However, if you are someone like me who really does need that movement of video and audio working harmoniously…would you take the time to save the pattern, read through it and make an effort to learn?  Challenge yourself to new heights and even find more difficult things to learn.  You may discover a new part about yourself and LOVE it!  Besides, there will always be a community of people along the way who understand and can encourage you.

Much love to you all this Valentine's week.  Please comment below and let me low your story.  It is in sharing our own lives that we enrich others and even heal!

Happy Yarn Crafting everyone!

Kristen Mangus


  1. Video tutorials and patterns is the only reason I'm loom knitting, crocheting and even needle knitting! I found your loom videos at the very beginning and I've been a loyal follower since. They're clear, easy to follow, and filmed perfectly for me. Your needle knitting tutorials was just the thing for me to try and learn and I did! I still prefer my loom but I've always wanted to use pointy sticks!

    Maybe one day I'll be able to read a written pattern and I'm trying to wrap my brain around the terms. I just seem to have a disconnect between terms I know I know and reading them to translate them to the loom.

    Thank you so much for taking the time you do to film, edit, and upload the videos! I appreciate it.

    A 2-year loom knitter who learned from Kristen!

  2. I am a new loomer and have found your videos extremely helpful. I have a very hard time reading a pattern. Listening to you and seeing you - and being able to rewind and do it all over - has allowed me to surprise myself at what I can do! I know that I would only be doing ewrap hats if I had not found you! Thank you so much for taking the time and effort to help me. I really appreciate your videos and tutorials.

  3. Kristen thank you for all your loom knitting videos. I feel that written patterns along with the visual and audio of a tutorial is the best way for me to learn. I also can learn a technique from watching videos. I taught myself how to crochet, needle knit and tunisian crochet long before youtube existed. I learned looming from your Goodknitkisses videos and really am enjoying this new hobby. I love the learning potential from video tutorials and you are an excellent instructor. Thank you so much.

  4. When I was learning to knit back in the early 00s, I couldn't get it until I saw a video of someone doing Continental knitting. Now I use written patterns, but I've never used a chart before.

    I love to watch other people knit. It makes me happy. I have no idea why. So I just watch those videos because I like to watch them. They're meaningful to me even if I don't use them as they're intended.

  5. I'm slowly but surely getting the hang of reading patterns, but I wouldn't be, and I would have flat out given up and stopped looming, were it not for your video examples. So thank you, and know you're appreciated.

  6. I got a few looms last year and purchased the tool but to my own disappointment I tried once to loom but failed miserably. I really didn't put much time or energy into it. I needed more time to put into something I know that I will not be successful at. I decided to put it down for a bit so I could work on other crafts that I know I can be productive into. I'll pick up the loom again once my wips are complete and put a little time into learning the loom. I hope to make something great one day but it won't be today:/ wish me luck folks:)

  7. This is a good read - thankyou :) i am an aspiring bag maker and sewing pattern developer. i of course create all my own patterns from scratch and im hoping to have them user friendly and buyable in about 8-12 months. Im thinking of having a video tutorial to go alongside the pattern. it would have really helped me to have known about video tutorials when i started out 5 years ago but nothing was available. i did have a textiles tutor but i only got a few hours a week contact time. i do remember trying to make the Amy Butler weekender bag and i had to read the instructions to different parts about 10 times over.. slowly.. to understand. It really hurt my brain!! paper patterns where the only option, and im a visual learner. Even photographs sometimes confuse me.. so i think video is the way to go! Louise :) x

  8. I love video tutorials for something that is new to me. I have crocheted and needle knitted for years and am just now getting into loom knitting. I am trying to learn the different stitches on the loom and terminology. I have a terrible time with charts at times. I appreciate that I can pull up youtube and find almost anything to do with loom knitting and learn from watching. Kristen, your videos for this are top notch. So easy to follow and understand. I really do hope I can get to the point that I am picking up a pattern and able to make something other than a hat or scarf! Thank you for all you do!

  9. I am a visual learner, but I learned to read patterns (crochet and sewing) many years ago. My mom taught me to sew and crochet. I like to have a written pattern, but I really like the videos for the stitches that are more difficult. Especially for the "lingo" I haven't learned. Many times, seeing a stitch worked on a video helps the written words make sense. I think both, patterns and videos are great. I have no one near me who loom knits and I greatly depend on you, Kristen, as well as others for support, advice and comradery.

  10. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth an encyclopedia. At least to me. I want to learn how to read and follow a pattern, but sometimes it's hard to convert the written word into actions and videos bridge that gap. I can't tell you how helpful your videos have been to me. There are also many others that post helpful videos and I appreciate them too. I can say I would have given up without videos to help me get started and keep me going. I have purchased a number of patterns that I never would have considered because I knew I could find the techniques on youtube needed to at least attempt to create them.
    Thank you for sharing your personal struggles and understanding that we don't all learn things the same way or even the same speed.
    I would NEVER have attempted the Clapotis project without your great videos to help as I followed along with the wonderful written pattern. I still haven't finished that project, but I will.

