Hooked on Needles

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Make your Patterns Easy to Read

I don't crochet too many afghans from kits, but on a rare occasion I'll find one that really strikes me and I buy it. When it makes its way up to the top of my project list, I take it out and check out the pattern. Sometimes it's written in an easy to read format and I can just sit down with my hook and yarn and get busy. Mostly though, it's something like this...

Original Pattern...written on the back of the package label on a heavy duty piece of card stock that is big enough to wrap around the whole package, front and back, and in three languages. Not exactly something I can sit on my lap or prop on the table next to my chair! This picture doesn't even show the whole thing, that's how big it is!

Downsized PatternSo I take it to my computer and scan the English language sections, cut and paste them into a Publisher file in the correct order, all on one manageable page. Then I print it out. I like having it on one regular size piece of paper, but the size of the type suffers greatly by shrinking it. And I'm over 40. In fact, I'm closer to 50 now than I am to 40. If you're not there yet, let me tell you what that means in this case. I can't read the print without straining, and at my age, straining is not something I enjoy doing. Especially when I just want to sit down and relax with my crocheting!

So I came up with what I think is the perfect solution...

Easy to Read PatternI went back into my Publisher file and broke the pattern up into smaller chunks, then expanded them to be the width of a regular size piece of paper in landscape orientation. I placed two sections on each page and then printed them out. It took 4 pages to print the whole pattern. I cut the pages in half, with one section on each half. Then I stapled the whole package together in the correct order.

Easy to Read PatternThis is the perfect size to sit on my lap while I'm crocheting, turning the pages as I progress through the pattern. The type size is so large that I can read it easily with or without my reading glasses, and it is much easier to keep my place in the pattern because I don't have to strain my eyes to see where I am. Now crocheting this pattern is much more enjoyable for me and the project is moving along nicely. I'll show you a little preview of it soon.

If you don't have a scanner or software that can enlarge something for you, you can always take your pattern to a copy center and have it printed as large as you want it, then cut it up and make it into a little flip book like I did. Even if it is copyrighted, I am pretty sure that you can still make copies like this for your own personal use.

When I am finished with this project, I will store the original picture from the packaging along with my small print pattern page and my large print booklet in a page protector in my crochet pattern binder, just in case I want to make the same pattern again with my own yarn.

Do you have any little tricks that you have found to make your stitching time easier on the eyes, or just more enjoyable for you? Please leave a comment and share them with everyone!

Happy Stitching!

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  • Hello Mary Grace, you came up with a great idea.....I have not come across the same problem....like the idea of your filing system....I need to upgrade my work area...hugs lyn

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At June 19, 2009 at 5:37 AM  

  • Hi Mary,Thanks for showing this useful idea, same problem occurs when doing some big project, now i vll surely follow this.
    God bless u,

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At June 20, 2009 at 10:19 AM  

  • Hi Mary Grace, do you know of anyway to get this pattern? Me and quite a few of my crochet friends love it and are wanting to make it. Yours by the way turned out awesome!

    Thanks so much, Vicky

    By Blogger Unknown, At April 7, 2016 at 3:53 PM  

  • Hi Vicky Lynn, thanks for writing! Back in 2010, Mary Maxim offered this pattern for sale if you called their customer service number 800-962-9504 and asked for it. It's called Sweet Liberty. I don't know if they still offer it, but it is certainly worth a phone call! I have also seen patterns very similar to this one on Ravelry, so that might be worth a look too.

    I hope this helps,

    By Blogger Mary Grace McNamara, At April 8, 2016 at 8:34 PM  

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