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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Free pattern instruction distribution poll


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I know that things are a bit confusing here. Some of my patterns have instructions in blog posts, while others are offered as PDF file downloads. So if you go to the Yahoo Group, you will only see a small handful of my patterns. You can always see all of the patterns from the sidebar of my blog, which will take you to a blog post with pattern instructions or a blog post with a link to the Yahoo Group.

I am curious to know what is your preferred method of pattern distribution. I never started out as a pattern writer. I'm just a beginner knitter who liked to experiment and then share my results here in a simple format. Then as I received more email questions about the pattterns, I started adding more info to them (mainly in the notes/abbreviations section) and they eventually got longer and more detailed. I will be the first to admit that they are all poorly written. None of my patterns even offer any information on gauge! (That's something I still have yet to learn about)

At first, all outlines and instructions were in plain text format in my blog posts. That seemed to work well until someone told me that she ended up printing a lot of extra pages of blog "fluff". Besides being wasteful, I also understand that printers are thirsty and ink can get expensive for some people. So I explored other options.

I started transferring some patterns into Word documents which were later converted to PDF files, thinking this would allow people to print just the pattern instructions without the blog "fluff". My next hurdle was to find a place to host the PDF files. Hakucho informed me of a free file hosting site, Quicksharing, which seemed to do the trick for a while. But then the site went kablooie. I needed to find an alternative method and turned to Yahoo Groups (partly because I knew other people who offered their patterns as downloads from their Yahoo Group).

My PDF files have been available on my Yahoo Group (free to join, immediate access to files after joining) for a couple months now and it seemed to be working well. There were some occasional difficulties where people could not figure out how to join the group or could not find where the files were located; this was resolved my them sending me an email and I would just email the PDF files to them. I do that all the time. You can send me email, I promise I won't bite! :-)

Then a blind person sent me email yesterday informing me that she could not read the word verification (that thing to prevent automated registrations) required for joining a Yahoo Group. Now that is a problem. There is a "click here" link for people who can't read it, but it takes you to another Yahoo page which doesn't look helpful at all. After sending her the PDF files, she told me her accessible PDF reader couldn't open the files. Now this is another problem, however I resolved it by emailing her plain text.

By now you are probably wondering where I am going with this prolix posting. I'm just trying to find out what you guys think, and trying to find a sweet spot that works out for most people.


4 stitch(es):

Becky in Iowa :O) said...

Hmmmm I guess there are still some people out there that don't know you can select a section of a page and only print that portion. I always select the pattern itself along with the name of the person that posted it, go to print and select print selection. I don't actually print the pattern out though. I have a couple programs that will take what I want to print out and save it as a pdf file. Much easier than copying it into word or printing it out.

Connie said...

Funny, for some reason your blog is now in another language, I couldn't figure out how to leave a comment...LOL

Anyway, you should try I use them and it's free. You can upload your PDF patterns there and put a widget in your sidebar. No signing up for a Yahoo group or having to cut and paste from a post.

I prefer PDF format, and I think most folks can use that format.

Look into it's really easy to use and if you need any help please let me know.

hakucho said...

I personally like having both the pdf and the text in the blog post available. Easy printing for those who like pdf's and those who don't mind copying and pasting into a word doc or note pad have that option. I am less likely to sign up for a yahoo group unless I really have to have the pattern. Just my 2 cents worth.
Hope you can find a solution that works for have so many wonderful patterns :)

Carol said...

I'll vote on the poll so you can keep accurate counts, but if someone gets a pattern from your blog, here's a way to avaoid the extra pages (comments and such).
Simply highlight the text you wish to copy with your mouse. Then click FILE, PRINT, and check the box that says "SELECTION". Then only the highlighted area will print. Hope that helps :)