  11. Not only do I love your videos because I can see and understand what to do but also I feel like you are sitting beside me and we are just chatting away and laughing as we are working on our projects. I love your sense of humour, your humanity, and your ability to make something that seems impossible, not only possible but probable as well. Thank you Kristen At GoodknitKisses.

  12. Thank you for your videos....I am brand new to knitting and have learned so much from you already. My "old brain" really needs to see things a few times before it clicks, so you have been spending a lot of time with me lately. Please keep up the good work and I may be able to complete a project very soon.

  13. I love to have both! Yes I want it all. Written patterns are ok, if you can read and comprehend them. I can read patterns, but it makes getting the the written word to register in the brain so much easier if you have an accompanying video. There have been times when I would read a pattern and go "huh?". And I have also watched several videos from different people explaining the same process. What one doesn't show you another one will, or they will share little tips and tricks. Or maybe the camera angle was different so you could see what was going on at different angles. I love having both written pattern and video. I learn through the videos the most, but when I don't have access to that video then I can refer to the written pattern and jog my memory and get my brain to replay the video in my head. thank you for all that you do!

  14. Kristen, you have a very wonderful way of conveying verbally the actions that are being seen on your videos. As a blind loomer, written patterns are great, but verbal instruction is also a blessing. I have learned many things from your videos and the facebook group. Thanks so much for all your sharing!

  15. I am brand new to loom knitting. If I didn't find your videos I would have been completely overwhelmed with patterns. Now that I have some basic skills under my belt I feel more able to tackle patterns and more complex projects.

  16. Obviously some of those arguing over such a thing don't have enough yarn in their stash to keep them busy. This kind of thing saddens me. BUT no matter what someones opinion is, you have provided (and inspired others!!) such a grand service to many of us. I always wanted to be crafty but everything looked like a 5 year old did it. I kept seeing looms in the stores and finally decided to give it a try. So glad I did, but if it wasn't for you, and those following in your footsteps, I never would have progressed beyond hats and scarves in ewrap. I do make a habit of reading over a pattern now. I usually get to a part that I know I should KNOW how to do...but my brain just doesn't let me make sense of it or remember how I did it the last time...and the time before that without seeing it again. Success in this way has given me some other small successes. I've managed to get somewhat organized with the tools I need and keeping my yarn in only a couple places. That's huge. Just the fact I can complete a project is a huge accomplishment for me. No way could I have done that without the videos! That and the interactions on the group. For me it's call ADHD-inattentive. Never knew what it was until a couple years ago. I really have needed that visual, that engagement for me, to concentrate and 'get it'.

  17. I can relate in soo much of what you have described. Personally, I do like both written patterns, charts, etc and videos. I loom knit because I have 2 left thumbs and can't use knitting needles to save my life. Plus I too, have CTS. And because of my severe back pain issues and arthritis, they have me on a Neurontin (Gabbapentin)(among quite a few others that would make a pharmacist blush) which causes short term memory loss. That's certainly not something that I don't think I'll ever get used to. Once upon a time my memory was something like no others. Right down to running into a stranger and remembering her from 3 years prior riding on a bus. I even described exactly what she was wearing and a broken strap on her purse while reading the "help wanted" ads in a newspaper, job searching. She was so amazed and shocked that I could remember that. Now? Quite the opposite.

    I also love to crochet but with my CTS it's not easy to create something for the duration of any pattern. In March of 2012 I had a hip replacement at the prime age of 47. Really? At that age? ugh...

    My soon to be craft room that we're converting from my daughter's old room is lifting my spirits. Because my ultimate goal is to set it up so that I too can help others. And not just in loom knitting. But many other crafts as well. And I have you, among a a few others that have been soo inspiring. And this is where I take the opportunity to say thank you. So Kristen and all others behind the scenes, from the bottom of my heart, Thank You! I am a stalker. Ok maybe not stalker (haha). I am a die hard fan of yours. I appreciate you and every single other person behind the scenes that help you to help all of us learn and grow. Please do not let others discourage you. You guys do a phenomenal job!

  18. I agree that everyone learns how they can, whether it's by the written word, auditory, visually or combinations. I REALLY find your and others videos helpful in how I'm learning. I'm new to knitting - and I'm finding it very enjoyable but I can tell you that if I didn't have YouTube and you and others uploading helpful videos I would have given up after I made my first hat. I too have a memory issue from an injury so the videos are so very much appreciated!!!!

  19. I love your technique videos, and I learned by watching Mikey; not sure if you were doing videos yet or maybe I didn't know you yet? I like the written patterns because I use the written rows as a checklist. If I had to remember what I just did by watching, I would forget my place, and things like that. I talk myself through a row after I read it. Yes, I admit: I talk to myself. LOL

    God has given you a perfect ministry :)

    Kim .G.

  20. my first go to is a written pattern. If a technique/stitch is mentioned that I am not familiar with then I turn to youtube. I don't have a lot of patience for the extra instruction. I so appreciate everyone that produces a video! Thank you so much!


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